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Myths and Legends
Sir Richard Clough – ‘The Most Complete Man’

Humble Beginnings

Sir Richard Clough, from the original portrait by Adriaen van Cronenburgh
© By kind permission of the owner and of Swift Photographic Ltd., Pwllheli
Clough’s rags to riches story began in Denbigh, in the early 1530s, as the fifth and youngest son of a Denbigh glove-maker He became a chorister at Chester Cathedral, and attended the Kings School established by Henry VIII, where his singing talents and quick intelligence soon attracted influential patrons. The eminent 16th century historian Thomas Fuller wrote in his 'Worthies of England' (1662),

"Some were so affected by his singing therein, that they were loath he should lose himself in empty air (church musick beginning then to be dis-countenanced) and persuaded, yea, procured his removal to London".



Knight or Not?

In his early twenties, Richard made a religious pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where he was created a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre, which explains the ‘Sir’ that is sometimes attached to his name. Apparently, he didn’t use it after Queen Elizabeth ascended the throne in 1558, as the Queen did not approve of foreign decorations and distinctions; however, the badge of the order – the five crosses – was afterwards borne by him in his arms.


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Internet Links
John Clough Genealogical Society
–An American society about the Clough family
National Museums & Galleries of Wales
Bach y graig
–More about Sir Richard's house
Katheryn of Berain
–Where I Live North East Wales
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