Clement is the name of an Irish family said to be of Huguenot origin which appears in Cork in the 1600's. The family probably came to Ireland from one of the Southern ports of England - Bristol, Portsmouth or Southampton where the name is also found in the same period and earlier. It was also found on the Island of Jersey in the English Channel. A famous person of the name in England was Gregory Clement (1594-1660) who was the son of John Clement, a merchant who was for a short time a Mayor of Plymouth. Gregory, a merchant who traded with Spain, is described in one source as a Spanish merchant which may indicate his family went to England from Spain at some time. He may have been descended from one of the Spanish Jews who were evicted from Spain in 1492 since the name Clement is found throughout Europe. Gregory became the Member of Paraliament for Fowey in Cornwall and was a supporter of Cromwell. He gave Cromwell funds for his military campaign in Ireland in return for which Cromwell made Gregory a grant of land in Offaly. This suggests the Irish Clement family may have been closely related to or even descended from Gregory Clements. Some Americans claim they are descended from a son of Gregory who went to America but no proof of this has been offered by them. Gregory was hung drawn and quartered in 1660 in London because he was one of the 59 signatories to the execution of King Charles Ist. Clement ( and other versions of it such as Clementi) is a very common surname and first name in France and other European countries, probably because there were about 14 Popes who took the name Clement which means, in Latin, a kind or merciful person.
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