Richard (Clare) FitzGilbert

Richard (Clare) FitzGilbert (abt. 1130 - abt. 1176)

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Richard "2nd Earl of Pembroke, Earl of Striguil, Strongbow" FitzGilbert formerly Clare aka de Clare
Born about in Tunbridge, Kent, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 26 Aug 1170 in Waterford, Irelandmap
Descendants descendants
Died about in Dublin, Irelandmap
Profile last modified 4 Nov 2019 | Created 15 Jun 2014
This page has been accessed 10,754 times.
British Aristocracy
Richard (Clare) FitzGilbert was a member of aristocracy in the British Isles.
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Richard Fitz Gilbert[1] de Clare[2]

Richard was born about 1130 to Gilbert Fitz Gilbert and "Isabel of Meulan", former mistress of Henry I King of England and daughter of Robert of Meulan[1] - Robert de Beaumont-le-Roger Comte de Meulan (Earl of Leicester) - and his wife Isabelle de Vermandois.[2]

He succeeded his father in 1148 or 1149 as Earl of Pembroke.[2] He was about eighteen when his father died and he inherited the title Earl of Pembroke, but it's probable that it wasn't recognized at Henry II's coronation. Henry II stripped him of the title in 1154 for siding with Stephen I against Matilda.[citation needed] "On the accession of King Henry II in 1154," the King refused to acknowledge Richard as earl "and took the lordship of Pembroke into his own hands."[1]

Richard saw an opportunity to reverse his bad fortune when he met Dermot MacMurrough (Irish: Diarmaid Mac Murchadha ), King of Leinster.[citation needed] "In Autumn 1167 he came to an agreement with Dermot MacMurrough... for the earl's assistance with an army, he could have Eve, Dermot's eldest daughter in marriage and the succession to Leinster."[1]

Richard Fitz Gilbert married Eve of Leinster at Waterford, Ireland about 26 August 1170, daughter of Dermot by Mor, daughter of Muirchertach Ua Tuathail.[1][3]

Richard and Eve, also written as Aoife, had two children:[2]
  • Gilbert,[1] who "succeeded his father in 1176 as Earl of Pembroke, but was never invested with the earldom."[2]
  • Isabel, married William Marshal[1] in London August 1189. William "was invested as Earl of Pembroke 27 May 1199 by King John."[2]
"Isabel de Clare, 4th Countess of Pembroke (d.1220), 1185-1220: Countess of Pembroke in her own right (at the death of her brother)"[citation needed]
"Earl Richard had two illegitimate children"[2] by an "unknown wife or mistress":[1]
  • Basilia[4] ([unnamed] daughter), said to have married Robert de Quincy[1] Constable of Leinster, in 1171.[2][5]
  • Aline,[2] or Aliva (see below),[6] married William Fitz Maurice, Baron of Naas, co. Kildare in 1174,[1] son of Maurice FitzGerald[7]

"From 1172 onwards, he was styled Earl of Striguil, Chepstow and Pembroke."[1] Richard's contemporaries called him the Earl of Striguil, which is where he had a fortress. It's now called Chepstow.[8]

In 1173 Richard Strongbow and Raymond le Gross are made Lord Wardens of Ireland. [9]

He died about 20 April 1176 and was buried in the Church of the Holy Trinity (Christ Church), Dublin, Ireland. His widow, Eve, was living in 1187. At her death, she was buried in Tintern Abbey, Monmouthshire, Wales where her husband's father Gilbert was buried.[1]

Robert of Torigny records the death in 1176 of "Richardus comes de Streguel filius comitis Gisleberti" leaving "parvulum filium ex filia regis Duvelinæ"[1450]. The Annales Cambriæ record the death in 1175 of "comes Ricardus filius Gilberti", another passage recording his death in Ireland in 1177 and his burial "apud Dulin"[1451].[2]

See addtional information about his burial below.

Titles, etc.

Richard FitzGilbert's titles:
  • 2nd Earl of Pembroke[1] (Wales)
    • "The earldom of Pembroke was first granted by King Stephen in 1138 to Gilbert de Clare. On the death of the first earl’s infant grandson Gilbert de Clare in [1185/86], the right to the earldom passed to his sister, but it was not until 1199 that her husband William Marshal was invested as Earl of Pembroke."[10]
  • "Earl of Striguil [Wales], of Chepstow, Monmouthshire, Hinxworth, Hertfordshire, etc." His father, Gilbert, had inherited the barony of Chepstow, Monmouthshire and the manor of Hinxworth, Hertfordshire from Walter Fitz Richard (Gilbert's uncle).[1] "Gilbert de Clare (died 1148), son of Gilbert Fitz-Richard,... possessed the Lordship of Strigul (Estrighoiel, in Domesday Book), the modern Chepstow.[11]
  • Seigneur of Bienfaite and Orbec (Normandy)[1]
  • Justiciar of Ireland[1]
  • Lord of Netherwent
    • "He [[[Clare-569|Gilbert]]] inherited the estates of his paternal uncles Roger de Clare (after 1131, in the baronies of Bienfaite and Orbec, Normandy) and Walter de Clare (in 1138, as lord of Nether Gwent with the castle of Strigoil, later known as Chepstow)"[12]
  • Lord of Goodrich Castle[citation needed]
titles from categories:
  • Irish History, Kingdom of Leinster[13]
    • "In 1170, Aífe... married Richard FitzGilbert de Clare, the Anglo-Norman baron better known as Strongbow. Their union fulfilled one half of the promise made by [Diarmait] Mac Murchada in return for Strongbow's help in regaining his lost kingdom of Leinster. Strongbow's succession to that kingship upon Mac Murchada's death in 1171 fulfilled the other half."[14]
  • Hiberno-Normans, Irish Nobility
  • Governors of Ireland[citation needed]
called 'Strongbow' (see below)
and was known historically as the Norman Conqueror of Ireland[citation needed]
This profile listed "Manor of Westley", but more research is needed to place it in his hands. The History and Antiquities of Suffolk quoted below begins the entry for Westley with "in the time of Henry II",[15] and Henry II had taken "the lordship of Pembroke into his own hands",[1] which would imply Richard did not hold Westley either. While the Richard de Clare referenced is certainly this Richard, Aymer de Valance (born 1270) is descended from Richard's daughter Isabel, who inherited from her brother Gilbert in 1185, so it may be the son who is meant in the reference to "the charter of Gilbert de Clare".
"Westley Sextens: This manor, which had its origin in the charter of Gilbert de Clare, was enlarged by subsequent grants, and took the name of Sextens from the Sacrist of St. Edmund's, to whose use it was appropriated.....
"Pembroke or Dunham Hall: The lands which, during the reign of Henry II, Alexander Fitz Reginald held in Westley of the Earl of Clare by the service of of half knight's fee, became the estate of Aymer de Valance, who probably acquired them by descent from his maternal ancestor, Richard de Clare of Pembroke and Strigul."

Physical Description and Personality

..."'A man of a somewhat florid complexion and freckled; with grey eyes, feminine features, a thin voice and short neck, but otherwise of a good stature.' He was rather suited, continues the same historian [Giraldus], for the council chamber than the field, and better fitted to obey than to command. He required to be urged on to enterprise by his followers; but when once in the press of the fight his resolution was as the standard or the rallying-point of his side. No disaster could shake his courage, and he showed no undue exhilaration when things went well."[16]
note - a lot of information in this profile was about his father, not him, so this needs to be verified as a discription of him. The inline citations for Richardson's Royal Ancestry have been verified against the hard copy. The FMG citations need to be verified as coming from his entry - the FMG citation link had been to the "Table of Contents" for English Earls, 1138-1143, rather than to a particular person (which it is now). The other inline citations are still "best guess" for what information came from where, based on leadin/trailing citations. After verifying FMG and Wikipedia, other citations will need to be confirmed by those with access to other cited material. ~ Noland-165 16:35, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

Research Notes

Statement needing details: raised Empress Matilda's half-sister[citation needed]

Citations also needed for some of the titles listed above and for his birth location of Tunbridge, Kent, England.[17]

First wife

Lord Jordon de Marisco's daughter Aliva was the first wife of Richard de Clare, "Earl of Pembroke, chief conqueror of Ireland in 1172 ; by whom one son, said to have been slain by his own father; — (1) and a daughter Aliva, (2) wife of William Fitz-Maurice Fitz-Gerald, Baron of Naas."[6]
The following had been in this profile as information on son Gilbert, but if Richard died in 1176, he couldn't have killed his son in 1185:
Gilbert de Clare (d.1185; minor: age 17) - "only son, about 17, frightened by the numbers and cries of the Irish in battle, ran away, and when afterwards informed of his father's victory returned to congratulate him. But 'Strongbow' upbraided him for his cowardice and caused him to be executed by cutting him through the middle with a sword. Such in former times was the detestation of cowardice and dastardliness."[citation needed]


Both Richard and his father are shown as "nicknamed Strongbow" by Richardson.[1]
Charter in The Chronicle of Melrose issued by Richard's grandson, Richard Marshal:
There has been debate about the name "Strongbow" ascribed to both Richard and his father Gilbert. Netherwent (Gwent) men were known for skill and use of an unusually long and strong bow. Both Gilbert and Richard held the lordship of Netherwent. Since Gilbert de Clare's seal shows him holding a long arrow in his right hand, historians assume the ability to use this of bow earned father and son the same nickname.

Burial - Additional Information

Alton Rogers received an e-mail dated June 17, 2006 from Stuart Kinsella, research advisor at Christ Church Cathedral, providing detailed information about the Cathedral and of Strongbow's burial there. Strongbow helped to build this ancient Cathedral and his tomb/monument can be seen there today.
Also from the 1905 book about ancient burials in Gloucester Cathedral titled The Cathedral Church of Gloucester which has a description of its fabric and a brief history of the Episcopal See, a burial related to Richard FitzGilbert (de Clare) "Strongbow" was noted. Written in Black Letters on the wall near his supposed gravestone, reads in Latin:
"Ricds Strongbowe, filius Gilberti, Comitius de Pembroke" (Richard Strongbow, son of Gilbert, Lord of Pembroke).
And although his body was buried at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland in 1176, it was thought that possibly his heart was buried in Gloucester Cathedral.[18]


Footnotes and citations
  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 Richardson, Royal Ancestry (below), Vol IV, pp 336-340 PEMBROKE #3., #4. Richard Fitz Gilbert
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Richard FitzGilbert de Clare, entry in the MedLands database (see citation, below; accessed 2 July 2018). See entry for specific source citations.
  3. Dermod McMorrough, of Leinster, one of the kings of that country (see No. 112 in the Line of Descent from the Kings of Ireland and Scotland, page 390); day after capture of Waterford, Strongbow m. MacMurrough's daughter, Aoife of Leinster.
  4. Wikipedia (citation below), citing
    • George Edward Cokayne, The Complete Peerage; or, A History of the House of Lords and All its Members from the Earliest Times, Vol. X, eds. H. A. Doubleday; Geoffrey H. White; & Howard de Walden (London: The St. Catherine Press, Ltd., 1945), Appendix H, p. 103
  5. Source given in Richard's entry (in MedLands, citation below): Regan’s "Song of Dermot and the Earl"
  6. 6.0 6.1 Genealogical memoir of the family of Montmorency, styled De Marisco or Morres, page 41; by Hervey de Montmorency- Morres pub: 1817
  7. Expugnatio Hibernica
  8. The English Counties Delineated vol: 2 page: 56 by Thomas Moule
  9. The Present State of Great-Britain and Ireland: In Three Parts ... by Guy Miege pub: 1718
  10. Entry for Earls of Pembroke in MedLands (citation below)
  11. Wikipedia: Earl of Pembroke (accessed 5 July 2018)
  12. Entry for Gilbert de Clare in MedLands (citation below)
  13. Wikipedia (citation below)
  14. Entry for Aífe by Anne Connon in Medieval Ireland: An Encyclopedia, edited by Seán Duffy (2005), page 19
  15. John Gage, John Gage Rokewode, The History and Antiquities of Suffolk: Thingoe Hundred, pp 85-88
  16. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, quoting Giraldus (see page 393)
  17. Birth location is apparently from his Find A Grave memorial (below), which says "Bio by Iola" but had no other citation as of 2 July 2018.
  18. H.J.L.J. Masse, M.A., The Cathedral Church of Gloucester (link to the book). See page 101 for The Chapter House and the (heart?) burial of Richard 'Strongbow' FitzGilbert de Clare as well as Bernard de Neufmarche (Bernardus de Novo Mercatu), Walter (Gualterus) de Lacy and others.
Source list:
  • Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 5 vols., ed. Kimball G. Everingham (Salt Lake City, Utah: the author, 2013)
  • Medieval Lands: A prosopography of medieval European noble and royal families by Charles Cawley © Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, 2000-2018.
  • Wikipedia: Richard de Clare (accessed 2 July 2018)
  • H.J.L.J. Masse, M.A., The Cathedral Church of Gloucester (link to the book)
  • Monmouthshire on the Wye River
  • charter in The Chronicle of Melrose issued by Richard's grandson, Richard Marshal
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
See also:

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On 22 Oct 2018 at 14:19 GMT Darlene (Athey) Athey-Hill wrote:

Bwa ha ha! Certainly you may stay, Liz!

On 15 Oct 2018 at 21:02 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:

Darlene - just saw your reply (from June!) when I was searching for a project to manage Richard's mother Isabel. I added myself as a manager - can I stay? I'm a 24x-gr-grand of Richard.

Cheers, Liz

On 26 Jun 2018 at 17:04 GMT Darlene (Athey) Athey-Hill wrote:

Hey Liz. No idea why it's hidden - copyright issues perhaps? I don't have time right now to help, but feel free to 'have at it'. Thanks!

On 26 Jun 2018 at 16:02 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:

update - I've finished my editing of this profile.

this profile needs some attention & I'm not sure what to do... there is an open code to hide text, but no close code to show the rest of the bio. and there are a couple of ref tags that will cause a problem once text is reshown. Give me a holler if you'd like help with the coding, but I don't know why text was hidden or how much of it was meant to be hidden.


On 7 Apr 2018 at 04:44 GMT Darlene (Athey) Athey-Hill wrote:

Valerie, per EuroAristo naming standards, we don't use a prefix in the LNAB field. During this period of time, people didn't have surnames. We use that field as a way to locate someone, i.e. similar to an index. We use 'de Clare' in the CLN field.

Darlene - Co-Leader, European Aristocrats Project

On 7 Apr 2018 at 04:19 GMT Valerie Willis wrote:

couldn't you make his LNAB "de Clare"? I have never seen his name written in any other way

On 3 Aug 2017 at 20:20 GMT Vicki (McCrory) Kennedy wrote:

Richard is 21 degrees from T S Eliot, 23 degrees from Walter Howe and 12 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.