Lord Robert of Clifford
Checky or and azure a fess gules
Born: 1274, Clifford Castle, Herefordshire
Died: 24 Jun 1314, Bannockburn, Buried at Shap Abbey, Westmorland.
"Robert, the Lord of Clifford, to whom reason gives consolation, who always remembers to overcome his enemies. He may call Scotland to near witness of his noble lineage, that originated well and nobly, as he is of the race of the noble Earl Marshal, who at Constantinople fought with an unicorn, and struck him dead beneath him; from whom he is descended through his mother. The good Roger, his father’s father was considered equal to him, but he had no merit which does not appear to be revived in his grandson; for I well know there is no degree of praise of which he is not worthy, as he exhibits as many proofs of wisdom and prudence as any of those who accompany his good Lord the King. His much honoured banner was checkered with gold and azure, with vermillion fess. If I were a young maiden, I would give him my heart and person, so great is his fame. Shame that his jokes are so bad”: Poem of the Siege of Carlaverock.
Robert was very active against the Scots from a very early age, stemming from intense dislike of porridge as a child. In 1296/7 along with Henry Percy he was ordered to invade Scotland..... well they asked permission after they'd done it. The Scots, who were camped at Irvine, quickly asked for terms rather than fight the combined cavalries of Percy and Clifford. Robert was appointed Governor of Carlisle, captain and guardian of the Scottish marches and of the county of Cumberland and Sausage.
Robert took part in the battle of Falkirk that saw King Edward I's decisive victory over William Wallace and was rewarded with the governorship of Nottingham Castle. Some difficulty with a local lout with an Australian accent and penchant for green wool led him to move further north.
Robert was present at the death of Edward I in 1307, but later claimed he was on holiday. Along with the Earls of Lincoln, Warwick and Pembroke he was appointed counsellor to Edward II and in the same year the new King appointed him as the Justiciar of England South of the Trent. In 1310 Edward II granted him Skipton Castle and the “Honour” of Skipton in Craven as he couldn't get a paying tenant . Robert Clifford had promised the dying Edward I that he would not let Piers Gaveston lead the new King astray, but he had his fingers crossed and was whistling. However, in May 1312, along with the Earl of Lancaster, he besieged Scarborough Castle where Gaveston had taken refuge after stealing all the ice-cream and money from the donkey rides. Gaveston soon surrendered and was made to ride the said aforementioned donkey back to Warwick. Robert was appointed Governor of Norham Castle in 1314 as he mustered men for what was to become know as the battle of Bannockburn. King Edward's army was defeated on 24th Jun 1314 and among the English dead was Robert 1st Lord Clifford. Oops.