See also

Henry, (1454-1523)

1. Henry, Lord Clifford, son of Lord John CLIFFORD (1435-1461) and Margaret BROMFLETE (1436-1493), was born in 1454. He had the title '10th Lord Clifford'. He married Anne ST JOHN circa 1486 in Skipton, Yorks.. He died on 23 April 1523. He married Florence PUDSEY.


Henry, the 10th Lord Clifford, was to be executed during the War of the Roses but his mother had him raised by a shepherd. When the Lancasters won 25 years later, he was re- instated with 4 castles. He is the subject of the " Ballad of the Nut-Brown Maid " (1505) which tells how the maid rejected him, not knowing that he was a lord. The best speculation of whom George Clifford, first in America, descended from is that Henry, The Shepherd Lord.

John Clifford was know for his hatred of the Yorkists and following his death at the battle of Towton his wife, Margaret, feared greatly for the safety of her two sons and she sent them into hiding to protect them from the wraith of the Yorkists. Richard, the youngest son, supposedly went to the Low Countries, where he shortly afterwards died. But Henry, the elder, only seven years old, and heir to his father's titles and estates, was either never taken out of England; or, if he were, he speedily returned, and was placed by his mother at Londesborough, in Yorkshire, with a trustworthy shepherd, the husband of a young woman who had been under-nurse to the boy whom she was now to adopt as her foster-son. Their mother was closely and peremptorily examined about them. She said, 'She had given direction to convey them beyond sea, to be bred up there; and that being thither sent, she was ignorant whether they were living or not'. Henry remained there until he was 14 and to maintain the secret he was not educated. That year a rumour reached the court of his being still alive and in England. Happily Lady Clifford had a friend at court, who forewarned her that the King had received an intimation of her son's place of concealment. With the assistance of her then husband, Sir Lancelot Threlkeld, Lady Clifford instantly removed 'the honest shepherd with his wife and family into Cumberland,' where he took a farm near the Scottish Borders. Here, though his mother occasionally held private communications with him, the young Lord Clifford passed fifteen years more, disguised and occupied as a common shepherd; and had the mortification of seeing his Castle and Barony of Shipton in the hands of his adversary, Sir William Stanley; and his Barony of Westmoreland possessed by the Duke of Gloucester, the king's brother.

Henry VII defeated Richard III at Bosworth and Henry, the Shepherd Lord, now thirty-one years old, was restored to his estates and titles. Henry VII knighted him and he was summoned to Parliament from Sep 1485. He was also present with the King forces at Stoke. He was appointed commissioner of array against the Scots and in May 1486 he was made Steward of Middleton and employed to receive the remaining Yorkist rebels to allegiance.

Henry assisted the Earl of Surrey in the relief of Norham Castle. He fought at Flodden in Sep 1513, he was one of the principal leaders, and brought to the field a numerous retinue, and even brought home to Skipton Castle some Scottish ordnance. He lent Henry VIII money for the French campaign in 1522 but he was too old to go himself.

Having regained his property and position, he immediately began to repair his castles and improve his education. He quickly learnt to write his own name; and, to facilitate his studies, built Barden Tower, near Bolton Priory, that he might place himself under the tuition of some learned monks there, and apply himself to astronomy, and other favourite sciences of the period.

His training as a warrior had been equally defective. Instead of being practised from boy-hood to the use of arms and the feats of chivalry, as was common with the youth of his own station, he had been trained to handle the shepherd's crook, and tend, and fold, and shear his sheep. Yet scarcely had he emerged from his obscurity and quiet pastoral life, when we find him become a brave and skilful soldier,—an able and victorious commander. He died on 23 Apr 1523. By his first wife Anne St. John, cousin to Henry VII, he left two sons and five daughters.


Anne ST JOHN and Henry, Lord Clifford had the following children:


Henry de CLIFFORD (1493-1542). Henry was born in 1493 in Skipton. He had the title '11th Lord Clifford, 1st Earl of Cumberland'. He married Margaret PERCY in 1513. He died on 22 April 1542 in Skipton.

Second Generation

2. Lord John CLIFFORD, son of Thomas CLIFFORD and Joan DACRE, was born in 1435. He was baptised on 8 April 1435 in Conisborough Castle. He had the title '9th Lord Clifford'. He married Margaret BROMFLETE circa 1453. He died on 28 March 1461 in Towton (Ferrybridge). He was killed at the battle of Towton, Ferrybridge, Yorkshire.


John, ninth lord Clifford, was one of the principal leaders of the party of the house of Lancaster, and for his cruelty and inhumanity obtained the surname of the Butcher. He stabbed in cold blood, after the defeat of the Yorkists in the battle of Wakefield 24 December 1460, Edmund earl of Rutland, next brother to king Edward the fourth, who was at that time seventeen years of age, in pretended revenge of the death of his father. This nobleman married Margaret, daughter and heiress of Henry Bromflete baron Bromflete and baron Vesci; in consequence of which marriage the title of Vesci descended to the family of Clifford. He was killed at the battle of Towton 29 March 1461 in the twenty-sixth year of his age. In fact, the stories of his cruelty may well have been exaggerated, and the stabbing in cold blood may not have happened. Henry, his son, obtained a reversal of his attainder from Henry VII.


3. Margaret BROMFLETE, daughter of Henry BROMFLETE, was born in 1436. She died on 12 April 1493. She and John CLIFFORD had the following children:



Henry, Lord Clifford (1454-1523)

Third Generation

4. Thomas CLIFFORD, son of John CLIFFORD and Lady Elizabeth PERCY, was born in 1414. He had the title '8th Lord Clifford'. He married Joan DACRE circa 1424 in Skelton, Yorkshire. Thomas was killed at the Battle of St. Albans.


When his father died at Meaux in France Thomas was only seven years old. He was commissioned in 1434/5 along with his uncle the Earl of Northumberland to array the northern counties against the Scots. In 1449 he was conservator of the truce between England and Scotland and in 1450-1he was one of three Ambassadors from Henry VI to James III of Scotland. In 1437 he laid siege to Pontoise near Paris. He dressed his soldiers in white and under the cover of a snowstorm they scaled the ramparts and captured the fortress. The King called on him again in 1452 and 1454 to muster men and ships from the north to relief Calais. The Hundred Years War with France drew to a close and Thomas returned home but by May 1455 the struggle for control of the English throne had erupted into violence and Thomas Clifford was killed at the first battle of St. Albans. Thomas 8th Lord Clifford had married Joan Dacre in 1424 and they had six children.


5. Joan DACRE was born circa 1418. She died circa 1455. She and Thomas CLIFFORD had the following children:



John CLIFFORD (1435-1461)


6. Henry BROMFLETE had the title 'Baron Bromflete, Baron Vesci'.


Henry BROMFLETE had the following children:



Margaret BROMFLETE (1436-1493)