Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 11.djvu/87

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Clifford
Clifford
81

who knew him well (Diary, 19 June 1673), is confident that he did it ' more from some promise he had enter'd into to gratify the duke than for any prejudice to the protestant religion, tho' I found him wavering awhile.' Colbert also, who, if any one, would know about Clifford's religion, appears in the following words to regard him as a protestant : ' Nothing is more surprising than to have the lord treasurer, who has the greatest part in all the king's secrets, take the part of the catholics with inimitable eloquence and courage ' (Christie, ii. 139). It is true, he adds, 'his head is so turned with the glory of martyrdom, that he has reproached Father Patrick for his lukewannness about religion,' and, according to James (Life, i. 484), he was a new and zealous convert. However this may be, he felt bound to resign his offices, which it is difficult to believe he would have done merely out of friendship to James. He immediately retired to Tunbridge Wells, where in July he was visited by Evelyn, who found that though he had with him 'music and people to divert him,' his ' rough and ambitious nature ' would not allow him to support the blow. The want of success in the Dutch war, and the failure of the stop of the exchequer, both of which had been brought about by his influence, affected him deeply. Clifford returned to London in August, but only for a final leave-taking. On the 18th Evelyn found him at Wallingford House, preparing to leave at once for Devonshire, packing up his pictures, 'most of which were of hunting wild beasts and vast pieces of bull, beare baiting,' &c. This is almost the sole illustration that we have of his known love of the chase (Ranke, Hist. of England, iii. 51 5) . On parting, Clifford wrung Evelyn's hand, declaring he should never see him or the court again. In less than a month he was dead ; and although there is now no absolute proof, the evidence of suicide is strong (Evelyn, Diary, 18 Aug. 1673). Prince, in his 'Worthies of Devon,' states that he died of stone, but his information about Clifford is in many respects very scanty. His death was in September, and he was buried in the chapel he had himself built at Ugbrooke.

Clifford was a believer in the calculation of nativities, and had declared before he was made a peer that he was assured by his horoscope that he would reach the summit of his ambition early, but should enjoy it for a short while only, and would die by a bloody death. This was affirmed by Shaftesbury, and is strongly supported by Evelyn's testimony (ib.) 'For the rest, my Lord Clifford was a valiant, uncorrupt gentleman ; ' 'ambitious, not covetous; generous, passionate, a most sincere friend' (ib.) There is, it should be added, no record of Clifford paying court to the royal mistresses. Literary societies met at his house, and he appears to have had the taste for scholarship characteristic of the time (Ranke, Hist. iii. 515). In spite of the smallness of his fortune he, as far as is known, kept his hands clean ; for Colbert's statement that he accepted a present from France (Dalrymple, i. 124) must be received with hesitation, though he probably gave him much information (ib. 127), and that is the only statement of the kind. From the king he received, in 1671, a lease for sixty years of Chestow pastures, near Aylesbury, as well as the manors of Cannington and Rodway Fitzpain, Somersetshire, for himself and his heirs male. The livings of Ugbrooke and Chudleigh were also in the same year entailed by act of parliament upon his family.

Clifford married Elizabeth, daughter of William Martin of Lindridge, Devonshire, by whom he had seven sons and eight daughters, of whom four sons and seven daughters survived him (Collins, Peerage). His eldest son, Robert, died at Florence on 29 Feb. 1670-1 (Hist. MSS. Comm. 7th Rep. 514), while another, Thomas, is mentioned in the ' Athenæ Oxonienses ' as being entered as a gentleman commoner at Queen's College, Oxford, in 1668, aged fifteen. He was succeeded in his titles by his third son, George, who died in 1690.

[The materials for Clifford's life have been all mentioned in the text ; see also Kippis's Biog. Brit.]

O. A.

CLIFFORD, WALTER de (d. 1190?), is said to have been the grandson of Pons or Poncius, the father of five sons, Walter, Drogo, Osbern, Simon, and Richard. Of these five sons Richard FitzPonce was the father of Walter de Clifford, who, according to Eyton, succeeded to the estates of his uncles Walter and Drogo. These two brothers figure in Domesday as the possessors of lands in Herefordshire, Berkshire, and other counties (Eyton, v. 146, &c. ; Domesday, i. 180 b, 61 ; Ellis, Introduction, i. 405, 504). His father Richard seems to have died between 1115 and 1138, in which latter year we find ' Walter de Cliffort ' signing a Gloucester charter (Eyton, v. 148 ; Monasticon, i. 551). He reappears under the same name in 1155 (Pipe Soils, p. 144). He probably obtained the barony of Clifford from his wife Margaret, asserted to be the daughter of Ralph de Tony, who in 1068 was lord of this fee (Domesday, i. 183). According to another theory, his mother Maud,wife of Richard FitzPonce, was the original holder of it (Eyton,