(14th B. Clifford)

Born: 30 Jan 1589/90, Skipton Castle

Died: 22 Mar 1675

Father: George CLIFFORD (3 E. Cumberland)

Mother: Margaret RUSSELL (C. Cumberland)

Married 1: Richard SACKVILLE (3 E. Dorset) 25 Feb 1608


1. Margaret SACKVILLE

2. Isabella SACKVILLE

Married 2: Phillip HERBERT (4 E. Pembroke/ 1 E. Montgomery)

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Anne Clifford, fourteen Baroness Clifford,

Countess of Dorset and Countess of Pembroke and Montgomery

She was the third and only surviving child of George Clifford, 3rd Earl of Cumberland, and his wife Margaret Russell.

Her diary records her impressions, at thirteen, of Queen Elizabeths funeral procession. Her tutor, Samuel Daniel, dedicated poems to her and she inspired many others in the course of a long life.

When she was 15, her father died. She was upset to find she did not inherit her father's vast estate, his brother got it instead. The Earl of Cumberland had not recognised the strength and determination of his only child. From that moment Anne's mission in life was to regain her inheritance. She married and had five children, but her husband was obstructive to her claim for the inheritance.

She was a strong and able woman who managed to defy both King James and Cromwell. When her brother died she was only 14 months old and the heir to the Clifford estates.

When her father died she spent a lot of time in litigation to regain the lands he had left to his brother and nephew. At the age of twelve Anne to Queen Elizabeth I's court.

On 25 Feb 1609 she married her first husband, Richard Sackville (Earl of Dorset). But the Earl was not keen to support her claim to the Clifford lands.
Anne's daughter, Margaret, was born on 2 Jul 1614 and by now the legal action to regain her lands was in full swing. She refused to compromise and set off with her mother, to visit the estates. Dorset was furious and told her she could not live at Knole (his home) and that her daughter should be taken away, he also demanded her wedding ring be returned. Anne's mother, Margaret, died in the May of 1616 and under the terms of the 3rd Earl of Cumberland's will her lands were to go to the 4th Earl of Cumberland. Dorset asked that the jointure lands be held for him as his wife's representative and he got Anne to sign a deed conveying the land to him should she die without heirs but Anne would still not compromise over the westmorland estates. The 4th Earl moved quickly and seized the jointure estates anyway.

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Dorset by Sir William Segar


Oil on canvas

Anne Clifford

 by William Larkin

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Anne went North to bury her mother and found a disagreement had developed between those tenants who considered themselves hers and those who considered themselves Francis 4th Earl of Cumberland's. Dorset came north and then Henry Clifford (later to be 5th Earl of Cumberland) turned up at Appleby and his attendants began fighting with Anne's. The King intervened to avert a duel between Dorset and Clifford but Anne would still not compromise. She was sent to Knole where Dorset soon joined her but he did not stay long and promptly went back to London.
In Mar 1617 the King decided that Lady Anne should convey her lands to the 4th Earl of Cumberland and that Dorset should get 20,000 and for now she had lost Westmorland. Between 1617 and 1623 Anne lost three children. (Two daughters lived into adulthood Margaret and Isabella) In Mar 1624 Dorset died and Anne remained a widow for the next 6 years before she married the Earl of Pembroke in Jun 1630. She had two more children but this marriage was not successful.

The 4th Earl died in 1641 and the 5th Earl only lived 3 more years and the estates returned to Anne. During the Civil War period Anne remained at Baynard's Castle in London. She was a strong Royalist while her husband favoured the parliament.
Skipton Castle was besieged and subsequently slighted and when Anne went north in 1649 she found the castle in a great state of disrepair. She was at Appleby in 1650 when she heard of the Earl of Pembroke's death and while she was now 60 years old she was still an energetic woman. In 1655 she set about repairing Skipton castle, Cromwell objected to the re-building but had much respect for the only woman who had ever stood up to him. On 21 Mar 1676 Lady Anne Clifford died at the age of 86. She left her estates to her daughter Lady Thanet and then to her grandsons John, Richard, Thomas and Sackville in that order but on Lady Thanet's death two years later her son, Nicholas Lord Thanet, seized the estates. He died three years later and the estates passed to John (4th Earl of Thanet), Richard (5th Earl) and then Thomas (6th Earl). Thomas asserted his rights and became know as the 18th Lord Clifford.

Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, Cumbria, U.K.

The 'Great Picture' of the Clifford family, now at Appleby Castle, was commissioned by Anne at about age fifty-six, when she came into her inheritance. The artist, probably Jan van Belcamp, had to paint much of it from earlier portraits. The center panel of the triptych presents Anne's father, mother, and the two brothers, Sir Robert and Lord Francis, who died, leaving her Clifford's only living child. The left side picture is Anne aged 15, the right side picture is Anne aged 56. The sammal portraits on the walls show Anne's aunts, Lady Frances Clifford, Baroness Wharton, Lady Margaret Clifford, Countess of Derby, Lady Anne Russell, Countess of Warwick and Lady Elizabth Russell, Countess of Bath; her husbands (right) and tutors (left).

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