1808–92, English churchman, cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church.
Manning was born of a Low Church family and was educated at Harrow and at Balliol College, Oxford (B.A., 1830), gaining some reputation as a debater. He lacked the financial backing to enter politics like his friend William Ewart Gladstone, but worked for a year in a minor post of the colonial office and returned to Oxford as fellow of Merton College. He was ordained (1832) in the Anglican Church and was given a living in Sussex. By 1835 he had become an adherent of the Oxford movement. In 1841 he became archdeacon of Chichester.
By 1845 when William George Ward was degraded, Manning had become prominent in the Oxford movement, and his letters of succeeding years, as well as his visit to Rome (1847), foretold his following of John Henry Newman and Ward into the Roman Catholic Church. When the bishop of Exeter was compelled by the privy council (1850) to institute G. C. Gorham to a benefice despite Gorham's open disbelief in the doctrine of baptismal regeneration, Manning left the Church of England and entered (1851) the Roman communion.
Ordained a Catholic priest, Manning became a celebrated confessor, an ardent advocate of prison reform, and a constant promoter of schemes for alleviating the condition of the poor. His society of Oblates of St. Charles (1857) carried on much of this work. One of the most trusted advisers of Cardinal Wiseman, Manning was made (1857) provost of the Westminster chapter, and on Wiseman's death, he was appointed archbishop (1865). He greatly expanded Catholic education in England and furthered the education of the poor. He strongly opposed Catholic participation in Anglican universities, thereby bringing himself into conflict with Newman.
His advocacy of the rights of workers brought much abuse upon him from conservatives, but he fearlessly forwarded the movement within his church that culminated in the encyclical of Leo XIII on the rights of labor. In his later years he was constantly called on to speak at labor-union conventions and to serve on strike arbitration boards. He was an advocate of slum clearance and teetotalism. In 1869 and 1870, Manning was a leader in the movement that favored the dogma of papal infallibility, and he inclined to view Newman and others who thought it an untimely move as decidedly lukewarm Catholics. This intensified the dislike between Newman and Manning. In 1875, Manning was created cardinal. Many regard as the greatest single achievement of Manning's career the strong support he gave the strikers in the great London dock strike (1889) and his single-handed settlement of it.
- Manning's Rule of Faith (1839) and Unity of the Church (1842) were important in the history of the Oxford movement. Among his Catholic works, The Eternal Priesthood (1883) is best known. See biographies by E. S. Purcell (2 vol., 1895–96, repr. 1973), S. Leslie (rev. ed. 1954), and V. A. McClelland (1962).
- Men Who Left the Movement (1967). ,
- L. Strachey, Eminent Victorians (1918, repr. 1969).