2 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

John Manley (c 1622 – 1699) was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1659 and 1690. He was Post Master General during the Commonwealth.

On the Restoration Manley was at Bryn-y-Ffynon where his strong religious and political views attracted attention. He then became a brewer in London, but his premises were destroyed in the Great Fire of London. He was wealthy enough to serve as Master of the Worshipful Company of Skinners from 1674 to 1674.In 1678, following the death of his wife, he was granted 370 acres in Carolina. He was a major of horse in the army of the Duke of Monmouth in 1685, and escaped to Holland after the defeat of the Rebellion. In 1688 he accompanied William of Orange to England. He was elected MP for Bridport in 1689. In 1690 he was a colonel in the army.

Manley was in a debtors prison by 1698 and suffering from the dead palsy. He was given a pension of £50 a quarter, but died after he had drawn only three payments. He was buried at St Stephen Walbrook on 31 January 1699. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John…

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Major John Manley MP's Parliamentary bio is a more informative about the early years:

Manley’s ancestors go back in Cheshire to the 13th century. He came from an obscure branch in Denbighshire. Starting life with a younger son’s portion of £30, he was apprenticed to a London skinner in 1639.

He was later described as one of Cromwell’s majors in arms against the King, but nothing is known of his Civil Wars record.

He succeeded Edmund Prideaux as postmaster under the Commonwealth, an appointment he owed to his marriage to the daughter of the diplomat, Isaac Dorislaus, who was assassinated by Royalists. He did not hold the post for long, and became an unsuccessful brewer.

He had returned to Denbighshire by 1659, when he was elected to Richard Cromwell’s Parliament; during Booth’s Rising he arrested the sheriff whose attitude was equivocal.

John Manley’s brothers, both notable Royalists, flourished after the Restoration; one became a Welsh judge and the other governor of Portsmouth. Even his brother-in-law, Isaac Dorislaus Jr., was retained at the Post Office, although his methods with intercepted letters were distressingly crude.

John Manley, known as Stuart opponent, retired to Wrexham, a nonconformist center. He and his wife, Margaret, were charged with this offence in 1663, and two years later a conventicle in his house was raided. His views were extreme; he maintained in public that infant baptism was unlawful, the Anglican clergy unchristian, and he was as much an apostle as St. Paul.

Surprisingly John Manley retained his lease of Bryn y Ffynnon after this episode, but returned to London and the brewing trade. Although his premises were destroyed in the Great Fire, he was still sufficiently rich to serve as master of the Company.

John Manley may have considered emigration after Margaret Dorislaus Manley’s death in 1675, as in 1678 he was granted 370 acres in Carolina.

By November 1679 he was collecting signatures for the City petition for the meeting of Parliament, and in 1681 he was entrusted by Shaftesbury to organize his ‘brisk boys’ in Wapping, and ‘gave a good account of their readiness to rise’ should Charles II die.

Shortly afterwards he went bankrupt, and when he reappeared in the spring of 1684 Roger L’Estrange remarked he could not have ‘any [other] business here than mischief’.

John Manley joined the Duke of Monmouth in the Low Countries, and in 1685 provided the chief link with the London republicans.
He landed at Lyme Regis with Monmouth on his invasion as major of horse, but right before Sedgemoor was sent to London in a final attempt to summons support.

On the news of Monmouth’s defeat, Manley escaped to Holland with John Wildman MP, and was excepted from pardon by James II.

From there on it's very like the Wikipedia entry.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.