Sunday, 9 March 2008

Maud Clifford secures a good divorce settlement.

It's often stated, and not without good reason, that women got a raw deal in medieval times. Maud Clifford (c1391-1446), however, did very well out of her divorce.

Her first husband was John Neville, Lord Latimer (1382-1430) whom she married prior to 1406. It would appear that marriage was never consummated, and Maud sued for annulment. (Pugh thinks that Latimer was probably gay, but he could equally have been impotent, or just plain not very interested in Maud.) In any event, Maud's plea was successful and the marriage dissolved.

Some (of Neville's) lands had been put put into trust for Maud, or, to use the technical term, granted to feoffees. The feoffees must have been sympathetic to Maud, because they allowed her to keep the lands, even though the marriage was invalid!

Thus Maud was free to marry Richard of Conisbrough, which she did probably in 1414. Following his execution on 5 August 1415 she continued to live at Conisbrough Castle until her death in 1446. The brief marriage produced no children, as far as anyone knows.

One sign that the Earl of March may have felt guilty about his betrayal of Cambridge was that he granted Maud an annuity of £100.

1 comment:

colingags said...

Maud died at Roche Abbey (nr Maltby)
She probably went there to be looked after by the friars.