(1st E. Rutland)
Born: BEF 1488, Ethal, Northumberland, England
Acceded: 18 Jun 1523/5
Died: 20 Sep 1543
Buried: St. Mary the Virgin Church, Bottesford, Leicesterhire, England
Notes: Knight of the Garter.
Father: George MANNERS (12° B. Ros)
Mother: Anne St. LEGER (B. Ros)
Married 1: Elizabeth LOVELL (B. Ros) 21 Feb 1512 / 21 Sep 1513
Married 2: Eleanor PASTON (C. Rutland) BEF 1523
8. Isabel MANNERS (d. young)
Sir Thomas Manners, 1st Earl of Rutland, c.1675
(oil on canvas) by Jeremias van der Eyden
Detail of the effigie of Thomas Manners at Bottesford
Eldest son of Sir George Manners, 12° B. Ros of
Hamlake, by Anne, daughter of Sir Thomas St. Leger and
princess Anne Plantagenet. His father became Baron Ros in 1487 by the
death of his mother, Eleanor, sister and coheiress of
Edmund, eleventh lord Ros of Hamlake, Triesbut and Belvoir. Anne St
Leger (niece of Edward IV) gave him relationship with the
Plantagenets. The splendour of the House of Manners rose from heiresses.
He was a distinguished soldier, and was Knighted by the Earl of Surrey on the Scottish expedition of 1497. Sir George died on the siege of Tournay on 27 Oct 1513.
On 22 Jun Thomas landed at Calais on the french expedition. The same year he became Baron Ros on his father´s death, and was summoned in 1515 to Parliament.
He married first Elizabeth Lovell, daughter of Sir Robert Lovell, between 21 Feb 1512 and 21 Sep 1513. This lady died without issue. Thomas married secondly, before Feb 1523, Eleanor Paston, daughter of Sir William Paston of Norfolk and Bridget Heydon (by her mother she was a relative of Anne Boleyn).
On 3 Jul 1536 a triple wedding that reinforced the ties between some of England´s oldest families. Lady Margaret Neville, the daughter of Ralph, Earl of Westmoreland, wed Lord Henry Manners, heir to the Earl of Rutland, while Rutland’s daughter Lady Anne Manners married Westmorland’s heir Lord Henry Neville. Another of Westmorland’s daughters, Dorothy Neville, married Lord John De Vere. Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, cousin of the Nevilles, played his part in the ceremony as Lady Margaret’s escort from the church to the reception at the Earl of Rutland’s mansion in Shoreditch. The Rutland household accounts reveal payments for dozens of rushes to be spread over the floor; for sacks of coal and yards of black satin, velvet and cloth of silver. Money was also paíd to dressmakers and to three separate barbers for the “washing and trimming” and “rounding” of Lord Henry Manners’ hair. The reception was an exclusive society event, atended by “all the great estate” of the realm”. Henry VIII even made the trip from Whitehall. Still in the first flushes of his new marriage, his joie de vivre seemed to have been resurrected for the night and he made a suitably stunning entrance dressed as a Turk.
Upon an insurrection in Lincolnshire in 1536, under Dr. Makerell, abbot of Berlinges, occasioned by the dissolution of the lesser monasteries, and certain injunctions in matters of religion, he received command, together with the Earl of Shrewsbury and the Earl of Huntingdon, to require them by proclamation, upon peril of their lives, to return to their due obedience. The city of York paid the Earl at that time a fee-farm rent of 40 £. On a familiar rebellion in Yorkshire (called The Pilgrimage of Grace), he offered his service; and was successful in its suppression.
In 1538 he obtained the site of the abbey of Rievaulx in exchange for other lands; in 1540 was constituted chief justice in eyre of all the King’s forests beyond Trent; in 1539 he was appointed by the King lord chamberlain to Anne of Cleves, met her at Shooter´s Hill after her unfortunate interview with the King at Rochester, and sent from Greenwich to attend her before her marriage.
In 1541 obtained a grant of the manors of Muston, Waltham, and Croxton, with part of the possessions of the late dissolved priory of Osulveston, all in the county of Leicester; as also of the manors of Upwell, Outwell, Elme, and Emnithe, in the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk, part of the possessions of the monastery of Nuneaton, co. Warwick; and also of the manor of Braunston, co. Northampton, part of the possessions of the abbey of Lillshull, co. Salop. To these were soon after added the manors of Byllesdale and Helmesley, part of the possessions of the monastery of Kirkham, co. York; with divers lands in Brandesdale, in the county of York, sometime belonging to the abbey of Rievalx.
Rutland was to be associated with
John Markham in 1542. In that Aug, after numerous border disputes, the
to send Norfolk ‘with a main force’ against the Scots, and
Markham was appointed
to Rutland’s inner council, with Sir
Robert Bowes, John
Harington and John
Uvedale, when the Earl went north as lord warden of the marches.
Rutland accompanied the Duke of Norfolk,
then general of an army consisting of 20.000 men, in his invasion of Scotland;
where, in eight days, they burnt twenty towns and villages; and, being much in
the King’s favour, he, on his return, obtained in that year (jointly with
Tyrwhitt) a grant of the priory of Belvoir, and also of Egle in
Lincolnshire, which had been a commandery of the Knights Templars, who had it of
the grant of well Haughe, King Stephen; and from whom it had passed to
the Hospitalars. Our Earl obtained at the same time a large share of the lands
and lordships of divers other dissolved monasteries in the counties of
Leicester, Norfolk, Northumberland, and York.
On his return home Thomas began converting Belvoir Castle from a fortress into a dwelling house and arranged for many ancient monuments of the Albinis and Rosses, his ancestors, to be removed to Bottesford from the suppressed Belvoir Priory, where some of them yet remain. Others also were carried thither, by the same order, from Croxton abbey.
To his exertions also is in great measure to be attributed the rebuilding
of Belvoir castle, after it had been laid in ruins by William, first lord
Hastings; though the completion of it was reserved for his son, the second
About this period it is thus described by Leland:
“It is a straunge sighte to se be how many
steppes of stone the way goith up from the village to the castel. In the castel
be 2 faire gates; and the dungeon is a faire rounde tour now turned to pleasure,
as a place to walk yn, and to se al the countery aboute, and raylid about the
round [wall], and a garden [platte] in the middle. There is alsoe a welle of a
grete depth in the castelle, and the spring theros is very good.”
When not at Belvoir, he seems to have lived at the old Benedictine Nunnery of Holywell in Shoreditch, London.
He was steward of many monasteries, and from his various ancestors he had claims by way of foundation of certain of the houses. Hence, when the dissolution came, he received numerous grants of monastic property.
From Dec 1540 to Nov 1541, Richard Whalley was comptroller of his household
In 1542 he became constable of Nottingham Castle. He went to the border again on 7 Aug 1542 as warden of the Marches (State Papers, v. 211, for his instructions; Hamilton Papers, vol i,.) But he was recalled inconsequence of illness, in Nov of the same year. From Newark-on-Trent he wrote on 7 Nov to the Council of the north:
"As God best knows, I am a poor and febryll estat"
In his last will, dated 16 Aug 1543 (printed in "Testamenta
Vetusta" ii. 719), this Earl thus begins the enumeration of his ample
possessions: “Where I have the manors of Belvoire and Wollestrop, with the
appurtenances, and certain lands, tenements, and hereditaments, in Belvoire,
Wollstrop, Denton, Aubone, Haddington, Ingwardby, Coringham, Greyningham,
Ulceby, Croxby, Bynbroke, Ludburghe, Foderby, Ropsley, Hungarton, Wyvell,
Aslackby, Cadby Magna, and Aslacton, in the county of Lincoln; and in Easton,
Midleton, Madborne, Blettesden, Barkby, South Croxton, Plungarthe, Barkston,
Claxton, Knypton, Muston, Bottesforde, Statherne, Hardby, Howes, Lubbenham, and
Redmilde, in the county of Leicester; and in Dalton and in Naborne, in the
county of York; and in Carleton, Dyngley, Brampton, Braddon, Sewell, Horpoole,
Stoke Aubeney, Wilberston, Rushton, Daysborowe, and Cottingham, in the county of
Northampton; and in Collesden, Ocley, and Richtone, in the county of Bedford;
and in Clipston, in the county of Buckingham,” &c. Among other
articles, are afterwards particularly mentioned, the manors of Wragby, Melton,
Ros, Haddington, Ussington, Talington, Deeping, and Stroxton, with their several
appurtenances, in the county of Lincoln; Redmile, Barston, and Plungarth, with
their appurtenances, of clear yealy value of 25 £ 15s 8 d.; Bottesford,
Normanton, and Easthorp, 45£ 18s. 4d.; Frethby, with its appurtenances, in
Frethby, Stapleford, and Stonysby, 16 £ 19s. 4 ¾ d.; in the site of Croxton,
with the grange of Bescaby, and all other the manors, tenements, &c.
parsonages, tithes, pensions, and portions of tithes, of and in Croxton,
Bescaby, Croxton Kyriall, Knipton, Harston, Waltham upon the Wolde, Frethby,
Nether Broughton, Howes, Clawstone, Statherne, Plungarthe, Harby, Barston,
Eyton, Braunston, Wymondham, Sproxton, Humberston, Twyford, Leycestre, South
Croxton, Kyrkby Belowes, Melton Mowberey, Stapleford, Saltby, and Stonesby, in
the county of Leicester, belonging to the lately dissolved priory of Croxton;
the site of the late monastery of Garondon in Leicestershire, with the demesne
lands, tenements, &c. of Garondon and Sheepshed, and the forest of
Charnwood, the grange of Dixley and the parsonage of Dixley, and the grange of
Halywell Haughe, with lands, &c. in Halywell Haughe, Thorpfelde, Dixley,
Thorpe Hawker, Shepshed, Hathern, Belgrave, Groby, Ratby, Swynfen, and Eastwell,
in the Leicestershire; the site of the priory of Belvoir, with lands, tenements,
&c. in Belvoir, Woolsthorp, Bottesford, Muston, Knipton, and Redmilde, late
part of the possessions of Belvoir, of the clear yearly value of 23 £ 13s.;
lands, tenements, &c. in Saltby, parcel of the monastery of Drax, amounting,
with lands, &c. belonging to Rievalx, Kirkham, Lilleshull, Newsted, and
Oweston, to 107 £ 17s. 11d. Many other articles are also specified; amounting
in the whole to the clear yearly value of 1862 £ 1s. 8d. over and above the fum
of 552 £ 1s. 5 ¾ d. payable to the King for lands purchased or exchanged; and
over and above all rents, resolutions, and deductions of bailiffs and stewards
rents. To the lady Eleanor, Countess of Rutland,
he confirms, for her life,
several manors, consisting of Belvoir, Woolsthorp, and many others, to the
yearly value of 410 £ 15s. 4 ¾ d.; with the addition of Croxton and others, of
the yearly value of 280 £ 9s. 11 ¾ d.; “all which have been already
assigned to the faid lady Eleanor my wife, for her jointure and dower, of myn
intention, and for other considerations and sure promises made by the said
countess to me the said Earl, to be loving, benevolent, and favourable to my
children.” To Oliver Manners, one of his younger sons, he gives his
manor of Howsome, with the appurtenances. To John Manners, another of his
younger sons, his manor of Thornton in Craven, with the appurtenances, in
Thornton in Craven, Earesby, and Kelbroke, in the county of York. To Roger
Manners, another of his younger sons, the manor of Linton upon Ouse,
with the appurtenances in Liton and Yolton, in Yorkshire: And to
Manners, another of his younger sons, his manor of Turnham-hall, and Cliff,
in the parish of Hemyngburg, with the appurtenances. To his three daughters,
Catherine, 60 £ a year each, for their exhibition
and finding till such time as they shall be married, and toward their marriage
1000 £ each. He settles on his eldest son Henry lord Ros and
his wife the manor of Melton-Ross, in Lincolnshire, and all his lands in
Melton-Ross, Beckby, Kernyngton, Barnaby, Ulceby, Wrawby, Glamford-Bruggs, and
Wotton; the manor of Orston, and all the lands, &c. in Orston, Streton,
Kneton, Scarrington, Carcolston, Thurverton, Stauton, and Dalington, in the
county of Nottingham, as her jointure. And constitutes his executors, Eleanor,
Countess of Rutland, his wife; Sir Richard Manners, knight, his
brother; Sir John Chaworth, knight, his brother in law; Augustine
Porter, Henry Digby, and Robert Thurston, esquires; and to
each of them gives 40 £.
He died 20 Sep 1543; and was buried in the mid-way going up to the altar at Bottesford. When the Earl died in Sept 1543 Thomas Disney received 6s.11d. for riding ‘to Lincoln for a suit of vestments to be occupied at the day of the interment’.
Made out of alabaster by Richard Parker and installed in 1544,
this was the only sepulchral effigy erected in Leicestershire during the civil
The weepers, which represent the couple's children, are excellent
examples of early Tudor costume and are divided by elaborate Renaissance
pilasters rather than the until then customary continuous frieze. The daughters,
wearing black farthingales, are on the east end (two) and north side (six). At
the west end the eldest son, Henry
(who, as second Earl, is depicted on another monument in his own right) is shown
kneeling before a reading desk. On the south side five of the youngest sons are
shown standing in various postures with small daggers and swords, while the
youngest is depicted as a priest.
Here lyeth the body of Thomas Manners, Erle of Rutland, 1st Lord of Hamelake,
Trusbut and Belvoir, and Knight of the most honourable Order of the Garter, who
deceased the XXth day of September, at iiii of the clock at afternoone, anno Dni
MCCCCCXLIII: and the body of the Lady Eleanor, Countess, his wyfe, daughter to
Sir William Paston of Norfolke, knight, who deceased the . . . day of . . . anno
On this, the first of the family burials in the church, the date of Lady Eleanor's
death was never filled in as the tomb was made during her lifetime. Eleanor
was buried in St. Leonard, Shoreditch; where the following
inserption preserves the remembrance of several persons of this noble family:
monument is erected in memory,
within this church do lie buried the bodies
the right honourable and noble ladies,
to Edward Duke of Buckinham,
wife to Ralph Earl of Westmerland,
Eleanor, daughter to sir William Paston, knight,
wife to the right honourable lord Thomas
of Rutland, buried 1551.
to Ralph Earl of Westmoreland,
wife to Henry Earl of Rutland, who died 1560.
the lady Katharine Nevel,
to sir John Constable, of Holderness, knight, and
to Henry Earl of Westmoreland and lady
Manners, daughter to Thomas Earl of Rutland,
Katharine died the 27th day Mar, 1591.
that here do lie also the bodies of two right
gentlemen, honourably descended; namely, of
Thomas Manners, knight, and Oliver Manners, esq;
being the fourth and fifth sons
the aforesaid Thomas Earl of Rutland.
first died about his age of fifty, in June 1591,
many valiant services performed by him
his prince and country, both in Ireland
Scotland, where he was knighted; and
by sundry great wounds he therein received.
second died in his younger years, 1563,
his age of twenty, yet not before
proof made of his valour and forwardness,
the service of Newhaven against the French;
he took the sickness,
he died shortly after in Shoreditch.
by the lady Adeline Nevel, at the direction
the said lady Katharine Constable, deceased,
her sister, in Feb 1591.”
The 9th Earl of Rutland commissioned Jeremias van der Eyden (d. 1697) portraits of the nine Earls.
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