Sir Walter de Manny, baron de Manny - Encyclopedia

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SIR WALTER DE MANNY MANNY, BARON DE (d. 1372), soldier of fortune and founder of the Charterhouse, younger son of Jean de Mauny, known as Le Borgne de Mauny, by his wife Jeanne de Jenlain, was a native of Hainaut, from whose counts he claimed descent. Manny - the name is thus spelt by most English writers - was a patron and friend of Froissart, in whose chronicles his exploits have a conspicuous and probably an exaggerated place. He appears to have first come to England as an esquire of Queen Philippa in 1327, and he took a distinguished part in the Scottish wars of Edward III. In 1337 he was placed in command of an English fleet, and in the following year accompanied Edward to the continent, where in the campaigns of the next few years he proved himself one of the boldest and ablest of the English king's military commanders. He was summoned to parliament as a baron by writ from the 12th of November 1347 to the 8th of January 1371. In 1359 he was made a knight of the Garter; and at various times he received extensive grants of land both in England and in France. He was frequently employed by King Edward in the conduct of diplomatic negotiations as well as in military commands. He was one of those charged with the safe custody of the French king John when a prisoner at Calais in 1360; in 1369 he was second in command under John of Gaunt in his invasion of France.

But Manny is chiefly remembered for his share in the foundation of the Charterhouse in London. In 1349 he bought some acres of land near Smithfield, which were consecrated as a burying-place where large numbers of the victims of the Black Death were interred; and here he built a chapel, from which the place obtained the name of "Newchurchhaw." The chapel and ground were bought from Manny by the bishop of London, Michael de Northburgh, who died in 1361 and by his will bequeathed a large sum of money to found there a Carthusian convent. It is not clear whether this direction was ever carried out; for in 1371 Manny obtained letters patent from King Edward III. permitting him to found, apparently on the same site, a Carthusian monastery called "La Salutation Mere Dieu," where the monks were to pray for the soul of Northburgh as well as for the soul of Manny himself. The bishop's bequest may have contributed to the building and endowment of the house; or possibly, as seems to be implied by a bull granted by Urban VI, in 1378, there were originally two kindred establishments owing their foundation to Northburgh and Manny respectively. At all events Manny, who died early in 1372, left instructions that he was to be buried in the church of the Carthusian monastery founded by himself. About 1335 he married Margaret, daughter and heiress of Thomas Plantagenet, earl of Norfolk, son of King Edward I., whose first husband had been John, Lord Segrave. This lady, who outlived Manny by many years, was countess of Norfolk in her own right, and she was created duchess of Norfolk in 1397. Manny left no surviving son. His daughter Anne, Baroness de Manny in her own right, married John Hastings, 2nd earl of Pembroke; and on the death of her only son unmarried in 1389, the barony of Manny became extinct.

See Ouvres de Froissart, I. Chroniques, edited by Baron Kervyn de Lettenhove (Brussels, 1867-1877), and the Globe edition of Froissart's Chronicles (Eng. trans., London, 1895); G. F. Beltz, Memorials of the Most Noble Order of the Garter (London, 1841); Chronicon Angliae 1323-1388, edited by E. Maunde Thompson (Rolls series 64, London, 1874); Philip Bearcroft, An Historical Account of Thomas Sutton and of his Foundation in Charterhouse (London, 1737).

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