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inheritance, namely, the wife of Elias de Beauchamp, Rot. Pip. 9 John;" though a few lines before he calls Isabel " the daughter and heir” of her father. Sir William does not say who Alberic, second Earl of Oxford, elder brother of Robert, just mentioned, married; but states that he died s. p. in the 16th John, 1214. Collins, following Leland, asserts however, that his wife was Adeliza, daughter of Roger Bigod, Earl of Norfolk, and that he had by her a daughter and heiress, Margaret, who married Hugh, Earl of Chester'. That some of those state.ments are erroneous, is manifest from the following charter, which has been copied from the original in the British Museum, as it appears from it that Alberic de Vere, the second Earl, married Isabel, the daughter of Walter de Bolebec. Whether she afterwards married her husband's brother and heir, Robert, the third Earl, has not been ascertained. The Earls of Oxford always styled themselves Lords of Bolebec, and enjoyed the lands of that family; but it is possible that though Earl Alberic left no issue, some part, if not the whole, of his wife's lands devolved on his heir. The charter is without date; nor can the period in which it was written be ascertained froin the names of the witnesses.
" Albericus de Ver filius Alberici comitis et femina sua Isabel filia Walteri de Bolebech : Omnibus hominibus suis Gallicis et Anglicis. Salutem. Sciatis omnes quod ego et Ysabel de Bolebech uxor mea concessimus Willielmo filio Derinch et heredibus suis terram de hoqe rug' quam predictus Willielmus tenuit de Waltero de Bol' et xv. acras terre,” &c. ..... “ Hij sunt testes. Stephanus de Monthamsie; Johannes le Manant; Willielmas fil' Fulc' ; Gaufr' Guernon ; Guido de Boleb'; Rob. de Seffreiwast; Tosten' Basset ; Petro decano de Huch'che; et filio eius; Rad' de Wesdon'; Rad' de Chardrug'; Hugo de la Hauqfert; Willielmus de Heston'; Azon'; Ernald' de Hertrug'; et multi alij 2.” · Sir Lewis CLIFFORD, K. G. - Dugdale, and every other genealogical writer, has stated that this distinguished individual was a younger son of Roger Lord Clifford, who died in the 13th Rich. II. 1389-90, by Maud, the daughter of Thomas de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick; but this could not have been the case. In November, 31 Edw. III. 1357, a Lewis Clifford, who there can be no doubt was the same individual, Donald Asebrig, and Walter Mere, were commanded, under the penalty of for
. Historical Collections, p. 221. . Sealed on white wax, which is surrounded by a bed of red wax.
The impression is imperfect ; sufficient remains, however, to show that it was the effigy of a man on horseback, holding a shield, but the charge on it cannot be made out. Ancient Charters in the British Museum, marked 57. C.3.
feiting all their goods, to deliver to Thomas de Holland the fortress and town of Cruz, in Normandy ?; hence, Clifford must have been then at least twenty-one years old, and which calculation presumes that he was born in 1336. Thomas de Clifford, the eldest son of the said Roger Lord Clifford, and Maud de Beauchamp, was found to be twenty-six years old, according to Dugdale; but twenty-four, agreeable to a MS. note of the inquisition on Roger Lord Clifford's death, in 1389-90. Thus, the person who has always been considered Sir Lewis's eldest brother, was born in 1363 or 1365, at least twenty-seven years after him. Sir Lewis Clifford was possibly a younger son of Robert Lord Clifford, who died in 18 Edw. III. 1344, though there does not appear to be the least proof of the fact; whilst there is one circumstance which, so far as it goes, must be considered as presumptive evidence to the contrary-namely, that in the inquisition on the death of the said Robert, in the 18th Edw. III., three sons are mentioned: Robert, the eldest, who was then sixteen years old, Roger, and Thomas; but no notice is taken of any other son. The arms attributed to Sir Lewis were, the coat of the Barons Clifford, checky Or, and Azure, with a bend Gules; and he is said to have been the ancestor of the Cliffords of Kent, from whom those of Wiltshire, and the Lords Clifford of Chudleigh, are descended, though the pedigree has been variously deduced. It is presumed, that no positive evidence is extant to connect Sir Lewis Clifford with the baronial line of that name, or to establish the descent of Lord Clifford of Chudleigh, from him; but both points are exceedingly likely. Sir Lewis is stated, by most writers, to have married Eleanor, daughter of John Lord la Warr, and to have had a son William, and a daughter, who became the wife of Sir Philip la Vache, Knight. No inquisition is recorded to have been held on his decease; but his will, which is dated on the 17th September, 1404, and was proved on the 5th of December following, is still preserved. In that document he mentions no other relation, than his daughter and her husband, Sir Philip la Vache, Knight, of whom he thus speaks. “Now first I bequethe to Sire Phylype la Vache Knight, my masse booke and my porhoos; and my book of tribulacion to my daughter hys wyf.” He appointed the said la Vache, Sir John Cheyne, and Sir Thomas Clanrow, surveyors of his will, and bequeathed to them the residue of his goods; and nominated John Andrew, John Carleton, Walter Gaytone, and Thomas Barbowe, his executors; and it is most extraordinary, if he had a son then living, or any descendants of a son, that he should have been entirely silent respecting them.
Fædera, N. E. vol. iii. part i. p. 383.
It is, however, certain, that Sir Lewis Clifford had a son called Lewis, who was living in June, 15 Ric. II. 1390; for among some collections for the pedigree of Clifford, in the Harleian MS. 6111, f. 8. apparently in the hand of Augustine Vincent, Windsor Herald, is the following extract :
“ Originalia, Ao. 15 Ric. II. rot. 14. Lodovicus de Clifford, Chevalier et Lodovicus filius ejus 30 die Junij.”
Besides the statements in every pedigree of the family of Clifford of Kent, that it sprung from Sir Lewis Clifford, there are three circumstances which render it extremely probable:
First, the fact that Sir Lewis was connected with Kent; this appears from the following extract, which occurs in the Harleian MS. just cited :
“ Originalia, Ao. 9 Ric. II. rot. 17. Rex concessit Lodovico de Clifford Militi terciam partem m'de Meere in Com. Kanc' ad terminam vite, 18 Sep.”
Secondly, The use of the baptismal name of Lewis. Among the “ Ancient Charters,” in the British Museum', is one of “ Alexander Clifford, son of Lewis Clifford,” relative to the manor of Shorne in Kent, dated on Monday next after the feast of the octaves of the Epiphany, 30 Henry VI., i. e. 17 January, 1452, from which it is manifest that there must have been a Lewis Clifford in that family within five years, if not at the very time of Sir Lewis Clifford's decease; and who, it is possible was the knight's son or grandson. The Alexander Clifford who granted the deed which has been just mentioned, died in 1494, and by his will gave several manors to his son Lewis. He moreover notices a relation, apparently a nephew, who bore the same baptismal name, Lewis Blewet.
Thirdly, The resemblance between the arms of the families. The seal to the charter which has been cited, contains, Checky within a bordure ; impaling, six lions rampant, the arms of the said Alexander's grandmother, Elizabeth, the daughter and co-heiress of Sir Arnold Savage.
To this interesting subject several pages of each number of this work will be devoted ; and we hope to present our readers from time to time with some valuable information upon the early usage of armorial bearings, supporters, crests, quarterings, and badges, &c. On this occasion, however, we shall
1 Marked 48 C. 36.
2 Testamenta Vetusta, p. 418-9.
merely introduce a letter from Sir William Dugdale on a “prescriptive right” to arms, because a great part of the article on banners is of an heraldic nature. Before inserting the letter to which we allude, a few remarks are necessary in explanation of its importance. With the same freedom with which we shall discuss every question that may come before us, we must speak of the present practice of the College of Arins with respect to allowing the right to armorial ensigns; and whilst we are unfortunate enough to question the justice of that practice, we are assured that we shall be credited by its intelligent members for having agitated it with no hostile feelings. On the contrary, we believe that the opinions of some of those Officers on the subject are strictly in unison with our own; and we are convinced that the admission of the principle for which we contend would do more to benefit that institution than any other measure it could adopt. It is known to most of our heraldic readers that the right to armorial bearings is derived in two ways-a descent from a man entitled to them, or a grant from the Kings of Arms. Of the former, the Heralds allow of no other evidence than their own records, which consist either of their Visitations, that commenced in 1530, and ceased in 1687, though of some counties the last were made in 1620; or of Grants. Thus, whatever may be the antiquity of a man's family, or the proofs he may possess that his ancestors used arms, unless they are recorded in the Heralds' College, he must submit to the same process to establish his right as the veriest parvenu that has just emerged from a counter. There is at least moral, if not legal, injustice in such a regulation, which those who are acquainted with the manner in which entries were made at the Visitations will at once understand; for absence from the county, caprice, pride, minority, illness, and several other causes, might operate to prevent an obedience being paid to the summons of the visiting Herald. But we contend, that where an individual can show, by indisputable evidence, that his family have borne arms for several centuries, and cases may occur in which such proof can be adduced from a period long before the institution of the Heralds' College itself, he ought to be allowed, as a matter of right, to have those arms confirmed to him, and to the descendants of the first ancestor to whom they can be traced. To subject a man so situated to the indignity of receiving a grant of arms; to place him on a level with those who know not the names of their grandfathers; to fix upon armorial bearings which have been borne for centuriest he impression of modern manufacture, and perhaps too to “spillicate" them with all the bedaubery of modern invention, is both an injury and an insult. Should he, however, be created a baronet, or receive the first class of the order of the Bath, he has no choice; since, to be eligible to either he must be entitled to coat armour: and thus, whilst he is honoured by his sovereign, he is dishonoured in his own opinion, by being compelled to undergo the process of being made, according to the statutes of chivalry, a gentleman. We know numerous persons so situated who would willingly have their arms confirmed or registered, but who properly shrink with horror from submitting to the degradation of a modern gift. The opinion which we have long entertained is, that where a man can show that his ancestors have borne arms for a certain number of years, for instance, from the accession of Charles the Second, such usage ought to be held as sufficient proof of his right to them. Being impressed with this conviction, we were much gratified in finding evidence that such was once the practice; and that too under the most distinguished of the heraldic monarchs—Sir William Dugdale. The following letter shows, that about 1668 the College had agreed to consider the usage of arms from the early part of the reign of Elizabeth, i.e. for the preceding hundred years, as a prescriptive right to them; a decision founded upon the soundest principles of equity and justice. When, and by what authority, we would venture to ask, was this principle abandoned ? Has every Garter king of arms the power to dispense with the existing laws of the College, and to make others? And hence, are the public subjected to the caprice of every temporary occupier of the throne of St. Bennet's Hill? Surely Garter king of arms cannot possess more despotic powers than are vested in the sovereign of the empire ; but, be this as it may, it is really desirable that the laws of the College of Arms should be certain and invariable. We mean no disrespect to the present Garter, or to any of his immediate predecessors, when we say that the abandonment of a regulation laid down by such a man as Dugdale reflects as little credit upon their judgment as it was unfair to the community at large; and it appears to us that the public are entitled to be governed by regulations, on this and all other similar subjects, which can neither be altered nor abrogated by the individuals who from time to time may succeed to the supremacy of the Corporation of Heralds. Potentates of every description are, we know, not very likely to adopt suggestions ; but we take the liberty of recommending it to the earnest attention of the Kings and other members of the College of Arms, to advocate the true interest of which our pen will ever be cheerfully devoted, to recur again to the practice sanctioned and adopted by Sir William Dugdale; to fix upon a period when the usage of arms shall constitute a prescriptive right in the descendants; and as, in 1668, the preceding hundred years was deemed sufficient, let the right now be held to commence before the accession of Charles the Second ; but the most rigid proofs should be re