Person:John Clifford (29)

John Clifford, 9th Baron de Clifford
Facts and Events
Name John Clifford, 9th Baron de Clifford
Gender Male
Birth[1] 8 Apr 1435 Conisbrough Castle, Conisbrough, Yorkshire, England
Marriage to Margaret de Bromflete
Military? 30 Dec 1460 Wakefield, Yorkshire, England Combatant of Wakefield
Death[1] 28 Mar 1461 Ferrybridge, Yorkshire, England Combatant of Ferrybridge
Reference Number? Q647319?
Title (nobility)? Ennobled as 9th Lord Clifton

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

John Clifford, 9th Baron Clifford, 9th Lord of Skipton (8 April 1435 – 28 March 1461) was a Lancastrian military leader during the Wars of the Roses in England. The Clifford family was one of the most prominent families among the northern English nobility of the fifteenth century, and by the marriages of his sisters John Clifford had links to some very important families of the time, including the earls of Devon. He was orphaned at twenty years of age when his father was slain by partisans of the House of York at the first battle of the Wars of the Roses, the Battle of St Albans in 1455. It was probably as a result of his father's death there that Clifford became one of the strongest supporters of Queen Margaret of Anjou, consort of King Henry VI, who ended up as effective leader of the Lancastrian faction.

Clifford had already achieved prominence in the north where, as an ally of the son of the earl of Northumberland, he took part in a feud against the Neville family, the Percy's natural rivals in Yorkshire. This consisted of a series of armed raids, assaults and skirmishes, and included an ambush on one of the younger Nevilles' wedding party in 1453. Historians have seen a direct connection between his involvement in the local feud in the north with the Nevilles, and his involvement in the national struggle against the duke of York, whom the Nevilles were closely allied with in the late 1450s. Although this was supposedly a period of temporary peace between the factions, Clifford and his allies appear to have made numerous attempts to ambush the Neville and Yorkist lords.

Armed conflict erupted again in 1459, and again Clifford was found on the side of the King and Queen. Clifford took part in the parliament that attainted the Yorkists – by now in exile – and he took a share of the profits from their lands, as well as being appointed to offices traditionally in their keeping. The Yorkist lords returned from exile in June 1460 and subsequently defeated a royal army at Northampton. As a result of the royalist defeat, Clifford was ordered to surrender such castles and offices as he had from the Nevilles back to them, although it is unlikely that he did so. In fact, he and his fellow northern Lancastrian lords merely commenced a campaign of destruction on Neville and Yorkist estates and tenantry, to such an extent that in December 1460, the duke of York and his close ally, the earl of Salisbury, raised an army and headed north to crush the Lancastrian rebellion. This winter campaign culminated in the Battle of Wakefield in the last days of the year, and was a decisive victory for the Lancastrian army, of which Clifford was by now an important commander. The battle resulted in the deaths of both York and Salisbury, but was probably most notorious for Clifford's slaying of Edmund, Earl of Rutland, York's seventeen-year old second son and the younger brother of the future King Edward IV. This may have resulted in Clifford's being nicknamed 'Butcher Clifford', although historians disagree as to how widely used by contemporaries this term was.

Clifford accompanied the royal army on its march south early the next year, where, although wounded, he played a leading part in the second Battle of St Albans, and then afterwards with the Queen to the north. The Yorkist army, now under the command of Edward of York and Richard, Earl of Warwick, pursued the Lancastrians to Yorkshire and eventually defeated them at the Battle of Towton on 29 March 1461. Clifford though was not present; he had been slain in a skirmish with a Yorkist advance party the previous day. Following the coronation of the by-then victorious Edward IV, he was attainted and his lands confiscated by the Crown.

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  1. 1.0 1.1 John Clifford, 9th Baron de Clifford, in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.
  2.   Cokayne, George Edward, and Vicary Gibbs; et al. The complete peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, extant, extinct, or dormant [2nd ed.]. (London: St. Catherine Press, 1910-59), Volume 3 pages 293 and 294.