RADCLIFFE, Sir John (1539-68), of Old Cleeve, Som.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
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Family and Education

bap. 31 Dec. 1539, yr. s. of Robert Radcliffe, 1st Earl of Sussex, by his 3rd w. Mary (d.1557), da. of Sir John Arundell of Lanherne, Cornw.; half-bro. of Sir Humphrey. m. Anne, s.p. Kntd. 22 Feb. 1547.

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Radcliffe—the only surviving child of the 1st Earl of Sussex’s third and final marriage—was more than 30 years younger than his eldest half-brother, and still a baby when his father died. In 1554 Henry, Earl of Arundel, his stepfather, was licensed to convey to him the manor of Northam, Devon. Radcliffe thus became a landowner in a small way, but until 1564, when he succeeded to his mother’s estate, he was probably in the service of one of the great noble families of Arundel, Sussex or Norfolk to whom he was related.

In 1545 his mother married the Earl of Arundel, and ten years later Arundel’s daughter married Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk, who in 1558 found Radcliffe a parliamentary seat for his newly enfranchised borough of Castle Rising. He was only 18, not much younger than his patron. Radcliffe was chosen again for the same borough in 1559, and the return was completed to that effect, but Thomas Steyning, Norfolk’s stepfather, evidently wished to sit there and Radcliffe, at the last moment, was found a seat at Grampound, presumably by his mother’s family. There is little further to record about Radcliffe’s short life. He made his will 18 Oct. 1568, leaving his property to his wife Anne, and a ring each, ‘in token and remembrance of good will’, to the Earls of Arundel and Sussex. He died 9 Nov. 1568 and was buried ten days later in St. Olave’s, Hart Street, London.

H. B. Wilson, Hist. St. Laurence Pountney, 129; CP, xii(1), 519-20; CPR, 1553-4, p. 372; 1563-6, pp. 8, 166; PCC 21 Babington; A. Povah, Annals of St. Olave, Hart St. and Allhallows, Staining, London, 93, 173; Reg. St. Olave, Hart St. (Harl. Soc. xlvi), 108, 120.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: Roger Virgoe