(2nd E. Rutland)

Born: ABT 23 Sep 1526, Belvoir Castle, Leicesterhire, England

Christened: Enfield, England

Died: 17 Sep 1563

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

Notes: Knight of the Garter. 14° B. Ros

Father: Thomas MANNERS (1° E. Rutland)

Mother: Eleanor PASTON (C. Rutland)

Married 1: Margaret NEVILLE (C. Rutland) 3 Jul 1536, Holywell, Shoreditch, London, Middlesex, England


1. Edward MANNERS (3° E. Rutland)

2. John MANNERS (4° E. Rutland)

3. Elizabeth MANNERS

Married 2: Bridget HUSSEY (C. Rutland/C. Bedford)

Manners,Henry(2ºE.Rutland).jpg (100011 bytes)

Henry Manners, second Earl of Rutland

Portrait attributed to Van der Eyden

at Belvoir Castle

Eldest son of Thomas Manners, first Earl of Rutland, and his second wife, Eleanor Paston, Countess of Rutland. Their children were Gertrude, Henry, Anne, Elizabeth, Sir John, Frances, Roger, Sir Thomas, Catherine, Oliver, and Isabel. He is stated by Doyle to have been born BEF 1526, but most probably he was born BEF 1513. A son of Lord Ros is mentioned as being a page of honour at the marriage of Louis XII of France and the Princess Mary. His mother complained that in bringing him up she had incurred in debts which she could not pay.

His first marriage was celebrated with the royal presence of the King Henry VIII and the new Queen, Jane Seymour, on 3 Jul 1536. He married Margaret, fourth daughter of Ralph, Earl of Westmoreland, a great northern magnate. The same day his sister, Anne, married Henry, Westmoreland's heir.

He succeeded as second Earl of Rutland on his father death, 20 Sep 1543; was knighted by Henry VIII in 1544 and was one of the mourners at the King's funeral. Sir Henry Delves, who had been his father steward, was also his steward.

As a young man Thomas Markham doubtless by his father’s Sir John Markham adherence to Thomas Manners, 1st Earl of Rutland, obtained a place in the Earl’s household.

At Edward's coronation he was bearer of the spurs. In 1547 he was nominated Constable of Nottingham Castle and warden and chief justice of Sherwood Forest as a reward for conducting an expedition into Scotland, with 3000 men, took and sacked Haddington. On 1 May 1549 he was appointed warden of the east and middle marches, and had personal command of a hundred horse at Berwick.

He made depositions in 1549 as to conversation he had had with Thomas Seymour, the lord Admiral.

He also was one of those who received the French hostages in 1550, when the Treaty which followed the loss of Bolougne was concluded.

In Feb 1551 the King noted in his journal that Richard Whalley had been arrested and examined ‘for persuading divers nobles of the realm to make the Duke of Somerset protector at the next Parliament’: this, the King wrote, was affirmed by Henry Manners, 2nd Earl of Rutland, whose father Whalley´s had served, who had exposed Whalley’s intentions in a debate with him before the Council. Sir Francis Leke was also called as a witness. Whalley was committed to the Fleet but was released in Apr. Six months later Somerset’s arrest was followed by Whalley’s, and Francis Talbot, 5th Earl of Shrewsbury, was asked for a detailed account of a conversation with him the previous summer. It was probably under the threat of a treason charge that Whalley, ‘a busy headed man anxious to be set on work’, became a principal witness against Somerset at the trial on 1 Dec.

On 14 Apr 1551 he became lord-lieutenant of Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, and at that time lived when in London at Whittington's College. From May to Aug that year he was absent as lord in attendance on the embassy to France. 

He seems to have belonged to John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland's party, so he belonged, like Northumberland, to the extreme reformed party in church matters. And was one of those who took part on 3 Dec 1551 in the second debate on the real presence between Sir John Cheke and Watson in Sir Richard Morison's house.

On 16 May 1552 he became lord-lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, probably in Northumberland's interest.

Robert Ferrers became a freeman of Lincoln on 3 Nov 1552, his admission was doubtless the work of Henry Manners, 2nd Earl of Rutland, whose secretary Ferrers had then been for three years, and was meant to qualify Ferrers for election to Parliament. Early in 1553 Rutland asked Lincoln for the nomination of one of its Members. The common council agreed and gave the Earl a barrel of claret, but went on to decide that no one except the recorder should thereafter be elected unless he was an alderman. If Rutland knew of this rider he chose to disregard it and the city proved unable to enforce it. The names of the Lincoln Members in the Parliament of Mar 1553 are lost, but Robert Ferrers was almost certainly one of them.

At Mary's accession Henry was at once imprisoned in the Fleet as an adherent of Lady Jane Grey. Rutland, however, soon became to terms with Mary's government.

While his brother Roger served under Sir William Howard of Effingham, the Lord Admiral; he was made an Admiral in 1556, and in 1557 Henry, Earl of Rutland was appointed by Felipe and Mary captain general of all the forces then designed to be transported into France, and had the chief command of the whole fleet.

In 1555 he completed the noble design, which had been far advanced by his father, of rebuilding the family mansion at Belvoir, and making a nobler structure than it had ever been before. That part of the more ancient building, which was left by both unaltered, is included in the following concise description by an ingenious writer, who visited it in 1722:

“Ædes in culmine montis sitæ; scilicet,

aditu difficilis circa montem; cujus latera omnia

horti 50 acrarum circumeunt, nisi versus Aquilonem,

quò ascenditur ad ostium ædium, ubi etiam

antiqua janua arcuato lapide. Versus Occidentem 8

fenestræ, et 3 in sacello; et ulterior pars vetusta.

Versus Aquilonem 10 fenestræ. Facies Australis et

Turris de Staunton, in quâ archiva familiæ reponuntur,

extructa ante annos circa 400. pars restat kernellata.

Cavoedium est intus (vocat. The Old Court) ;

Circa id fornices vetustæ, et muri insignibus gentilities ornate, unum cum hoc inscripto,

P G U G  I  P E G

V E N I G E  Y  M


Angeli id sustinent, è lapide barbarè omnia sacta.

Versus Austrum alter mons Blackverry Hill, ferè contingit

montem de Belvoir; et ultra vides parcum de

Croxton super aliam montem situm.”

Manners,Henry(2ERutland)01.jpg (53797 bytes)

Another plan of his father’s was also completed by Earl Henry; the collecting together from the ruined monasteries the memorials of their ancestors.

The Earl of Rutland dissented on a bill, passed in Jan 1556, to restore to the heirs of Sir Edward Neville the remainder of the barony of Abergavenny. The bill had the effect of excluding (for lack of sons) Rutland's sister, Frances, wife of Henry Neville, Lord Abergavenny, and any of her possible heiresses from inheriting any portion of the barony.

In Dec 1557 there was a hitch. The common council had already acted on Rutland’s nomination and chosen Ferrers to sit with the recorder, George St. Poll, when the Earl produced a fresh nominee in Francis Kempe, a servant of Chancellor Heath.

Late in the autumn of 1557 the Duke of Guise laid plans for the seizure of Calais by a coup-de-main. On 18 Dec news of this project reached the deputy of Calais, Lord Wentworth, but he neglected the warning until it was confirmed on the 26th. On the following day a council of war was held, and it was decided to abandon the open country, and only attempt the defence of Guisnes, Hammes, Newhaven (Haven Etue), Rysbank, and Calais. Reinforcements were ordered from England under the Earl of Rutland, but on the 29th Wentworth wrote that Calais was in no immediate danger; he disbelieved alike the French reports and the warnings of Lord Grey de Wilton, who was captain of Guisnes. On the 31st Guise's army arrived on the borders of the Pale, and on 1 Jan 1557/8 Rutland was again ordered to proceed at once to Calais. He failed to arrive in time; one fortress after another fell before Guise; on the 6th the castle of Calais was surrendered, and on the 7th Wentworth yielded up the town, being himself one of the prisoners of war.

After the loss of Calais, he was on duty at Dover (Froude, History, vi. 439), and on 19 Jan 1557/8 five hundred picked men raised in the city of London were ordered to serve under him.

With the support of Henry Manners, 2nd Earl of Rutland, Anthony Thorold became the Member of the Parliament of England for Grantham in 1558. When the writ for the 1559 parliamentary election reached Lincoln, its recorder and former Member, George St. Poll, was dying, and the city decided first to return the Earl of Rutland’s nominee, Robert Ferrers, then Robert Monson whom they probably had in mind as their new recorder. In the event, by 16 Jan St. Poll had died, and Rutland had intervened to impose on them Thorold both as recorder and MP, in this way securing both seats for his nominees. In reply the Lincoln corporation snubbed Rutland by appointing Monson and Christopher Wray as their legal advisers, voting Monson 40s. a year for life. Thorold counter-attacked, and ‘in consideration he should be diligent’ obtained the recordership for life at £4 a year.

Rutland was a favorite of Queen Elizabeth, and had also a certain reputation of learning.

On 13 Apr 1559, months after Elizabeth's accession, Henry Manners was nominated Knight of the Garter, and installed Jun 4; and on 10 May became lord-lieutenant of the counties of Nottinham and Rutland, and president of the council of the North part of the realm. On 13 Oct of this year, died Countess Margaret at Hollywell, and the Earl gave her a splendid funeral at St. Leonard, Shoreditch. Strype tells us, her corpse was carried, Oct 21, 1559, from the house which had been the nunnery of Haliwell, with thirty clerks and priest singing; about threescore poor men and women in black gowns; mourners, to the number of an hundred; two heralds of arms, Garter and York; then came the corpse; afore a great banner of arms; and about her four goodly banner rolls of divers arms. Mr. Bacon preached. After was dispersed a great dole of money, being 2 d. apiece for each. And so all departed to the place to dinner. About the valance was written:

 “Sic transit Gloria mundi.”

Soon Rutland married his second wife, Bridget Hussey, a daughter of John, lord Hussey (executed for the Pilgrimage of the Grace), and widow of Sir Charles Morison of Cashiobury. These lady was a great friend of Queen Elizabeth.

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Tomb of the Earl and his first wife at Bottesford (she was interred in London)

On 24 Feb 1560/1 he was made lord president of the north, and on 5 May 1561 an ecclesiatical commissioner for the province of York. 

He died, seemingly of the plague, on 17 sep 1563, and was buried at Bottesford Church in Leicestershire.

By his last will, dated Jul 5, 1560, he bequeathed "his body to be buried in the church of Bottesford", if he should die within the realm; and appointed that a tomb suitable to his eslate be made there. He bequeathed to his daughter Elizabeth a thousand pounds for her portion, and 30 £ a year for her maintenance till marriage, or atraining the age of 21 years.

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Close up of the tomb at Bottesford

To John, his second son, he gave his manor and rectory of Helmesley, sometime belonging to the monastery of Kirkham, as also his manor of Roos in Holderness, and a fee-farm of 40 £ a year issuing out of the city of York, during his life. To Edward lord Roos, his son and heir, all his armour, munition, and weapons; and ordered all his goods, chattels, jewels, plate, and household-stuff, which could be left unsold, to be divided betwixt his wife and the said Edward his son, when he should arrive to the age of twenty-one years; and, by a schedule annexed, inceased the portion of his daughter Elizabeth 500 marks, if she should marry with the consent of his wife, and George Earl of Shrewsbury, his brother in law by his sister Gertrude, and of his brother John Manners, or any two of them, whereof his wife to be one. He also gave 200 £ to be distributed among his household servants, as his wife should judge convenient.

The countess Bridget was afterwards married to Francis Russel, second Earl of Bedford (her third husband), whom she survived many years.

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