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Edward Clinton, Baron Clinton, drawn before his acquisition of the title Earl of Lincoln, by Hans Holbein the Younger, c. 1534–1535. Royal collection, Windsor Castle

"Edward Clinton, Earl of Lincoln, 1584", portrait by unknown artist, National Portrait Gallery, London, NPG 900

Arms of de Clinton, Barons Clinton: Argent, six crosses crosslet fitchée sable three two and one on a chief azure two mullets or pierced gules

Edward Fiennes de Clinton, 1st Earl of Lincoln, KG (1512 – 16 January 1584/85) was an English nobleman and Lord High Admiral.[1]


Edward Clinton was born at Scrivelsby in Lincolnshire, the son of Thomas Clinton, 8th Baron Clinton (1490–1517), by Jane (or Joan) Poynings, one of the seven illegitimate children of Sir Edward Poynings (1459–1521) of Westenhanger, Kent. She was the sister of Thomas Poynings, 1st Baron Poynings (d.1545), Edward Poynings (d.1546), and Sir Adrian Poynings. After the death of the 8th Baron Clinton in 1517, Jane Poynings married, as his second wife, Sir Robert Wingfield (d.1539).[2][3][4][5]


Clinton succeeded his father in 1517 as 9th Baron Clinton. He joined the retinue of King Henry VIII at Boulogne and Calais in 1532. He attended the Parliament of 1536 and later served in the Royal Navy against French and Scottish naval forces from 1544 to 1547. He was knighted in Edinburgh by Edward Seymour, 1st Earl of Hertford for his role in the capture of that city in 1544. He also took part in the Siege of Boulogne in September 1544. Under John Dudley, Viscount Lisle he saw action against the French at the Battle of Spearhead in 1545 and was sent as one of the peace commissioners to France the following year. He commanded the English fleet during the invasion of Scotland by Edward Seymour and provided naval artillery support at the Battle of Pinkie on 15 September 1547.

Appointed Governor of Boulogne in 1547, he successfully defended the city against a French siege from 1549 to 1550. That same year, with Henry Manners, 2nd Earl of Rutland, he was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire and of Nottinghamshire and served as Lord High Admiral under King Edward VI from 1550 to 1553, and again from 1559 to 1585. He was a Privy Counsellor from 1550 to 1553, and briefly served as an envoy to France in 1551. After appointment as Lord-Lieutenant of Lincolnshire in 1552, Clinton later took part in the defeat of Wyatt's Rebellion in Kent in 1554. Following his appointment as Lord General of the expedition of William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke, he fought with Spanish forces at the Battle of Saint-Quentin on 10 August 1557.

Upon his return to England, Clinton took command of the English fleet and raided the French coast and in 1558 burnt the town of Conquet and the surrounding area. He was a joint commander with Ambrose Dudley, 3rd Earl of Warwick of a large army during the Northern Rebellion, however the army was still being assembled when the rebellion was defeated in January 1570. He was created Earl of Lincoln in 1572, and served as ambassador to France, during which time he undertook several commissions from Queen Elizabeth I until his death in London on 16 January 1585.

Marriage & progeny

Elizabeth FitzGerald, (" the fair Geraldine") daughter of Gerald FitzGerald, 9th Earl of Kildare, third wife of Lord Clinton

He married thrice:

  • Firstly to Elizabeth Blount, Henry VIII's former mistress, by whom he produced three daughters:
    • Lady Bridget Clinton (born c. 1536), married Robert Dymoke (alias Dymock or Dymocke), of Scrivelsby, Lincolnshire, circa 1556 and had ten children. He was a devout Catholic and was declared a martyr after his death.
    • Lady Katherine Clinton (b. c. 1538 - d. 14 August 1621), married William Burgh, 2nd Baron Burgh of Gainsborough (c. 1522 - 10 October 1584), son of Thomas Burgh, 1st Baron Burgh.[6][7] They had issue which included Thomas Burgh, 3rd Baron Burgh.[6][7]
    • Lady Margaret Clinton (b. c. 1539), married Charles Willoughby, 2nd Baron Willoughby of Parham (died 1603), and had five children.
  • Secondly to Ursula Stourton by whom he produced six children
    • Henry Clinton, 2nd Earl of Lincoln, eldest son and heir.
    • Edward Clinton
    • Thomas Clinton (born 1548), married Mary Tyrell.
    • Lady Frances Clinton (1552-12 September 1623). She was born at Scrivelsby, Lincolnshire and died at Woburn Abbey, Bedfordshire. She married Giles Brydges, 3rd Baron Chandos.
  • Elizabeth Clinton(1554-1634)
  • Anne Clinton(1553-1629)
  • Thirdly on 1 October 1552 to Elizabeth FitzGerald, (" the fair Geraldine") daughter of Gerald FitzGerald, 9th Earl of Kildare. the marriage was childless


He died in London on 16 January 1585.

Further reading

  • Charles William Chadwick Oman, A History in the Art of War in the Sixteenth Century, New York, 1937
  • Michael Sanderson, Sea Battles, London, 1975


  1.  "Clinton, Edward Fiennes de". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. 
  2. Rose Whetehill (1472-1521+), A Who’s Who of Tudor Women: W-Wh, compiled by Kathy Lynn Emerson to update and correct Wives and Daughters: The Women of Sixteenth-Century England (1984).
  3. Stevens 2004.
  4. Cokayne 1945, p. 669.
  5. Robertson 2004.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 1, page 587.
  7. 7.0 7.1 George Edward Cokayne. Complete peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, extant, extinct, or dormant, Volume 2, G. Bell & sons, 1889. pg 76-77. Google eBook


External links

Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Warwick
Lord High Admiral
Succeeded by
The Lord Howard of Effingham
Preceded by
The Lord Howard of Effingham
Lord High Admiral
Succeeded by
The Lord Howard of Effingham
Preceded by
Sir Henry Gates
Vice-Admiral of Yorkshire
Succeeded by
Francis Cholmley
Preceded by
The Lord Howard of Effingham
Custos Rotulorum of Surrey
Succeeded by
The Lord Howard of Effingham
Peerage of England
New creation Earl of Lincoln
Succeeded by
Henry Clinton
Preceded by
Thomas Clinton
Baron Clinton

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