Often the easiest families to trace in England are the wealthy and the very poor. Those owning some wealth - even a farmer leasing or renting a modest patch of land - often left Wills or had their estate administered and the wealthy business class almost certainly did so. The very poor often became subjected to the poor laws and charities. Both classes, rich and poor left a paper trail of Wills and Settlement Records for example, often revealing relationships which could not usually be achieved by resort to parish registers alone.

My connection to the MANGER family of Leicestershire is Henry MANGER  born in LUTTERWORTH 1833. He moved to Isham near Kettering in Northamptonshire, worked as a groom and shoemaker and married Elizabeth PRATT. Their daughter ADA (born 1856) married my great grandfather Richard VERRY who was in Isham working as a railway signalman before moving to Ripley, Derbyshire where he set up a leathergoods shop.

There has been an  abiding tradition in various branches of this Manger family that the name was given to a foundling left in a stable in Great Claybrooke parish near Lutterworth. (Some descendants believe it was at Claybooke Hall, built in 1718.) This tradition was recorded in prose in the mid 19th century, over 100 years after the alleged event. This is what it says.

    "In remembrance of T Manger who was found in a stable at Claybrooke:
    Stop and hear ye passing stranger, how cruel can a mother prove,
    Left one sleeping in a manger, helpless infant could not love,
    Claybrooke where she found a stable in 1723
    This will prove the Lord is able to find a friend for you and me,
    More than a century has rolled away since this circumstance took place,
    Now his great grandchild will say, in remembrance I do this"
So many Manager descendants had a copy that its writer is uncertain. Possibly it was George MANGER (1818-1899), a brickmaker's labourer and 11th child of William and Pamela MANGER. A co-descendant found a copy in an old oak chest in an attic and has attributed authorship to George who was a great grandchild of Thomas.


The story occurred again in this obituary -

(Leicester Advertiser, Lutterworth)

"Death of Miss MANGER, Easter 1925"

"................There is a romantic story surrounding the family of Manger of Lutterworth. It is recorded that the family came from a boy infant discovered in a manger in a stable at the village of Claybrooke and as his paternal was undiscovered he was named after his place from which he was taken ..........".

Possibly there is some truth in this. The parish register of Claybrooke has this entry dated 17 February 1719 (ie 1720 new style, after the year was reckoned to begin 1 January). -
"baptised a child dropt in ye parish, ye name THOMAS"
Although the date of this entry is at variance with the "prose", 1720 not 1723, it may well refer to Thomas later surnamed Manger. He was probably named Thomas by the churchwardens and brought up in Claybrooke. By whom? A settlement certificate allowed him to move to Lutterworth after his marriage to Elizabeth INGRAM who appears to have been a Lutterworth girl.

The certificate has the signatures of the attestors, Moses INGRAM who was possibly Elizabeth's father, and John BROWN. The Ingram's appear to have been a Lutterworth family. John Brown was probably the one born at Great Claybrooke in 1711, son of John BROWN (died 1716) and Elizabeth (PALMER). John Jnr was an innkeeper. I did wonder if Thomas Manger was brought up by the Brown's but innkeepers were often called upon to attest or witness a variety of documents. As to the name Manger it was not unusual to name foundlings from the place they were found, such as a street or building.

CLAYBROOKE, Great and Little (or Magna and Parva)

These two adjoining parishes are in South Leicestershire near the junction of the ancient Watling Street and the Fosse Way, three and a half miles north west of Lutterworth. Population of Great Claybrooke in the 19th century was around 320. Claybrooke Hall, considered by some descendants to have been the site of the stable, was owned by the BYRD family in the 18th century. It has been suggested that Claybrooke Hall was the likely place as it was probably the only property in Claybrooke to have a stable in the 18th century. I have not researched its history so cannot comment.

Thomas MANGER and Elizabeth (INGRAM) had several children and their descendants were found in the well kept Lutterworth parish register. But more significant is a good run of apprenticeship and settlement documents confirming relationship of those who moved out of Lutterworth. These documents show that, somewhat unusually, most of the Manger's could sign in a clear legible hand, at a period when most of their class signed by mark. Of course a man's ability to sign his name is not proof of a formal education. However, the apprenticeship indentures indicate that many of the family attended Poole's Charity School.

Typically the wording of these indentures is -

".... and the said William JENSON and John JENSON in consideration of such service and of the sum of twelve pounds to them paid out of a Public Charity called Poole's Charity for apprenticing Poor Boys belonging to the Parish of Lutterworth aforesaid taught in the Charity School founded by Robert POOLE deceased thereby covenant and agree with the said John MANGER their said Apprentice in the Art of a Cordwainer. ............."

(Apprenticeship Indenture: Thomas MANGER, son of John MANGER of Lutterworth 1842)

Poole's Charity School was founded in the early 17th century by a Lutterworth man, Robert POOLE who bequeathed land in his Will, the rent of which was to pay for the education of eight poor boys (probably per annum). The school was locally known as Church School.


In 1691 the existing settlement laws in England were tightened. A man (or woman) could change his or her place of settlement only if -

-    he was born in a parish of a settled father, or
-    he paid taxes on property in the parish, or
-    he served as a parish officer, or
-    he was apprenticed for seven years, or
-    was hired to work for a settled resident for a year of unbroken service.

Some parishes aimed to apprentice their paupers outside the parish and to transfer any future claim for relief. From 1697 movement from one parish to another required a Certificate of Settlement issued from their old parish which agreed to take them back if they became chargeable on the poor rates. These "Certificate men" only became settled after they started paying taxes. If illness prevailed he or she was likely to be returned to the "home" parish at their expense. In some towns and parishes charitable bequests helped relieve the poor and it was one of these - Poole's Charity - which features in many of the documents relating to the Manger's of Lutterworth.

Unfortuntely records of Poor Law administration for Claybrooke, apart from settlement papers, begin after 1834.


Whatever the origin of the Manger family of Lutterworth they left quite a paper trail rich in genealogical content. Abstracts of them are listed here to illustrate the type and extent which may be available, with luck, to those of us with poor ancestors - and enabling good progress to be made in conjuction with the relevant parish registers (providng they too have survived)!

1743 Settlement Certificate - Thomas MANGER and family

The certificate is on the standard form provided for the purpose. Unfortunately it does not allude to his origins -

"We William WINTERTON, William SAWBRIDGE, Marmaduke FAULKES, Richard GROWCOTT, Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor of the Parish of Great Claybrook in the County of Leicester do hereby own and acknowledge Thomas MANGER and Elizabeth his wife and Mary their daughter aged about one year and a half to be Inhabitants legally settled in the Parish of Great Claybrook......"

(and the aforesaid Churchwardens and Overseers ).

"To the Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor of the Parish of Lutterworth".....etc
Dated 11 August 1743

Thus Thomas and his family were enabled to legally settle in Lutterworth and in the event of them becoming impoverished and unable to support themselves, they could be sent back to Great Claybrooke unless that parish sent money for their relief.

An index to Lutterworth Settlement Certificates made about 1818 lists this certificate (No. 227) and has a note at the bottom of the page (also reference 227).

"to be investigated how John MANGER obtained his settlement in the parish".

There is only one Manger listed - Thomas - so clearly "John" is an error. If it was investigated no documents appear to have survived and it is impossible to guess why it needed investigating some 75 years after his settlement.

1739  - John MANGER - the younger of Lutterworth apprenticed to Joseph HURLEY of Newbold-on-Avon, Warwicks, cordwainer (ie maker of fine leather goods but often a synonym for shoemaker).

1809 - Thomas MANGER of Lutterworth, son of William MANGER, gardener, apprenticed to John MANGER of Brinklow, Warwicks, cordswainer. Five pounds paid by Poole's Charity.

1820 - Peter MANGER of Lutterworth, son of William MANGER, gardener, apprenticed to Thomas GARRATT of Holy Trinity, Coventry, ribbon weaver. (Differences arose and he was assigned in 1823 to Thomas GOODE of Coventry, ribbon weaver - and later to Richard TILT of the Bull Yard, Coventry). Poole's Charity paid ten pounds.

1827 - Charles MANGER of Lutterworth, son of William MANGER, gardener, apprenticed to John MAKEPEACE of Holy Trinity, Coventry, ribbon weaver. Five pounds paid by Poole's Charity.

1839 - Removal Order. Peter MANGER the younger, Ann his wife and children aged 3 years and 9 months from Lutterworth to Hinckley. He was examined - he was about 25 years and a framework knitter born at Lutterworth where his parents lived, although settled at Hinckley. His father was apprenticed in 1794 to Nehemiah REDDALLS of Hinckley, framework knitter. He married Ann at Lutterworth about four years since last July.

1842 Thomas MANGER of Lutterworth, son of John MANGER, gardener, apprenticed to William and John JENSON of Rugby, cordwainers. Twelve pounds paid by Poole's Charity.

1849 George MANGER of Lutterworth, son of Martha MANGER (of illegitmate birth) now the wife of William LEA of Lutterworth, framework knitter - apprenticed to Richard NORTON of Churchyard Street, St Margaret's, Leicester, cordwainer. Ten pounds paid by Poole's Charity.

1856 Walter MANGER of Lutterworth son of William MANGER, gardener, apprenticed to Alfred ROBINSON of Bruntingthorpe, Leicester, carpenter and wheelwright. Twentyone pounds paid by Poole's Charity.

(The above documents have been indexed by Leicester Record Office who can supply photocopies.)


The family tradition, now perhaps supported by some circumstantial evidence, suggests that the MANGER's of Lutterworth descend from the foundling Thomas MANGER. The surname is also derived from the Old English "mangere" (monger, dealer, trader). The IGI indicates it to have been most common in Cornwall, Devon and Kent. As emphasised elsewhere on this site, some times only the genealogical process may reveal diverse origins of similar surnames, albeit inconclusive.


Thomas MANGER born Great Claybrooke (1720?) (1723)? married Elizabeth INGRAM 1743

John MANGER born Lutterworth 1743 married Elizabeth WINTER.

William MANGER born 1771, gardener married Pamela BARROWS

William MANGER born 1798 married Ann BUTLIN, Brinklow, Warwicks.

Henry MANGER born 1833, groom/shoemaker, Isham married Elizabeth PRATT

Ada MANGER born 1856 married Richard VERRY.

(There is a photo of Ada in the VERRY section on this site. As far as is known no photo of Henry exists but I have one of his house at Isham - a two-storeyed brick Georgian style.)

Elizabeth PRATT was the daughter of Samuel PRATT, coal dealer of Isham who married Ann CLARK of Orlingbury in 1803. Samuel's father, also Samuel married Elizabeth SMITH at Isham in 1799.