The Tudor Society

August 13 – Sir Humphrey Radcliffe

The Radcliffe monument, Elstow Abbey

The Radcliffe monument, Elstow Abbey

On this day in Tudor history, 13th August 1566, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Sir Humphrey Radcliffe died at his manor of Elstow. He was buried at Elstow Abbey.

Radcliffe served as a Member of Parliament during the reigns of Mary I and Elizabeth I, and then as a Justice of the Peace and Sheriff in Elizabeth I's reign.

Here are some more facts about Sir Humphrey Radcliffe:

  • Sir Humphrey Radcliffe was born in c. 1508/9 and was the third son of Robert Radcliffe, 1st Earl of Sussex, and his first wife, Elizabeth Stafford, daughter of Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham.
  • Radcliffe was married once, to Isabel (Elizabeth) Harvey, daughter of Edmund Harvey of Elstow. The couple had six children, including Edward Radcliffe, 6th Earl of Sussex, and Mary Radcliffe, who served in Elizabeth I's privy chamber and as her keeper of the jewels. Radcliffe and his wife lived first at Beddington in Surrey and then at the manor of Elstow from summer 1553 after his father-in-law gave it to them.

  • In 1536, at the marriage of King Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, Radcliffe was knighted.
  • In 1537, at the funeral of Queen Jane Seymour, Radcliffe served as a pallbearer.
  • In 1539, Radcliffe received Anne of Cleves as one of the king's gentleman pensioners.
  • Radcliffe served Henry VIII in his French campaign of 1544.
  • Radcliffe was a defender at the coronation joust of King Edward VI in 1547.
  • In 1553, Radcliffe was the Member of Parliament for Bedfordshire, being re-elected in 1554, 1555 and 15558. In 1559, he was MP for Maldon in Essex.
  • In 1558-9, he was sheriff of Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire, and in the 1560s, he was a Justice of the Peace for Bedfordshire.
  • In 1554, Radcliffe was recorded as weeping as he escorted Mary I's half-sister, Elizabeth (the future Elizabeth I), to the Tower of London following Wyatt's Rebellion.
  • Radcliffe died at his home, the manor of Elstow, on 13th August 1566.

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Image: The Radcliffe monument, Elstow Abbey, photo by Poliphilo, Wikimedia Commons.

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August 13 – Sir Humphrey Radcliffe