Francis MANNERS

(6th E. Rutland)

Born: 1578

Died: 17 Dec 1632, Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire, England

Buried: St. Mary the Virgin Church, Bottesford, Leicesterhire, England

Notes: Knight of the Garter.

Father: John MANNERS (4° E. Rutland)

Mother: Elizabeth CHARLTON (C. Rutland)

Married 1: Frances KNYVETT (C. Rutland) 6 May 1602

Children:

1. Catherine MANNERS (20° B.Ros/D. Buckingham)

Married 2: Cecily TUFTON (C. Rutland) 26 Oct 1608

Children:

2. Henry MANNERS (18° B. Ros)

3. Francis MANNERS (19° B. Ros)


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Francis Manners, 6° Earl of Rutland

Portrait at Belvoir Castle


Second son of John, fourth Earl of Rutland, nephew of Edward, third Earl, and brother of Roger, fifth Earl, was born in 1578. He seems to have been with his brothers under the care of John Jegon at Cambridge. In 1598 he went abroad, and in the course of his travels through France, Germany, and Italy he was entertained by various princes, notably the Emperor Mathias and the Archduke Ferdinand. Returning to England he took part, like his brothers, Roger and Sir George Manners, in Essex’s rebellion in Feb 1600-1, and was imprisoned in the Poultry Counter. He was fined a thousand marks and committed to the custody of his uncle Roger at Enfield. Sir Robert Cecil, however, obtained a remission of the fine, and thus the affair cost little either to him or his brother George. As soon as he was free he wrote a penitent letter to his uncle Sir John Manners of Haddon. In Nov 1601 he became a member of the Inner Temple.

He was prominent at the court of James I, and was created K.B. on 4 Jan 1604/5 at the same time as Prince Charles, and on 27 May 1607 became joint keeper of Beskwood Park. On 26 Jun 1612 he succeeded his brother Roger as sixth Earl of Rutland, and was made lord-lieutenant of Lincolnshire on 15 Jul following. On 7 Aug in the same year he entertained James I at Belvoir, and the King repeated the visit five times in after years.

On 31 Mar 1613, his steward recorded a payment 'to Mr Shakespeare in gold about my lord's impresa, 44s.; to Richard Burbage for painting and making it, in gold, 44s.' An 'impresa' was a painted paper or pasteboard shield with emblems or mottoes. Apparently Shakespeare had devised this one. The occasion was the tilt on King James I's Accession Day, 24 Mar.

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Henry Manners, Baron Ros

(detail of his father's tomb)

He had the offices of constable of Nottingham Castle and keeper of Sherwoon Forest from Oct 1612 until Apr 1620, and at the burial of Prince Henry carried the target. He took part in all the court ceremonies, and was made K.G. 24 Apr 1616. The title of Lord Roos had been carried by Elizabeth, daughter of the third Earl of Rutland into the family of the Marquis of Exeter; but Rutland claimed it, and he was acknowledged to be Lord Roos of Hamlake on Jul 1616.

One of the most important English witchcraft cases took place in the Vale of Belvoir in Leicestershire in 1618 when Francis Manners, sixth Earl of Rutland accused a group of six women of murdering his two sons, Francis and Henry by witchcraft. Joan, Margaret, and Phillippa Flower attempted to wreak their revenge upon the family of Sir Francis Manners, after the Earl and his wife withdrew their favors from the Flower family. Also three other women accused of witchcraft, Anne Baker, Joan Willimott and Ellen Greene, whose eventual fate is unrecorded. These three women were in all probability 'cunning women'.

Margaret Flower described one of the methods of the use of Image Magic in the Rutland case when she testified that:

"her mother complained to the Earl against one Peake. who offered her some wrong, wherein she conceived that the Earl took not her part as she expected; which dislike with the rest, exasperated her displeasure against him, and so she watched for an opportunity to be revenged: whereupon she took wool out of the said mattress (given to Margaret by the Countess on her dismissal from the Castle) and a pair of gloves, which were given her by Mr Vavasor and put them into warm water, mingling them with some blood, and stirring it together: then she took the wool and gloves out of the water, and rubbed them on the belly of Rutterkin her cat, saying the Lord and Lady should have more children but it would be long first."

Many of the features that would later be used to make a Witch Bottle were present in the last quotation. Fabric connected with the victim is mixed with blood and water warmed and manipulated (in this case on a familiar). This key feature, is also mentioned in the Barnes text. For generations the normal remedy to employ, if you believed that you or yours had been bewitched was counter magic rather than criminal prosecution. Counter magic was the practise of turning the evil back upon the witch as in this example. When counter magic was used as 'evidence' against the Bottesford witch Anne Baker:

"Being examined concerning a child of Anne Stannidge, which she was suspected to have bewitched to death: saith the said Anne Stannidge did deliver her child into her hands, and that she did no harm unto it: And being charged by the Mother of the Child, that upon the burning of the hair and the paring of the nails of the said child, the said Anne Baker came in and set her down and for one hours space would speak nothing:"

The case is commemorated on the Earl's tomb in St. Mary's Church, Bottesford, part of his tomb inscription reading: "In 1608 he married ye lady Cecilia Hungerford, daughter to ye Honorable Knight Sir John Tufton, by whom he had two sons, both of which died in their infancy by wicked practises and sorcerye"

On 6 Apr 1617 Rutland became a privy councilor, and attended the King into Scotland the same year. He was created warden and chief justice of the royal forests north of the Trent on 13 Nov 1619, and custos rotulorum for Northamptonshire on 7 Feb 1622-3. Although he seems to have disapproved an extreme policy in church matters, his family connection with Buckingham secured him the appointment, on 21 Apr 1623, of admiral of the fleet to bring home Prince Charles from Spain. At the coronation of Charles he bore the rod with the dove.

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Tomb of the Earl and his wifes at Bottesford

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Frances Knyvett, Countess of Rutland

Portrait at Belvoir Castle

Rutland married, first, on 6 May 1602, Frances, daughter of Sir Henry Knyvett of Charlton, Wiltshire, and widow of Sir William Beville of Kilkhampton, Cornwall; secondly, after 26 Oct 1608, Cicely Tufton, daughter of Sir John Tufton and widow of Sir Edward Hungerford. The courtship, of rather a mercenary character, is described in a letter preserved at Belvoir. By his first wife he had a daughter Catherine, who married the Duke of Buckingham on 16 May 1620, and after his death Randal Mac Donnell, first marquis of Antrim. By his second wife he had two sons, who did in infancy from the supposed effects of sorcery. The widow died in 1653.

He died on 17 Dec 1632 at an inn in Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire. Many of his family were round him, and he made them a curious speech, of which notes are preserved at Belvoir. He was buried at Bottesford.

Rutland was less extravagant than most of his family, though his clothes were valued at 500£ when he died. A late portrait, attributed to Van der Eyden, is at Belvoir. He was succeeded by his brother, Sir George Manners, as seventh Earl.

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Catherine Manners, D. of Buckingham

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