Robert de Clifford, 1st Baron de Clifford

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Robert de Clifford, 1st Baron de Clifford, also 1st Lord of Skipton (c. 1274–1314), was an English soldier who became first Lord Warden of the Marches, defending the English border with Scotland. He was born in Clifford Castle, Herefordshire, and was married there in 1295 to Maud de Clare, eldest daughter of Thomas de Clare, Lord of Thomond and Juliana FitzGerald. Robert de Clifford and Maud de Clare had three children.[1]

A son of Roger de Clifford the younger (d.1282) and his wife Isabella de Vieuxpont, he inherited the estates of his grandfather, Roger de Clifford the elder, in 1286. He then obtained through his mother (d.1291) part of the extensive land of the Viponts. He was summoned to parliament as a baron in 1299. In 1308, he acquired, on the death of his mother's sister, Idonea, the remainder of the Vipont lands and thus became one of the most powerful barons of his age.

During the reigns of Edward I and Edward II, Clifford was a prominent soldier from an early age. In 1296 he was sent with Henry Percy to quell the Scots who asked for terms at Irvine. He was appointed governor of Carlisle. During the reign of the first king, he was styled Warden of the Marches and then, during the reign of the second, Lord Warden of the Marches, being the first holder of this office.[2] In 1298 he fought with Edward I at the Battle of Falkirk in which William Wallace was defeated, for which he was rewarded with Governorship of Nottingham Castle. He won great renown at the siege of Caerlaverock Castle in 1300.

After the death of Edward I in 1307 and along with the Earls of Lincoln, Warwick and Pembroke he was appointed counsellor to Edward II. In the same year the new king appointed him as Marshal of England, and in this capacity he probably organised Edward's coronation on 25 February 1308. On 12 March he was relieved on the marshalcy, Nottingham Castle and his forest justiceship, but on 20 August he was appointed captain and chief guardian of Scotland.[3] In 1310 Edward also granted him Skipton Castle and the Honour of Skipton in Craven.

He took part in 1312 with the Earl of Lancaster in the movement against Edward's favourite, Piers Gaveston, besieging him at Scarborough Castle. Clifford was killed on 24 June 1314 fighting at the Battle of Bannockburn.[2] and was buried at Shap Abbey in Westmoreland. His son Roger succeeded him as the 2nd Baron de Clifford. Daughter Idonia married Henry de Percy, 2nd Baron Percy, 9th Baron Percy and 2nd Baron Percy of Alnwick.


Peerage of England
Preceded by
New Creation
Baron de Clifford
Succeeded by
Roger de Clifford
Political offices
Preceded by
Roger Bigod
Lord Marshal
Succeeded by
Nicholas Seagrave