Edward Clinton, 1st Earl of Lincoln

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 (died 1545), Edward Poynings (died 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 (died 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 Le 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.

In 1541-42 following the dissolution of the monasteries, Clinton and his wife, Ursula, were granted the lands of the earlier Aslackby Preceptory of the Knights Templarlater belonging to the Knights Hospitallerat Aslackby in Lincolnshire.[6]

Marriage and progeny

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

He married thrice:


He died in London on 16 January 1585.

Further reading


  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. Kelly's Directory of Lincolnshire 1933, p.42
  7. 1 2 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.
  8. 1 2 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


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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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