MANNERS, John (bef.1535-1611), of Shelford, Notts. and Haddon Hall, Derbys.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. bef. 1535, 2nd s. of Thomas, 1st Earl of Rutland, by his 2nd w. Eleanor, da. of Sir William Paston of Paston, Norf.; bro. of Roger I and Sir Thomas. educ. St. John’s, Camb. 1549; I. Temple 1554. m. Dorothy, da. and coh. of Sir George Vernon of Haddon, 2s. George and Roger II 1da. Kntd. 20 Apr. 1603.

Offices Held

J.p. Notts. from c.1559-c.74, 1583-c.92, Derbys. from c.1574, custos rot. from 1580, sheriff 1575-6, 1588-9, 1597-8, dep. lt. from 1585; c.j. Sherwood forest by 1591.1


During his early years Manners lived first with his family at Belvoir Castle, and later at Shelford. His Nottinghamshire estates were not large, but his social position was sufficient to ensure his election as knight of the shire. He was probably the Mr. Manners who was appointed to the succession committee 31 Oct. 1566 and the Mr. Manerie who was put in charge of the committee concerning armour 3 Dec. 1566. Manners made a fortunate marriage, and when his father-in-law’s estates were divided between the coheirs, he and his wife came into most of the Derbyshire property, including Haddon Hall. Manners was living there by 1571, and for the remaining 40 years of his life he was one of the most prominent, active and wealthy gentlemen of the county, though he never represented it in Parliament.2

Manners was supported in the county by his brother-in-law and close friend, George, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury, who appointed Manners a deputy when he became lord lieutenant of Derbyshire in 1585. The other deputy lieutenant was Sir John Zouche. Manners, the Earl explained, was appointed ‘for trusting’, Zouche ‘to please others’. When, in the following year, Zouche died and Shrewsbury’s attention was distracted by illness and family feuds, Manners controlled the county administration. He acted as collector of the 1589 loan, for which he was excused his own payment. On Shrewsbury’s death in 1590, Manners lost his pre-eminence, and his relations with Gilbert, the 7th Earl, who succeeded as lord lieutenant, were cooler, though the two men continued to work together.3

In the later years of his life Manners rarely left Haddon, ‘almost out of the world, where I hear little and see less’. He controlled profitable lead mining operations which involved him in the usual friction over patents, and finally in lawsuits brought by Sir John Zouche, Richard Wennesley and others. ‘I fear your over-travail’, his brother Roger wrote in 1590, ‘and you fear my idleness ... Mend you the one, and by God’s grace I will mend the other.’ In 1599, illness and advancing age persuaded him to ask Shrewsbury to appoint more deputy lieutenants to share the burden of county administration.4

Manners died at Haddon on 4 June 1611 and was buried with his wife in Bakewell church, in the chapel where Sir George Vernon’s tomb also lay. His will, drawn up in February 1609, made bequests to the poor, including £30 to provide six beds in the almshouses at Bakewell and an annuity of £22 to the governors and poor of St. John’s hospital in the same village. Gifts of money and ornaments were made to his daughter, her husband and son, and to the Earl of Rutland. Whitwell manor, which he had acquired from the Whalley family in 1592, he bequeathed to his second son Roger, together with furniture and £500. Haddon went to the heir, George.5

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: B.D.


  • 1. J. C. Cox, Three Cents. Derbys. Annals, i. 23; HMC Rutland, i. 120-3; ii. 294.
  • 2. CSP Dom. 1547-80, pp. 440-1; HMC Rutland, i. 94; D’Ewes, 127; CJ, i. 79; J. C. Cox, Notes on Derbys. Churches, ii. 24-5.
  • 3. Coll. of Arms, Talbot mss, transcribed by G. R. Batho, G, ff. 15-18, 78, 409; I, f. 1; HMC Rutland, i. 120 passim; E. Lodge, Illus. iii(2), 42 et passim; Cox, Derbys. Annals, i. 150 seq.
  • 4. HMC Rutland, i. 118, 140, 209, 210, 287; M. B. Donald, Eliz. Monopolies, 154-5, 163, 170-4; Lansd. 31, f. 166 seq.; Lodge, iii (2), pp. 118, 138.
  • 5. PCC 82 Wood; C142/320/66.