Thomas, 8th Baron Clifford

CLIFFORD, THOMAS de, eighth Baron Clifford (1414–1455), was the son of John, seventh baron Clifford, by his wife Elizabeth, who, according to Dugdale, was the daughter of Harry Hotspur (Baronage, i. 342; Nicolas’s Acts of Privy Council, iii. 36). He was born on 25 March 1414, and succeeded to his father’s estates on 13 March 1422 (10 Hen. V, sic), before he was quite eight years old (Dugdale). He appears to have been under the guardianship of his mother and grandmother, to whom the right of ‘maritagium’ was granted in 1423 (Privy Council Acts, iii. 36). His summons to par- liament dates from December 1436 (Report on Dignity of a Peer, iii. 896). In 13 Hen. VI (1334-5) he was joined in commission with the Earl of Northumberland to array the northern counties against the Scots, who then threatened Berwick, and next year had livery of his lands on making proof of his age (Dugdale). Some fifteen years later (1449) he appears as a conservator of the truce then being arranged between England and Scotland, and occupied a similar position in 1451 (Rymer, xi. 253, 299). In 1452 he was called upon to muster men and ships from the northern counties for the relief of Calais; and again in 1454. About the same time he was sheriff of Westmoreland, and in this capacity was bidden to lend assistance to the Duke of York (Privy Council Acts, vi. 119, 177). Several years previously (1435) his name occurs as being a member of the Duke of Bedford’s retinue in France (William Worcester), and again (c. 1439) as defending Pontoise against the French king (Polydore Vergil). He was slain in the battle of St. Albans (1455), where his body was afterwards buried in the Virgin’s chapel by the abbot (Register of J. Whethamstede, i. 176). His wife, according to Dugdale, was a daughter of Thomas, lord Dacres of Gillesland; by her he had four sons — John, his successor [q. v.]; Sir Roger Clifford; Sir Thomas Clifford (one of Henry VIII’s councillors); and Robert Clifford, who was concerned in Perkin Warbeck’s rebellion (Dugdale). He had also five daughters.

[Dugdale’s Baronage, i. 342-3; Nicolas’s Historic Peerage, ed. Courthope, p. 112; Rymer’s Fœdera, xi; Nicolas’s Acts and Proceedings of the Privy Council, vols. iii. iv. vi.; Registrum Johannis Whethamstede, ed. Riley (Rolls Series), i. 176, 393; Polydore Vergil, ed. Ellis (Camden Society), ii. 65; Paston Letters, ed. Gairdner (Arber’s Reprints), i. 264, &c.]

Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 11
Clifford, Thomas de (1414-1455) by Thomas Andrew Archer

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