John de Clifford, 9th Baron Clifford

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John de Clifford, 9th Baron Clifford

Nicknames: "The Butcher"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Conisbrough Castle, Doncaster, Yorkshire, England
Death: Died in Battle of Towton, Yorkshire
Cause of death: Slain by an arrow
Place of Burial: Ferrybridge, Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir Thomas de Clifford, 8th Baron Clifford and Joan d'Acre, Baroness Clifford
Husband of Margaret de Clifford and Margaret Threlkeld, Baroness Clifford
Father of Elizabeth Aske; Henry Clifford, 10th Baron Clifford, Lord Vescy and Elizabeth Aske
Brother of Elizabeth Plumpton; Maude Harrington; Sir Roger Clifford of Brakenborough; Matilda de Clifford; Margaret Marjorie Carr and 5 others

Occupation: Lord Clifford, soldier, slain at Towton, 9th Lord Clifford, Hereditary Sheriff of Westmoreland
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About John de Clifford, 9th Baron Clifford

From Luminarium entry

JOHN DE CLIFFORD, 9TH BARON CLIFFORD, son of Thomas, eighth baron Clifford, was born in 1435 or 1436.1

He makes his first appearance in February 1458, when, together with Somerset and the Earl of Northumberland, he is found 'with a grete power' lodged without 'the walls of London aboute Temple barre and Westmynstre,' clamouring for compensation for the death of his father at St. Albans. On this occasion the king [Henry VI] and his council intervened, and ordered the Duke of York and the Earls of Salisbury and Warwick to establish masses for the souls of the slain nobles and to pay their representatives 'a notable sum of money.'2

Clifford seems now to have been perfectly reconciled with his former enemies, and his name is found as one of the lords attainted with York, Warwick, and Salisbury, after the battle of Blore Heath, at the parliament of Coventry in November 1459.3  About the same time (38 Henry VI) he was made commissary-general of the Scotch marches,4  and a conservator of the truce with Scotland.5  In July 1460 he was summoned to parliament.6

He was one of the Lancastrian leaders at the battle of Wakefield7  in December 1460, where he is reported to have slain the Earl of Rutland, the young son of the Duke of York, with his own hands.8  For his acts of cruelty he is said to have received the by-name of 'the Butcher'.9  In the same battle he is charged with having cut off the head of the dead Duke of York and presented it decked with a paper crown to Queen Margaret.10

Two months later he was present at the second battle of St. Albans (February 1461), but was slain within six weeks at Ferrybridge, on the eve of the battle of Towton.11  The same year he was attainted by act of parliament12  His barony of Skipton went to Sir William Stanley, that of Westmoreland to Richard of Gloucester.

He left three children, of whom the eldest, Henry (d.1523), is the hero of one of Wordsworth's happiest poems.

From ThePeerage.com:

Sir John de Clifford, 9th Lord Clifford was born on 8 April 1435 at Conisborough Castle, England. He was the son of Thomas de Clifford, 8th Lord Clifford and Joan Dacre. He married Margaret de Bromflete, daughter of Henry Bromflete, 1st Lord Vessy and Eleanor Fitzhugh. He died on 28 March 1461 at age 25 at Towton, Yorkshire, England, killed in action, by a chance arrow.

Sir John de Clifford, 9th Lord Clifford also went by the nick-name of 'the Butcher'. He succeeded to the title of 9th Lord Clifford [E., 1299] on 22 May 1455. He held the office of Commissary General of the Scottish Marches. He fought in the Battle of Wakefield, for the Lancastrians. He held the office of Sheriff of Westmorland. He held the office of Governor of Penrith Castle. He was invested as a Knight on 31 December 1460. He fought in the Battle of Towton on 28 March 1461, killed on the eve of this battle.1 On 4 November 1461 he was attainted, his peerage forfeited and his estates confiscated.

Children of Sir John de Clifford, 9th Lord Clifford and Margaret de Bromflete

  1. * Richard Clifford
  2. * Sir Thomas Clifford
  3. * Elizabeth Clifford
  4. * Henry Clifford, 10th Lord Clifford+ b. c 1454, d. 23 Apr 1523

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Sir John de Clifford, 9th Lord Clifford was born on 8 April 1435 at Conisborough Castle, England. He was the son of Thomas de Clifford, 8th Lord Clifford and Joan Dacre. He married Margaret de Bromflete, daughter of Henry Bromflete, 1st Lord Vessy and Eleanor Fitzhugh. He died on 28 March 1461 at age 25 at Towton, Yorkshire, England, killed in action, by a chance arrow.

Sir John de Clifford, 9th Lord Clifford also went by the nick-name of 'the Butcher'. He succeeded to the title of 9th Lord Clifford [E., 1299] on 22 May 1455. He held the office of Commissary General of the Scottish Marches. He fought in the Battle of Wakefield, for the Lancastrians. He held the office of Sheriff of Westmorland. He held the office of Governor of Penrith Castle. He was invested as a Knight on 31 December 1460. He fought in the Battle of Towton on 28 March 1461, killed on the eve of this battle. On 4 November 1461 he was attainted, his peerage forfeited and his estates confiscated.

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Citations

G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume III, page 293.

Cokayne, and others, The Complete Peerage, volume III, page 294.
Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 1, page 1064.  Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition.
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Battle of Towton 29 March 1461

The Battle of Towton was the bloodiest ever fought on British soil, with casualties believed to have been in excess of twenty thousand (perhaps as many as thirty thousand) men. The battle took place on a snowy 29 March 1461 (Palm Sunday) on a plateau between the villages of Towton and Saxton in Yorkshire (about 12 miles southwest of York and about 2 miles south of Tadcaster).

Part of the reason so many died is perhaps because in the parley before the battle both sides agreed that no quarter would be given or asked, as they hoped to end it there and then.

At this point in the civil war, the Lancastrians were on equal terms with the Yorkists, having eliminated Richard, Duke of York and the Earl of Salisbury from the scene at the Battle of Wakefield, and been victorious at the Second Battle of St Albans. However, the Earl of Warwick, controlled London and had proclaimed the eldest of York's sons as King Edward IV of England. It was Edward himself who decided to take the initiative and march north in the hope of inflicting a final defeat on his rival, King Henry VI of England. Henry, a pious and peace-loving man, took no part in any military decisions, but allowed his queen, Margaret of Anjou, complete freedom to employ her battle commanders, chief of whom was the Duke of Somerset, on his behalf.

It is thought that fifty thousand, or perhaps even eighty thousand men fought, including twenty-eight Lords (almost half the peerage), mainly on the Lancastrian side. The numbers often given are forty-two thousand for the Lancastrians and thirty-six thousand for the Yorkists. This is one of the few battles in English history, perhaps the only, where the fighting was so violent that the front lines were frequently forced to stop and remove the bodies to be able to get at each other.

The Battle

The two armies were both divided into three battles (divisions), four hours were spent as the huge masses of men lined up in the blizzard conditions and awaited the final stragglers. Finally Lord Fauconberg took the initiative as the wind changed direction and blew the snow into the Lancastrians' faces. He led his archers forth and sent a rain of arrows into the massed Lancastrian ranks. Visibility was bad and with the wind blowing in their faces the returning volley of Lancastrian arrows fell way short of their targets. As casualties mounted the Lancastrian army knew the only way to stop the slaughter was to engage the enemy (in Towton 1461, the author calculates that Fauconberg would have been sending about 120,000 arrows a minute into the enemy ranks). In a last clever move, Fauconberg ordered his men (who had loosened all their own arrows by now) to retrieve some of the enemy shaft in the turf before them, while leaving some as obstacles for the oncoming Lancastrians.

Weight of numbers pushed the Yorkist back initially, but the Earl of Warwick and Edward both fought in the front ranks to encourage their men. As the hours passed the Yorkist found themselves giving more and more ground until they came close to Castle wood. From here two hundred spearmen launched a surprise attack on the Yorkist left flank. Hundreds of men fled and Edward was forced to use his whole reserve to stop it breaking up.

In the middle of the afternoon the Earl of Norfolk arrived with several thousand fresh men. The Yorkists fought on with new determination for about an hour, when very suddenly the Lancastrian line broke and thousands of men fled the field.

The Rout

It is supposed that far more men died in the rout that in the battle. Several bridges over neighboring rivers broke under the weight of the armed men, plunging many into the freezing water. Those stranded on the other side ether drowned in the crossing or were cornered by the pursuers and killed. Some of the worst slaughter was seen at Bloody Meadow where it is said men crossed the River Cock over the bodies of the fallen. All the way from Towton to Tadcaster the fields were full of bodies. The fleeing men made easy targets for horsemen and footsoldiers killed many men who had dropped their weapons and thrown off their helmets to breath more freely. At Tadcaster some men made an unsuccessful stand and were killed.

The rout lasted all night and into the morning beyond when remnants of the army arrived at York in total panic. Margaret, Henry and Somerset fled north to Scotland, while those Lancastrian lords who were not killed or dispossessed were forced to make peace with Edward VI.

This article was originally written for, and submitted to Wikipedia(the free content encyclopaedia)  A slightly different and constantly changing version can be found there.

for a very good anthropological treatise on victims of this battle see; http://www.brad.ac.uk/acad/archsci/depart/resgrp/towton/

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Sir John de Clifford 9th Lord Clifford of Appleby, Westmoreland; Hereditary Sheriff of Westmoreland was born on 8 April 1435 at Conisbrough Castle, Yorkshire, England. He was the son of Sir Thomas de Clifford 8th Lord Clifford, Hereditary Sheriff of Westmoreland and Joan Dacre daughter of Thomas Dacre, 6th Lord Dacre of Gilsland. Sir John de Clifford 9th Lord Clifford of Appleby, Westmoreland; Hereditary Sheriff of Westmoreland married Margaret de Bromflete. Sir John de Clifford 9th Lord Clifford of Appleby, Westmoreland; Hereditary Sheriff of Westmoreland died on 28 March 1461 [slain], Ferrybridge, at age 25.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Clifford,_9th_Baron_de_Clifford

John Clifford, 9th Baron de Clifford, also 9th Lord of Skipton (1435 – 28 March 1461) was a Lancastrian military leader during the Wars of the Roses. For a period, he was the right-hand man of Margaret of Anjou.


Early life


The son of Thomas Clifford, 8th Baron de Clifford and Joanna or Joan de Dacre, He inherited the barony and the family seat at Skipton Castle on his father's death at the First Battle of St Albans in 1455. Possibly motivated by a desire to avenge Thomas, John Clifford came to the forefront of the Lancastrian cause. He was hereditary High Sheriff of Westmorland from 1455 until his own death.


Military career


Clifford led the Lancastrian right wing at the Battle of Wakefield in December 1460, a surprise attack on the Yorkist stronghold of Sandal Castle. The battle was a complete Lancastrian victory in which the Yorkist army was destroyed, their leader the Duke of York killed and his son Edmund and brother-in-law the Earl of Salisbury were captured.


Clifford is perhaps most famous for the killing of Edmund following the battle, an act contemporary chroniclers agreed he committed himself rather than ordering done. The killing went against tradition as captured sons of nobles were usually ransomed. Because Edmund was 17, the second (of four) sons rather than a leader or heir apparent, militarily inexperienced (Wakefield is his only known battle he fought in), and was wounded and defenceless when he was killed, his death was viewed as murder by the Yorkist faction and looked upon with disfavour by his fellow Lancastrian leaders, though Clifford defended the killing as a just execution no different than the beheading of Edmund's uncle the Earl of Salisbury following the battle (though Salisbury was elderly and had participated in numerous battles against the Lancastrians). The act earned no formal disapproval from Queen Margaret, regent for her son Prince Edward during the mental illness of her husband King Henry VI, thus Clifford suffered no repercussion, though it infuriated Edmund's older brother Edward (who was in Wales at the time of the battle) who vowed vengeance and may have given Clifford his nickname "the Butcher". (In much later histories Clifford was also referred to as "Black-faced Clifford".)


Clifford was killed at the Battle of Ferrybridge in the following year, struck by an arrow in the throat after having carelessly removed his gorget. When Edward Duke of York became King Edward IV the widowed Lady Clifford, fearing her son Henry would be killed as retaliation for the new king's brother, sent him into hiding. The youth was placed under attainder and the family estates were confiscated. The attainder was lifted and Skipton Castle was restored to him following the accession to the throne of Lancastrian claimant Henry Tudor in 1485 whose victory over Richard III and marriage to Elizabeth of York effectively ended the Wars of the Roses.


Legacy


Clifford is a major character in William Shakespeare's play, Henry VI, Part 3, in which he is portrayed as thirsty for revenge following the death of his father, and personally responsible for the death of Edmund, Earl of Rutland. Modern works in which he is depicted include Sharon Kay Penman's novel The Sunne in Splendour.


Family


He married Margaret Bromflete (1436–1493), who died on 12 April 1493, and had the following children:

Henry Clifford, 10th Baron de Clifford
Richard Clifford
Sir Thomas Clifford, married to Ellen Swarby
Elizabeth Clifford, married to Sir Robert Aske, of Aughton near Selby, a scion of an old Yorkshire family, the parents of Robert Aske.

-------------------- Born at Conisburgh Castle, England, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conisbrough_Castle

Killed in action, by a chance arrow. He fought in the Battle of Wakefield, for the Lancastrians. He held the office of Commissary General of the Scottish Marches. He held the office of Sheriff of Westmorland. He held the office of Governor of Penrith Castle. He was invested as a Knight on 31 December 1460. He fought in the Battle of Towton on 28 March 1461, killed on the eve of this battle. On 4 November 1461 he was attainted, his peerage forfeited and his estates confiscated. He has an extensive biographical entry in the Dictionary of National Biography.

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John de Clifford, 9th Baron Clifford's Timeline

1435
April 8, 1435
Doncaster, Yorkshire, England
April 8, 1435
Conisborough Castle, Conisborough, Yorkshire, England
April 8, 1435
Castle Conisborough, Yorkshire, England
April 8, 1435
Castle Conisborough, Yorkshire, England
April 8, 1435
Castle Conisboro,Yorkshire,England
April 8, 1435
Castle Conisborough, Yorkshire, England
April 8, 1435
Conisbrough, Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
1454
1454
Age 18
Shipton, Yorkshire, England
1461
March 28, 1461
Age 25
Battle of Towton, Yorkshire
1461
Age 25
Skipton, Yorkshire, England