Abraham Clifford ca.1628-1675

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Abraham CLIFFORD ca.1628-1675

Biographical Note

Son of Joseph Clifford of Warwickshire. Attended Pembroke Hall, Cambridge: BA 1650; MA 1653; BD 1660 Fellow 1650 (re-admitted 1660). Rector of Quendon, Essex, but ejected in 1662. He studied medicine at Leiden and was created an MD at Oxford in 1670, and practised in London. ‘Secundus a secretis’ to the Prince of Orange. He was the author of Methodus Evangelica (1676), apparently never intended for print.


Clifford’s will suggests the importance of books in his life, with them being mentioned at the start, before bequests of property and money. ‘In Thankfull Remembrance of my Pious Education’ he left his old college a six volume set of the works of Pierre Gassendi, along with items from his library specified in a separate ‘note or Catalogue’. These came to be listed in the college’s benefactor’s register (fols 163r-164r): 10 folio, 17 quarto and 27 octavo titles, the majority of them seventeenth-century works on medicine. (These are distinct from his gift of six books to Pembroke in 1662.) The rest of his library, whose content and extent have not been established, was bequeathed to his cousin Samuel Clifford, with the added instruction that in the event of his death it was to pass instead to Samuel's brother Isaac (both of them being nonconformist ministers). A ‘guilded Bible of Bentleys Print’ (one of an edition of Bibles printed by William Bentley in the 1640s) was bequeathed to Jane Gibbs of Stoke-by-Nayland.