Clifford was a Devon gentleman determined to make a mark after the Restoration. Elected in 1660, he spoke frequently and in December 1660 was appointed a gentleman of the privy chamber. Bitterly opposed to the Dutch, he urged the second war in 1664. In 1666 he became comptroller of the household, held the post of treasurer 1668–72, and 1672–3 was lord high treasurer with a peerage. But as a member of the cabal, his judgement seems less good than his spirit. He advocated the secret treaty of Dover with Louis XIV, which involved Charles II in great embarrassment; suggested the stop on the Exchequer, a short‐term expedient of doubtful wisdom; and pushed hard for a third Dutch War. When the Test Act passed in 1673, he resigned all offices as an avowed catholic.
Subjects: British History.