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Taylor's Institution at Oxford, 26 where, on the blank leaves, were divers memoranda of events occurring in a family of the name of Clifton. And on further inquiry, I found that what had occurred to me as possible was right, and that the entries did relate to this Richard Clifton and other members of his family, and that they were for the most part in the handwriting of one of his sons. Valuable they are, though little more than mere genealogical memoranda, such as are presented to us in the Visitation Books concerning families of a higher rank, and presenting us with nothing that concerns the opinions or the history, more especially the religious history, of the persons to whom they relate. They will be found however to give some precision to the narrative, which precision we feel for ever the want of when perusing the writings of Bradford.
From this source then we draw the information that Richard Clifton was the son of a Thomas Clifton, who lived at one of the Normantons in the county of Derby; that he was the eldest of a large family, issue of two marriages : of the first there being, beside him
26 From a slight notice of it in that useful publication, the Notes and Queries, vol. vii, p. 354.
self, Edward, John, Jane, Ellinor, Anne, and Dorothy; and of the second, Stephen, William, and Jane.
He was born at Normanton: but here, as the information is important in its bearing upon the subject of this treatise, it will be more satisfactory if the words of the writer are given :-“Richard, eldest son of Thomas Clifton, and born at Normanton above-said, married Anne, daughter to J. Stuffen of Warsop, in the county of Nottingham, September, Anno 1586. He was minister and preacher of the Gospel at Babworth, in the said county, and had issue by his wife three sons, Zachary, Timothy, and Eleazer; and three daughters, Mary, Hannah, and Priscilla, all born at Babworth aforesaid.
“ Richard Clifton, with his wife and children, came unto Amsterdam in Holland, August, 1608. Anne, wife of the said Richard, died at Amsterdam, 3d September, Anno 1613, and was buried in the South church. Vixit Ann. 58.
“Richard Clifton died at Amsterdam, 20th May, 1616, and was buried in the South church. Vixit, Ann. 63.” 27
27 I am indebted for a very careful transcript of these notes to my learned and very accurate friend, the Rev. J. W. Burgon, of Oriel College, the author of the Life of Sir Thomas Gresham.
We are thus enabled to fix the time of his birth to in or about 1553, so that he was not much above fifty years old when he fell under the animadversions of the ecclesiastical authorities. The precise date of his departure. to Holland, August, 1608, is valuable, inasmuch as we have hitherto been left to gather that important date from information not critically given. He married, we see, just when he had obtained the rectory of Babworth, which has always been considered a desirable piece of preferment. His wife was a member of a Derbyshire family of ancient gentry, the Stuffyns of Sherbrook, in the parish of Pleasley in Derbyshire, to which the Nottinghamshire parish of Warsop adjoins. She lived five years, and he seven in their voluntary exile : and when we see in what a disturbed state the church at Amsterdam was which he joined when his companions of his own church, with Robinson and Brewster at their head, removed to Leyden, it is perhaps no unreasonable inference that they both sank not unwillingly as well as religiously to their rest.
The connection of this Mr. Clifton with the old family of Clifton, of Clifton in Nottinghamshire, is not known; but it is probable that there was some con
nection from the identity of surname, proximity of
residence, and correspondency of position ; The Stuffyns.
and this is rendered more probable by his marriage in the family of Stuffyn, who, we are told by the Lysonses, could trace their ancestry from the reign of King Edward the First.28 One of the latest memorials of them was a monumental inscription in the church of Pleasley, of which the following is a copy, the original has disappeared since 1802.
“ Here, with his ancestors, lyeth the mortal part of
John Stuffyn of Sherbrook, gentleman, who, at his house there, in the month of January, A. D. 1695, yielded up his loyal breath, aged 80 years. He left issue by Mary his wife, daughter and sole heir of John Ferne, of Hopton, gentleman, John Stuffyn of Sherbrook, son and heir of Hopton of the inheritance of his mother, and Mary and Bridget (William and Hercules died without issue).”
The heiress married in the family of Hacker.
The three daughters of Mr. Clifton died before the family left England, in infancy or childhood : but the
28 History of Derbyshire, 4to, 1817, p. cxlviii.
three sons seem to have accompanied their parents into exile, and to have thenceforth lived for the most part at Amsterdam, where two of them died ; viz.— Timothy who was born in 1595 and died in 1663, and Eleazer born in 1598 and died in 1668.
Zachary Clifton, the eldest son, to whom the Bible belonged, and who wrote most part of the familymemoranda, was born on May 12th, 1589. In the earlier part of his life he lived at Richmond in Yorkshire, for there the two children, issue of his first marriage, were born in 1620 and 1624 ; and there his wife, a daughter of Arthur Hipps of that place, by Dorothy Johnson29 his wife, died in 1625, aged twentysix. Five years after we find him living at Amsterdam, where, on April 22d, 1631, he married his second wife Elizabeth, daughter of Laurence and Catherine Wayte, of Cookridge, near Leeds. Of this marriage there was issue, ten children who were all born at Amsterdam, between 1632 and 1648. On November 1st, 1652, he left Amsterdam, and about two
29 She was probably a near relation of Francis Johnson, the tutor of Smith, and the pastor of the separatist church at Amsterdam, who, as well as his brother George, whom he is charged with having excommunicated, were originally from Richmond. See Brook, vol. ii, p. 99.