Ere summers four times seven thou couldst fulfill.
Ah! Clere! if love had booted, care, or cost,
Heaven had not won, nor earth so timely lost.
Note 1. These lines were inscribed, with the epitaph above, on a table in Lambeth Church: Epitaphium Thomæ Clere, qui fato functus est 1545 auctore Henrico Howard, Comite Surrey. In cujus faelicis ingenii specimen, et singularis facundiae argumentum, appensa fait haec Tabula per W. Howard, filium Thomae nuper Ducis Norfolci ensis, filii ejusdem Henrici Comitis. This epitaph occurs, with some trifling variations, in Camdens Remains, Aubreys History of Surrey, v. 247, and in Bloomfields Norfolk. Thomas Clere was the youngest son of Sir Robert Clere, of Ormesby in Norfolk, (the descendant of Clere, of Cleremont in Normandy,) by Alice, daughter of Sir William Boleyn, by Margaret, daughter and coheir of Thomas Boteler, Earl of Ormond. He was consequently first cousin of Queen Anne Boleyn, whom he saw crowned in 1533, and was connected with Ormonds race. Shelton is presumed to have been a daughter of Sir John Shelton, of Shelton in Norfolk, but it does not appear that Clere married her. He died on the 14th of April, 1545, and was buried at Lambeth. These facts explain most of the allusions in the epitaph, and the others are noticed in the Memoir of Surrey. [back]