Clifford, Anne

, sole daughter and heir to George earl of Cumberland, was born at Skipton castle in Craven, Jan. 30, 1589, and married first, to Richard lord Buckhurst, afterwards earl of Dorset, by whom she had three sons, who died young, and two daughters, Margaret who married John, earl of Thanet, and Isabel, who married James, earl of Northampton. She married, secondly, to Philip Herbert, earl of Pembroke and Montgomery, by whom she had no issue. This lady, who by the failure of the male line, possessed the great hereditary estates of the Clifford Cumberland family, has lately become celebrated, particularly from a letter of hers published in the “World,” No. 14, by lord Orford, addressed to sir Joseph Williamson, who, when secretary of state to king Charles the second, had written to name a candidate to her for the Borough of Appleby. The brave countess, with all the | spirit of her ancestors, and with all the eloquence of independent Greece, returned the following laconic answer:

"I have been bullied by an usurper, I have been neglected by a court, but I will not be dictated to by a subject: your man shan’t stand.

"Anne, Dorset, Pembroke, and


Few letters have excited a more general admiration; the reason of which is thus explained by Dr. Campbell, in his “Philosophy of Rhetoric.” “We shall find,” says he, “that the very same sentiment expressed diffusely, will be admitted barely to be just expressed concisely, will be admired as spirited. To recur to examples, the famous answer returned by the countess of Dorset, to the letter of sir Joseph Williamson, secretary of state to Charles the Second, nominating to her a member for the borough of Appleby, is an excellent illustration of this doctrine. If we consider the meaning, there is mention made of two facts, which it was impossible that any body of common sense, in this lady’s circumstances, should not have observed, and of a resolution in consequence of these, which it was natural for every person who had a resentment of bad usage to make. Whence then results the vivacity, the fire which is so manifest in the letter? Not from any thing extraordinary in the matter, but purely from the laconism of the manner. An ordinary spirit would have employed as many pages to express the same thing, as there are affirmations in this short letter. The epistle might in that case have been very sensible, and withal very dull; but would never have been thought worthy of being recorded as containing any thing uncommon, or deserving a reader’s notice.

Mr. Pennant characterizes lady Anne Clifford as the most eminent person of her age for intellectual accomplishments, for spirit, magnificence, and deeds of benevolence; and he has given a particular description of two portraits of her, in the side-leaves of a family picture. Both the paintings are full lengths; one representing her at the age of thirteen, and the other in her middle age, in the state of widowhood. The books, in the first of these pictures, inform us of the fashionable course of reading among people of rank in her days. There are among them Eusebius, St. Augustine, sir Philip Sidney’s Arcadia, Godfrey of Boulogne, the French Academy, Camden, Ortelius, | and Agrippa on the Vanity of Occult Sciences. Above are the heads of Mr. SamuelDaniel, her tutor, and Mrs. Anne Taylor, her governess and this memorial of the instructors of her youth, is a most grateful acknowledgment of the benefits she received from them. The books in the second picture consist wholly of the Bible, Charron on. Wisdom, and pious treatises, excepting one of Distillations and excellent Medicines; from which may be collected what were the chief objects of the countess’s studies, in the retirement of her later days.

Mr. Walpole, who, besides introducing her in the “World,” has given a place to this celebrated lady in his “Catalogue of noble Authors,” represents her as having written “Memoirs of her husband Richard earl of Dorset;” and “Sundry memorials of herself and her progenitors.” With regard to the first of these articles, we apprehend there never has appeared in the countess’s manuscripts any account of him, except what is occasionally to be met with in the History of her own life, a curious manuscript in the Harleian collection (6177), the title of which is, “A Summary of the Records, and a true Memorial of the Life of me the lady Anne Clifford, who by birth being sole daughter and heir to my illustrious father George Clifford the third earl of Cumberland, by his virtuous wife Margaret Russel my mother, in right descent from him, and his long continued noble ancestors the Veteriponts, Cliffords, and Veseys, baroness Clifford, Westmoreland, and Vesey, high sheriffess of Westmoreland, and ladye of the honor of Skypton in Craven, was by my lirst marriage countess dowager of Dorset, and by my second marriage countess dowager of Pembroke and Montgomery.” It is written in a manner extremely tedious, abounding with repetitions of matters, for the most part, equally minute and uninteresting, and may perhaps incline some to doubt Mr. Pennant’s character of her, as the most eminent person of her age for intellectual accomplishments. Some circumstances, however, respecting her being brought into the world, are related with an accuracy which biographers will never, perhaps, in any other instance be able to attain. She informs us, that, through the merciful providence of God, she was begotten by her valiant father, and conceived with child by her worthy mother, the first day of May in 1589, in the lord Wharton’s house in Channel-row, in Westminster, hard by the river | of Thames, as Psalm 139; yet that she was not born till the 30th day of January following, when her blessed mother brought her forth in one of her father’s chief nouses, called Skypton castle, in Craven.

The countess’s funeral sermon was preached on the 14-th of April, 1676, at Appleby, by Dr. Edward Rainbow, bishop of Carlisle. The text chosen by him, in reference to the numerous works of architecture in which she was perpetually employed, was from the Proverbs of SolomonEvery wise woman buildeth her house.” The bishop has entered very largely into her character, and in describing the extent of her understanding, informs us, that Dr. Donne said to her ladyship, in her younger years, “That she knew well how to discourse of all things, from predestination to slea-silk.” Her munificence and spirit in building were very conspicuous. One of her first structures was a pillar, in the highway, at the place where she and her mother last parted, and took their final farewell; and besides a monument to her tutor Samuel Daniel, the poetical historian, and another to Spenser, she founded two hospitals, and repaired or built seven churches and six castles. 1


Biog Biog. Brit. Park’s edition of the Royal and Noble Authors. Pennant’s Tour in Scotland, and especially Whitaker’s Hist, of Craven, which we regret not having seen until this article had nearly gone through the press.