Clifford, Augustus William James (DNB00)

CLIFFORD, Sir AUGUSTUS WILLIAM JAMES (1788–1877), usher of the black rod, was born 26 May 1788, and educated at Harrow. He entered the navy as a midshipman in May 1800, and was promoted to a lieutenancy in 1806. He served at the reduction of Ste. Lucie and Tobago in 1803, and throughout the operations in Egypt during 1807; was at the capture of a convoy in the Bay of Rosas in 1809 (for which he received a medal), and in the operations on the coast of Italy 1811–12. After this, as captain, he was for many years actively employed in naval duties, being several times mentioned in the ‘Gazette’ for his courage in cutting-out expeditions and on other occasions. For some time he was engaged in attendance on the lord high admiral, the Duke of Clarence, afterwards William IV, and in 1828 he took out Lord William Bentinck as governor-general to India. This was his last service afloat, and he was not actively employed after 1831. He obtained the rank of rear-admiral 1848, vice-admiral 1855, retired admiral 7 Nov. 1860, and admiral of the red 1864. He sat in parliament for Bandon Bridge 1818–20; for Dungarvan, 1820–2; and again for Bandon Bridge from 23 July 1831 to 3 Dec. 1832. He was nominated a C.B. 8 Dec. 1815, knighted by William IV at St. James's Palace 4 Aug. 1830, and created a baronet 4 Aug. 1838. The Duke of Devonshire, then lord chamberlain, appointed him on 25 July 1832 gentleman usher of the black rod, which office he held, much to his satisfaction, until his death. On various occasions between 1843 and 1866 he acted as deputy lord great chamberlain of England, in the absence of Lord Willoughby d'Eresby. He died at his residence in the House of Lords 8 Feb. 1877. He married, 20 Oct. 1813, Lady Elizabeth Frances Townshend, sister of John, fourth marquis of Townshend. She was born 2 Aug. 1789, and died at Nice 10 April 1862. Captain William John Cavendish, R.N., succeeded his father as second baronet. Clifford was a patron of the arts, and formed a unique collection of paintings, sculpture, etchings, engravings, and bijouterie.

[O'Byrne's Naval Biog. (1861 edit.), p. 211; Times, 9 Feb. 1877, p. 5, 12 Feb. p. 8; Graphic, 24 Feb. 1877, pp. 172, 179, with portrait; Illustrated London News, 17 Feb. 1877, p. 167. 24 Feb. pp. 171, 181, with portrait.]

G. C. B.