1576 – 1612

When his father died, Roger Manners, 5th Earl of Rutland, became a royal ward under the care of Francis Bacon and was sent to Cambridge University where he befriended the Earl of Southampton, Shakespeare’s supposed patron. Then he made the Grand Tour, visiting France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Italy from 1595–1597.

While studying at the University of Padua, his fellow students were two Danes by the names of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Upon his return to England, he joined Essex and Raleigh on an expedition to the Azores where they encountered a terrible storm that nearly wrecked the enterprise. Perhaps this adventure was a source for The Tempest.

His life is closely associated with the Pembroke and Sidney family; he married Philip Sidney’s only daughter, who was declared a genius by Ben Jonson. Jonson also named Rutland and his wife the “Poets of the Belvoir Vale,”

which was the family seat.

Rutland died in 1612 at the age of 36, possibly of poison.