CLIFFORD, George (by 1524-69 or later).
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Family and Education
b. by 1524, 2nd s. of Thomas Clifford of Brackenborough, Lincs. by Ellen, da. and h. of John Ewerby of Ewerby.2
It is virtually certain that a Clifford sitting in Parliament for Appleby was a kinsman of the Earl of Cumberland. Although no George Clifford has been found among the immediate family at this time, the 2nd Earl had a distant cousin so named. On 11 Feb. 1555 Cumberland had licence to grant his estates to feoffees who included the brothers Thomas Clifford of Aspenden, Hertfordshire, and George Clifford, and in his will he placed these two after his own illegitimate brother in the entail of his estates. They were the grandsons of Sir Robert Clifford, himself a younger son of Thomas, 8th Lord Clifford. Sir Robert had acquired Aspenden on his marriage to Elizabeth Barley or Barkley, widow of Sir Ralph Jocelyn, and although his son appears to have disposed of his interest there the family continued to be described as of Aspenden. Thomas Clifford, who was aged 30 and more in November 1558, married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William Skipwith of South Ormsby, Lincolnshire, but if George married the name of his wife has not been found.3
On 24 Oct. 1543 Nicholas Throckmorton wrote from Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, to Sir William Parr asking leave for Mr. Clifford of Aspenden to go into Yorkshire to take livery of certain lands there. As his brother was evidently of age in 1543 and George Clifford had presumably attained his majority in 1546 when he was named as party to an alienation by their widowed mother, he may be identified with a property speculator active during the 1540s and 1550s; one of the transactions concerned was with Marmaduke Wyvill in May 1545. The George Clifford admitted to Gray’s Inn in 1544 is more likely to have been a Kentish namesake, who was to be raised to the county bench by Queen Elizabeth. Clifford’s two appearances in Parliament are his only known incursions into public life, and apparently he made as little impression in the House as he seems to have done outside it. His Membership of the first Edwardian Parliament followed the death of Thomas Jolye, whom he had replaced by the fourth session. It is possible that he sat for Appleby again in the next Parliament, that of March 1553, when the names of its representatives are lost, and he certainly did so in the following autumn, although he was not the electors’ first choice for his name appears on the indenture over an erasure. His family was to be noted for recusancy later in the century, and perhaps Clifford was of the same religious persuasion, as he did not oppose the restoration of Catholicism. Although he was not a beneficiary under his mother’s will in 1558, he was evidently still alive in 1569 when his kinsman the earl made his will.4