CLIFFORD, Sir Ingram (?1518-78/79), of Cowthorpe, Yorks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. ?1518, 2nd s. of Henry Clifford, 11th Lord Clifford and 1st Earl of Cumberland, by 2nd w. Margaret, da. of Henry Percy, 5th Earl of Northumberland. m. (1) Anne (d. 10 Dec. 1571), da. and h. of John Rocliffe of Cowthorpe, 2da.; (2) Ursula, ?da. of William Madison. Kntd. 30 Sept. 1544.1

Offices Held

J.p. Yorks. (W. Riding) 1545-54, 1569-75, Westmld. 1554-58/59; commr. relief, Yorks. (W. Riding) and Westmld. 1550, goods of churches and fraternities (W. Riding) 1553; acting dep. warden, west march 1552; sheriff, Yorks. 1554-5.2


Under his father’s will of 1542 Ingram Clifford received the reversion to a life interest in the manor of Hart and Hartlepool, Durham, which came into his possession on the death of his uncle Sir Thomas Clifford in the following year; since 1539 or earlier he had also held a lease of the lead mines at Appletreewick in the West Riding, of which the ownership had passed to his father after the dissolution of Bolton priory in 1539. It was, however, his marriage which established Clifford as a substantial landowner; probably contracted by 1544, this brought him the manor of Cowthorpe, near Wetherby, which he made his home, and other lands in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire.3

Clifford was knighted at Boulogne, but it was clearly his lineage rather than his personal standing which two months later gained him election to Henry VIII’s last Parliament; he was returned for Westmorland by his brother Henry, the new Earl of Cumberland and hereditary sheriff of the county, and his noble birth gave him precedence over his senior in years Sir James Leyburn. That this was to be his only known appearance in the Commons suggests that he was more lacking in interest than in opportunity; his brother’s influence in Westmorland survived an attack on the hereditary shrievalty, while if he had been content to sit for a borough he could presumably have come in for Appleby instead of his cousin George Clifford. (The Members for both shire and borough in the Parliaments of March 1553 and 1555 are unknown.) His retention on the West Riding bench under Edward VI and Mary, who also pricked him sheriff, and his restoration to it by Elizabeth likewise seem to exclude religious disaffection as a reason for his withdrawal.4

Clifford’s two children by his first marriage died in infancy and on his wife’s death in 1571 he became sole owner of her inheritance. By his will of 8 Jan. 1578 he asked to be buried either at Skipton or Cowthorpe, provided for his wife and made gifts to kinsfolk, friends, servants and the poor, and left the bulk of his lands to his nephews George, 3rd Earl of Cumberland, and Francis Clifford, for the ‘better continuance’ of the Clifford house and with a request for their favour to his wife and friends. The will was proved on 6 July 1579.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: M. J. Taylor


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference, that of elder brother and from parents’ marriage. Clifford Letters (Surtees Soc. clxxii), 139; Yorks. Arch. Jnl. xvi. 196; xviii. 379-81; Glover’s Vis. Yorks. ed. Foster, 285, 383; Vis. Yorks. (Harl. Soc. xvi), 265-7 and n; N. Country Wills, ii (Surtees Soc. cxxi), 87-88.
  • 2. LP Hen. VIII, xx; CPR, 1547-8, p. 92; 1550-3, p. 394; 1553, pp. 353, 414; 1553-4, pp. 25, 26; 1569-72, p. 224; APC, iii. 456; iv. 59; CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 37.
  • 3. Test. Ebor. vi (Surtees Soc. cvi), 127-30; VCH Durham, iii. 258; Bolton Rentals (Yorks. Arch. Soc. rec. ser. cxxxii), 22; R. T. Spence, ‘The Cliffords, earls of Cumberland, 1579-1646’ (London Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1959), 16, 17.
  • 4. LP Hen. VIII, xix; Clifford Letters, 102-3.
  • 5. Plumpton Corresp. (Cam. Soc. iv), p. cxxix; N. Country Wills, ii. 87-88.