Anne de Clifford, Countess of Pembroke

Is your surname de Clifford?

Research the de Clifford family

Anne de Clifford, Countess of Pembroke's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Anne de Clifford, Countess of Pembroke

Birthplace: Skipton Castle, Skipton, Yorkshire, England
Death: Died in Brougham Castle, Brougham, Westmorland, England
Place of Burial: St Lawrence, Appleby, Westmorland, England
Immediate Family:

Daughter of George Clifford, 3rd Earl of Cumberland and Lady Margaret Russell
Wife of Philip Herbert, 4th Earl of Pembroke, 1st Earl of Montgomery and Richard Sackville, 3rd Earl of Dorset
Mother of Lady Margaret Sackville; Lady Isabella Sackville and Thomas Sackville, (Died in infancy)
Sister of Francis De Clifford; Robert De Clifford and Colonel George Clifford
Half sister of Frances Lascelles

Occupation: 14th Baroness Clifford
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Anne de Clifford, Countess of Pembroke

Lady Anne Clifford, Countess of Pembroke

Find A Grave

Lady Anne Clifford (January 30, 1590 – March 22, 1676) was the only surviving child of George Clifford, 3rd Earl of Cumberland (1558–1605) by his wife Lady Margaret Russell, daughter of Francis Russell, 2nd Earl of Bedford. Their marriage was soured by the deaths of Anne's two elder brothers: her parents lived apart for most of her childhood. In her young adulthood she was involved in a long and complex legal battle to obtain her rights to her inheritance.

She was brought up in an almost entirely female household—evoked in Emilia Lanier's Description of Cookeham—and given an excellent education by her tutor, the poet Samuel Daniel. As a child she was a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I of England; she also danced in masques with Anne of Denmark, queen of King James I of England. She was the Nymph of the Air in Daniel's masque Tethys's Festival, and filled roles in several of the early Court masques of Ben Jonson, including The Masque of Beauty (1608) and The Masque of Queens (1609).

Lady Anne's first husband was Richard Sackville, 3rd Earl of Dorset. After his death in 1624, she married Philip Herbert, Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery in 1630. Both marriages were reportedly difficult; contemporaries sometimes cited Lady Anne's unyielding personality as a cause. (Her cousin Edward Russell, 3rd Earl of Bedford compared her to the Rhone River.)[1] A more sympathetic view would blame some of the troubles in her first marriage on her husband's spendthrift extravagance and his infidelities.

She was an important patron of authors and literature; her letters, and the diary she kept from 1603 through 1616, have made her a secondary literary figure in her own right. She bore five children—though none of their three sons survived to adulthood. A central conflict with her second husband lay in a choice of husband for her younger daughter. Her long-running struggle for her inheritance met with a late success in 1649, when she took possession of the Clifford family's northern castles and estates.

The artist Jan van Belcamp painted a triptych portrait of Anne Clifford to her own design and specifications. Titled "The Great Picture," it portrays Lady Anne at three points in her life—at age 56, at age 15, and before birth in her mother's womb. In connection with the painting, Anne Clifford dated her own conception to May 1, 1589—certainly an unusual act of precision.

In 1656, she erected the Countess Pillar in memory of her late mother. She restored churches at Appleby-in-Westmorland, Ninekirks, Brougham and Mallerstang. She was also responsible for the improvement and expansion of many of the Clifford family's castles across Northern England, including those at Pendragon (Mallerstang), Brough, Skipton and Appleby, the last being her home.[4] At her death, aged 86, she was the Dowager Countess of Dorset, Pembroke, and Montgomery. Her tomb is in St Lawrence's Church, Appleby-in-Westmorland.

view all

Anne de Clifford, Countess of Pembroke's Timeline

January 30, 1590
Skipton Castle, Skipton, Yorkshire, England
July 2, 1614
Age 24
Dorset House, St Brides, London, England
October 6, 1622
Age 32
April 14, 1675
Age 85
St Lawrence, Appleby, Westmorland, England
March 22, 1676
Age 86
Brougham Castle, Brougham, Westmorland, England
Skipton, Yorkshire, England