Grisold HUGHES

(C. Cumberland)

Born: ABT 1560

Died: 16 Jun 1613

Father: Thomas HUGHES of Uxbridge

Mother: Elizabeth DUNN

Married 1: Edward NEVILLE (5° B. Abergavenny) AFT 1557, Uxbridge, Middlesex, England

Married 2: Francis CLIFFORD (4° E. Cumberland) Mar 1589, Middlesex, England


1. George CLIFFORD

2. Margaret CLIFFORD

3. Henry CLIFFORD (5° E. Cumberland)

4. Frances CLIFFORD

Grisold or Grizel Hughes or Hewes was the daughter of Thomas Hughes of Uxbridge, Middlesex (d. 1587) and Elizabeth Dunn or Don (d. 1590). Her mother was first cousin to Elizabeth Trussell, Countess of Oxford.

She was married twice, the first time before 1588 to Edward Neville, 5th baron Bergavenny. After he died, at Uxbridge, she very quickly remarried, wedding Francis Clifford, second son of Henry Clifford, 2nd earl of Cumberland, by whom she had four children: Margaret, George (d. yng), Henry, and Frances.

Some sources say that she was the “Lady Neville” of “My Lady Neville’s Book”, a music manuscript containing keyboard pieces by the English composer William Byrd, and, together with the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, one of the most important collections of Renaissance keyboard music. But was most likely Elizabeth Bacon, second wife of Sir Henry Neville of Billingbere. Not only was Grisold already remarried by 1591 when this manuscript was presented to “Lady Neville, but she would never have been called Lady Neville in the first place. Her proper title would have been Lady Bergavenny throughout her brief first marriage. In 1605, Clifford succeeded his elder brother George, making Grisold countess of Cumberland.

She lived during her wedded life at Londesborough.

The following letter was addressed about 1610 to Countess Grisold, by Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury, on the occasion of Henry Clifford’s marriage with Salisbury’s daughter Frances:

"Good Madam:

I have understood by so many wayes how well you have affected the match betwene my lord Clifford and my daughter, as I think it my part no longer to delay my thanks for the same; for when I consider what he is in himselfs , both by birth and vertue, what love he hath and deserveth to have of all men, I must needs conceave he must be more to you, to whom he is the onely sonne ; and therefore my thanks the greater, in that you have bene so desirous to plant him into my stocke whoms you have cause to hold so deere. More I cannot say, madame, at this tyme, but that I will love him, and cherish him as the aple of one of myne eyes.

To your selfe I will wishe long life, that wee may bothe see some branches of him to our comfort in our Old dayes. And so remayne your ladyship’s assured loving friend ,


In the chancel of Londesborough, Yorkshire, where the Cliffords anciently had their seat, though now destroyed, there is a handsome monument for Grisold, Countess of Cumberland, with the following epitaph:

"Here lieth in rest the body of the right honorable Lady , the lady Grisold , Countess of Cumberland , daughter of Thomas Hughes of Uxbridge , in ye countie of Middlesex , Esq . She was first married to Edw . Nevill, lord Abergavennie, and after to Sir Francis Clifford, knight, earl of Cumberland, by whome she had issue George Clifford, that died a child, Henry now lord Clifford, Lady Margaret, married to Sir Thomas Wentworth, of Wentworth - wood house, in ye countie of York, knight and baronet, and lady Frances, maried to Sir Gervaise Clifton of Clifton, in ye countie of Nottingham, knight and baronet . This noble Lady, being of the age of years, departed this mortal life at Londsbrough, on the 15th day of April , in the year of our Lord 1613"

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