Manners, Francis (DNB00)

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MANNERS, FRANCIS, sixth Earl of Rutland (1578–1632), second son of John, fourth earl of Rutland, nephew of Edward, third earl [q. v.], and brother of Roger, fifth earl [q. v.], was born in 1578. He seems to have been with his brothers under the care of John Jegon [q. v.] 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, fifth earl of Rutland [q. v.], and Sir George Manners, in Essex's plot in February 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 November 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 June 1612 he succeeded his brother Roger as sixth earl of Rutland, and was made lord-lieutenant of Lincolnshire on 15 Julv 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. He held the offices of constable of Nottingham Castle and keeper of Sherwood Forest from October 1612 until April 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 April 1616. The title of Lord Roos had been carried by a daughter of the third Earl of Rutland into the family of the Marquis of Exeter [see under Manners, Edward]; but Rutland claimed it, and he was acknowledged to be Lord Roos of Hamlake on 22 July 1616.

On 6 April 1617 Rutland became a privy councillor, 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 April 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. 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 married, first, on 6 May 1602, Frances, daughter of Sir Henry Knevet of Charlton, Wiltshire, and widow of Sir William Bevil 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 [see under Villiers, George, first Duke of Buckingham], and after his death Randal Mao Donnell, first marquis of Antrim [q. v.] By his second wife he had two sons, who died in infancy from the supposed effects of sorcery. The widow died in 1653. Rutland was less extravagant than most of his family, though his clothes were valued at 600l. 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.

[Dugdale's Baronage; Doyle's Official Baronage; Calendar of MSS. preserved at Belvoir (Hist. MSS. Comm.), especially vol. i.; Eller's Belvoir Castle, pp. 58 sq.; Bygone Lincolnshire, ii. 127 sq.; Nichols's Progresses of King James I; Cal. of State Papers, Dom., especially 1625–6; Metcalfe's Book of Knights.]

W. A. J. A.