Thomas Clifford, 8th Baron Clifford

Thomas Clifford, 8th Baron de Clifford
Arms of Clifford.svg
Arms of Clifford: Chequy or and azure, a fess gules
Born 25 March 1414
Died 22 May 1455
First Battle of Saint Albans
Noble family Clifford
Spouse(s) Joan Dacre
John Clifford, 9th Baron de Clifford
Sir Roger Clifford
Sir Robert Clifford
Sir Thomas Clifford
Elizabeth Clifford
Maud Clifford
Anne Clifford
Joan Clifford
Margaret Clifford
Father John Clifford, 7th Baron de Clifford
Mother Elizabeth Percy

Thomas Clifford, 8th Baron de Clifford, also 8th Lord of Skipton (25 March 1414 – 22 May 1455), was the elder son of John, 7th Baron de Clifford, and Elizabeth Percy, daughter of Henry "Hotspur" Percy and Elizabeth Mortimer.


Thomas Clifford was born 25 March 1414, the elder son and heir of John, Lord de Clifford by Elizabeth Percy, daughter of Henry 'Hotspur' Percy and Elizabeth Mortimer, daughter of Edmund Mortimer, 3rd Earl of March. He had a younger brother, Henry Clifford,[1] and two sisters, Mary and Blanche.[2] [3] The Clifford family was seated at Skipton from 1310 to 1676.


Clifford inherited the barony and the title of High Sheriff of Westmorland at the age of seven upon his father's death at the Siege of Meaux on 13 March 1422.[2][3] He made proof of age in 1435/6.[2]

In 1435 Clifford campaigned with the Duke of Bedford in France, and about 1439 led the English forces which defended Pontoise against Charles VII of France.[4] In 1450/51 he was sent as an embassy for King James II of Scotland.[2]

Clifford was slain fighting on the Lancastrian side at the First Battle of St Albans on 22 May 1455, the first battle in the Wars of the Roses, and was buried at St Alban's Abbey.[4] He was succeeded by his elder son, John, 9th Baron de Clifford.

Marriage and issue

After March 1424 Clifford married Joan Dacre, the daughter of Thomas, 6th Baron Dacre of Gilsland, by Philippa, daughter of Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland, by whom he had four sons and five daughters:[5]

Shakespeare and Thomas Clifford

According to Shakespeare's, Henry VI, Part 3 following Hall's Chronicle and Holinshed's Chronicles, it was Thomas Clifford's son and heir, John Clifford, 9th Baron de Clifford, who slew, in cold blood after the Battle of Wakefield, the young Edmund, Earl of Rutland, son of Richard, 3rd Duke of York, cutting off his head and sending it crowned with paper to Henry VI's wife, Margaret of Anjou, although later authorities state that Lord Rutland had been slain during the battle.[2]


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