Gertrude MANNERS

(C. Shrewsbury)

Born: ABT 1525, Helmsley Castle, Yorkshire, England

Died: 1566

Buried: 16 Jan 1566, St. Peter's, Sheffield

Father: Thomas MANNERS (1 E. Rutland)

Mother: Eleanor PASTON (C. Rutland)

Married: George TALBOT (6 E. Shrewsbury) 28 Apr 1539, London


1. Francis TALBOT (B. Talbot)

2. Gilbert TALBOT (7 E. Shrewsbury)

3. Grace TALBOT

4. Edward TALBOT (8 E. Shrewsbury)

5. Anne TALBOT

6. Catherine TALBOT (C. Pembroke)

7. Henry TALBOT

8. Mary TALBOT

Daughter of Thomas Manners, 1st Earl of Rutland, and Eleanor Paston. Sister of Henry, Anne, Elizabeth, Sir John, Frances, Roger, Sir Thomas, Catherine, Oliver, and Isabel. Gertrude was thus a great-granddaughter of Anne of York, the elder sister of Edward IV and Richard III.

On 28 Apr 1539 Gertrude married George Talbot, heir of the Earl of Shrewsbury, at Holywell, the Rutlands' London residence. The Earl of Rutland paid 3,000 marks for the marriage. The paid the first installment of Gertrude's dowry was made by Eleanor, Countess of Rutland. Only a week after the wedding, she wrote Lady Lisle that she was "so big with child" that she would soon depart for Belvoir Castle. In the event, she did not leave until mid-Jun, about a month before she gave birth her younger daughter Catherine.

Gertrude and George had eight children: Francis; Gilbert; Grace; Edward; Anne; Catherine; Henry and Mary.

During the reign of Edward VI, Grace Shakerley, Countess of Shrewsbury wrote to her husband Francis Talbot, fifth Earl of Shrewsbury, from York, about domestic matters, telling him that his building at Sheffield goes well and that George, Lord Talbot and his wife Gertrude Manners are in good health. She asks the Earl to bring some cloth to make pillow-cases with when he next visits her, at the next meeting of the Council of the North.

Dorothy Dacre, widow of Thomas Windsor, in her will dated 1562, leaves a ring of gold to the Countess of Shrewsbury and her sister-in-law Anne Talbot:

"Item, I give & bequeath to my Lady of Shrewsbury and to my Lady Braye, either of them one ring of gold of 20s price apiece with these letters, D and W, engraven, and black enamelled".

On 10 Oct 1563, Lord Wharton wrote to the Earl of Shrewsbury from Healaugh, telling his dispute with the Earl of Cumberland is to be settled by mediators, and sends his congratulations to the Countess on her delivery of Henry Talbot.

On 4 Jun 1565, Gertrude wrote to her husband from Erith, desiring him to further the suit of Joan Bean, pending before the Council in the north.

The Countess Gertrude died when her children were still young, and was buried in the family vault in Sheffield on 16 Jan 1566. George's marriage to Gertrude sounds conventional enough for a high ranking member of the aristocracy. They had eight children in the twenty seven years of their marriage. But a few months after her death, Gertrude's husband began a courtship of their friend and neighbour, the thrice-widowed Bess of Hardwick, which culminated in their marriage. It was not only Bess who was married; the family combined with two other marriages. Mary Cavendish (12 years old) was married to Gilbert Talbot, Henry Cavendish (18 years old) was married to Grace Talbot (8 years old).

Later, Edward Manners, third earl of Rutland, wrote to Bess to recommend the bearer, one Mistress Higgens, who was servant to Manners' late aunt, Lady Gertrude. Manners asks Bess to show Mistress Higgens 'good furtherance' and to consider her claim to 'aparaunt', that is, her right to remain employed in the family's service.

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