Gilbert (Clare) de Clare

Gilbert (Clare) de Clare

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Sir Gilbert FitzRichard de Clare formerly Clare aka of Tonbridge
Born in Tunbridge, Kent, Englandmap
Husband of — married before [location unknown]
Died about in Winterbourne Monkton, Marlborough, Wiltshire, Englandmap
Last profile change on 30 June 2014
14:33: Maryann Hurt proposed a merge of Fitz Richard-21 and Clare-14. [Thank Maryann for this]
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Short Biography

"Gilbert de Tonebruge, who resided at Tonebruge and inherited all his father's lands in England, joined in the rebellion of Robert de Mowbray, Earl of Northumberland, but observing the king (William Rufus) upon the point of falling into an ambuscade, he relented, sought pardon, and saved his royal master. Subsequently, however, he was again in rebellion in the same reign and fortifying and losing his castle at Tunbridge.

"He m. in 1113, Adeliza, dau. of the Earl of Cleremont, and had issue, Richard, his successor, Gilbert, Walter, Hervey, and Baldwin. Gilbert de Tonebruge, who was a munificent benefactor to the church, was s. by his eldest son, Richard de Clare." [1]

Long Biography

Gilbert FitzRichard de Clare, aka Gilbert of Tonbridge

Earl Gilbert de Clare was born before 1066. He lived in Tonebridge and died in 1114/1117 in England. He was the son and eventual heir of Richard FitzGilbert of Clare, who had been with William the Conqueror during the conquest of England and Rochese Giffard. After Richard's death, his extensive properties in Normandy and England were divided between his two eldest sons. The Norman fiefs of Bienfaite and Orbec passed to Roger, while Gilbert inherited the English honors of Clare and Tonbridge. Earl Gilbert's inheritance made him one of the wealthiest magnates in early twelfth-century England.

Gilbert held Tonbridge Castle against William Rufus (who would become King William II), but was wounded and captured. {-Encycl. Brit., 1956, 5:754}. He was later reconciled, after King William I's death in 1088. He was involved in rebellion between 1088 and 1095. He may have been present at the suspicious death of William II in the New Forest in 1100.

Earl Gilbert married Adeliza de Clermont in 1113. Adeliza was born about 1065, lived in Northamptonshire, England. She was the daughter of Count Hugh de Clermont and Marguerita de Roucy. She died after 1117 in England.

Adeliza married second, Aubrey II de Vere. Aubrey was born about 1082 in Hedingham, Essex, England. He was the son of Alberic de Vere and Beatrix Gand. He died on 15 May 1141 in London, England and was buried in Coine Priory, Earls Coine, Essex, England.

He was granted lands and the Lordship of Cardigan by Henry I and built the second castle at Caerdigan, Pembrokeshire, Wales. Since 1096 the Clares had owned the castle of Striguil on the Severn, opposite Bristol; they also held Goodrich fortess nearby. A marriage brought it into the hands of William Marshall, who soon controlled the strongest castles on the peninsula. The keep has been transformed into a modern house. Of all the castles that finally came into William Marshall's possession, this was the most important to the area. Scholars believe there is evidence that it was originally built of wood. He founded the Cluniac priory at Stoke-by-Clare, Suffolk.

Parentage of Gilbert

Earl Richard "De Tonbridge" FitzGilbert (~1024 - ~1090) Count Hugh de Clermont (1030 - 1102)
Grand Parents
Count Gilbert "Crispin" de Brionne (~0979 - ~1040) Renauld de Clermont (~1010 - >1098)
Constance de Eu Ermengarde de Clermont (~1010 - )
Rochese Giffard (~1034 - >1133) Marguerita de Roucy (~1035 - >1103)
Grand Parents
Walter Giffard de Bolebec (~1010 - 1085/1102) Count Hildwan IV (~1010 - ~1063)
Agnes Ermentrude Fleitel (~1014 - ) Adela de Roucy (~1013 - 1063)


1. Walter de Clare 1086 1149
2. Margaret de Clare 1090 1185 m. (ca. 1108), Sir William de Montfitchet, Lord of Stanstead Mountfitchet.
3. Adelize/Alice de Clare 1092 1163 m. (ca. 1105), Aubrey II de Vere, son of Aubrey I de Vere and Beatrice. She had 9 children and in her widowhood was a corrodian at St. Osyth's, Chich, Essex.
4. Baldwin Fitz Gilbert de Clare, Lord of Bourne 1092 1154 m. Adeline de Rollos.
5. Richard Fitz Gilbert de Clare 1094 1136 1st Earl of Hertford.
6. Hervey de Clare (ca.1096) Unknown
7. Gilbert Fitz Gilbert de Clare (ca.1100) 1148 1st Earl of Pembroke.
8. Rohese de Clare (ca.1105) 1149 m. (ca. 1130), Baderon of Monmouth.
9.Margaret de Clare 1101 Unknown

SEE the Wikipedia article on Gilbert fitz Richard

SEE information regarding the Clare family.

Additional Sources

1. Americans of Royal Descent, Los Angeles Library
2. G.E.C.: Complete Peerage III: 242-43
3. J.H. Round, Feudal Eng. p. 523, 473
4. Dict. of Nat'l Biog.
5. "Ancestral roots of certain American colonists who came to America before 1700", Frederick Lewis Weis, 1992, seventh edition. The earlier editions were called: "Ancestral roots of sixty colonists who came to New England 1623-1650"
6. "Europaische Stammtafeln", Isenburg.
7, "Plantagenet Ancestry", Turton.
8. "Ancestors of American Presidents", Gary Boyd Roberts.
9. "The Royal Descents of 500 Immigrants", Gary Boyd Roberts, 1993.
10. "Magna Charta Sureties, 1215", F. L. Weis, 4th Ed.
11. Funk & Wagnalls New Encyclopedia
12. "My Lines" (
13. R. B. Stewart, Evans, GA (
14. 'The Thomas Book'
15. Wikipedia article on Gilbert fitz Richard

  • Source: S150 Title: The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Volume: vols. I-XII Abbreviation: Complete Peerage Author: Cokayne, George Edward Publication: St. Catherine Press Ltd., London, 1910-1959
  • Source: S152 Title: Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England between 1623 and 1650 Abbreviation: Ancestral Roots, 6th ed. Author: Weis, Frederick Lewis Publication: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, MD, 1988 Note: RIN#10004



Abbot of Ely Lord of Clare

2nd Earl Clare, Lord of Tunbridge and Cardigan [1107-1111], and Marshall of England.

BIOGRAPHY: Notes From "A Baronial Family in Medieval England: The Clares, 1217-1314", by Michael Altschul, Baltimore, The Johns Hopkins press, 1965. The Clares came to England with the Conqueror. Like many other great families settled in England after the Conquest, they were related to the dukes of Normandy and had established themselves as important members of the Norman feudal aristocracy in the late tenth and early eleventh centuries. The origin of the family can be traced to Godfrey, eldest of the illegitimate children of Duke Richard I (the Fearless), the Conqueror's great-grandfather. While the Duke granted Godfrey Brionne, he did not make him a count. Godfrey's comital title derives from the grant of the county of Eu made to him after 996 by his half-brother, Duke Richard II. After Godfrey's death, Eu was given to William, another of Duke Richard I's bastard sons, and Gilbert, Godfrey's son, was left with only the lordship of Brionne. However, under Duke Robert I, father of William the Conqueror, Gilbert assumed the title of count of Brionne while not relinquishing his claim to Eu. When Count William of Eu died shortly before 1040, Gilbert assumed the land and title, but he was assassinated in 1040 and his young sons, Richard and Baldwin, were forced to flee Normandy, finding safety at the court of Baldwin V, count of Flanders. When William the Conqueror married Count Baldwin's daughter, he restored Gilbert's sons to Normandy, although he did not invest them with either Brionne or Eu or a comital title. William granted the lordships of Bienfaite and Orbec to Richard fitz Gilbert, and Le Sap and Meules to Baldwin. While Gilbert's descendants later pressed a claim for Brionne, it was never restored. Richard and Baldwin fitz Gilbert took part in the Norman conquest of England, and both assumed important positions in the Conqueror's reign. Baldwin was made guardian of Exeter in 1068, and appears in the Domesday Book as sheriff of Devon, lord of Okehampton and numerous other estates in Devon, Dorset, and Somerset. His sons William and Richard were also sheriffs of Devon and participated in the abortive Norman penetration of Carmarthen in the early twelfth century. However, the lasting position of the family in England must be credited to Baldwin's brother, Richard fitz Gilbert I. He was regent of England jointly with William de Warenne during the Conqueror's absence in 1075, and he served in various other important capacities for the King. King William rewarded his cousin well, granting him one of the largest fiefs in the territorial settlement. The lordship centered on Clare (obviously the origin of the Clare family name), Suffolk, which had been an important stronghold in Anglo-Saxon times. The bulk of Richard fitz Gilbert's estates lay in Suffolk, Essex, Surrey, and Kent, but comprised holdings in various other counties in the southern and eastern parts of the kingdom as well. In addition, King William arranged for Richard's marriage to Rohese, sister of Walter Giffard, later earl of Buckingham, and her dowry, consisting of lands in Huntingdon and Hertford, became absorbed in the family inheritance. After Richard's death, his extensive properties in Normandy and England were divided between his two eldest sons. The Norman fiefs of Bienfaite and Orbec passed to Roger, while Gilbert, inherited the English honors of Clare and Tonbridge. Part II


While Gilbert fitz Richard I found himself at odds with the Conqueror's successor, William Rufus, he and other members of the family enjoyed great favor with Rufus' successor King Henry I. Some have suggested that Henry's largesse was due to the fact that Walter Tirel, husband of Richard's daughter Adelize, shot the arrow which slew Rufus. Proof of this is lacking, but with certainty the wealth and position of the Clare family increased rapidly during Henry's reign. One of Rohese Giffards brothers (Walter) was made earl of Buckingham and another bishop of Winchester. Gilbert fitz Richard's brothers were also rewarded: Richard, a monk at Bec, was made abbot of Ely in 1100; Robert was granted the forfeited manors of Ralph Baynard in East Anglia; Walter, who founded Tintern Abbey in 1131, was given the great lordship of Netherwent with the castle of Striguil in the southern march, territories previously held by Roger, son of William fitz Osborn, earl of Hereford, who had forfeited them in 1075. In 1110 Gilbert was granted the lordship of Ceredigion (Cardigan) in southwestern Wales, and immediately embarked upon an intensive campaign to subjagate the area.


After Gilbert fitz Richard I died in 1117, his children continued to profit from royal generosity and favorable connections. His daughters were all married to important barons; William de Montfichet, lord of Stansted in Essex, the marcher lord Baderon de Monmouth, and Aubrey de Vere, lord of Hedingham in Essex and father of the first Vere earl of Oxford. Of the five sons, little is known of two: Hervey, whom King Stephen sent on an expedition to Cardigan abt 1140, and Walter, who participated in the Second Crusade of 1147. Baldwin established himself as an important member of the lesser baronage by obtaining the Lincolnshire barony of Bourne through marriage. Richard fitz Gilbert II, the eldest and heir, was allowed to marry Adeliz, sister of Ranulf des Gernons, earl of Chester, thus acquiring lands in Lincoln and Northampton as her marriage portion. He tried to consolidate the gains made by his father in Cardigan, but was killed in an ambush in 1136 and the lordship was soon recovered by the Welsh. Of Gilbert fitz Richard I' sons, Gilbert was the only one to achieve any great prominence, being the founder of the great cadet branch of the family and the father of one of the most famous men in English history. Gilbert fitz Gilbert de Clare was high in the favor of Henry I, perhaps because his wife Isabell, daughter of Robert de Beaumont, count of Meulan and earl of Leicester, was one of Henry's favorite mistresses. When Gilbert's uncle Roger died without heirs, Henry granted Gilbert the lordships of Bienfaite and Orbec in Normandy. When another uncle, Walter, lord of Netherwent in South Wales, died without issue in 1138, King Richard? gave Gilbert this lordship in addition to the lordship of Pembroke, which had been forfeited by Arnulf of Montgomery in 1102. Gilbert was also created earl of Pembroke in 1138. At his death in 1148, he was succeeded by his son Richard fitz Gilbert, aka "Strongbow" who led the Norman invasion of Ireland and obtained the great lordship of Leinster in 1171.


Part III Thus, in just two generations, the cadet branch of the Clares became one of the most important families in England. Strongbow was Earl of Pembroke, Lord of Netherwent,and Lord of Leinster being the most powerful of the marcher and Anglo-Irish magnates under King Henry II. Strongbow d. in 1176 and son Gilbert d. abt. 1185, ending the male line. In 1189, the inheritance passed to Strongbow's dau. Isabel and her husband, William Marshal. Meanwhile, the senior side prospered. After Richard fitz Gilbert II d. in 1136, Clare, Tonbridge, and other estates passed to the eldest son Gilbert fitz Richard II, who was created Earl of Hertford by King Stephen. Gilbert d. probably unmarried in 1152, when his younger brother Roger inherited the estates and comital title. Roger resumed the campaign against the Welsh in Cardigan where, after 8 years, he was defeated in 1165. However, Roger did add some lands and nine knights' fees through his marriage to Maud, daughter and heir of the Norfolk baron James de St. Hillary. Roger d. in 1173 and his widow, Maud, conveyed the remainder of the inheritance to her next husband, William de Aubigny, earl of Arundel. The Clare estates along with the earldom passed to Roger's son, Richard, who for the next 4 decades until he d. in 1217, was the head of the great house of CLARE, adding immensely to the wealth, prestige, and landed endowment of his line. __________________________________________________________________ Part IV: Roger's son Richard, hereinafter Richard de CLARE acquired half of the former honor of Giffard in 1189 when King Richard I, in need of money for the Third Crusade, agreed to divide the Giffard estates between Richard de CLARE and his cousin Isabel, Strongbow's dau. based on their claims to descendancy to Rohese Giffard. Richard de CLARE obtained Long Crendon in Buckingham, the caput of the Giffard honor in England, associated manors in Buckingham, ambridge, and bedfordshire, and 43 knights' fees, in addition to some former Giffard lands in Normandy. When Richard de CLARE's mother Maud d. in 1195, he obtained the honor of St. Hilary. Maud's 2nd husband, William de Aubigny, earl of Arundel, who had held St. Hilary jure uxoris, d. in 1193, and despite the fact he had a son and heir, the honor reverted to Maud and after her death escheated to the crown. Richard de CLARE offered £360 and acquired it. The honor later became absorbed into the honor of CLARE and lost its separate identity. Richard de CLARE's most important act, however, was his m. to Amicia, 2nd dau. and eventual sole heir to William earl of Gloucester. The Gloucester inheritance included the earldom and honor of Gloucester with over 260 knights' fees in England, along with the important marcher lordships of Glamorgan and Gwynllwg. It was not easy though!! William d. 1183, leaving 3 daughters. The eldest, Mabel, m. Amaury de Montfort, count of Evreux, while the second, Amicia m. Richard de CLARE. King Henry II meanwhile arranged the m. of the youngest Isabel, to his son John, count of Mortain, in 1189. When John became King in 1199, he divorced Isabel to m. Isabelle of Angoulême, but, he kept the 1st Isabel in his custody. Then in 1200, John created Mabel's son Amaury earl of Gloucester. In addition, Richard de CLARE and his son Gilbert were given a few estates and 10 fees of the honor of Gloucester of Kent; otherwise, John kept the bulk of the honor, with the great lordships of Glamorgan and Gwynllwg. Mabel's son Amaury d. without issue in 1213 Shortly thereafter, John gave the 1st Isabel in marriage to Geoffrey de Mandeville, earl of Essex, who was also created earl of Gloucester. When Geoffrey died, the inheritance was assigned to Hubert de Burgh, the justiciar. Hubert m. Countess Isabel shortly before her daeth in Oct. 1217, however, he did not retain the estates, since they passed to Amicia, now recognized as countess of Gloucestire, and her husband Richard de CLARE, despite the fact Richard and Amicia had been separated since 1200. __________________________________________________________________ Part V: Richard outlived Isabel by several weeks and by 28 Nov 1217, he was dead, leaving Gilbert, aged 38, as the sole heir to the Clare and Gloucester estates and title. Gilbert de CLARE assumed the title of earl of Gloucester and Hertford and was charged £350 relief for the honors of Clare, Gloucester, St. Hilary and his half of the old Giffard barony. He controlled some 456 knights fees, far more than any other, and it did not include some 50 fees in Glamorgan and Gwynllwg. By a remarkable series of fortuitous marriages and quick deaths, the Clares were left in 1217 in possession of an inheritance which in terms of social prestige, potential revenues, knights' fees, and a lasting position of great importance among the marcher lords of Wales. They were probably the most successful family in developing their lands and power during the 12th century and in many ways the most powerful noble family in 13th century England. By 1317, however, the male line of Clares became extinct and the inheritance was partitioned. Between 1217 and 1317 there were four Clare generations. Gilbert de CLARE, b. abt 1180 had a brother Richard/Roger and a sister Matilda. Richard accompanied Henry III's brother, Richard of Cornwall, to Gascony in 1225-26 and was never heard from again. Matilda was married to William de Braose (d. 1210 when he and his mother were starved to death by King John), eldest son of the great marcher baron William de Braose (d. 1211), lord of Brecknock, Abergavenny, Builth, Radnor, and Gower, who was exiled by King John. Matilda returned to her father and later (1219) sued Reginald de Braose, second son of William, for the family lands, succeeding only in recovering Gower and the Sussex baronry of Bramber. Gilbert de CLARE, earl of Gloucester and Hertford from 1217 to 1230, m. Oct. 1214 his cousin Isabel, daughter and eventual co-heiress of William Marshal (d 1219), earl of Pembroke. Gilbert and Isabel had three sons and two daughters, with the eldest son and heir Richard, b. 4 Aug 1222, thus only 8 when his father died. In 1243, Richard de CLARE came of age and assumed the estates and titles of his father until he d. 15 July 1262. His brother William, b. 1228 held lands of Earl Richard in Hampshire and Norfolk for the service of a knight's fee. In June 1258, during a baronial reform program, William was granted custody of Winchester castle. A month later he died, reportedly by poison administered by the Earl Richard's seneschal- a steward or major-domo. Walter de Scoteny, in supposed collaboration with Henry III's Poitevin half-brothers, who strongly opposed the baronial program and Earl Richard's participation in it. Earl Gilbert's daughters were very well placed. Amicia, b. 1220, was betrothed in 1226 to Baldwin de Reviers, grandson and heir to William de Reviers, earl of Devon (d 1217). Baldwin was only a year or two older than Amicia and Earl Gilbert offered 2,000 marks to the King for the marriage and custody of some Reviers estates during Baldwin's minority. The marriage must have been consummated around 1235, since Baldwin's son and heir (Baldwin) was b. the next year. After Baldwin d. in 1245, Amicia (d 1283) controlled the lands of her son (d. 1262) and was given permission to marry a minor English baron, Robert de Guines/Gynes, uncle of Arnold III, Count of Guines. Earl Gilbert's other daughter, Isabel b. 1226, m. 1240 the Scots baron Robert Bruce, lord of Annandale (d 1295), and by him was the grandmother of the hero of Bannockburn. Her marriage was probably arranged by her mother Isabel and uncle, Gilbert Marshal who gave her the Sussex manor of Ripe as a marriage portion. Isabel Marshal outlived Earl Gilbert de CLARE by ten years, during which time she was busy. In 1231 she m. Richard of Cornwall, to the displeasure of Richard's brother King Henry III, who was trying to arrange another match for Richard. She d 1240, after 4 children by Richard, only one of which lived past infancy. According to the Tewkesbury chronicle, she wished to be buried next to her 1st husband, but Richard of Cornwall had her buried at Beaulieu Abbey in Hampshire, although as a pious gesture he allowed her heart to be sent to Tewkesbury.

Wikipedia: Gilbert Fitz Richard (1065-1115) was son and heir of Richard Fitz Gilbert , earl of Clare, and heiress Rohese Giffard. He succeeded to his father's possessions in England in 1090; his brother, Roger Fitz Richard, inherited his father's lands in Normandy . Earl Gilbert's inheritance made him one of the wealthiest magnates in early twelfth-century England. Gilbert may have been present at the suspicious death of William II in the New Forest in 1100. He was granted lands and the Lordship of Cardigan by Henry I , including Cardigan Castle . He and his wife Adeliza had nine children, two of whom became peers of the realm . He founded the Cluniac priory at Stoke-by-Clare, Suffolk.[2]


  • A Baronial Family in Medieval England: The Clares, 1217-1314, by Michael Altschul, Baltimore, The Johns Hopkins press, 1965.


  1. Sir Bernard Burke, Dormant and Extinct Peerages, Burke's Peerage, London, 1883, p. 119, Clare, Lords of Clare, Earls of Hertford, Earls of Gloucester
  2. Entered by Richard Ragland.


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