Colclough (Colcloght), Sir Anthony (d. 1584), military governor of Co. Wexford, was the eldest son of Richard Colclough, of Woolstanton, Staffordshire, and Eleanor, daughter of Sir John Draycote, of Paynesley. He moved to Ireland about 1538, presumably as a soldier. From that time until his death he was occupied with attempting the pacification of the south-east. With that task in mind he was appointed in 1549 to live in and fortify Leighlin Bridge, where he remained as governor of the fort until 1557. During this period he appears to have established good relations with the Kavanaghs and the area was relatively peaceful. He was granted lands in Leix in February 1551 but does not appear to have claimed them, and instead focused his interest on Co. Wexford. He was made constable of Ferns c.1551 and military governor of Wexford on 21 March 1559. However, in 1565 he was dismissed from his military posts. It is possible he was regarded as being too friendly with the local Gaelic Irish, but it also appears as if his dismissal was politically motivated.
Colclough received a lease of the lands of the suppressed Cistercian abbey at Tintern in 1557 and of the lands at Kilcowan and Rosegarland in 1558. In early 1562 he established his residence at Tintern Abbey, but his house was burnt down by local Irish that May and he transferred residence to Rosegarland. Included in the lease of Tintern Abbey was the barony of St Mullins, but Brian MacMurrough Kavanagh (qv) withheld it from him. Colclough took legal action and won his case in 1572, but the Kavanaghs threatened to resist with force. Eventually, in 1576, Colclough agreed to surrender his claim to the barony in return for receiving a permanent grant of the rest of his lease of Tintern Abbey. This was a good outcome as he had been trying for many years to have these lands granted to him in perpetuity. The settlement made him one of the biggest landowners in Co. Wexford, the bulk of the lands being in the north-west of the county.
Following his dismissal from office in 1565, Colclough had no soldiers to defend his lands, which were in a part of the country that was devoid of English settlement and free of government control. Having learnt a painful lesson in 1562, he cultivated close relations with his Irish neighbours, using his government contacts to benefit them. In return he prospered in an apparently hostile environment. In 1571 he sold his lease of Kilcowan and Rosegarland for £1,000 and, now secure in his local political position, moved back to Tintern.
Some officials in Dublin wondered where Colclough's true loyalties lay, and he quarrelled repeatedly with Thomas Masterson, the constable of Ferns. Colclough was jealous of Masterson's official status while Masterson envied Colclough's wealth. Despite Masterson's hostility, the government appreciated that Colclough's contacts with the Irish made him a useful intermediary. In 1581 he appears concluding a truce with the Kavanaghs on behalf of the crown and negotiating with other clans. He was appointed to a number of government commissions, was knighted and became constable of the New Fort at St Mullins in Carlow in February 1582. He died 9 December 1584 and was buried at Tintern. He married firstly Thomasine Sutton of Cales, whom he divorced on 29 March 1547. His second wife was Clare, daughter of Francis Agard of Foston, Derby, with whom he had seven sons and four or five daughters.