Page images

at the last, grew full of elders: in which state the Castle remained, till it was partially rebuilt by the first Earl of Rutland, and completed by the second. The Lord Hastings carried the lead, he had thus obtained, to Ashby-de-laZouch, where, in the phrase of Leland, "he much builded." The spirit of spoliation seems to have extended to Stoke Albany, a goodly manor place of the Ros family; and part of the materials thus acquired, were also carried to Ashbyde-la-Zouch.

EDMUND, LORD Ros, in consequence of his father's attainder, and his own fidelity to the house of Lancaster, was, when very young, obliged to go beyond the seas. Under Henry VII, who united the contending houses of York and Lancaster, the attainder was reversed; and Edmund, Lord Ros, was, for the most part, re-instated in his ancestral property: the portion at Belvoir having been in the possession of the Hastings family, for more than twenty years. In the petition to parliament, presented by Lord Ros, November, 1483, his claims are stated with great moderation; and his sufferings for his loyalty to Henry VI, do not lead him to any severe reflections upon the party, through which they had happened, though his own party was now triumphant. The prayer of the petition was granted, with certain reserves of property, to different members of his family, which had been made in past time; and a resumption of which, might have been attended with some degree of injustice. About nine years afterwards, Sir Thomas Lovel, who had married Isabel, sister to Edmund, Lord Ros, presented a petition to parliament, representing his noble relative, as "not of sufficient discretion to guide himself and his livelihood; nor able to serve his sovereign after his duty" and praying "that he might have the guidance and governance of the said Edmund," and of all his property. An act of parliament was accordingly passed,

giving full powers to Sir Thomas Lovel over the person and property of Lord Ros, and entire possession of the latter at his death; upon trust for the other relatives of Lord Ros, reserving only a rent of seven hundred marks to the king, and the right, title, and interest of those who have, or ought to have, possession or occupation of certain portions of the property.

Edmund, Lord Ros resided after this period at the manor house of Elsinges, at Enfield, which he possessed by inheritance from his mother; and was probably kept under some degree of restraint. He died, Oct. 13, 1508, and was buried in the church of that parish, on the north side of the altar; where his monument is an arch, erected over the tomb of Lady Joyce Tiptoft, his maternal grandmother: and charged with the arms of Ros quartering Badlesmere; also, on the right hand, quarterly, 1, Ros, 2, Holland, 3, Tiptoft, 4, Badlesmere; and, on the left, Lovel quartering Muswell impaling the above four quarters. A representation of this monument is given in Nichols' Leicestershire, copied from Gough's Sepulchral Monuments. Edmund, Lord Ros, leaving no issue, his sisters were his heirs; and Elsinges became the property of his brother-in-law, Sir Thomas Lovel; who, at his death, in 1524, bequeathed it to his cousin, Thomas, Lord Ros, created Earl of Rutland, in 1526. Eleanor, the eldest sister, and co-heir of Edmund, Lord Ros, married Sir Robert de Manners, of Ethale, in the county of Northumberland.

THIRD PERIOD. A.D. 1508-1840.

MANNERS. Arms, Ancient; or, two bars azure, a chief, gules. MANNERS. With augmentation; or, two bars, azure, a chief quarterly of the last, and gules; on the first and fourth, two fleurs de lis, or; on the second and third, a lion of England.

Camden, in that interesting medley, intituled "Remains concerning Britain" gives a list of surnames, whose derivation he fixes, from certain peculiarities of the bearer of each surname, either territorial or personal. Manners he derives from Manneriis. Thus the first person on record of that name, soon after the conquest, is called SIR ROBERT DE MANNERIIS, or, Sir Robert of the manors, knight; and, more particularly, lord of the manor, and castle of Ethale, (now Etal,) in Northumberland; situated on a river, which near its source is called the Breamish, but at Etal, the Till; within, also, a few miles of the Scottish border. In the absence of any other authority for the name, we may suppose it to be a territorial designation, implying extensive manorial rights,* and as even in the time of the Conqueror, the warm temperament of our Scottish neighbours occasioned the sovereign of England considerable disquiet; more especially in counte

* Peck, in the dedication of his Academia Tertia Anglicana to John Duke of Rutland, (1727) adopts this derivation.



nancing and supporting the Saxon competitor for the throne, if the feeble Edgar Etheling may be so called; large grants of property were given to such of the Conqueror's followers, as he judged would be able, by their valour and wisdom, to check the incursive allies of the discontented Saxons. The castle of Ethale appears to have been one of several, erected near the border, for this purpose. The selection of Sir Robert de Manneriis for such a dangerous post, with a competent grant of lands to support the military array, necessary to maintain his position, is a high tribute to his character. Where the traces of history are almost obliterated by the march of ages, conjecture is, often, all that is available, for such historical notices as the present. But, if the judgment of the writer is under some control, a considerable approximation to truth is often obtained, from evidence of an imperfect nature. The evidence for what has been just advanced, though circumstantial, is tolerably conclusive. Brevity will not allow of more than one allusion to the kind of proof employed. Seventh in descent from Sir Robert de Manneriis, was Sir Robert de Manners, who lived in the time of Henry III; an interval, which, reckoning each generation to consist of the ordinary average of years, determines the first period with sufficient accuracy.

About a century afterwards, (1324) another Sir Robert de Manners, knight, is mentioned in public documents, among the principal persons in the county of Northumberland; certified to bear arms, by descent, from their ancestors. This person is stated by Burke, in his Peerage, to have been governor of Norham Castle, on the boundary line of Scotland and England, in the first year of Edward III; and to have signalised himself in its defence. But in this representation, there must be some mistake. The editors of the Scala Chronica, adopting the text of that work for their authority, distinctly assert, in the introduction, that the important

post of constable of Norham Castle, was, from 1319 to 1331, assigned to Thomas de Grey: though from his near neighbourhood, it is extremely probable, that Sir Robert de Manners was, either authoritatively, or as a volunteer, induced to co-operate in the defence of Norham Castle. It was a post of that danger, that the chivalry of the period, resorted to it; as affording the most favourable opportunity for the display of gallantry. Thus, William Marmion, the knight of Lincolnshire, (a contemporary of Sir Robert de Manners,) to whom his mistress gave a helmet of gold, desiring him to make it known, wherever glory was most difficult to be won, went to Norham, as "the most perilous and adventurous place in this country." A considerable portion of the keep of this celebrated castle is still remaining. Sir Robert de Manners represented in parliament the county of Northumberland, in 14 Edward III. In the next year, he obtained the royal permission, to strengthen and embattle his castle of Ethale, with a wall made of stone and lime; and was commissioned, with others, to treat with David Bruce, and his adherents, for peace. He married Joan, daughter and heiress of Sir Henry Strother, knight, of Newton Glendall, and dying in 1355, was succeeded by his


SIR JOHN MANNERS, knight, of whom nothing remarkable is recorded. He married Alice, widow of William de Winchester, and died in 1402. He was succeeded by his son, SIR JOHN MANNERS, knight, appointed sheriff of Northumberland, in 1413. He, and his second son, were accused in the reign of Henry VI, of having occasioned the death of William Heron and Robert Atkinson; and, on September 28, 1430, an award was made, adjudging him, and his son, to procure to be sung, five hundred masses, for the health of the soul of the said William Heron, within one year then next ensuing; and to pay two hundred marks

« PreviousContinue »