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Clifford, Anne


Subject Literature » Renaissance Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405194495.2012.x


The life of noblewoman and diarist Lady Anne Clifford, countess of Pembroke, Dorset, and Montgomery (1590–1676), was dominated by an inheritance dispute over the Clifford titles and estates, a fractious experience that inflected the various extant writings connected to her with a strong sense of family, lineage, and posterity. The only surviving child of George Clifford, third earl of Cumberland (1558–1605) and his wife, Lady Margaret (1560–1616) – herself the youngest daughter of Francis Russell, second earl of Bedford – Anne Clifford was born at Skipton Castle on 30 January 1590, and apparently conceived on 1 May 1589 ‘in the Lord Wharton's house in Channell Row in Westminster’. During the course of her long life she married only twice: first, on 25 February 1609, Richard Sackville, Lord Buckhurst, third earl of Dorset (1589–1624), with whom she quarrelled bitterly; and second, on 3 June 1630, Philip Herbert, earl of Montgomery and fourth earl of Pembroke (1584–1650), Charles I's lord chamberlain, a match that brought great wealth, power, and court influence, but was no more happy than her first. She gave birth to two surviving daughters by her first marriage, Margaret (1614–76) and Isabella (1622–61), and had three sons by her first husband and two by her second, all of whom died in infancy. After Pembroke's death she enjoyed a period of more than two decades of widowhood as ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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