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English statesman, styled Lord John Manners until 1888 when he succeeded to the dukedom as the 7th Duke of Rutland.
Manners, in Parliament from 1841, is best remembered for his friendship with Benjamin Disraeli and his involvement in the Young England movement.
Young England was a splinter group of Tory aristocrats with a public school background, led by Disraeli (who was neither an aristocrat nor an Old Etonian). Horrified by the dehumanising effects of industralisation and the social injustices it produced, their political philosophy was a form of retro-feudalism - moral leadership by the rich and privileged, and philanthropic care of the lower classes. They also blamed the church for neglecting its duties to the poor, among them alms-giving.
Manners accompanied Disaeli on a tour of English industrial areas in 1844, advocated public holidays (outlined in 1843 in his pamphlet, "In Defence of Holy Days"), factory reforms and an allotments system.
During the three short administrations of Lord Derby (1852, 1858–59, and 1866–68) he sat in the cabinet as First Commissioner of Works. On the return of the Conservatives to power in 1874 he became Postmaster-General under Disraeli, and was again Postmaster-General in Lord Salisbury's administration, 1885–86, and was head of the department when sixpenny telegrams were introduced. Finally, in the Conservative government of 1886–92 he was Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.
This is a fine, chatty letter (Albany, Friday, no year), handwritten and signed in ink on two sides of a 7" x 4.25" sheet of notepaper.
It reads (in full):
My dear Hayward
Last night I despatched an address in bad English to the Electors of Colchester * & am to make my appearance there on Monday. I fear therefore it will be impossible for me to fix any day, as you kindly ask me to do, for a Temple dinner.
It may be that after a few days' canvass I shall be remitted to London.
I send you, as you wished, a local paper with my last specimen of spouting.
Two horizontal correspondence folds. In very good condition.
* Manners was the MP for Colchester from 1850-1857.