Born in Paredes de Nava around 1440, he was the son of Rodrigo Manrique, a nobleman and master of the Order of Santiago, and Mencía de Figueroa, cousin of the Marquis of Santillana. His uncle, Gómez Manrique, who in turn was the nephew of the poet Íñigo López de Mendoza, the Marquis of Santillana, was one of the most outstanding literary figures of the 15th century.
From a very young age, following in his father's footsteps, he devoted himself to military service, taking part in numerous battles. He married Guiomar de Castañeda, sister of his second stepmother, with whom he had two children, Luis and Luisa.
He combined his military career with the arts, although his literary output is not very extensive. Some fifty poems have survived, which can be divided into amatory, burlesque and doctrinal works.
His famous Coplas a la muerte de su padre (“Couplets on the Death of his Father”), composed in 1476, are considered one of the best elegies in Spanish literature. Menéndez y Pelayo described them as “the most beautiful poetry of the Castilian parnassus of the Middle Ages.” However, they were not published until 1494 in Seville under the title "Coplas de Jorge Manrique a la muerte de su padre, el Maestre don Rodrigo" (“Jorge Manrique's couplets on the death of his father, Master Rodrigo”), creative work that is situated in the transition between the end of the medieval world and the beginning of the Renaissance period.
Jorge Manrique died on 24th April 1479 at the age of 39 while defending the cause of Isabel the Catholic Queen in front of Garcimuñoz Castle in Cuenca. His body was buried in Santiago church in the town of Uclés, although the alterations made to this building prevent us from knowing the exact place where he was laid to rest.