Richard Fitz Pons CLIFFORD
(Abt 1079-1129)
(Abt 1081-)
Ralph De TONEY
(Abt 1088-)
(Abt 1092-)
Vasavor Walter De Clifford HEREFORDSHIRE, Sr
(Abt 1113-1190)
Margaret De TONI
(Abt 1118-1185)
Concubine England Rosamond Clifford , IV
(Abt 1136-Abt 1176)


Family Links

King Henry ENGLAND, II

  • Earl William SALISBURY
  • Archbishop Geoffrey YORK

Concubine England Rosamond Clifford , IV 1

  • Born: Abt 1136, Castle, Clifford, Herefordshire, England
  • Christened: Convent, Godstow, Lincoln, England
  • Died: Abt 1176, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England
  • Buried: Abt 1176, Nunnery, Godstow, Wolvercote, Oxfordshire, England

   Ancestral File Number: 8WL8-K1.

   General Notes:

Not Married Henry II King of England.

ThePolitical History of England, Vol II, George Burton Adams Longmans Green and Co, 1905, Ch XII, p257:
"...He had the passionate temper of his ancestors without the self-control of Henry I, and sometimes raved in his anger like a maniac. Inmatters of morals also he placed no restraints upon himself. His reputation in this regard has been kept alive by the romantic legend of Rosamond Clifford; and, though the pathetic details of her story are in truth romance and not history, there is no lack of evidence to show that Eleanor had occasion enough for the bitter hostility which she felt towards him in the later years of his life..."

The Conquering Family, A History of the Plantagenets, Vol I, Thomas B Costain, 1962, Doubleday, p111: "...It becomes necessary at this point, therefore, to deal with the amorous performances of the otherwise admirable King [Henry II].
"There is that favorite fairy story of history, his romance with Rosamonde Clifford, who lived in a secret bower in the maze at Woodstock and was poisoned by the wicked Queen. This fable has been told so often and believed so long, and it is such a beguiling story, that one hesitates to destroy it by telling the real facts of the case.
"Some of the early historians said the bower was so well concealed in the maze that the only way to find it was to follow a thread of silk which Henry alone knew about. If this had been true, she would have become very hungry, living allalone in her romantic bower, because no servants knew the secret and it could hardly have been expected that the King would come with dishes of hot food in his hands. Another version was that the middle-aged King had been visiting his pretty mistress and that a ball of silk thread became caught inhis spur and was still attached to his heel when the Queen saw him emerge from the winding green paths of the maze. She followed the clue back through the paths and discovered the bower andits fair occupant. All versions agree on the outcome, that the wicked Queen immediately visited the girl, taking a dagger in one hand and a glass of poison in the other. When she found the Fair Rosamonde was the loveliest creature in the world,envy hardened the heart of the Queen and she told her rival she must choose which way she would prefer to die. The girl, as brave as she was fair, chose the poison, drank from the cup, and soon thereafter was dead.
"And now for the less romantic facts. Henry met Rosamonde Clifford on his first visit to England while his mother was contending with Stephen for the crown. He was about seventeen years of age and she was younger. Her father was Walter Clifford, a vasavor of Herefordshire. The term Vavasor has meant different things at different times, but at this period it denoted a man who had more land than a knight's fee but had not attained the stature of a baron; and so it can be assumed that the girl had been raisedin a rather humble way. Her father was fighting on the side of the Empress, and it is probable that Henry first saw Rosamonde at Bristol, which was the base of operations. She was a beautiful girl. No description of her has been laft, but thefew things known suggest that there was a sweetness and a spiritual quality to her loveliness.Henry fell in love at once.
"The chronicles say he went through a pretended marriage service with her and that she did not know who he was. Thisis far from credible. The son of Matilda, who might someday be King of England, would have found it next to impossible to conceal his identity from the daughter of one of his supporters. Subsequent happenings indicate that she went with her eyes open into the relationship which resulted in due course in the birth of a son. This first son, who was named William and who later bore the nickname of William Longsword or William `Long-Espee', was born after Henry had returned to Normandy.When he came a second time and made the Treaty of Wallingford with Stephen, he had already married Eleanor. However, he and Rosamonde resumed their relationship and another son was born, who was named Geoffrey. When Henry came back as King, heplaced the girl in a small stone house just outside the wall of the royal park at Woodstock, and here for a short period he paid her visits. Nearly two hundred years later, Edward III, in repairing the palace at Woodstock, gave written instructions that `the house beyond the gate in the new wall, known as Rosamonde's Chamber' should be carefully restored. This, then, was the bower. Just inside the wall, against which the house stood, was the garden maze; and so some small justification exists, after all, for the fantastic shape the story took.
"The Fair Rosamonde, however, did not occupy the House Beyond the Gate long. She repented of her way of living soon after Henry's crowning and retired to the convent of Godstow,where she remained for the rest of her life. That Henry had been sincerely in love with her was made clear by what he did for her and her two sons. He liberally endowed Godstow...Rosamonde remained at Godstow twenty years, and after death Henry saw to it that her body was placed in the choir under a silk canopy and that candles were kept lighted and prayers said constantly for her soul. This continued until Hugh of Lincoln, deciding it was not wise to keep alive the story of an illicit romance, had the body interred in the regular burying ground of the convent with a modest stone containing only two words: `Tumba Rosamondae'."

Ancestral File Ver 4.11 8WL8-K1 Unmarried, CF Rosamonde.

Ancestral File v4.19 8WL8-K1 Died Abt 1176 Woodstock Oxfordshire England, Buried Abt 1176 Nunnery Godstow Wolvercote Oxfordshire England.

   Marriage Information:

England married King Henry ENGLAND, II, son of Count Geoffrey Plantagenet ANJOU and Empress Matilda England GERMANY. (King Henry ENGLAND, II was born on 5 Mar 1133 in Le Mans, Sarthe, Maine, France, died on 6 Jul 1189 in Chinon, Indre-Et-Loire, Tours, France and was buried on 8 Jul 1189 in Abbey, Fontevrault, Maine-Et-Loire, France.)


1 Ancestral File Ver 4.19, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Copyright (c) 1987, June 1998, data as of 5 January 1998.

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