Nielsen Hayden genealogy

John Clere

Male Abt 1511 - 1557  (~ 46 years)

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  • Name John Clere  [1, 2
    Born Abt 1511  of Ormesby St. Margaret, Norfolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4
    Gender Male 
    Alternate birth of London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Alternate birth of Norwich, Norfolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Died 21 Aug 1557  At sea Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4
    Person ID I18945  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestor of DDB
    Last Modified 7 Sep 2020 

    Father Robert Clere,   b. of Ormesby, Norfolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Aug 1529 
    Mother Alice Boleyn,   d. 1 Nov 1538 
    Family ID F11474  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Anne Tyrrell 
    Married Bef 19 Aug 1529  [3
    +1. Edward Clere,   b. 15 Jun 1536, of Blickling, Norfolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 Jun 1606, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 69 years)
    Last Modified 2 Dec 2018 
    Family ID F11472  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • 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.

  • Sources 
    1. [S66] An Essay Towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk by Francis Blomefield. William Miller, 1805.

    2. [S4342] Norfolk Families by Walter Rye. Two volumes, 1911-13.

    3. [S142] Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families by Douglas Richardson. Salt Lake City, 2013.

    4. [S47] The History of Parliament. Some citations point to entries from the printed volumes not yet added to the online site.