MANNERS, Oliver (c.1581-1613), of Belvoir, Lincs. and Pillerton, Warws.

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. c.1581, 4th s. of John, 4th Earl of Rutland, by Elizabeth, da. of Francis Charlton of Apley Castle, Salop. educ. Christ’s, Camb. 1594-5; I. Temple 1598. unm. Kntd. 1603.

Offices Held

Jt. (with cos. Thomas Savage) clerk of Star Chamber in reversion 1604; King’s carver 1604-5.


Manners was presumably returned for Grantham through the intervention of his great-uncle, Roger Manners I, to whose custody the 5th Earl of Rutland, Oliver Manners’s eldest brother, had been committed after his part in the Essex rebellion. As his two other brothers, George and Francis, were also in disgrace, Oliver was one of the few possible candidates from the Manners family. He was knighted and given a job by James I but on to Feb. 1606 Sir Edward Hoby wrote:

Sir Oliver Manners is said to have been made privy to these late treasons [Gunpowder Plot], but utterly detesting the fact; and, having a little good nature, though very Popish, being the King’s carver, would not reveal it, but sold his place and went over.

Manners had in fact been converted to Catholicism by the Jesuit John Gerard, and his departure for the Continent was with the King’s permission. When his intimacy with the conspirators came to light, James ordered Rutland to withhold Manners’s allowance, but in 1608 his licence to travel abroad was renewed. It was rumoured that year that he had become a Jesuit. Finally permitted to return home in 1610, Manners remained abroad, was ordained to the priesthood at Rome, 5 Apr. 1611, and returned to England in 1612, probably on hearing of the death of his eldest brother: on 11 Aug. Chamberlain reported that Manners had ‘new come out of France’. He spent the last year of his life with his two surviving brothers, dying in London in late July or early August 1613. He was embalmed at Belvoir, and buried in Bosworth parish church with his ancestors.

CP, xi. 259 seq.; Collins, Peerage, 470 seq.; HMC Rutland, i. passim; ii. 352, 353; iv. passim; HMC Hatfield, xvi. 32; xvii. 499; xviii. 313; CSP Dom. Add. 1580-1625, p. 468; 1603-10, pp. 60, 176, 260, 261, 429, 526, 610; 1611-18, pp. 83, 199; T. Birch, Court and Times Jas. I. 49-50; J. Gerard, Autobiog. of an Elizabethan, tr. Caraman, 185-7; PCC 100 Capell.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: S. M. Thorpe