Richard Fitz Gilbert de Clare

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Gilbert Fitz Richard
Earl of Brionne
Earl of Hertford
3rd Lord of Clare
Lord of the Honor of Clare1117-1136
Predecessor Gilbert Fitz Richard
Successor Gilbert de Clare, 1st Earl of Hertford
Titles and styles
3rd Lord of Tonbridge
Lord of Cardigan
Born Clare, Suffolk, England
Died(1136-04-15)15 April 1136
Abergavenny, Monmouthshire
Family de Clare
SpouseAlice de Gernon
Gilbert Fitz Richard de Clare
Roger de Clare
Alice de Clare
Robert Fitz Richard de Clare
Rohese de Clare
Lucy de Clare
Father Gilbert Fitz Richard
MotherAdeliza de Claremont
OccupationPeerage of England

Richard fitz Gilbert de Clare (died 15 April 1136) 3rd Lord of Clare, was an Anglo-Norman nobleman. A marcher lord in Wales, he was also the founder of Tonbridge Priory in Kent.

Anglo-Normans Medieval ethnic group in England

The Anglo-Normans were the medieval ruling class in England, composed mainly of a combination of ethnic Anglo-Saxons, Normans and French, following the Norman conquest. A small number of Normans had earlier befriended future Anglo-Saxon King of England, Edward the Confessor, during his exile in his mother's homeland of Normandy. When he returned to England some of them went with him, and so there were Normans already settled in England prior to the conquest. Following the death of Edward, the powerful Anglo-Saxon noble, Harold Godwinson, acceded to the English throne until his defeat by William, Duke of Normandy at the Battle of Hastings.

Tonbridge Priory human settlement in United Kingdom

Tonbridge Priory was a priory in Tonbridge, Kent, England that was established in 1124. It was destroyed by fire in 1337 and then rebuilt. The priory was disestablished in 1523. The building stood in 1735, but was a ruin by 1780. The remains of the priory were demolished in 1842 when the South Eastern Railway built the railway through Tonbridge, the original Tonbridge station standing on its site.



Richard was the eldest son of Gilbert Fitz Richard de Clare and Adeliza de Claremont. [1] Upon his father's death, he inherited his lands in England and Wales.

Gilbert Fitz Richard, was styled de Clare, de Tonbridge, and Lord of Clare. He was a powerful Anglo-Norman baron who was granted the Lordship of Cardigan, in Wales c. 1107–1111.

de Clare Anglo-Norman noble family in England, Ireland, and Wales

The Clare family were a prominent Anglo-Norman noble house that held at various times the earldoms of Pembroke, Hertford and Gloucester in England and Wales, as well as playing a prominent role in the Norman invasion of Ireland.

He is commonly said to have been created Earl of Hertford by either Henry I or Stephen, but no contemporary reference to him, including the record of his death, calls him by any title, while a cartulary states that a tenant had held "de Gilleberto, filio Richardi, et de Ricardo, filio ejus, et postea, de Comite Gilleberto, filio Richardi" ("of Gilbert Fitz Richard, and his son Richard, and then of Earl Gilbert Fitz Richard"), again failing to call Richard 'Earl' while giving that title to his son. Thus his supposed creation as earl is without merit, although his status and wealth made him a great magnate in England. [1] There is an old photo document on the Wikipedia page for Tonbridge priory which states that the priory was founded by Richard de Clare EARL of (B.. illegible) and Hertfordshire.

Henry I of England 12th-century King of England and Duke of Normandy

Henry I, also known as Henry Beauclerc, was King of England from 1100 to his death in 1135. Henry was the fourth son of William the Conqueror and was educated in Latin and the liberal arts. On William's death in 1087, Henry's elder brothers Robert Curthose and William Rufus inherited Normandy and England, respectively, but Henry was left landless. Henry purchased the County of Cotentin in western Normandy from Robert, but William and Robert deposed him in 1091. Henry gradually rebuilt his power base in the Cotentin and allied himself with William against Robert. Henry was present when William died in a hunting accident in 1100, and he seized the English throne, promising at his coronation to correct many of William's less popular policies. Henry married Matilda of Scotland but continued to have a large number of mistresses by whom he had many illegitimate children.

Cartulary type of medieval manuscript

A cartulary or chartulary, also called pancarta or codex diplomaticus, is a medieval manuscript volume or roll (rotulus) containing transcriptions of original documents relating to the foundation, privileges, and legal rights of ecclesiastical establishments, municipal corporations, industrial associations, institutions of learning, or families. The term is sometimes also applied to collections of original documents bound in one volume or attached to one another so as to form a roll, as well as to custodians of such collections.

Directly following the death of Henry I, hostilities increased significantly in Wales and a rebellion broke out. [2] Robert was a strong supporter of King Stephen and in the first two years of his reign Robert attested a total of twenty-nine of that king's charters. [3] He was with King Stephen when he formalized a treaty with King David I of Scotland and was a royal steward at Stephen's great Easter court in 1136. [3] He was also with Stephen at the siege of Exeter that summer and was in attendance on the king on his return from Normandy. At this point, Richard apparently demanded more land in Wales, which Stephen was not willing to give him. [3]

Stephen, King of England 12th-century King of England and Count of Boulogne

Stephen, often referred to as Stephen of Blois, was King of England from 1135 to his death, as well as Count of Boulogne from 1125 until 1147 and Duke of Normandy from 1135 until 1144. Stephen's reign was marked by the Anarchy, a civil war with his cousin and rival, the Empress Matilda. He was succeeded by Matilda's son, Henry II, the first of the Angevin kings.

David I of Scotland King of Scots, Prince of the Cumbrians

David I or Dauíd mac Maíl Choluim was a 12th-century ruler who was Prince of the Cumbrians from 1113 to 1124 and later King of the Scots from 1124 to 1153. The youngest son of Malcolm III and Margaret of Wessex, David spent most of his childhood in Scotland, but was exiled to England temporarily in 1093. Perhaps after 1100, he became a dependent at the court of King Henry I. There he was influenced by the Anglo-French culture of the court.

In 1136, Richard had been away from his lordship in the early part of the year. He returned to the borders of Wales via Hereford in the company of Brian Fitz Count, but on their separating, Richard ignored warnings of the danger and pressed on toward Ceredigion with only a small force. [4] He had not gone far when, on 15 April, he was ambushed and killed by the men of Gwent under Iorwerth ab Owain and his brother Morgan, grandsons of Caradog ap Gruffydd, in a woody tract called "the ill-way of Coed Grano", near Llanthony Abbey, north of Abergavenny. [5] Today the spot is marked by the 'garreg dial' (the stone of revenge). [6] He was buried in Tonbridge Priory, [7] which he founded. [1]

Brian fitz Count was descended from the Breton ducal house, and became an Anglo-Norman noble, holding the lordships of Wallingford and Abergavenny. He was a loyal adherent of Henry I, King of England, and a staunch supporter of his daughter, the Empress Matilda, during the Anarchy (1135–1153).

Ceredigion County

Ceredigion is a county in Wales, known prior to 1974 as Cardiganshire. During the second half of the first millennium Ceredigion was a minor kingdom. It has been administered as a county since 1282. Welsh is spoken by more than half the population. Ceredigion is considered to be a centre of Welsh culture. The county is mainly rural with over 50 miles (80 km) of coastline and a mountainous hinterland. The numerous sandy beaches, together with the long-distance Ceredigion Coast Path provide excellent views of Cardigan Bay.

Kingdom of Gwent kingdom in South Wales

Gwent was a medieval Welsh kingdom, lying between the Rivers Wye and Usk. It existed from the end of Roman rule in Britain in about the 5th century until the Norman conquest of England in the 11th century. Along with its neighbour Glywyssing, it seems to have had a great deal of cultural continuity with the earlier Silures, keeping their own courts and diocese separate from the rest of Wales until their conquest by Gruffydd ap Llywelyn. Although it recovered its independence after his death in 1063, Gwent was the first of the Welsh kingdoms to be overrun following the Norman conquest.


The news of Richard's death induced Owain Gwynedd, son of Gruffudd ap Cynan, king of Gwynedd to invade his lordship. In alliance with Gruffydd ap Rhys of Deheubarth, he won a crushing victory over the Normans at the Battle of Crug Mawr, just outside Cardigan. The town of Cardigan was taken and burnt, and Richard's widow, Alice, took refuge in Cardigan Castle, which was successfully defended by Robert fitz Martin. She was rescued by Miles of Gloucester, who led an expedition to bring her to safety in England. [1]

Owain ap Gruffudd was King of Gwynedd, North Wales, from 1137 until his death in 1170, succeeding his father Gruffudd ap Cynan. He was called "Owain the Great" and the first to be styled "Prince of Wales". He is considered to be the most successful of all the North Welsh princes prior to his grandson, Llywelyn the Great. He became known as Owain Gwynedd to distinguish him from the contemporary king of Powys Wenwynwyn, Owain ap Gruffydd ap Maredudd, who became known as Owain Cyfeiliog.

Gruffudd ap Cynan King of Gwynedd

Gruffudd ap Cynan, sometimes written as Gruffydd ap Cynan, was King of Gwynedd from 1081 until his death in 1137. In the course of a long and eventful life, he became a key figure in Welsh resistance to Norman rule, and was remembered as King of all Wales. As a descendant of Rhodri Mawr, Gruffudd ap Cynan was a senior member of the princely House of Aberffraw.

Kingdom of Gwynedd Kingdom in north Wales

The Principality or Kingdom of Gwynedd was a Roman Empire successor state that emerged in sub-Roman Britain in the 5th century during the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain.


Richard married Alice, sister of Ranulf de Gernon, 4th Earl of Chester, [1] by her having:

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 George Cokayne,The Complete Peerage of England Scotland Ireland Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant Extinct or Dormant, Vol. III, Ed. Vicary Gibbs (London: St Catherine Press, 1913), p. 243
  2. David Walker, Medieval Wales (Cambridge UK & New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990), p. 45
  3. 1 2 3 Jennifer C. Ward, 'Royal Service and Reward: The Clare Family and the Crown, 1066-1154', Anglo-Norman Studies XI. Proceedings of the Battle Conference 1988, Ed. R. Allen Brown (Woodbridge, The Boydell Press, 1989), p. 274
  4. John Horace Round, Studies in Peerage and Family History (Archibald Constable and Co., Ltd., 1901), p. 211
  5. The historical works of Giraldus Cambrensis, Ed. Thomas Wright (London: H.G. Bohn, 1863), p. 365
  6. Anna Tucker, Gwent (Princes Risborough: Shire, 1987), p. 40
  7. James Foster Wadmore, The priory of s. Mary Magdalene at Tonbridge (London: Michell & Hughes, 1881), p. 8
  8. 1 2 George Cokayne,The Complete Peerage of England Scotland Ireland Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant Extinct or Dormant, Vol. III, Ed. Vicary Gibbs (London: St Catherine Press, 1913), p. 244
  9. White 2016, p. 121-122.
  10. George Edward Cokayne, The Complete Peerage; or, a History of the House of Lords and all its Members from the Earliest Times, Vol. VI, Eds. H. A. Doubleday & Howard de Walden (London: The St. Catherine Press, Ltd., 1926), p. 645
  11. Katherine Keats-Rohan,(2002).Domesday Descendants: A Prosopography of Persons Occurring in English Documents 1066-1166 : II Pipe Rolls to Cartae Baronum.p.658, and 245.