Richard Clement (died 1538)

Sir Richard Clement (c.1482-1538) of Ightham Mote in Kent, England, was a courtier to King Henry VII and to his son Henry VIII.

Monumental brass of Sir Richard Clement, Ightham Church, Kent. On his tabard he displays his armorials in inverted shields
Arms of Richard Clement: Argent, two bendlets wavy sable on a chief gules three leopard's faces or a bordure compony or and azure[1]
Deathbead of King Henry VII at Richmond Palace (1509), at which Richard Clement is shown (below his identifying coat of arms) 6th on the king's left side, behind fellow courtier Sir Richard Weston. Drawn by Sir Thomas Wriothesley(d.1534), Garter King of Arms, a courtier who though not present on the day, shortly thereafter wrote an account of the proceedings, from discussions with those present. British Library Additional MS 45131, folio 54

OriginsEdit

He was born in about 1482,[2] the only son and heir of William Clement (d.1494) of Bersted in Sussex, a member of a minor gentry family. His uncle, Richard Clement, served as Chamberlain of Pagham and Bailiff of Aldwick Hundred between 1493-5. [3] His mother was a sister of John Goring II of Burton in Sussex.[4] He had four sisters, Alice, Elizabeth, Joan and (probably) Anne.

CareerEdit

His career as a courtier started in about 1503-8 as a page of the Privy Chamber to King Henry VII (1485-1509). He was present at the king's death at Richmond Palace, as is recorded in the drawing (British Library Additional MS 45131, folio 54[5]) by Sir Thomas Wriothesley(d.1534), Garter King of Arms, a courtier who though not present on the day, shortly thereafter wrote an account of the proceedings, from discussions with those present. Following the death of Henry VII, he served as a Gentleman Usher to his son King Henry VIII.[6] However soon after the accession of Henry VIII in 1509, having gained no career advancement as a courtier, he moved north to Northamptonshire.

Purchases Ightham MoteEdit

In 1521, having moved south from Northamptonshire,[7] he purchased the estate of Ightham Mote in Kent[8] from Thomas Welles, a clerk, who had acquired it in 1519 from Edward Haute, forced to sell due to financial problems.[9] At the same time he acquired further nearby estates in Shipbourne, Wrotham and Seal. He carried out much building work on his new residence between 1521-9 including reglazing the windows of the great hall, adding a long gallery to connect the two halves of the family quarters,[10] and rebuilding and refronting the private apartments. In the decoration he made liberal use of the royal badges of King Henry VIII and his first wife Katherine of Aragon, thus displaying his loyalty to the Tudor dynasty.[11]

Assists William WarhamEdit

In 1528 he assisted his near neighbour at Knole House in Kent William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury, to fend off "a host of belligerent Kentishmen" demanding repayments from him, and the event appears to have assisted Clement's subsequent rise.[12] He was knighted in 1529 and served as Sheriff of Kent 1531-2.[13] In the opinion of Mercer (1995), Clement's patron was Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire, of Hever Castle in Kent, father of Queen Anne Boleyn,[14] and Clement's career suffered after the queen's execution in 1536 and the downfall of her family.

Imprisoned in FleetEdit

In 1534, following conviction in the Star Chamber, he was imprisoned in the Fleet for having used force, in his capacity as a justice of the peace for Kent, during a property dispute in Shipbourne between the rector and Robert Brenner of Hadlow, a servant of Sir Edward Guildford (father-in-law of John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland). Clement had expelled Brenner with the assistance of a force of 200 men he had raised for the purpose,[15] but the Star Chamber found that he was at fault for not having enquired sufficiently into the case before resorting to force. Clement appears to have been acting against the Guildford faction, formerly the pre-eminent family in Kent until replaced by the Boleyns.[16]

Marriages & issueEdit

He married twice, but had no legitimate issue:

Illegitimate daughtersEdit

He had three illegitimate daughters:[22]

  • Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Lovelace of Kingsdown;
  • Anne, wife of Ralph Bosville of Bradbourne;
  • Margaret, wife of Nicholas Edwards of Withyham in Sussex.

Death & burialEdit

He died in 1538, between 28 October and 2 December,[23] and was buried in Ightham Church, where survives the upper fragment of his monumental brass, which shows his coat of arms upright in an inverted shield, to indicate his death, an unusual depiction.[24] A separate shield shows the arms of Clement impaling Catesby (Argent, two lions passant sable crowned or).[25] The inscription (with Sir Richard's date of death left blank) is as follows:[26]

Of yor charite pray for the soules of Sr Richard Clement Knyght & Anne his first wyfe daughtr of Sr Wyll'm Catesby of North'mptonshire Knyght, which Anne decessyd the IIIth (sic) day of November ano d'm MVcXXVIIIth & the sayde Syr Rychard decessyd the .... day of ... ano d'm MV.... o(n) whos soules J(e)h(s)u have m(er)cy

SourcesEdit

  • Malcolm Mercer, Sir Richard Clement, Ightham Mote and Local Disorder in the Early Tudor Period, Archaeologia Cantiana, 1995, Vol.115, pp.155-176[7]
  • Starkey, David, Ightham Mote: Politics and Architecture in Early Tudor England, Archaeologia, Vol.107, 1982, pp.153-6

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ His brass shows the bordure or and azure as does the painting in the manuscript by Sir Thomas Wriothesley. Burke's General Armory, 1884, p.202[1] blasons the bordure as compony argent and azure; this would have appeared at court as Lèse-majesté, it would not have escaped notice at court that the bordure (perhaps a difference (Mercer, p.156)) is identical to the "Beaufort bordure" adopted by the ancestors of Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of King Henry VII. Bordure adopted for arms of Beaufort, legitimised progeny of John of Gaunt, 3rd surviving son of King Edward III: Royal arms of King Edward III within a bordure compony argent and azure. Possibly the Beaufort bordure might be granted as an especial mark of royal favour (no evidence that Clement was especially favoured) as was the Beaufort label to the descendants of the second marriage of Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland (d.1425) to Joan Beaufort, a legitimised daughter of John of Gaunt, 4th son of King Edward III
  2. ^ Mercer, p.157
  3. ^ Mercer, p.156
  4. ^ Mercer, p.157
  5. ^ see imageFile:HenryVIIdeathbed.jpg
  6. ^ Mercer, p.155
  7. ^ Mercer, p.156
  8. ^ Mercer, p.155
  9. ^ Mercer, p.161
  10. ^ Mercer, p.163, note 57
  11. ^ Mercer, p.163
  12. ^ Mercer, p.165
  13. ^ Mercer, p.165
  14. ^ Mercer, pp.165-6
  15. ^ Mercer, pp.155,170
  16. ^ Mercer, p.171
  17. ^ Per inscription on Clement's brass in Ightham Church (Anne his first wyfe daughtr of Sr Wyll'm Catesby of North'mptonshire Knyght)
  18. ^ Metcalfe, Walter C., ed. (1887). The Visitations of Northamptonshire made in 1564 and 1618-19, with Northamptonshire Pedigrees from various Harleian MSS. London, p.173, pedigree of Catesby of Ashby St Ledgers in Northamptonshire[2]
  19. ^ Mercer, p.155
  20. ^ Mercer, p.163
  21. ^ Metcalfe, Walter C., ed. (1887). The Visitations of Northamptonshire made in 1564 and 1618-19, with Northamptonshire Pedigrees from various Harleian MSS. London, p.173, pedigree of Catesby of Ashby St Ledgers in Northamptonshire[3]
  22. ^ Mercer, p.163
  23. ^ Mercer, p.172, note 96
  24. ^ Matthew Paris (d.1259) made much use in his manuscripts of inverted shields to indicate death, but inverted both arms and shield together
  25. ^ Arms per Burke's General Armory, 1884, p.177[4]; see image[5]; The arms on the brass appear to have traces of red enamel on the lions, indicating perhaps lions gules
  26. ^ see image[6]