MANNERS SUTTON, George (1751-1804), of Kelham, Notts.
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Family and Education
In 1774 Sutton (as he was usually styled) successfully contested Newark on the Manners and Sutton interest. He voted regularly in opposition. Robinson in his electoral survey of July 1780 thought Sutton would be affected by a probable contest at Newark, but he changed places with his father and was returned unopposed for Grantham on the interest of his cousin Charles, now 4th Duke of Rutland. Sutton followed his lead in Parliament; voted for Shelburne’s peace preliminaries, 18 Feb. 1783; for parliamentary reform, 7 May 1783; against Fox’s East India bill, 27 Nov. 1783; and became a steady follower of Pitt’s Administration. ‘I really think your Grace’s Members are the most useful in the House’, wrote Sutton’s friend Daniel Pulteney to Rutland, 15 July 1784, ‘for I don’t believe Pochin, Sutton, or myself have ever missed a single day.’ By this time Sutton seems to have been in financial difficulties, and on 13 Aug. Pulteney, similarly circumstanced, wrote to Rutland: ‘some place might perhaps be obtained for Sutton in which I could act as his deputy’. And again on 17 Oct.: ‘George Sutton and myself shall be starved before the end of this winter, or sell ourselves to Fox for the sweepings of his faro table.’ Nothing came of these appeals, and Pulteney continued to press Rutland to provide for Sutton and himself: ‘all sorts of people are getting all sorts of places here’, he wrote 23 June 1785, but ‘Sutton and myself ... the most constant adherents Pitt has, are to be kept as pure and independent as Lord Chatham, Bankes, Wilberforce etc.’1 On 13 Sept. 1786 Rutland wrote to Pitt:2
I am ... requested by George Sutton to trouble you. I have assured him I will lay his situation before you; but, as the possessor of a borough, I have recommended him to establish his claim in person. He has literally but £200 a year to live upon. I think you might give him a pension of about £300, which would make him comfortable. A decayed gentleman, and particularly if a Member of Parliament, is surely a proper object for such a provision.
Apparently this appeal was unsuccessful, for on 10 Mar. 1787 Pulteney wrote to Rutland:3
G. Sutton, who had only half a coat when I arrived in London in 1784, and who by his own account, had lain in bed three days on nothing but porter and salad, and appeared to me as nearly starved as a person could do, must and will I fear soon return to the same state without my being longer able to prevent it.
Rutland died on 24 Oct. 1787, and on 1 Dec. Sutton wrote to Pitt that he had ‘lost the best of friends’ and was ‘bereft of that liberal aid which my circumstances of late years urgently stood in need of’.4 He claimed that Rutland would have continued to return him while the Rutland children were under age, and as ‘my existence in this country depends upon a completion of his intentions’, hoped Pitt ‘as one of his representatives’ would ‘fulfil what his Grace intended me respecting the representation of Grantham’. Sutton voted with Pitt over the Regency, 1788-9, and was returned again for Grantham at the general election, but does not seem to have received any office or pension. There is no record of his having spoken in the House.
He died 15 Feb. 1804.