In Duchesne's list, by the accidental omission of the first letter, this appears as yners. A Herefordshire family of this name (extinct in the male line since 1765) claims to have been seated at Treago, in that county, from the time of the Conquest: but their pedigree only begins in the fourteenth century with John de Miners, Constable of the Castle of St. Briavel under Edward II. The name, however, is found much earlier, as Gislebert and Henry de Mineriis occur in Palgrave's Rotuli Curiae Regis of 1198. They held of the Honour of Breteuil in Normandy. (Duchesne.)

Here, as in so many other instances, I am disposed to adopt Leland's earlier reading, which gives this and the next name as "Manclerke et Maners."

The house of Manners takes its time-honoured name from Mesnieres, near Rouen. "The family of Mesnieres long continued in Normandy, Ralph and Roger de Mesnieres being mentioned in the Exchequer Rolls of 1198, and William de Mesnieres in 1232, whose descendants continued to be of consequence till about 1400, when the male line ceased. Richard de Manieres came to England 1066, and in 1086 held of Odo of Bayeux, Borne, Kent, and Benestede, Surrey (Domesd.). He was father of Tirel de Manieres, who, with Helias de St. Saens, a neighbouring noble, devoted himself to the cause of William Clito, the dispossessed heir of Robert of Normandy, and the legitimate heir to the throne. These faithful adherents of Clito lost their estates, and had to endure extreme sufferings on his behalf. On his death-bed he recommended them to his uncle, Henry I., who accepted their submission. Tirel de Manieres, who was surnamed 'Peregrinus,' or the Wanderer, from his adventures with William Clito, granted the church of Benestede, Surrey, to St. Mary Overy temp. Hen. I. (Mon. ii. 85), and gave the manor of Benestede in free marriage with his daughter to William, Earl of Salisbury. Hugh de Maniere, his son, was also surnamed 'Peregrinus,' and with his son Richard 'Peregrinus' or de Manieres, made grants in Hants to Waverley Abbey (Manning and Bray, ii. 146). He had another son, Robert, who is mentioned in the charters, and whose gift, as well as that of his brothers, was confirmed by Eugenius III. in 1147 (Mon. Angl. ii.). In 1165 this Robert held part of a fee in Northumberland; and his sons, Walter and Thomas de Maners, witnessed a charter of William de Vesci 1178 (Mon. ii. 592). Their elder brother Henry had issue Reginald de Manieres, who witnessed a charter of Hugh, Count of Eu, temp. John (Mon. ii. 921), and as 'De Maisneris' is also mentioned in Normandy 1198 (Magn. Rotul. Scaccarii Normanniae). From him descends the house of Manners of Ethel, Northumberland; and from another branch Baldwin de Maners, a baron by writ in 1309."—The Norman People.

Etal, the original seat of the family, was held of the barony of Wooler; and in 1277 Sir Robert de Maners had a writ of military summons to "go against Llewellyn Prince of Wales, according to the service he owed of two knight's fees in the county of Northumberland; but being infirm, Sir Robert Talebois served for him." His grandson and namesake, "one of the principal persons of the county certified to bear arms by descent from their ancestors," was a soldier of some note in Border story. He fought at Nevill's Cross, was Warden of the Marches, and Constable of Norham, gallantly beating back the Scots when they had all but surprised the castle, and nearly a score of their men had scaled the walls, and gained a footing on the battlements. It was he who obtained "license to embattle" from Edward III. in 1342, and built the castle that—now a picturesque ruin—still bears his sculptured coat of arms, and stands above the village of Etal on the Till. Third in descent from him was another Sir Robert, a stout Yorkist throughout the Wars of the Roses, and rewarded with grants both of land and money by Edward IV. and the King-maker, the crowning achievement of whose life was his marriage. His wife, Eleanor de Ros, one of the greatest heiresses in the country, was of the true "old conquering blood," the sister and coheir of Edmund, last Lord Ros, and eventually his sole representative. She brought him the accumulated baronies of Ros, Hamlake, Vaux, Trusbut, and, above all, Belvoir, with its broad domain, and the noble castle enthroned above, holding sway and sovereignty over all (see vol. i., p. 117). Thenceforth the little Border castle was deserted. The family, transplanted into Leicestershire, at once took rank among the greater barons, and the son of the heiress of Belvoir, George, Lord Ros, matched with the blood royal. The Lady Ros was Anne, sole child of Sir Thomas St. Leger, by Anne of York, Duchess of Exeter, the eldest sister of Edward IV. In honour of this great alliance, their son George was granted an augmentation of his arms, adding the Royal lions and fleur de luces of France and England in chief, was named a Knight of the Garter, and created Earl of Rutland by Henry VIII. in 1525. The new Earl received besides a splendid grant of Abbey lands, including part of the estates of Kirkham and Rievaulx, two monasteries founded by his ancestor Walter Espec, who had vainly vowed to "make Christ his heir." He commenced rebuilding Belvoir Castle, and died in 1543, leaving behind him a good name as "a noble house keeper, a tender father, and a kind master." The third Earl, "a profound lawyer, and a man accomplished with all polite learning," was, as Camden tells us, intended by Queen Elizabeth to succeed Bromley as Lord Chancellor, but died before him. Roger, fifth Earl, married a daughter of the famous Sir Philip Sydney; but he and his brothers Francis and George—both successively Earls of Rutland—all died childless, and the title devolved in 1641 on John Manners of Haddon, grandson of the Sir John with whom the beautiful Vernon heiress ran away (see vol. iii., p. 215). This Earl John was father of another John, who during his lifetime had been called up to the House of Lords as Lord Manners of Haddon, succeeded him as ninth Earl in 1679; and "as the head of a family which had contributed greatly to the Revolution," was created Marquess of Granby and Duke of Rutland in 1703. He himself was far from having sought this mark of Royal favour by any endeavour of his own:—least of all by a diligent attendance upon the Queen. He hated Court life, and loved the country, living almost entirely at Belvoir, where he royally kept up the old English hospitality. So strong was his prejudice against London, that, when he married his eldest son to a daughter of the patriot Lord Russell, he stipulated, by an article in the settlements, that his daughter-in-law "should forfeit some part of her jointure, if ever she lived in town without his consent." To this marriage we owe some of Rachel Lady Russell's best letters; and from it sprung, in the second generation, the soldier Marquess of Granby, one of the most popular men of his day, whose name—constantly held out as an attraction to the public—"is familiar to us on the sign boards of old inns." Nor was his great popularity undeserved. He was not only a gallant and victorious commander, but a just, generous, and humane man. No general could be more careful of his men. The commissariat was very faulty; but whenever the soldiers found themselves in bad quarters, he provided them with food and necessaries out of his own pocket, and kept an open table for the officers. His first campaign was against the Jacobites in 1645, ending with Culloden; his next with the British contingent in Germany, where he led the cavalry charge at Minden with brilliant courage and signal success;—a forcible contrast to the vacillating conduct of his superior officer, Lord George Sackville.[1] He was appointed, to succeed the latter in the chief command, and greatly distinguished himself 0n all subsequent occasions, for throughout the war, he and his Englishmen were invariably chosen for the post of greatest honour and greatest danger. On his return home, he was appointed Master-General of the Ordnance, and in 1766 Commander-in-Chief, with a seat in the Duke of Grafton's cabinet. But he resigned all his offices when the Government took proceedings that he deemed unconstitutional against John Wilkes. He never lived to be Duke of Rutland, but died, when scarcely past the prime of life and at the very height of his reputation, in 1770. The present and seventh Duke is his great-grandson.

One of his younger brothers, Lord George, took his mother's name of Sutton (she had been the sole heiress of Robert Sutton, last Lord Lexinton) on succeeding to her inheritance, and became the founder of two new families. He was the father of five sons; of whom Charles, the fourth, became Lord Archbishop of Canterbury in 1804, and the youngest, Thomas, was created Lord Manners on being appointed Lord Chancellor of Ireland in 1807. The Archbishop's son of the same name was Speaker of the House of Commons for seventeen years, and on retiring from office in 1835 received the titles of Baron Bottesford and Viscount Canterbury. Both titles continue; but the Lords Manners have dropped the additional surname of Sutton.

  1. They had been on bad terms in the army; yet when summoned as a witness on Lord George's trial for cowardice, he, with great generosity, did all that was in his power—as far as truth permitted—to soften and extenuate the evidence he had to give.

-- Cleveland

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