The Medieval Combat Society

Home Events Join Us Book Us About
Gallery History Heraldry Links For Kids

Historical Information

Walter Manny 1st Baron Mauny, Lord of Wexford 1310-1372

also known as Walter de Manny, Manney, Walter Mauny, Walter the Mawnay, and Gaultier de Mauny

Born: about 1310 Mauny, near Valenciennes

Christened:

Died: 15 January 1372, Great Chesterford, Essex

Buried: London Charterhouse with an alabaster effigy of himself on the tomb

Parents: John le Borgne de Mauny, Lord of Mauny 'Le Borgne de Mauny' married Jeanne de Jenlain

Siblings:

Giles

William

Mary, became a nun

Married: 30 May 1354

Spouse: Margaret Brotherton Duchess of Norfolk, Countess of Norfolk, daughter of the Earl Norfolk, (born 1320, died 24 March 1400 ) widow of (married 1337 Brotherton, Yorkshire, England) Sir John Seagrave (born 1312 Norfolk, England, died 20 March 1353)

Offspring:

Thomas

Anne (died 3 April 1384) married (1363) Sir John Hastings (born 29 August 1347, died 16 April1375/6) married previously (19 May 1359) Margaret Plantagenet (born 20 July 1346, died after 01 October 1361) daughter of Edward III

Illegitimate, became a nun

Illegitimate, became a nun

Heraldic Coat of Arms: Or three chevronels sable the centre one charged with a lion passant of the first

Knight of the Garter 1359, Stall 15, became a member of the order of the garter after the death of John Grey

Walter was a Hainaulter who in 1327 came to England as a squire in the entourage of Phillipa of Hainault on her marriage to Edward III. Walter was appointed as the Keeper of the Queens greyhounds, and by 1330 Walter had advanced to Yeoman of the Kings Chamber. In 1331 Walter was with Edward Balliol on the campaign for the Scottish throne. Walter fought at the battle of Dupplin Moore and other minor skirmishes in the lowlands. Walter took hostage John Crabbe, a Flemish pirate hired by Robert Bruce as a naval commander and was awarded with £1000 from his sale of the pirate to Edward III. Walter was Knighted 1331 and made Custodian of Harlech Castle in Wales and made Sheriff of Mentieth for his lifetime. In June of 1336, Edward III and Walter were on campaign in the north, Edward granted Walter "for his free service to the king," the manors of Stiffkey and Holkham (Norfolk), both of which had been part of the late earl of Atholl's estate, and which Manny was now to hold rent free during the minority of the heir.

Walter was on 11 August 1337 appointed Admiral north of the Thames, and in May 1337, both Henry, the earl of Derby, and Walter received, orders from the King to proceed to the Flemish coast. They arrived with 500 men-at-arms and 2,000 archers, and disembarked near Cadsand, an island in the mouth of the Scheldt, on 6 November 1337. The Flemish defenders of the island were thrown into disorder by the first use of the English longbow on Continental soil and when the town was taken, more than 3,000 Flemings were slain and the victors returned with their prisoners (amongst whom was the celebrated Guy, illegitimate brother of Louis, Count of Flanders) to England. Froissart relates that the Earl of Derby, being amongst the first assailants, pressed onwards to make good his landing and was struck to the ground, but was rescued from his perilous situation by the promptitude and bravery of Manny, who shouted "Lancaster for the Earl of Derby!". Walter personally captured many Flemish knights. One, the bastard brother of Count Louis, who later changed his allegiance to the English side, was sold to Edward III for the fortune of £8,000. Burning the remaining inhabitants of Cadsand in a church, the English withdrew back to their ships. Walters prisoners eventually brought him over £11,000 in ransoms

Edward III was in Valenciennes in 1339, and Walter led 50 knights on the first attack on the French. towns in Eastern Hainault and the county of Ostrevant. On 21 October 1339 Edward halted his army between the small town of La Capelle and the village of La Flamengrie. The French army led by Phillip arrived at Buirenfosse the following evening. Captured French spies revealed that Phillip intended to attack the next day. The French spent the night in battle order and slept little. Harassed throughout the night by Walter and others who repeatedly penetrated their lines, killing sentries and other isolated bodies of men. The next day the English waited for the French attack but none came, and Edward retreated due to lack of supplies. On the death of his oldest brother Giles in 1339 Walter inherited the Lordship of Mauny in preference to his older brother William. In 1340 Walter was at the naval battle of Sluys and the siege of Tournay.

In 1342 Edward III sent Walter to relieve the fortress of Hennebont, departing in March 1342. The owner, Jean de Montfort, was currently imprisoned in the Louvre, so its defences were organised by his wife, the Countess Joan de Montfort. They arrived in May 1342, just in time as the garrison was discussing terms of surrender. Taking with him a small force of fifty archers, fifty men-at-arms, twelve knights and thirty-two esquires he quickly repelled the attackers. It is said that at the day after arriving Walter sallied out and destroyed an egine that had been disturbing their banquet during the night. Then, using Hennebont as his base he later captured the town of Vannes with the help of Robert of Artois.

Walter was in Aquitaine in 1346 under the command of Henry earl of Derby. Walter took part in the sieges of Bergerac, St-Astier and Perigueux and the relief of the Auberoche siege by a surprise attack .The French besiegers were unaware of the presence of the English army until just after dawn. The Earl of Derby approached the French camp under cover of darkness and English archers started the attack. Shooting from the edge of a wood, they caused heavy casualties amongst the French before the rest of the army came into contact. Although outnumbered by the French and at one point apparently losing ground, by mid-day the English managed to gain the upper hand and the French began to fall back. As their lines broke, the garrison of Auberoche sortied from the castle. Together with English Men at arms who had remounted their horses they pursued the fleeing army. Amongst the captives were Louis of Poiters, Bertrand de l'Isle, a count, seven viscounts, three barons, the seneschals of Toulouse and Clermont, twelve other bannerets, a nephew of Pope Clement VI and more knights than could be counted.

In 1346 at the time of the battle of Crecy, Walter was besieged in the Castle of Aiguillon from April 1346 until the French abandoned the siege on the 20 of August 1346. Prince John, son of Philip of Valois had sworn a vow that he would never leave the castle till he had taken it, but the English held out so stoutly that he was compelled at last, in spite of his promise, to raise the siege. Walter, with his men-at-arms, burst out from the castle and dashed in among the retreating enemy, taking many prisoners. He heard from these of King Edward's victory at Crecy and of the siege of Calais, and bargained with one of them, a rich knight, promising in lieu of ransom if he would obtain for him from Prince John a safe-conduct to join Edward III at Calais. Walter received a pass of safe conduct from John of Normandy, the son of PhillipVI and a friend of the captured knight. In September 1346 Walter attempted to join Edward III's army in Northern France with a group of twenty companions. However while travelling up the Bordeaux to Paris road the party was captured by a group of French knights who disregarded the safe conduct pass and took them to Saint-Jean-d'Angely. The Duke of Lancaster diverted his army forty miles from their intended path to rescue them. Walter managed to escape with two friends while the others were freed when Lancaster's army besieged and captured the town. In early October 1346 Walter was captured again while passing through Orleans and taken to Paris and imprisoned in the Louvre on the orders of the French King. This dishonoring of the promise of safe conduct outraged both Edward III who retaliated by placing French captives under close confinement and John of Normandy himself. Although John eventually secured Walter's release, it led to a rift between him and his father the King Philip VI.

Henry earl of Derby was directed, on 14 May 1347, to join the King, with the forces under his command, to protect the bridge of Nieulay and aid the lifting of the siege of Calais. A dispute had arisen between John, son and heir of Sir John De Warblington, and Theobald, the son of Sir Theobald Russell (whose family had assumed the surname of Gorges), concerning the right to the arms "Lozenge or and azure," the King, amidst the more pressing matters which then engaged his attention, referred the case for decision to Henry, William De Clinton, Earl of Huntingdon; Reginald De Cobham, Walter De Manny, William Lovel, and Stephen De Cosinton, by whom an award was made in favour of Warblington, on the eve of St. Margaret's Day, 19 July 1347. Later in 1347 Walter became the first Captain of Calais, and persuaded Edward III with others including the Queen to let those who had surrended to live. Walter received property in Calais and in Leborne near Bordeaux. On 12 November 1347 Walter was made a Baron upon his first summons to Parliament.

On 28 January Walter spoke with Edward III who granted a license for a college of 20 students to be founded at Cambridge, and was named Gonville College after Edmund Gonville. In 1349 Aimery of Pavia, in charge of Calais, sent word to Edward III that Geoffrey de Charney, the French Governor of Saint-Omer, had offered to bribe him with the sum of 20,000 crowns into betraying the castle. Edward III instructed him to carry on with de Charney and make the arrangements. It was agreed that the attack would go in at midnight, on the stroke of New Year. Edward III, unable to send an effective reinforcement for the garrison, decided on the element of surprise. He Gathered together a select party under the command of Walter. They arrived at Calais after dark and were taken to Aimery in the Castle. With them went Edward III and his son the Prince Edward, both in disguise, to serve under the banner of Walter. When de Charney arrived he sent de Renty to Aimery who was admitted as planned but when Aimery unbolted the great door of the keep, Edward III bounded out and with a cry of "Manney to the rescue" captured de Renty and his party and locked them up. Taking the French horses they rode out of the castle to deal with de Charney waiting outside. Coming on them in the dark, they initially surprised the French but the fighting lasted until 10am the next morning when de Charney, badly wounded, finally surrendered. In 1350 Walter took part in the naval battle where the French were defeated off Winchelsea. In 1353 Walter led the recapture of the town of Berwick from the Scots and in 1356 fought at the battle of Poitiers.

Walter Manny purchased in 1349 from the monks of St. Bartholomew's (when all this neighbourhood was waste land outside the walls of the city), New Church Haw, without Alderugate to be a burial place outside the City walls for those who died of the plague. He bought ten more acres of ground, and in 1371 built a house for men of prayer, a monastery of Carthusian monks with a chapel dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary by the name of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Walter founded the London Charterhouse in memory of his wife and himself, on the site called No Mans Land, outside the walls of Smithfield. Walter held properties in Hereford, Gloucester, Winchester, Kent and Essex, and the Manor of Knebworth.

When he died his mourners included Edward III, with all his sons (except the Black Prince who was too ill to attend). The Duke of Lancaster (John of Gaunt) paid for five hundred masses to be sung for the salvation of his immortal soul. In his will he left to his wife, all his silver vessels, his girdle of gold, a hook for a mantle, all his girdles and knives and all his beds except a red and blue folding bed which he left to his daughter Anne. If any of the money owed to him by Edward III could be recovered it was to be donated to the Charterhouse in his memory.

Walter is in the book Sir Nigel by Arthur Conan Doyle

Will of Sir Walter Lord of Manney, Knight. London, St. Andrew's Day, 1371. [Nicolas. Testamenta Vetusta.] 

My body to be buried at God's pleasure but if it may be in the midst of the Quire of the Carthusians called Our Lady near West Smithfield in the suburbs of London of my foundation but without any great pomp. And I will that my executors cause 20 masses to be said for my soul and that every poor person coming to my funeral shall have a penny to pray for me and for the remission of my sins. To Mary my sister a nun X pounds [Harleian MS. 6148 omits this. Dugdale, vol. ii, p. 150 gives it]. To my 2 bastard daughters nuns viz to Mailosel [given as Mialosel in Ancient Curious and Famous Wills  By Virgil M. Harris] and Malplesant the one CC franks the other C franks to Cishbert my cousin [Dugdale omits] to Margaret Mareschall [Margaret daughter of Thomas de Brotherton Earl Marshal] my dear wife my plate which I bought of Robert Francis : also a girdle of gold and a hook for a mantle and likewise a garter of gold [the KC's Garter] with all my girdles knives all my beds and dossers in my wardrobe except my folding bed paly of blue and red * which I bequeath to my daughter of Pembroke [Anne Plantagenet y wife of John Hastings Earl of Pembroke] and I will also that my said wife have all the goods which I purchased of Lord Segrave and the Countess Marshal. Also I will that a tomb of alabaster with my image as a Knight and my arms thereon shall be made for me like unto that of Sir John Beauchamp in London. I will that prayers be said for me and for Alice de Henalt % Countess Marshal. And whereas the King oweth me an old debt of 1000 pounds by bills of his wardrobe I will that if it can be 

* The arms of Manney. 

I" See list of founders of cells in the monastery, p. 71. 
j Alice de Henalt, believed to be Alys de Halys, first wife of Thomas Earl of Norfolk, his wife's mother. 


obtained it shall be given to the Prior and Monks of the Charterhouse and whereas there is due to me from the Prince from the time he has been Prince of Wales the sum of C marks per 
annum for my salary as Governor of Hardelagh [Harlech] Castle, I bequeath one half of these to the Monks and Prior of the Charterhouse before mentioned and the other half to the executors of my will. To my wife and my daughter Pembroke the fifteen m florins of gold and five " vesseux estutes pli " [sic] which Duke Albert oweth me by obligation. To Sir Guy Bryan * Knight my best chains whom I also appoint my executor. 

Medieval Combat Society re-enactment©2012 The Medieval Combat Society

Home EventsJoin UsBook UsAboutGalleryHistoryHeraldryLinksFor Kids Mediaeval Combat Society