Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Sir Thomas Clifford, Baron Chudleigh

Thomas Clifford, 1st Baron Clifford of Chudleigh (1 August 1630 - 17 October 1673), English statesman and politician, was created the first Baron Clifford of Chudleigh on April 22 1672 for his suggestion that the King supply himself with money by stopping, for one year, all payments out of the Exchequer.

He was born in Ugbrooke, the son of Hugh Clifford of Chudleigh, Devon, and his wife Mary, daughter of Sir George Chudleigh, Bt. He was baptised 4 August 1630 at Ugbrooke and matriculated at Exeter College (Oxford), receiving his B.A. there in 1650.

He became a barrister of the Middle Temple and an MP for Totnes in 1660-1672. 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, although he was probably the least important of them.

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 cravat upon the bed-tester") a few months after his retirement.

He married Elizabeth Martin, who died in 1709. She was the daughter of Richard (William) Martin of Lindridge, Devon.

They had fifteen children, eight of whom were daughters:
1.      Elizabeth, born before 1655, died as an infant.
2.      Elizabeth b. 1655 d. 1677, married Henry Carew, 2nd   Baronet Carew of Haccombe. They had no issue.
3.      Mary, born 1658, died October 9 1715, married in 1673 Sir Simon Leach  of Cadeleigh. They had no issue.
4.      Amy, born 1661, married in October 1681 John Courtenay of  Molland.  They had no issue.
5.      Anne, born 1662, died 1678.
6.      Rhoda, born 1665, died 1689.
7.      Isabel Clifford, born between 1665 and 1669, died as an infant.
8.      Catherine Clifford, born 1670, died 1708.

And their sons were:

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

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