The Queen, The Gambler And The Tiltyard: George Clifford At Skipton Library
Steve Whitaker, Literary Correspondent
Had he not been cast into historical shadow by his singularly noteworthy daughter Lady Anne, George Clifford, 3rd Earl of Cumberland (1558-1605) may have found notoriety in quite other circles.
But the swashbuckling seaman, privateering pirate, gambler, infidel and lifelong profligate was eclipsed, if not quite in his own lifetime, by Anne, renowned arts patron and belle-lettrist who could, according to John Donne, 'discourse of all things'.
The Elizabethan taste for honour, nobility and chivalry was fully satisfied in George Clifford, whose demeanour was as outwardly valorous, if crude, as his looks were manly, and his attire splendid.
His maritime exploits - at times victorious, at other times nefarious - were matched domestically by his prowess at the Tilt.
The accomplished jouster became the Queen's Champion, whose role bore the title of wearing a 'glove, set in diamonds, pinned as a plume to his hat as a sign of her favour'.
His suit of armour, which survives and is on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, is widely regarded as the finest example of its kind of the Tudor period.
Everyone likes a rogue, evidently.
Timely, then, that historian and Skipton Castle expert, Steve Wilton, is set to re-discover the world of this larger-than-life figure at Skipton Library on the 22nd of February.
Event Free - Skipton Library, Thursday 22nd February at 10.45am
The Queen, The Gambler And The Tiltyard: George Clifford At Skipton Library, 12th February 2018, 10:36 AM