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Lord Robert Manners

In the north transept of Westminster Abbey is a tall monument (25 feet high) of white and coloured marbles, known as The Three Captains memorial, by the sculptor Joseph Nollekens. It commemorates Royal Navy captains William Bayne, William Blair and Lord Robert Manners who were killed in 1782. On a column are relief portraits of all three with their names and ages (50, 41 and 24 respectively). A figure of Fame surmounts the column and below is Neptune on a sea-horse and Britannia with a lion. Naval trophies flank the inscription panel which reads:

Captain William Bayne, Captain William Blair, Captain Lord Robert Manners, were mortally wounded in the course of the naval engagements under the command of Admiral Sir George Brydges Rodney, on the IXth and XIIth of April MDCCLXXXII. In memory of their services the King and Parliament of Great Britain have caused this monument to be erected.

The monument was not finished until 1793 and cost £4,000.

Robert was a son of John Manners, Marquess of Granby, and his wife Lady Frances Seymour. He was born on 6th February 1758 and was educated at Eton before joining the navy. He was in one of the ships that defeated the Spanish off Cape Vincent. In the Resolution he was severely wounded at the Battle of Les Saintes in the West Indies and died of tetanus on 23rd April 1782. Robert’s brother Charles became the 4th Duke of Rutland.

Further Reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004

"Resolution...." by D. Rutland and E. Ellis, 2017

Family archives are at Belvoir Castle

Born

6th February 1758

Died

23rd April 1782

Field

Sailor

Location

North Transept

Memorial Type

Statue

Material Type

Marble

Lord Robert Manners
Lord Robert Manners

By Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Lord Robert Manners
Three Captains memorial to William Bayne, William Blair and Lord Robert Manners

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2019 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

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At different times of the day, or in different seasons, the light falling in the Abbey will light up something that you have walked past a million times and never seen before.

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Vanessa, Head of Conservation

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