2019-10-01 10:26:37 UTC
Sir Lewis Clifford is a subject who comes up every now and then here. Over time I have to realize there are two bits of information which seem to have been spotted long ago but not well followed-up. Perhaps I am missing something here but it looks like we can state the following. Feedback requested:
1. Lewis was UNCLE to William Clifford the sheriff of Kent. The connection between the two is a subject of speculation with William even being called a son of Lewis. William's father, the brother of Lewis, was named Hugh.
This confirmed in various records involving none other than John Fastolf, and some legal problems he had in Norfolk. See:
*Common Pleas suit in 1410, De Banco, Mich. 25 Hen. VI, m. 557, reported by Wrotteseley in The Genealogist, N.S., vol. xviii, p.234 https://archive.org/details/genealogist1819selb/page/234
*Smith, Anthony Robert. "Aspects of the Career of Sir John Fastolf (1380-1459)." Trinity Term 1982. https://ora.ox.ac.uk/objects/uuid:82b30e31-1412-495b-bc5d-426dd6aac852/
*Bellewes, G.O. Ed. Harwood, H. W. Forsyth. "Savage of Bobbing Court, Kent." The Genealogist: New Series. Vol. XXIX. Pg. 207. https://archive.org/stream/genealogist2919selb#page/n435/mode/2up
The case is also mentioned in Paston letters.
2. As suggested by CP there are leads connecting Lewis to Devon. But I've come to realize how clear these leads are. In a 1917 article about Lewis's son Lewis, who probably died young, he makes an aside:
"In John of Gaunt's Register, March 21, 1373, we read "que les villes de Houxham, Colyn Johan et Stokes, sont a une honuree dame q'est taunte a nostre bien ame chivaler monsire Lowys de Clifford"
*Kittredge, G. L. “Lewis Chaucer or Lewis Clifford?” Modern Philology, vol. 14, no. 9, 1917, pp. 513–518. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/433151.
The first two manors are clearly Huxham, Columbjohn. There are many places called Stoke in the general area. Possibly many others have worked this out but I suddenly realized that we know enough to be able to identify a widow who was reputedly a Clifford, who might have been holding these exact manors in 1373: Joane, the widow of the younger Roger de Priaux, said to be a daughter of Peter Clifford.
I also now notice that Sir Lewis and the Devon Cliffords do not only appear together in the Register of John of Gaunt, but also in the Register of the Black Prince, who Lewis and the Devon Cliffords served earlier. (Both registers are online.) Peter Clifford is mentioned for example.
So possibly Lewis is the son of Peter Clifford?
I understand that this Devon family do descend from the original Herefordshire Cliffords, making them related to the more famous line.