26th February, 1671
4th February, 1713
Anthony Shaftesbury was born at Exeter House in London, the grandson of Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury and son of Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 2nd Earl of Shaftesbury. His mother was Lady Dorothy Manners, daughter of John Manners, 8th Earl of Rutland. According to a story told by the third earl, the marriage was negotiated by John Locke, who was a trusted friend of the first earl. The second Lord Shaftesbury has been traditionally, and possibly unfairly, regarded to have been both physically and mentally inadequate, although the letters sent by a youthful third earl to both his parents reveal a rather more complex picture, not least the emotional manipulation attempted by his mother in refusing to see her son unless he cut off all ties to his father.