He was a colonist, whose father, of the same name, also came to Massachusetts with his family. They settled at Cambridge, where he purchased an estate in 1638. He was a merchant, largely engaged in navigation, and a member of the first church, as messenger of which he was sent to England in 1669 to invite the Reverend Urian Oakes to become its pastor. Both him and Deacon John Cooper, by appointment of the Colonial government, directed the rebuilding of Harvard hall, and collected and disbursed the moneys that were raised for its construction. (Source.)
Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA ⇓
The journey to New England was difficult, and the family likely stayed in Roxbury for 9-10 weeks. William Manning Sr. said that ""When the Lord brought me to sea, I was overcome with a discontented mind, meeting there with hard and sad trials as fear of loss of my wife".[4/97]". William Manning Sr. and his wife Susanna, along with their son William, immigrated to New England in part because of Rev. Thomas Hooker. Hooker was a prominent puritan preacher, who wanted more tolerance between Christian denominations, and broke away from the Massachusetts colony to later form a colony in Connecticut. He is often called the "Father of the Connecticut". While the Manning family remained in Massachusetts, the following image is of an illustration of Rev. Hooker and his followers reaching Connecticut.
2 Sources ⇓
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA ⇓
While Harvard was created in 1636, by 1672 the building had fallen into disrepair. The General Court of the colony appointed William Manning Junior to manage the business of the construction project at Harvard, while Deacon John Cooper was there to officially stand for the church. The project was funded by local parishes, and often they only could afford payment through goods such as grain or chickens. Manning had to negotiate, trade, and barter with all the parishes, converting these goods into currency, as well as find craftsman, and manage the project as a whole. Harvard Hall was finished five years later in 1682. The illustration is a sketch of it.
1 Source ⇓