Clifford, Henry, fifth Earl of Cumberland 1591-1643, nephew of George Clifford, third earl [qv.], and only son of Francis, fourth earl, by Grisold, daughter of Thomas Hughes of Uxbridge, and widow of Edward Nevill, lord Bergavenny, was born on 28 Feb. 1591 at Londesborough (Dugdale, i. 345). He matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford, on 30 Jan. 1606, and took the degree of Bachelor of Arts on 16 Feb. 1608 (Bliss). He was created knight of the Bath on 3 June 1610, and on 25 July in the same year married Lady Frances Cecil, daughter of Robert, earl of Salisbury. In 1611 Clifford's sister Margaret married Sir Thomas Wentworth, and though she died in 1622, the friendship of Clifford and Wentworth which thus originated proved lasting. In 1614 and 1620 Clifford was M.P. for Westmoreland. When Wentworth refused to pay the forced loan of 1627, Clifford used all his influence to persuade him to submission (Strafford Papers, i. 36-8). He took part in the quarrel with Savile, who was fined 100l. in 1630 for a libel against him (Rushworth, ii. App. 21). Wentworth's influence arranged the match between Clifford's only daughter, Elizabeth, and Richard Boyle, earl of Dungarvan, which took place on 5 July 1634 (Lismore Papers, iii. 220; Strafford Papers, i. 112-262). It was also owing to Wentworth's representation of the great and pressing necessities of the Clifford family that the king consented to repay in 1637 a quarter of the debt to them which his father had contracted twenty years earlier (Carte, Ormonde, v. 227). Clifford was appointed a member of the council of the north on 10 July 1619, was summoned to the House of Lords as Baron Clifford on 17 Feb. 1628, and from 14 March 1636 to 31 Aug. 1639 was joint lord-lieutenant of the counties of Northumberland, Cumberland, and Westmoreland. Charged, at the approach of the Scotch war, with the duty of raising troops in his lieutenancy, he wrote to the king assuring him that the same loyal blood of my ancestors runs still in my veins which they were never sparing of when their sovereigns commanded them to fight for them (Strafford Papers, ii. 214). But though his zeal was great his military knowledge was little, and Strafford, when recommending the king to make him governor of Carlisle on account of his local influence and loyalty, could only say that, provided he be furnished with an able lieutenant-governor and set into a right posture at first, he would after govern himself, I believe, dexterously enough (ib. ii. 208, 234). In April 1639, having obtained a commission as lieutenant-general from the Earl of Essex, he occupied Carlisle with some local levies, and was reinforced by five hundred of Strafford's Irish army and an experienced commander, Sir Francis Willoughby, to act as his counsellor (ib. ii. 317). Three months later the command of Carlisle was taken from him and given to Lord William Howard, but he was nevertheless active for the king's cause in the second Scotch war (ib. ii. 365; Hardwick Papers, ii. 152). The popular party seems to have had some hope of gaining his support, for he was nominated by them lord-lieutenant of Westmoreland (9 Feb. 1642, Parliamentary History, x. 287). But he joined the king at York in May 1642, signed the engagement of 13 June promising to support the king, and promised to raise and pay fifty horse for three months (22 June 1642). At the request of the Yorkshire gentlemen he became colonel of the regiment raised by them, under the title of the Prince of Wales's regiment, for the defence of the king's person. Also at their request the king left him at York as commander-in-chief in that county, with Sir Thomas Glemham to act as his lieutenant (Clarendon, Rebellion, v. 445). The appointment was unfortunate, for Cumberland had very much acceptation and affection from the gentlemen and the common people, but he was not in any degree active or of a martial temper (ib.). In the words of a contemporary news-letter the Earl of Cumberland stands for a cipher, they do what they please without his advice (Terrible News from York). In October 1642 he was besieged in York and obliged to appeal to the Earl of Newcastle to march into Yorkshire to relieve him (Newcastle, p. 335). On Newcastle's arrival he delivered up his command to him (December 1642, Rushworth, iii. 2, 78). Cumberland died on 11 Dec. 1643 in one of the prebend's houses in York, and was buried in Skipton Church on 31 Dec. (Whitaker, History of Craven, p. 252). By his death the earldom of Cumberland in the family of Clifford became extinct, and the estates reverted to the Lady Anne Clifford, wife of Philip, earl of Pembroke. All his children except Elizabeth, countess of Cork, had died young. He is described by the Countess of Pembroke as endued with a good natural wit, a tall and proper man, a good courtier, a brave horseman, an excellent huntsman, had a good skill in architecture and mathematics, and was much favoured by King James and King Charles. He was the author of: 1. The Declaration of the Right Honourable Henry, Earl of Cumberland, together with divers Gentlemen of the County of York, York, 1642. 2. Poetical Translations of some Psalms and the Song of Solomon, by that noble and religious soul, now sainted in heaven, Henry, E. of Cumberland, a manuscript bequeathed by Dr. Rawlinson to the Bodleian, which has secured its writer a place in Dr. Bliss's edition of Wood's Athenę (iii. 82). Several letters by him are printed in the Strafford Papers and the Fairfax Correspondence.
Doyle's Official Baronage
Domestic State Papers
Life of the Duke of Newcastle, ed. 1886
Whitaker's History of Craven
Carte's Ormonde, ed. 1851
and the other works above referred to.
Contributor: C. H. F. [Charles Harding Firth]