Thomas Clifford, 1st Baron Clifford of Chudleigh

Last updated

The Lord Clifford of Chudleigh
Member of the English Parliament
for Totnes
In office
Succeeded by
Lord High Treasurer
In office
Preceded byIn Commission
Succeeded by The Viscount Latimer
Treasurer of the Household
In office
Preceded by The Viscount Fitzhardinge
Succeeded by The Lord Newport
Comptroller of the Household
In office
Preceded by Sir Hugh Pollard, Bt
Succeeded by The Lord Newport
Personal details
Thomas Clifford

(1630-08-01)1 August 1630
Died17 October 1673(1673-10-17) (aged 43)
Cause of death Suicide
Nationality English
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Martin
Children15, including Hugh Clifford
  • Sir Hugh Clifford
  • Mary Chudleigh

Thomas Clifford, 1st Baron Clifford of Chudleigh (1 August 1630 – 17 October 1673) was an English statesman who sat in the House of Commons from 1660 to 1672 when he was created Baron Clifford.



Clifford was born in Ugbrooke, the son of Hugh Clifford of Chudleigh, Devon, and his wife Mary Chudleigh, daughter of Sir George Chudleigh, 1st Baronet. He was baptised on 4 August 1630 at Ugbrooke. He matriculated at Exeter College, Oxford in 1647 and entered Middle Temple in 1648. [1]

Political and Public Life

In April 1660, Clifford was elected Member of Parliament for Totnes in the Convention Parliament. He was re-elected MP for Totnes in 1661 for the Cavalier Parliament. [1] He distinguished himself in naval battles, and was knighted. He became Comptroller of the Household in 1666 and a member of the Privy Council. At the end of the Dutch war in 1669 he intrigued against the peace treaty, preferring the French interests. He was one of the five Counsellors who formed the Cabal, though he was probably the least important of them. This clique had a reputation for self-seeking policies. Indeed, Clifford was known as 'the Bribe Master General'.

Clifford was created the first Baron Clifford of Chudleigh on 22 April 1672 for his suggestion that the King supply himself with money by stopping, for one year, all payments out of the Exchequer. He was Lord High Treasurer from 28 November 1672 to June 1673, when, as a Roman Catholic, he found himself unable to comply with the Test Act and resigned.

He died by his own hand (perhaps "strangled with his cravatt upon the bed-tester") a few months after his retirement.

Family and children

Arms of Clifford: Checky or and azure, a fesse gules Blason Roger de Clifford.svg
Arms of Clifford: Checky or and azure, a fesse gules
  1. Elizabeth, born before 1655, died as infant.
  2. Elizabeth, born 1655, died 1677, married in 1673 Henry Carew, 2nd Baronet Carew of Haccombe. They had no issue (?).
  3. Mary, born 1658, died 9 October 1715, married in 1673 Sir Simon Leach of Cadeleigh. They had no issue (?).
  4. Amy, born 1661, died 1693, married in October 1681 John Courtenay (d.1724) of Molland, Devon. They had numerous issue, as the mural monument in Molland Church attests. No male grandsons resulted and Molland descended via their daughter Mary who married William Paston of Horton Court, Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire.
  5. Anne, born 1662, died 1678.
  6. Rhoda, born 1665, died 1689.
  7. Isabel Clifford, born between 1665 and 1669, died as infant.
  8. Catherine Clifford, born 1670, died 1708.

And their sons were:

  1. Thomas, born before 1652, died as infant.
  2. Thomas, born before 1652, died as infant.
  3. Thomas, born on 3 December 1652, died in 1671 in Florence, Italy.
  4. George, born between 1653 and 1662, died as infant
  5. Hugh, 2nd Baron Clifford of Chudleigh (1663–1730)
  6. Simon, born 1666, died ?, acceded in 1686.
  7. Charles, born 1671, baptized on 24 June 1671, died on 4 July 1691, buried in Ugbrooke.

Related Research Articles

Baron Clifford of Chudleigh Title in the English peerage

Baron Clifford of Chudleigh, of Chudleigh in the County of Devon, is a title in the Peerage of England. It was created in 1672 for Thomas Clifford. The title was created as "Clifford of Chudleigh" rather than simply "Clifford" to differentiate it from several other Clifford Baronies previously created for members of this ancient family, including the Barony of de Clifford (1299), which is extant but now held by a branch line of the Russell family, having inherited through several female lines.

Henry Hugh Clifford English recipient of the Victoria Cross

Major General Sir Henry Hugh Clifford was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Hugh Charles Clifford, 7th Baron Clifford of Chudleigh was a British peer. He inherited the title from his father on 29 April 1831.

Hugh Clifford, 2nd Baron Clifford of Chudleigh (1663–1730) was baptized on 21 December 1663 in Ugbrooke and died on 12 October 1730 in Cannington, Somerset, England. Though the 7th child and 2nd son, he was the eldest living son when his father died. He succeeded his father in the barony on his father's death in 1673.

Hugh Clifford, 3rd Baron Clifford of Chudleigh English noble

Hugh Clifford, 3rd Baron Clifford of Chudleigh of Ugbrooke House near Chudleigh in Devon, was a peer.

Cary family

The Cary family is an English aristocratic family with a branch in Ireland. The earliest known ancestor of the family is Sir Adam de Kari who was living in 1198. Sir John Cary purchased the Manor of Clovelly in the 14th century and established the family's status as members of the landed gentry. Various branches of the family were ennobled in the late 16th and early 17th centuries as Baron Hunsdon and Viscount Falkland.

Ugbrooke Grade I listed historic house museum in Teignbridge, United Kingdom

Ugbrooke House is a stately home in the parish of Chudleigh, Devon, England, situated in a valley between Exeter and Newton Abbot.

Haccombe village and former civil parish in Devon, England

Haccombe is a hamlet, former parish and historic manor in Devon, situated 2 1/2 miles east of Newton Abbot, in the south of the county. It is possibly the smallest parish in England, and was said in 1810 to be remarkable for containing only two inhabited houses, namely the manor house known as Haccombe House and the parsonage. Haccombe House is a "nondescript Georgian structure" (Pevsner), rebuilt shortly before 1795 by the Carew family on the site of an important mediaeval manor house.

George Carey (c. 1541 – 1616) English politician

Sir George Carey, of Cockington in the parish of Tor Mohun in Devon, England, was Lord Deputy of Ireland from May 1603 to February 1604.

Richard Strode (died 1669) Kingdom of England politician

Sir Richard Strode of Newnham, Plympton St Mary, Devon and of Chalmington in Dorset, was a member of the Devonshire gentry who served as MP for Bere Alston in 1604, Bridport in 1626 and for Plympton Erle in 1640. He was by religion a puritan and towards the end of his life a baptist. During the Civil War he was a parliamentarian and raised a force of 3,000 dragoons.

Hugh Pollard (sheriff) English judge

Sir Hugh Pollard lord of the manor of King's Nympton in Devon, was Sheriff of Devon in 1535/6 and in 1545 was appointed Recorder of Barnstaple in Devon.

Chudleigh baronets

The Chudleigh Baronetcy, of Ashton in the County of Devon, was a title in the Baronetage of England. It was created on 1 August 1622 for George Chudleigh (d.1656), Member of Parliament for St Michael's, East Looe, Lostwithiel and Tiverton. The title became extinct on the death of the sixth Baronet in 1745.

Sir George Chudleigh, 1st Baronet Member of the Parliament of England

Sir George Chudleigh, 1st Baronet, of Ashton, Devon, was an English landowner and politician, who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1601 and 1625. He had close family connections to a group of Devon Presbyterians, including Sir William Strode.

Sir Thomas Carew, 1st Baronet of Haccombe, Devon, was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1661 to 1674.

Lindridge House

Lindridge House was a large 17th-century mansion, one of the finest in the south-west situated about 1 mile south of Ideford in the parish of Bishopsteignton, Devon, about 4 1/2 miles NE of Newton Abbot. It was destroyed by fire on 25 April 1963 and its ruins were finally demolished in the early 1990s, upon which was built a housing development.

Manor of Molland Polity in North Devon, England

The Manor of Molland was a medieval manor in North Devon, England. It was largely co-terminous with the existing parish of Molland, in which is situated the village of Molland. More accurately it consisted from the earliest times of two separate manors, held from separate overlords, later known as Molland-Bottreaux and Molland-Champson.

Creedy, Sandford

Creedy is an historic estate in the parish of Sandford, near Crediton in Devon. It is named from its location on the west side of the River Creedy. It was the seat of the Davie family from about 1600 until the late 20th century. The mansion house on the estate has been called at various times New House, Creedy House, and as presently, Creedy Park. It was first built in about 1600, rebuilt in 1846, burnt down in 1915 and rebuilt 1916-21. It is surrounded by a large park, the boundary of which is enclosed by a stone and brick wall several miles long.

Feudal barony of Clifford

The feudal barony of Clifford was a feudal barony with its caput baroniae at Clifford Castle in Herefordshire, England.

Blagdon, Paignton

Blagdon historically in the parish of Paignton in Devon, England, is an historic manor, the seat of the Kirkham family from the 13th to 17th centuries. The manor house known as Blagdon Manor (House) survives as a grade II* listed building about two miles west of the historic centre of the town of Paignton, situated behind the "Blagdon Inn" public house, and almost surrounded by the "Devon Hills Holiday Park" of caravans and mobile homes, set-back at the end of a short driveway off the A385 Paignton to Totnes road. The settlements or farms of Higher Blagdon, Middle Blagdon and Lower Blagdon are situated to the north of the manor house.

Hams, Chudleigh

Hams is an historic estate situated within the parish of Chudleigh in Devon. The surviving remnant of the former mansion house of the Hunt family, known as Hams Barton is a grade II* listed building, situated one mile north-east of the town of Chudleigh, near Kate Brook.


Parliament of England
Preceded by
John Pleydell
Gilbert Evelyn
MP for Totnes
1660–1673 with
Thomas Chafe 1660–1661
Sir Edward Seymour 1661–1673
Succeeded by
Sir Thomas Berry
Sir Edward Seymour
Political offices
Preceded by
Sir Hugh Pollard, Bt
Comptroller of the Household
Succeeded by
The Lord Newport
Preceded by
The Viscount Fitzhardinge
Treasurer of the Household
Succeeded by
The Lord Newport
Preceded by
In Commission
(First Lord: The Duke of Albemarle)
Lord High Treasurer
Succeeded by
The Viscount Latimer
Peerage of England
Preceded by
New Creation
Baron Clifford of Chudleigh
Succeeded by
Hugh Clifford