Generation 4. Lord Radcliffe (Ratcliffe), the younger son of the Clitheroe Branch of the Radcliffes of Radcliffe Tower, Lancashire.
Generation 3. Sir Thomas Radcliffe, son of Lord Radcliffe, became lord of Derwentwater and Keswich, through his first marriage about 1417, to the daughter and heiress of John de Derwentwater. He was married/2 to Margaret Parr, the daughter of Sir William Parr of Kendal, and cousin to Queen Catherine Parr, last wife of Henry VIII of England. (See Parr Family, Part III)
Generation 2. Sir Richard Radcliffe, was a younger son of Sir Thomas Radcliffe. His maternal grandfatherís connection with the court as comptroller of the household to Edward IV, no doubt explains his intimacy with Prince Richard of Gloucester. (to become Richard III) He and his uncle, John Parr, were knighted by the king on the field of Tewkesbury, and Gloucester made him a knight-banneret during the siege of Berwick in August 1482. Next year, Gloucester, just before he seized the crown, sent Radcliffe to summon his Yorkshire friends to his assistance. Leaving London shortly after 11 June 1483, he presented to Protectorís letters to the magistraes of York on the 15th, and by the 24th he had reached Pontefract on his way south with a force estimated at 5000 men. On the day Earl Rivers, Sir Richard Grey, son of the queen-dowager, Sir Thomas Vaughan and Sir Richard Haute were brought to Pontefract from their different northern prisons and executed there on the 25th, by Radcliffe, acting under Gloucesterís orders. According to the well informed Croyland chronicler, they were allowed no form of trial. Radcliffe did not find Richard of Gloucester ungrateful. He was made a knight of the Garter, knight of the body to the king, and high sheriff of Westmoreland for life. Besides the lucrative stewardship of Wakefield, estates to the value of over 650 pounds were conferred upon him. These grants were only exceeded in amount by those given to three other men. Radcliffe was reputed to be Richardís most confidential counselor.
He was married/1 to Ann Neville, of Yorkshire, and had no children. He was married/2 to Agnes Sc(r)ope, born about 1450 the daughter of John, Lord Scope, (died 1498) of Bolton in Wensleyday; and the widow of Christopher Boynton of Sedbury in the parish of Gilling, near Richmond. Richard and Agnes had only one son and one daughter.
In 1485, he wanted to marry Elizabeth of York, who was his niece, and in possible line to the throne, but this caused a storm of protest among his Yorkshire followers. They protested that the marriage would be incestuous, but they were really afraid that if Elizabeth did come to the throne, she would take revenge upon them for the death of her uncle Rivers and her half-brother, Richard Grey. Richard yielded to the opposition.
Shortly after this on 22 April 1485, as head of a commission to treat with Scotland, Radcliffe received a safe-conduct from King James, but May have been prevented from going by the news of Richmondís contemplated invasion. At any rate, he fought at Bosworth Field on 21 August and was there slain, some said, while attempting to escape.
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