History of the Clifford Family
The Cliffords can trace their ancestry in Frampton back to the 11th century. The family connection began in 1086 when William the Conqueror granted lands in Frampton and Herefordshire to one of his followers, Drogo Fitz Pons. Drogo died without issue shortly afterwards and was succeeded by his brother Richard in 1089, and later by Richard’s son, Walter de Clifford, Baron of the Welsh Marches. Walter took his name from his position as Lord of Clifford Castle in Herefordshire where the remains of the castle still stand – on a cliff, above a ford.
It was at this early date that the family name of Clifford was established in Frampton. Walter was father of Jane Clifford whose birthplace is understood to have been on the site of the Bower at The Manor. Jane was reputedly the mistress of King Henry II who named her his ‘Rose of the World’, later known as Fair Rosamund. The magnificent village green in Frampton is named after Jane as ‘Rosamund’s Green’.
The Estate continued in the Clifford family for generations, and in 1684 John Clifford left it to his grandson William Clutterbuck. The Clutterbucks were successful clothiers from Eastington, and William’s son, Richard, built the present Frampton Court in the early 1730s. Richard made his fortune as Head of the Custom House in Bristol; he died unmarried and the Estate passed to his sister’s grandson Nathaniel Winchcombe. In 1801, by Royal Consent, Nathaniel took the name and arms of Clifford and later passed the Estate to his son Henry Clifford Clifford. Henry married Elizabeth Wallington, who brought her fortune to the family as well as beautiful china and furniture, which is still in the house. They produced eleven children.
The Clifford family flourished during the 19th century, and the high-point was the artistic talent of Henry’s sisters and daughters who painted the exquisite botanical water-colours known as the Frampton Flora, which are on display at The Court.
In the 20th century, Major Henry Clifford was killed in action during the First World War with the Gloucestershire Yeomanry in Palestine, and left a baby daughter, Henriette, to succeed him. Henriette married Peter Haggie, who changed his name to Clifford in 1942 following the birth of their son David. They had two more sons Rollo and Robin. Peter and Henriette made their family home at The Manor – the house had been a tenanted farmhouse until after the Second World War – and in 1963 they moved to Frampton Court.
Rollo Clifford is the present owner of Frampton Court Estate and lives with his wife Janie at The Manor.