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In the central compartment appears a full length of the earl, in a suit of armour decorated with stars of gold, but the greater part of it concealed by a vest which falls down to his knees. His helmet, ornamented in a similar way, is placed on his left, whilst, on his right, stands the countess in a purple robe and white petticoat, embroidered with gold. She it represented pointing to two beautiful children, her sons Francis and Robert, who both died soon after, at the age of five years and eight months, and whilst their father was at sea, as if in the act of appealing to his domestic feelings in their behalf, and with the view of inducing him to relinquish, for the sake of his poor boys, the distant and dangerous enterprises in which he was so eager to engage. "How must he have been affected," remarks Mr. Pennant,
by his refusal, when he found that he had lost both on his return from two expeditions, if the heart of a hero does not too often divest itself of the tender sensations * !"
That the appeal in this and every other instance was without success, there is but too much reason to believe, from the letters of his injured lady which
Pennant's Tour in Scotland, Part ii. p. 356.
are yet extant. In these, which are written with great simplicity, and in a very affecting manner, she laments not only the coolness of her lord, with regard to herself, but bitterly complains of his neglecting their only daughter, Anne Clifford.
In fact, the affections of the earl for his lady, originally but too lukewarm, had been completely alienated by the indulgence of his own irregular and criminal passions; and in consequence of an intrigue with a lady of quality at court, he separated himself entirely from the countess, alleging as his reason for so doing, the incompatibility of their tempers. She was recompensed, however, by the peculiarly tender and enduring attachment of her daughter.
The last honour which awaited the earl of Cumberland was shortly after the accession of James the First, who made him one of his counsellors of state. His constitution, though originally vigorous, had suffered much from fatigue, wounds, and disease, during his many voyages; and a return of dysentery, with which he had been afflicted in his last expedition at Porto-Rico, where he lost six hundred men by its attack, put an end to his life, at the duchy-house in the Savoy, London, on the
30th of October, 1605, at the age of but forty
Happily a reconciliation had been effected between himself and his countess a short time previous to his illness; and we are told by his daughter, who with her mother was present in his last moments, that he conducted himself, during this trying scene, in the most affectionate manner towards his wife, and that he died "penitently, willingly, and christianly *.»
His bowels and inward parts were buried in the church of the Savoy, and his body at Skipton, on the 29th of December, where, on the 13th day of the following March, his funeral was publicly solemnized. A magnificent tomb of black marble was shortly afterwards erected to his memory by the filial affection of the countess of Pembroke. It stands on the south side of the communion-table in Skipton church, and exhibits on its sides not less than seventeen shields-an assemblage of noble bearings, observes Dr. Whitaker, such as probably cannot be found on the tomb of any other Englishman +.
* Inscription on the family portrait in Skipton castle. These shields are, 1st, Clifford and Russel within the garter, an earl's coronet above. 2dly, Clifford between
The death of this nobleman without male issue involved the family for many years in considerable dissension, for the earldom went to his only brother, FRANCIS CLIFFORD, FOURTH EARL OF CUMBERLAND, whilst the titles of baronage, together with the ancient family estates, descended to the lady Anne, his daughter, in virtue of an entail, "setting forth the gift of the manor of Skipton to Robert de Clifford and the heirs of his body by king Edward II. and deriving the same down to the lady Anne Clifford, as heir entail, the reversion continuing in the crown."
For the discovery and establishment of this claim, lady Anne was indebted to the sagacity and perseverance of her mother, who, as she truly says, "by industry and search of records, brought to
Brandon and Dacre. 3dly, Clifford and Percy within the garter; a coronet above. 4thly, Veteripont and Buly. 5thly, Veteripont and Ferrers. 6thly, Veteripont and Fitz Peirs. 7thly, Clifford and Veteripont. 8thly, Clifford and Clare. 9thly, Quarterly, Clifford and Veteripont. 10thly, Clifford and Beauchamp. 11thly, Clifford and Roos. 12thly, Clifford and Percy within the garter. 13thly, Clifford and Dacre. 14thly, Clifford and Bromflet (de Vesci). 15thly, Clifford and St. John of Bletsho. 16thly, Clifford and Berkeley. 17thly, Clifford and Nevill.
light the then unknown title which her daughter had to the ancient baronies, honours, and lands of the Viponts, Cliffords, and Veseys; so as what good shall accrue to her daughter's posterity by the said inheritance must, next under God, be attributed to her *."
Earl Francis, as might naturally be expected, tried every means to set aside the entail, but in vain; yet he and his son were permitted to enjoy the estates, both in Westmoreland and Craven, until their decease.
This event with regard to earl Francis occurred on the 28th of January, 1640, at Skipton castle, in the very room where more than eighty years before he had first seen the light. He married Grisold, daughter of Thomas Hughes, esq. of Uxbridge, and widow of lord Abergavennie, by whom he had four children; George, who died in his childhood, Henry, who succeeded him, and two daughters, the ladies Margaret and Frances.
His countess died as early as 1613, at Londesborough, where, after her husband's accession to the title, she had altogether resided, "not enduring
* Inscription on family portrait.