|1st Earl of Rutland|
|Died||20 September 1543|
|Father||George Manners, 11th Baron de Ros|
|Mother||Anne St Leger|
Thomas Manners, 1st Earl of Rutland, 12th Baron de Ros of Helmsley, KG (c. 1497 –20 September 1543), of Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire (adjacent to the small county of Rutland), was created Earl of Rutland by King Henry VIII in 1525.
Thomas was the son of Sir George Manners, 11th Baron de Ros (c. 1470 –1513) by his wife Anne St Leger (1476–1526). His maternal grandparents were Sir Thomas St Leger (c. 1440–1483) and Anne of York (1439–1476), a daughter of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York and Cecily Neville. She was thus an elder sister of Kings Edward IV (1461–1483) and of his brother and eventual successor, Richard III (1483–1485). Her other brothers were Edmund, Earl of Rutland and George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence. Her sisters included Elizabeth of York, Duchess of Suffolk and Margaret of York. Anne St Leger's first cousin, Elizabeth of York, married Henry Tudor and was the mother of Henry VIII and grandmother of Elizabeth I. Thomas Manners was thus a second cousin to Henry VIII.
On 22 June 1513, Thomas landed at Calais on the French expedition. In 1513 he became Baron Ros, probably aged 16 or 17,on his father's death and was summoned in 1515 to Parliament. He was at the Field of the Cloth of Gold in 1520 and at King Henry VIII's meeting with Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor afterwards. In December 1521 he became cupbearer to the king. In January 1522 he was made steward of Pickering, Yorkshire, and from April to October of the same year he held the appointment of Lord Warden of the East Marches, in which he was succeeded by Henry Percy, 6th Earl of Northumberland. He received the wardenship of Sherwood Forest on 12 July 1524, an office which afterwards became practically hereditary in his family. He was appointed a Knight of the Garter on 24 April 1525 and on 18 June 1525 he was made Earl of Rutland, a title previously held by members of the house of York.
He was a great favourite of King Henry VIII and received many grants, including the keepership of Enfield Chase on 12 July 1526, and Belvoir Castle, which remains the chief seat of his family.On 11 October 1532 he landed with the king in France. He was at the coronation of Queen Anne Boleyn in 1533 and later took part in her trial. Rutland was actively engaged in meeting the Pilgrimage of Grace. He held a joint command with the Earls of Huntingdon and Shrewsbury and marched to Nottingham and thence to Newark, Southwell, and Doncaster against the northern rebels.
He was steward of many monasteries, and from his various ancestors had claims through their having founded certain of the houses. Hence at the Dissolution of the Monasteries, he received numerous grants of monastic property. In Leicestershire he obtained Charley, Garradon, and by exchange, Croxton; in Yorkshire he received Beverley, Warter, and Rievaulx by exchange. Jointly with Robert Tyrwhit, he obtained Belvoir, Eagle, and Kyme in Lincolnshire, and in Yorkshire Nun Burnham.
When Anne of Cleves came to England to marry the king, Rutland was appointed her lord chamberlain and met her at Shooter's Hill on her approach to Greenwich Palace, after her unfortunate interview with the king at Rochester. In 1542 he became constable of Nottingham Castle. He went to the border again on 7 August 1542 as Warden of the Marches, but was recalled, in consequence of illness, in November of the same year. From Newark-on-Trent he wrote on 7 November to the Council of the North: "As Gode best knows, I ame in a poyur and febvll estat". He died on 20 September 1543.
Manners, about two months before receipt of his earldom, was nominated by Henry VIII as a Knight of the Garter in 1525. His Garter stall plate of brass inlaid with coloured enamel, survives in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. It is inscribed: Thom(a)s lord roosse, Erle of rotteland. Above the escutcheon, circumscribed by the Garter, is the crest of Manners: A peacock in pride. The arms displayed are: quarterly:
1 and 4, or, two bars azure a chief quarterly of the last and gules, on the 1st and 4th, two fleurs-de-lis or, on the 2nd and 3rd, a lion passant guardant or (Manners, with augmentation for the 1st Earl);
2, a grand quarter consisting of
3, a grand quarter consisting of
He married twice:
He died on 20 September 1543 and was buried in Bottesford Church, Leicestershire. His body was embalmed with spices purchased in Nottingham and a surgeon encased it in wax. A plumber then encased it in a close-fitting leaden shell.
His surviving alabaster chest tomb in the chancel of St Mary's Church, Bottesford, Leicestershire, was created by Richard Parker of Burton-on-Trent with John Lupton (rough mason) and his father, over a period of six days, the floor having been strengthened to the weight of the tomb. Thomas Richard Parker "the alabaster man" was paid £20 for the sculpture and the supervision of its positioning. Surviving accounts at Belvoir Castle record in considerable detail the arrangements for this work and the funeral. As well as commemorating the 1st Earl of Rutland and his wife this monument also marks the first of the future burials in the church of eight earls and four dukes over a period of almost 250 years.
The Earl's effigy is dressed in chain mail and full plate armour with a loose military tabard over which he wears the mantle of the Order of the Garter while on his left leg is the Garter itself. His head wears a basic form of coronet and rests on his tilt-heaume on top of which is the Manners crest of a peacock in pride on a Cap of Maintenance. The feet rest on a unicorn, from which the horn is now missing. The effigy of the countess is dressed in a gown and a short cape and wears an ermine-trimmed mantle fastened by a cordon whose ends reach almost to her feet, under which is a griffon. Tasselled cushions support her head. The base of the tomb is decorated with corner pilasters, tasselled swags and "weeper" figures representing knights, ladies and others.
|Ancestors of Thomas Manners, 1st Earl of Rutland|
Belvoir Castle is a faux historic castle and stately home in Leicestershire, England, situated 6 mi (10 km) west of the town of Grantham and 10 mi (16 km) northeast of Melton Mowbray. The Castle was first built immediately after the Norman Conquest of 1066 and has since been rebuilt at least three times, the surviving structure, a grade I listed mock castle, dating from the early 19th century. It is the seat of David Manners, 11th Duke of Rutland, whose direct male ancestor inherited it in 1508. The traditional burial place of the Manners family was in the parish church of St Mary the Virgin, Bottesford, situated 3 mi (5 km) to the north of the Castle, but since 1825 they have been buried in the ducal mausoleum built next to the Castle in that year, to which their ancient monuments were moved. It remains the private property of the Duke of Rutland but is open to the general public.
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