Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Edward Clere

Male 1536 - 1606  (69 years)

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Generation: 1

  1. 1.  Edward Clere was born on 15 Jun 1536 in of Blickling, Norfolk, England (son of John Clere and Anne Tyrrell); died on 8 Jun 1606 in London, England.

    Other Events:

    • Alternate death: 3 Jun 1606, London, England


    Burgess for Thetford 1557-58, 1562-63. Burgess for Grampound 1571. Sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk 1567-68. Sheriff of Norfolk 1580-81.

    From the History of Parliament:

    Though a younger son, Clere succeeded to an extensive patrimony on the north-east coast of Norfolk, being licensed to enter his lands on 22 Feb. 1558. In May of that year he purchased further property at Wymondham, and in 1561, on the death of his great-uncle Sir James Boleyn he inherited Blickling, which he made his chief seat. On the death of his father-in-law (Sir) Richard Fulmerston in 1567, Clere and his wife came into possession of most of his extensive estates in and around Thetford as well as inheriting most of his personal property.

    Thus, after 1567 Clere was one of the greatest landowners in Norfolk, appearing in 1588 on Lord Burghley's list of 'knights of great possessions' able to support a peerage. He was a second cousin to the Queen and to Lord Hunsdon, and brother-in-law to Walter Haddon, the master of requests. His connexion with the Duke of Norfolk through his father-in-law Fulmerston, the Duke's servant, caused him to be among those questioned on Norfolk's arrest in October 1569, and in September 1571 he and others were ordered to take an inventory of the Duke's goods at Kenninghall. In 1570 he was made collector in Norfolk of the forced loan. This inevitably made him unpopular with his fellow gentry, and gave rise to probably well-founded accusations of fraud and extortion. He was also in conflict with his manorial tenants, and at loggerheads with the Thetford corporation. He had to attend upon the Privy Council for a while after the forced loan episode, but he never lost the Council's confidence. In 1578 he entertained the Queen during her Norfolk progress, 'worthily feasted' her retinue, and was knighted by the Queen at Norwich. In 1583 he signed a petition on behalf of certain puritan ministers and four years later was noted by the bishop of Norwich as a 'favourer of religion'.

    Clere's election at Thetford to the Parliaments of 1558 and 1563 was due to the local influence of his father-in-law, Fulmerston. Clere succeeded to Fulmerston's land in 1567 and what made him resort to Grampound for a seat in 1571 is not evident, nor is it clear who was his patron there. Possibly there was a court connexion with the 2nd Earl of Bedford. Clere's committee work concerned the continuance of statutes (20 Mar. 1563), priests disguised as servants (1 May 1571), and tillage and the navy (25 May 1571). He spoke on the treasons bill (9 Apr. 1571), the anonymous diarist commenting, 'Mr. Clere of Norfolk, a gentleman of great possessions, made hereupon a staggering speech: his conclusion I did not conceive'. Of another speech, again on a religious topic (11 Apr.), he wrote 'such was my ill hap I could not understand what reason he made'. D'Ewes records Clere as speaking on the bill for Bristol, also on 11 Apr. In the discussion on Strickland's case on 20 Apr., he defended the prerogative of the Crown.

    In 1572 Clere decided to try for the county seat, Sir Thomas Cornwallis reporting just before the election that Clere 'leaveth no stone untouched that may further his part', and that 'a great number of the shire' were 'evil affected towards him'. Unsuccessful, he wrote a series of letters to Richard Southwell, whom he had addressed as 'loving cousin and friend' when canvassing support beforehand, describing his 'found falsehood', and contrasting Southwell's 'overt action in so great an assembly' with his 'former pretended opinion'.

    In October 1586 he and his fellow deputy lieutenant Sir William Heydon were ordered by the Privy Council to ensure that at the new election of knights of the shire 'fit men may be chosen, known to be well affected to religion and the present estate', and Clere wrote to his friend, Bassingbourne Gawdy, suggesting that he stand, adding that if he himself were not incapacitated by a rupture, he 'should be willing to be with you there'. The Norfolk gentry at this time were divided. In the north of the county Clere and Sir William Heydon, after initial quarrels over the rights of Clere's second wife to the Heydon manor of Saxlingham, had united against Nathaniel Bacon, the Knyvet and Wyndham families and others of their neighbours. Soon after the 1586 election they apparently persuaded the lord lieutenant, Hunsdon, to replace Sir Thomas Knyvet by their friend Sir Arthur Heveningham as a deputy lieutenant, and had several of their opponents turned off the commission of the peace. During the next few years Clere can generally be found on the side of Heveningham in the latter's quarrels with the Bacon faction over such contentious matters as the organisation of county musters.

    Clere's eldest son Edward, already in 1585 'in peril divers ways of imprisonment and shame', was accused in the next reign of sheltering a seminary priest and from 1606 spent much of his life in prison. Clere therefore did his best to keep his property out of his eldest son's hands, though he could not break the entail on the Fulmerston estate. By various settlements and by his will, made in April 1605, he divided the rest between the younger sons, Sir Francis and Robert, and his grandson Henry. Most of the land eventually reverted to Henry, who became a baronet in 1620 and died s.p. in 1622. Clere's will contained bequests to other relatives, and arranged for the foundation of a fellowship and scholarship at St. John's, Cambridge. Most of the personal property was left to the widow, the sole executrix, who had a life interest in Blickling. One of the two supervisors was his 'old well tried friend' Dru Drury. Clere died in London on 3 June 1606, and was buried at Blickling.

    Edward married Frances Fulmerston about 16 Dec 1554. Frances (daughter of Richard Fulmerston and Alice Lonzam) died on 20 Mar 1580 in Blickling, Norfolk, England. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

    1. Anne Clere died before 4 Nov 1616.

Generation: 2

  1. 2.  John Clere was born about 1511 in of Ormesby St. Margaret, Norfolk, England (son of Robert Clere and Alice Boleyn); died on 21 Aug 1557 in At sea.

    Other Events:

    • Alternate birth: of London, England
    • Alternate birth: of Norwich, Norfolk, England


    Burgess for Bramber. Burgess for Thetford. Knight of the shire for Norfolk. Vice Admiral. Treasurer for the Army in France.

    From the History of Parliament:

    Rarely on good terms with his neighbours, above all the Pastons, Clere was not infrequently in the Star Chamber, where one complainant criticized his 'covetous appetite and ungodly disposition'. At least in Henry VIII's time he could treat such attacks the more lightly in that he enjoyed the patronage of the Howards: the 3rd Duke of Norfolk had been overseer of his father's will and his younger brother Thomas, a servant of the Earl of Surrey, was to be commemorated in one of Surrey's sonnets after dying from wounds received when he saved the earl's life in France in 1545. It was during this phase of Clere's career that he attended his first two Parliaments as Member for Bramber, one of the Howard boroughs in Sussex. He was one of a group around Surrey arrested during the second session of the Parliament of 1542 for eating flesh in Lent.

    If it was as a courtier and a dependant of the Howards that he first came to public notice, it was as a naval captain and an administrator that Clere made his name. Early in 1548 he commanded a patrol in the North Sea and two years later he served in the Channel. His service at sea commended him to the admiral John Dudley, Viscount Lisle, whom in 1546 he accompanied to France to negotiate peace. Presumably he served under Dudley's successor as admiral, Thomas, Baron Seymour of Sudeley, but nothing has come to light about his part in the Scottish war. Clere's plundering of West Somerton church perhaps helped to foment Ket's rebellion during 1548: he answered the Marquess of Northampton's call for support from Norfolk gentlemen and after Northampton's replacement by Dudley, then Earl of Warwick, he assisted in restoring order. Dudley rewarded him with lands said to have been promised to him by Henry VIII and with the treasurership of the army stationed in northern France until the surrender of Boulogne in 1550. His closeness to Dudley probably accounts for his Membership of the Parliament of March 1553 as much as his friendship with the leading resident at Thetford, Richard Fulmerston. During the succession crisis Clere seems to have declared for Lady Jane Grey and to have prevented a military force from Great Yarmouth from reaching Mary. When the tide turned in Mary's favour his arms were impounded but he is not known to have been imprisoned. […]

    [H]is appointment as vice-admiral at Portsmouth in the following year shows that he was regarded as politically reliable as well as professionally competent. His first mission, to escort Charles V on his voyage to retirement in Spain, brought him a gold chain from the ex-emperor, but his second was to prove fatal. In July 1557 he was given command of a fleet against Scotland which on 21 Aug. was surprised by an enemy force in the Orkneys, and in the engagement which followed he was drowned. Following his death the Council ordered an inquiry to be held into alleged disorders committed by his men in churches and religious houses in Scotland.

    John married Anne Tyrrell before 19 Aug 1529. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

  2. 3.  Anne Tyrrell (daughter of Thomas Tyrrell and Margaret Willoughby).
    1. 1. Edward Clere was born on 15 Jun 1536 in of Blickling, Norfolk, England; died on 8 Jun 1606 in London, England.

Generation: 3

  1. 4.  Robert Clere was born in in of Ormesby, Norfolk, England (son of Robert Clere and Elizabeth Uvedale); died on 10 Aug 1529; was buried in Ormesby St. Margaret, Ormesby, Norfolk, England.


    Knight of the shire for Norfolk, 1495. Sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk, 1501-02. Admitted a knight of Lincoln's Inn in 1467; knighted in 1494. He attended the funeral of Henry VII in 1409, and attended Henry VIII at his meeting with emperor Charles V at Gravesend in 1520.

    From An Essay Towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk by Francis Blomefield (citation details below):

    Clere and his quarters Ormesby, Snecke, Westlesse, Wichingham, Somerton, Owydale, viz. and his two quarterings of the de-lises, and Rusteyn, impaling Boleyn.

    This Sir Robert was famed for his great wealth, and acquired much reputation for his manly courage; he was knighted on AllSaints eve 1494, by Henry Duke of York, was sheriff of Norfolk in 1501, and was present at that great interview between King Henry VIII. and the French King on the 7th of June 1520, when he attended the Queen with a grand equipage; his testament is dated August 1, 1529, by which he ordered his executors, as soon as they well could, that they should cause 100 masses of the five wounds to be said for him, and also that they should provide a priest to pray for his soul, those of Dame Anne, daughter of Sir William Hopton, Knt. and of Dame Alice, daughter of Sir William Boleyn of Blickling, Knt. his two wives, and of all his ancestors and friends, and ordered that this service should be kept five years in the church he was buried in; but above all, he desired that if any persons could prove, that he had hindered them, or against conscience wronged them, in their goods or substance, that his executors on such proof should make them restitution.

    His first wife lies buried at the altar in Ormesby with this on a brass plate,

    Orate pro anima Domine Anne Clere, nuper Uroris Domini Roberti Clere Militis, de Ormesby, que obiit rriiio die Mensis Januarii, Anno Domini Mcccccv, cuius anime propicietur Deus.

    His second wife is also buried at Ormesby with this, and Clere impaling Boleyn.

    Orate pro anima Domine Alicie Clere, nuper Uroris Robertt Clere Militis, filie Willielmo Boleyn Militis, que obiit io de Mensis Novemb' Anno Domini Mvcxxxviiio cuius anime propicietur Deus.

    He lies buried at the altar by his wives, under a stone circumscribed with these words, and a shield of arms, between each word,

    Orate pro anima Roberti Clere Militis, qui obiit decimo die Mensis Augusti, Anno Domini Millessimo Quingentissimo Uices simo Nono, cuius anime propicietur Deus Amen.

    The arms are: 1, Clere, &c. being the same as on the tomb here.

    By his first wife he had a son, William, who died without issue; but by the 2d, he had three sons, John, Richard, and Thomas, and four daughters; Elizabeth, wife of Sir Robert Peyton of Iselham, Knt.; Anne, a nun at Denny; Dorothy, who married Robert Cotton; and Etheldred or Audrey, who espoused William Jenney; Thomas, the youngest son, was buried at Lambeth in 1545, and was a great favourite with that learned peer, Henry Howard Earl of Northampton, who to perpetuate his memory, hath enumerated his services in the following epitaph,

    Norfolk sprang thee, Lambeth holds the dead, Clere of the County of Cleer-mont, though hight, Within the Womb of Ormond's Race thou bred, And sawest thy Cosin Crowned in thy Sight; Shelton for Love, Surry for Lord thou chuse, Aye me! while Life did last, that League was tender, Tracing whose Steps, thou sawest Kelsall blaze, Laundersey burnt, and batter'd Bullen render; At Muttrel Gates, hopeless of all Re-cure Thine Earl, half Dead, gave in thy Hand his Will; Which Cause did thee, this pining Death procure, E're Summers, Seven times Seven, thou could'st fulfill.

    Ah! Clere, if Love had booted, Care, or Cost, Heaven had not wonn, nor Earth so timely lost.

    Robert married Alice Boleyn. Alice (daughter of William Boleyn and Margaret Butler) died on 1 Nov 1538; was buried in Ormesby St. Margaret, Ormesby, Norfolk, England. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

  2. 5.  Alice Boleyn (daughter of William Boleyn and Margaret Butler); died on 1 Nov 1538; was buried in Ormesby St. Margaret, Ormesby, Norfolk, England.
    1. 2. John Clere was born about 1511 in of Ormesby St. Margaret, Norfolk, England; died on 21 Aug 1557 in At sea.

  3. 6.  Thomas Tyrrell was born in in of Gipping, Suffolk, England (son of James Tyrrell and Anne Arundell); died between 12 Jun 1551 and 25 Aug 1551.


    He was attainted with his father in 1502, pardoned in 1504, and restored to his estates in 1507. He attended the queen at the Field of Cloth of Gold in 1520.

    Thomas married Margaret Willoughby. Margaret (daughter of Christopher Willoughby and Margaret Jenney) died after 14 Nov 1526. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

  4. 7.  Margaret Willoughby (daughter of Christopher Willoughby and Margaret Jenney); died after 14 Nov 1526.
    1. 3. Anne Tyrrell

Generation: 4

  1. 8.  Robert Clere was born in in of Ormesby St. Margaret, Norfolk, England (son of John Clere and Elizabeth Branch); was buried in Norwich Cathedral, Norwich, Norfolk, England.


    From An Essay Towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk by Francis Blomefield (citation details below):

    Clere, &c. as before, impaling Owydale or Dovedale, arg. a cross moline gul. quartering gul. a chevron erm. between three delises or; and Rusteyn, a horse passant sab. trapped, bridled and saddled or.

    This Robert is said by all evidences to be buried in the cathedral in Norwich, with Elizabeth Owydale his wife, as at vol. iv. p. 35; but though she was, it is plain to me now, that he was buried according to his will, in the nave of Ormesby St. Margaret's church, with these inscriptions; the former now remains, though the latter is lost:

    Credo quod Redemptor meus vivit; de Terra surrecturus sum.
    In Carne mea videbo Deum, Salbatorem meum.
    Hic iaret Robeertus Clere, qui obiit iio. Mensis Augusti Anno Dom. Mccccflbioruius anime propicietur Deus.

    He gave all his estate for life to his wife, and at her death William his son was to have the manors of Ormesby, Freethorp, and the manor and advowson of Winterton, &c. and Thomas his son to have Stratton Streeless manor, and Robert his son, Keswick manor in tail, after the death of his sons without issue, to Edmund his brother, remainder to Margaret, daughter of the said Robert.

    Robert married Elizabeth Uvedale. Elizabeth (daughter of Thomas Uvedale) died in 1492; was buried in Norwich Cathedral, Norwich, Norfolk, England. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

  2. 9.  Elizabeth Uvedale (daughter of Thomas Uvedale); died in 1492; was buried in Norwich Cathedral, Norwich, Norfolk, England.
    1. 4. Robert Clere was born in in of Ormesby, Norfolk, England; died on 10 Aug 1529; was buried in Ormesby St. Margaret, Ormesby, Norfolk, England.

  3. 10.  William Boleyn was born about 1451 in of Blickling, Norfolk, England (son of Geoffrey Boleyn, Lord Mayor of London and Anne Hoo); died on 5 Oct 1505.


    Baron of the Exchequer. A member of the Mercers' Company and of Lincoln's Inn.

    William married Margaret Butler before 16 Nov 1469. Margaret (daughter of Thomas Butler and Anne Hankford) died before 20 Mar 1540. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

  4. 11.  Margaret Butler (daughter of Thomas Butler and Anne Hankford); died before 20 Mar 1540.


    Also called Margaret Ormond. According to Walter Rye (citation details below), she died insane.

    1. 5. Alice Boleyn died on 1 Nov 1538; was buried in Ormesby St. Margaret, Ormesby, Norfolk, England.
    2. Thomas Boleyn was born about 1477 in Hever Castle, Hever, Kent, England; died on 12 Mar 1539; was buried in St. Peter's, Hever, Kent, England.
    3. James Boleyn was born about 1480; died before 6 Sep 1561; was buried on 6 Sep 1561 in Blickling, Norfolk, England.

  5. 12.  James Tyrrell was born about 1445 in of Gipping, Suffolk, England (son of William Tyrrell and Margaret Darcy); died on 6 May 1502; was buried in Austin Friars, London, England.


    "Sir James Tyrrell was an English knight, a trusted servant of King Richard III of England. He is known for allegedly confessing to the murders of the Princes in the Tower under Richard's orders. William Shakespeare portrays Tyrrell as the man who organises the princes' murder in Richard III." [Wikipedia]

    James married Anne Arundell after 23 Mar 1469. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

  6. 13.  Anne Arundell (daughter of John Arundell and Elizabeth Morley).
    1. 6. Thomas Tyrrell was born in in of Gipping, Suffolk, England; died between 12 Jun 1551 and 25 Aug 1551.

  7. 14.  Christopher Willoughby was born about 1453 in of Parham, Suffolk, England (son of Robert Willoughby and Cecily Welles); died between 1 Nov 1498 and 13 Jul 1499.

    Other Events:

    • Alternate birth: of Eresby, Lincolnshire, England

    Christopher married Margaret Jenney before 28 Mar 1482. Margaret (daughter of William Jenney and Elizabeth Cawse) died between 1515 and 1516. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

  8. 15.  Margaret Jenney (daughter of William Jenney and Elizabeth Cawse); died between 1515 and 1516.
    1. 7. Margaret Willoughby died after 14 Nov 1526.