CLIFTON, Clifford (1626-70), of Clifton-on-Trent, Notts.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1661 - June 1670

Family and Education

bap. 22 June 1626, 2nd s. and h. of Sir Gervase Clifton, being o.s. by 2nd w. educ. G. Inn 1647. m. 4 July 1650, Frances, da. of Sir Heneage Finch, Speaker of the House of Commons 1626, of Kensington, Mdx., 3s. (2 d.v.p.), 4da. Kntd. 27 Dec. 1661; suc. fa. in Clifton estate 1666.1

Offices Held

Commr. for militia, Notts. Mar. 1660; j.p. Notts. July 1660-d., liberties of Southwell and Scrooby 1669; dep. lt. Notts. 1661-d., capt. vol. horse 1661; commr. for assessment, Notts. 1661-d., Nottingham 1663-4, Mdx. 1663-d.2

FRS 1667.


Although Clifton had presumably exempted himself from the Long Parliament ordinance against Cavaliers and their sons by sitting in Richard Cromwell’s Parliament, he did not stand in 1660, but in the following year he regained his seat at East Retford, where his father was high steward. He was a very active committeeman in the first half of the Cavalier Parliament, being appointed to 253 committees and acting as teller in 12 divisions. He took part in considering the corporations bill and the bill of pains and penalties, and on 17 July 1661 acted as teller against a proviso to the militia bill. He was also teller against a proviso to the poor relief bill about soldiers and their families on 17 Feb. 1662. He was appointed to carry to the Lords the estate bill of the Earl of Huntingdon, his stepmother’s nephew, and served on the committee for the sectaries bill. In 1663 he was teller for committing to the whole House the bill for the better maintenance of clergymen in towns, and for the bill to reform the collection of hearth-tax. The high standing which his constant attendance and industry had earned him in the House was shown by his selection to ask the chaplain of Gray’s Inn to preach on the 16th anniversary of the martyrdom of Charles I. In the Oxford session in the autumn of 1665 he supported the Government over supply, acting as teller on a motion for candles. With his father, he was thanked by the lord lieutenant for his services in securing fanatics. On the fall of Clarendon he was appointed to the committees to inquire into the sale of Dunkirk and to prepare the public accounts bill, but he was teller against the first article of the impeachment. He was appointed to the committees to examine the relief given to loyal and indigent officers as well as to the committee of public accounts, but he was still not unhelpful to the Government, acting as teller for the motion on 30 Mar. 1668 to debate supply every day. He was named to the committees on the militia laws and habeas corpus, and acted as teller against the wrecking amendment to include Roman Catholics in the conventicles bill. He was listed among the Members to be engaged for the Court by the Duke of Buckingham in 1669, and on 1 Dec. acted as teller for the Buckingham faction in rejecting the case against Lord Orrery (Roger Boyle). He was buried at Clifton on 22 June 1670. His father’s kindness to his tenants and generosity to the poor had somewhat impaired the estate, and the family trustees had to obtain a private Act to sell land and raise £4,000 portions for each of his surviving daughters.3

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: E. R. Edwards


  • 1. J. Raine, Par of Blyth, 139; Vis Notts. (Thoroton Soc. rec. ser. xiii), 68; St. Stephen Walbrook (Harl. Soc. Reg. xlix) 63; Thoroton, Notts. i. 109.
  • 2. Kingdom’s Intell. 7 Mar. 1661.
  • 3. CJ , viii, 393, 451, 526, 584, 647; ix. 18, 90, 114; HMC Var. vii, 428; HMC 8th Rep. pt. 1 (1881), 149; Dering, 30.