Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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CLOUGH , Sir RICHARD (d. 1570 ), merchant, and (for a period) ‘factor’ for Sir Thomas Gresham in Antwerp .

Fifth son of Richard Clough , glover , Denbigh .

Fairly full details of the career of Richard Clough are given in D.N.B. ; in this article the Welsh associations only will be particularized. As a boy he became a chorister in Chester cathedral , and thence went to London . He was still young when he made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and there was created a ‘ Knight of the Holy Sepulchre ’ — hence the ‘Sir’ which prefaces his Christian name in some accounts. He entered the service of Sir Thomas Gresham , London ; in 1552 he is settled at Antwerp as ‘ factor ’ for Gresham , to whom (and to William Phayre ) he wrote frequently; the original letters are in the P.R.O. — see e.g. Cal. S.P. For. , 1566-68 . It is said that it was he who suggested to Gresham the advisability of building the ‘ Exchange ’ in London for the benefit of merchants , on the analogy of the Antwerp bourse. In Feb. 1563/4 he sought, through William Cecil , lord Burghley , a lease on certain Crown lands in Wales and elsewhere; the following year his request was granted — the lands in question being in Caernarvonshire , Flintshire , Nottinghamshire , and Buckinghamshire . He returned to Wales in April 1567 . and m. Katherine of Berain, Denbs. (q.v.) ; he was Katherine 's second husband. Of this marriage there were two daughters, among their descendants being Hester Lynch Salusbury (aft. Thrale , and aft. Piozzi ) (q.v.) and Sir Robert Salusbury (d. 1818 ), baronet , of Cotton Hall , Denbs. , and Llan-wern, Mon. (q.v.) . ( Clough had, by Catherine Muldert of Antwerp , a son named Richard , from whom were descended the Cloughs described in the article on that family.) About the time of his marriage to Katherine of Berain , Clough started to build two houses — Bachygraig and Plas Clough , both near Denbigh ; he probably had another house in Denbigh itself. In May he was back in Antwerp , accompanied by his wife; a little later they went to Spain and to Hamburg . He d. at Hamburg some time between 11 March and 19 July 1570 ; he was buried at Hamburg but his heart was brought to Wales to be buried at Whitchurch , near Denbigh .

Clough had hoped to do several things for the benefit of his native land, one of his projects being to make the river Clwyd navigable for small ships as far as Rhuddlan . Fe knew the famous Dutch scholar and geographer , Abraham Ortelius , and it was he who caused Ortelius to become acquainted with Humphrey Llwyd of Denbigh (q.v.) . It is surmised that he was only 40 years of age when he died. Welsh elegies were composed upon his death by Siôn Tudur , Simwnt Vychan , and William Cynwal (qq.v.) ; there are two such elegies by Cynwal in N.L.W. MS. 6496 (facsimile of a Christ Church, Oxford, manuscript ). Cynwal has two other interesting poems in the same manuscript written to Clough and Katherine — one a ‘kowydd’ to send a hawk to greet ‘ric. Klwch a meistres Katrin’ when they were in Antwerp , and another ‘kowydd’ to send a ship to fetch them home from Denmark . In one ‘kowydd’ Cynwal speaks of Clough as ‘marchoc o vedd Krist’ ( Knight of the Holy Sepulchre ).


  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and the sources noted therein;
  • J. Ballinger , ‘Katheryn of Berain,’ in Y Cymmrodor , xl;
  • Calendar of State Papers, Foreign Series , 1566-8 ;
  • NLW MSS 6496, 12473;
  • J. E. Griffith , Pedigrees of Anglesey and Carnarvonshire Families (1914) , 329;
  • portrait in T. Pennant , A Tour (Tours) in [North] WalesPennant, Thomas


Sir William Llewelyn Davies, M.A., LL.D., F.S.A. (1887-1952), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959