Eve (MacMurrough) de Clare

Aoife (MacMurrough) de Clare (abt. 1145 - aft. 1187)

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Aoife (Eve) "Princess of Leinster, Countess of Pembroke" de Clare formerly MacMurrough aka MacMurchada, de Clare
Born about in Lancashire, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Wife of — married 26 Aug 1170 in Waterford, Irelandmap
Descendants descendants
Died after in Waterford, Munster, Ireland.map
Profile last modified 10 Nov 2019 | Created 14 Sep 2010
This page has been accessed 11,390 times.
Aoife Ní Diarmait
Eva of Leinster
Countess of Ireland, MacDermot, Countess of Pembroke
British Aristocracy
Eve (MacMurrough) de Clare was a member of aristocracy in the British Isles.
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Aoife MacMurrough (1145-1188, Irish: Aoife Ní Diarmait), also known by later historians as Eva of Leinster, was the daughter of Dermot MacMurrough (Irish: Diarmait MacMurchada), King of Leinster, and his wife Mor O'Toole (c.1114-1191).


m. Richard "Strongbow" de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke 29 Aug 1170 Christchurch Cathedral, Waterford.
She had been promised to Strongbow by her father who had visited England to ask for an invasion army. He was not allowed to give his daughter away, as under Early Irish Law Aoife had the choice of whom she married, but she had to agree to an arranged marriage.
Under Anglo-Norman law, this gave Strongbow succession rights to the Kingdom of Leinster. Under Irish Brehon law, the marriage gave her a life interest only, after which any land would normally revert to male cousins; but Brehon law also recognized a transfer of "swordland" following a conquest. Aoife conducted battles on behalf of her husband and is sometimes known as Red Eva (Irish: Aoife Rua). She had two sons with her husband Richard de Clare, and within several generations her descendants included much of the nobility of northwestern Europe, including Robert the Bruce.
Extract from Heart of Exile - The marriage of Strongbow (Richard de Clare) and Eva lived for centuries after in the Irish mind as a horrible alliance.

Name Birth Death Notes

Isabel de Clare, 4th Countess of Pembroke 1172 1240 m. Aug 1189, Sir William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke, Lord Marshal, son of John Fitz Gilbert, Marshal (Marechal) of England, and Sibylla of Salisbury.
Gilbert de Striguil (Chepstow), 3rd Earl of Pembroke 1173 1185 Inherited title from father but died as a minor. The title then went to his sister's husband on marriage.
Joan de Clare 1175  ? m. Godfrey Gamage, son of William De Gamages and Elizabeth De Miners.
Children of Aoife MacMurrough and Richard de Clare (Strongbow)


Eva MacMurrough
Eva (Aoife) de CLARE
Aoife "Red Eva" ni Diarmait

Burial of Eve/Aoife, wife of Richard FitzGilbert 'Strongbow'

(Royal Ancestry) His widow, Eve, was living in 1187. Sometime in the period, 1185-1194, his widow, Eve, as "heres Regis Deremicii," confirmed to John Comyn, Archbishop of Dublin, and his successors all of her earlier gifts. At her death, she was buried in Tintern Abbey, Monmouthshire.

On July 7, 2006, Alton Rogers received an e-mail from Richard Turner of the Wales government (Richard.Turner@Wales.GSI.Gov.UK) regarding the burial of important historic persons at Tintern Abbey. These included Eve/Aoife, wife of Richard FitzGilbert de Clare, his father Gilbert FitzGilbert de Clare, Isabel FitzGilbert de Clare, wife of William Marshal, and their eldest daughter Maud.

From Richard Turner regarding the burial of Eve/Aoife at Tintern: In 1531 William fellows made a visitation to Tintern Abbey just before the Dissolution of the Monasteries. He wrote describing the tomb of Aoife/Eva of Leinster (Ive Burgh): "in the northe part of sayde Church Lyeth Ive Burgh, doughter to Makmure, King of Lymster in Irelande, and wife to Richard Strangebowe aforewrytten on the other side,"

She was buried with her father-in-law Gilbert FtizGilbert de Clare, who died in 1148/49.

For Profile of Eve of Leinster

Eve of Leinster was the wife of Richard Strongbow, earl of Pembroke. [1]

Eve is an important "Gateway Ancestor", as descent from her is probably the best way for someone of English descent to get a large number of early Irish lines. [1]

Another important Gateway Ancestor for Ireland is Radnailt of Dublin, who is discussed after Eve's table. [1]

Tracing Eve's Ancestry

The first reasonable attempt to trace Eve's complete ancestry, of which I am aware, was the article "The Ancestry of Eve of Leinster," by Professor David Kelley, in "The Genealogist" vol. 1 pp. 4-27. (Turton's earlier attempt is far too unreliable to take seriously.) With the exception of Sadb (#25) and her ancestors, whom Kelley apparently overlooked, there is not much difference between my chart and the one given by Professor Kelley (except for format), as these generations belong to a period which is reasonably well documented. For the earlier period, however, there are considerable differences of opinion, and I think that Professor Kelley's opinion of the reliability of the very early Irish genealogies is much more optimistic than the general view which is represented in the modern scholarly literature, with which I tend to agree. A detailed discussion of these disagreements would require much more time than I have at the moment, but I will briefly comment below on the lines relevant to Eve's ancestry.[1]

As was discussed at length by Professor Kelley in his article, the most important source for the marriages and identification of mothers is the "Ban Senchus" [abbreviated BS] which lists a very large number of Irish women, with the names of their fathers, husbands, and children. The version we have now was probably written in the late twelfth century, but there are clear indications that there were earlier versions (late 10th or early 11th century) which were updated from time to time, so BS is an important primary source for the maternity of many individuals of Irish history. It was edited by Margaret Dobbs in Revue Celtique 47 (1930) 282-339, 48 (1931) 163-234, and 49 (1932) 437-489, of which the last is an every-name index to the first two. Since the page number is sufficient to indicate which volume, citations are in the form BS [page #('s)]. It must be kept in mind that divorce and remarriage was extremely common in early Ireland, so that it was the rule rather than the exception, and thus if you know that A was married to B and that A was the father of C, then it is never permissable to conclude that B was the mother of C unless there is also direct evidence of such a relationship between B and C. In all cases in the table below, the sources given explicitly name the mother as a parent of the given child. There are a number of other cases in which the father is known to have married someone who cannot be directly shown to be the mother of the relevant child, and the maternity is left as unknown in those cases.[1]

The main two other sources are the genealogies and the annals. The best early collection of Irish genealogies, the twelfth century manuscript Rawlinson B502, was edited by M. A. O'Brien in "Corpus Genealogiarum Hiberniae" (Dublin 1962), hereafter abbreviated CGH, which also includes variant readings from three other manuscripts, the Book of Leinster, the Book of Lecan, and the Book of Ballymote. In addition, the end of the book also edits all pedigrees which appear in the Book of Leinster but not in Rawlinson B502. Citations from CGH below will be from Rawlinson B502 unless "LL" appears, in which case it will be from the Book of Leinster. Citations from the annals below will be mainly obituaries, taken primarily from the Annals of Ulster [AU], but sometimes from the Annals of Tigernach [AT], the Chronicum Scotorum [CS], or the Annals of the Four Masters [AFM], generally in that order of preference. (Many of the obituaries appear in all four.) Some of these annals had mislabled years, so that the year given in the annal might be off by one or more years from the true date. For the period relevant to the chart, these chronological dislocations are well understood (but they are a serious problem for the very early part of Irish history), and all dates below include corrections to the true date. For example, the Annals of Ulster label the true year from 1014 on, but the year labels are one year off for earlier years. Thus 935AU below means that the entry appears in AU under the year 934, which has been corrected to the true year 935.[1]

Recommended secondary sources are the first two volumes of "The Gill History of Ireland" (vol. 1: "Ireland before the Vikings" and vol. 2: "Ireland before the Normans"), "Irish Kings and High Kings" by Francis John Byrne, and volume IX of "A New History of Ireland," which gives the genealogies and king lists. (Volume I, which will be the history before the Norman conquest, has not yet appeared so far as I know.) People who use the tables in the latter two books are warned that these tables sometimes give the traditional genealogy without trying to weed out all of the fabricated parts. The Leinster tables are particularly bad about this, and give the fabricated Leinster tribal genealogy, without warning that the earlier part should not be considered historically accurate. (However, a careful scholar will note chronological impossibilities in some of the relationships given in the Leinster tables in both Irish Kings and High Kings and the New History of Ireland.) The Gill History of Ireland is highly recommended for its realistic assessment of what the early records can actually prove. [1]

I have set the data out in a chart format, but have included the ancestor table numbers as a convenience to those who want to convert to that form. Capitalized "Mac" indicates a surname, whereas "mac" means "son of", and similarly for "Ua" and "ua" (grandson of, later written as O'). "King of" is abbreviated "k." Lines that continue earlier than the tenth generation are marked "->" and "*" means that a note appears after the chart, given by the ancestor number. [1]

"Ingen" is the Irish word for daughter. [1]

[Line width of at least 74 characters needed for chart to look right.]

/512.Cinaed mac Cairpre,k. Ui Cheinnselaig,d.935AU->* /256.Cellach mac Cinaeda, k. Ui Cheinnselaig, d.947AFM. /128.Domnall mac Cellaig, k. Ui Cheinnselaig, d. 974AU. /64.Diarmait mac Domnaill, k. Ui Cheinnselaig, d. 996AU. /32.Donnchad Mael na mBo, k. Ui Cheinnselaig, d. 1006AU. /16.Diarmait mac Mael na mBo, k. Laigin, d. 6 or 7 Feb 1072AU. | | /66.Gilla Patraic. | \33.Aife ingen Gilla Patraic. [BS 189, 228] | | /268.Ailill | | /134.Carlus mac Ailella, k. Ui Aeda Odba. | \67.Echrad ingen Carlusa. [BS 189, 228] /8.Murchad mac Diarmata, k. Laigin & Dublin, d. 1070AU. | | /544.Lachtnae mac Corcc->* | | /272.Lorcan mac Lachtnae. | | /136.Cennetig mac Lorcain, k. Thomond, d. 951AU. | | /68.Brian Boruma, k. Ireland, d. 23 Apr 1014AU. | | | | /548.Murchad.* | | | | /274.Urchad mac Murchada, k. West Connacht. | | | \137.Be Bind ingen Urchada. [BS 188, 227, 314, 338] | | /34.Donnchad mac Briain, k. Mumain (Munster), d. 1065AU. | | | | /552.Mael Morda mac Muirecain, d. 917AU->* | | | | /276.Finn mac Mael Morda, d. 923AU. | | | | /138.Murchad mac Finn, k. Laigin, d. 972AU. | | | \69.Gormlaith ingen Murchada, d. 1030AT. [BS 189, 227] | \17.Dirborgaill ingen Donnchada, D. 1080AU. [BS 190, 229] /4.Donnchad mac Murchada, k. Laigin, d. 1115AU. | | /18.NN Mac Bricc. | \9.Sadb ingen Mac Bricc.* /2.Diarmait Mac Murchada, k. Laigin (Leinster), d. 1171AU. | | /10.Gilla Michil or Cinaed Ua Braenain.* | \5.Orlaith ingen Ua Braenain. [BS 193, 198, 231] | | /22.Cearnachan Ua Gairbita, k. Ui Feilmeda. | \11.Uchdelb ingen Cearnachain Ua Gairbita. [BS 193, 198, 231] 1.Aife (Eve of Leinster) md. Richard Strongbow. [BS 232] | /768.Tuathal mac Augaire, k. Laigin, d. 958AU->* | /384.Dunlaing mac Tuathail, k. Laigin, d. 1014AU. | /192.Donncuan ua Tuathail, k. Laigin, d. 1016AU. | /96.Gilla Comgaill Ua Tuathail, d. 1041AU | /48.Gilla Coemgin Ua Tuathail, d. 1059AU. | /24.Donncuan Ua Tuathail. | /12.Gilla Comgaill Ua Tuathail, d. 1127AFM*. | | | /400.Donnchad Mael na mBo [same as #32]. | | | /200.Domnall Remar mac Mael na mBo, d. 1041AU. | | | | | /802.Domnall mac Faelain, k. Deisi Muman, d. 995CS->* | | | | \401.Mael Maidne ingen Domnaill. [BS 192] | | | /100.Donnchad mac Domnaill, k. Ui Cheinnselaig, d. 1089CS. | | | /50.Mael Morda ua Domnaill, d. 1090AFM. | | | | | /202.NN Mac Faelain. | | | | \101.Cailleach ingen Mac Faelain. [BS193] | | \25.Sadb ingen Mael Morda Ua Domnaill.* | | | /816.Murchad mac Nuallain->* | | | /408.Dunlaing ua Nuallain. | | | /204.Mael Maud Ua Nuallain. | | | /102.Cele Ua Nuallain. | | \51.Luanmaisi ingen Ceile Ua Nuallain. [BS196] | /6.Muirchertach Ua Tuathail, k. Ui Muiredaig, d. 1164AT. \3.Mor ingen Muirchertaig Ua Tuathail. [BS 232] | /896.Cennetig mac Morda->* | /448.Cernach ua Morda, k. Loigsi, d. 1018AT. | /224.Cinaed Ua Morda. | /112.Amargen Ua Morda, k. Loigsi, d. 1026AU. | | \225.Echrad ingen Carlusa [same as #67]. | /56.Faelan Ua Morda, k. Loigsi, d. 1069AFM. | /28.Amargen Ua Morda, k. Loigsi, d. 1097AT. | | | /114.Mac Dairgen Ua Thairmeascain. | | \57.Maelind ingen Meic Dairgin. [BS 195] | /14.Loigsech Ua Morda, k. Loigsi, d. 1149CS. | | \29.Gormlaith ingen Mac Carrach Calma?* \7.Cacht ingen Loigsig Ua Morda. [BS 232, 233] | /60.Dunlaing Ua Caellaide.* | /30.Finn Ua Caellaide, k. of half of Osraige. | | | /976.Cellach mac Cerbaill, k. Osraige, d. 908AU. | | | /488.Donnchad mac Cellaig, k. Osraige, d. 976AU.* | | | /244.Gilla Patraic mac Donnchada, k. Osraige, d. 996AU. | | | /122.Tadg mac Gilla Patraic, blinded 1027AU. | | \61.Dirborgaill ingen Taidg, d. 1098AT. [BS 190] \15.Gormlaith ingen Finn Ua Caellaide. [BS 233][1]


9. BS 194. See Kelley's Line XI for a suggestion as to her ancestry. I did not include it in my chart because it is still unproven.[1]

10. His first name is uncertain. BS 193 gives it as Cinaed (Kenneth), while BS 198 and BS 231 give it as Gilla Michil.

12. Gilla Comgaill Ua Tuathail is given by Kelley as a king of Ui Muiredaig killed in 1119, but both title and date of death are wrong. Gilla Comgaill was abbot of Glendalough, and died in 1127.

25. BS 195, 196. Kelley overlooked this marriage in his article, which did not include Sadb's ancestors.

29. BS 198, 230. Carrach Calma was a nickname of Donnchad (d. 969), a great-grandson of the Ui Neill king Flann Sinna. (See Table 4 in the genealogies of volume IX of "A New History of Ireland.") BS 230 calls Gormlaith a daughter of Carrach Calma, which is obviously chronologically impossible, and it is clear that a word has accidently dropped from the account of BS 198, which calls her a daughter of Mac Carrach Calma, where "Mac" is clearly meant to indicate descendant rather than son. It is unfortunate that the exact line of descent from Carrach Calma is unknown, for it would give a descent from the Ui Neill kings of Ireland and their intermarriages.

60. BS sometimes uses Ua Cellaig rather than Ua Caellaide, confusing the two names. I have used the name as it appears in the Osraige tables in New History of Ireland, vol. IX.

488. The Osraige pedigree shows two men named Gilla Patraic, grandfather and grandson, who were both sons of a Donnchad, and the Ban Shenchus shows two marriages of a Donnchad of Osraige which produced a son named Gilla Patraic, but it is not clear which marriage belongs to which Donnchad [BS 189, 228]. I tend to agree with Kelley's suggestion that the wife of Donnchad (#488) was Aife, sister of Domnall mac Faelain of Deisi Muman (#820), but the identification is not certain.

512. See CGH 117a3 ff., Kelley's Line I. I am inclined to accept the Ui Cheinnselaig pedigree back only to Cinaed's father Cairpre mac Diarmata (d. 876) and Cairpre's father Diarmait (no further data), because the earlier part of the genealogy has discrepancies and chronological difficulties. I am unconvinced by Kelley's "correction" to this pedigree (at his generations 13-15). The first few generations given by Kelley are of doubtful historicity.

544. See CGH 152b22 ff., Kelley's Line XII. The earlier ancestry of this family is known to be a fabrication, but it can be accepted without much hesitation back to Lachtnae's great-great-grandfather Toirrdelbach (Kelley's generation 9), ancestor of the sept of Ui Toirrdelbaig.

548. See Kelley's Line XIII. I need to see more evidence before I accept any more generations prior to Murchad.

552. See CGH 117c36 ff. and 117d1 ff., Kelley's Line IV. The male line ancestry is the same as that of Tuathal mac Augaire [#768].

768. See CGH 117c1 ff., Kelley's Line III. This line is very well documented back to the mid seventh century, and can probably be accepted back to Dunlaing (late fifth century? - Kelley's generation 5), who was ancestor of the sept of Ui Dunlainge.

802. See CGH 154d11 ff., Kelley's line XI. Domnall mac Faelain was the son of Faelan mac Cormaic, d. 966, king of Deisi Muman, and grandson of Cormac mac Mothla, d. 920, king of Deisi Muman (Kelley's generation 17). I am dubious about the earlier part, which is a string of unverifiable names.

816. See CGH LL337b19 ff., not in Kelley. The only earlier individual in the pedigree whom I have been able to identify in the annals is Fergus (d. 738AU) son of Moenach, king of Fotharta, who was six generations before Murchad. All the earlier generations appear to be unverifiable names. I am inclined to accept the pedigree back to the above Moenach, but the large number of unidentified intervening names between Cele and Fergus leaves open considerable possibilities for error.

896. See CGH LL337g11 ff., Kelley's Line VIII. The pedigree is just a string of names prior to Mescell, d. 799 (Kelley's generation 13), from whom the pedigree can probably be regarded as historical.

976. See CGH 117e39 ff., Kelley's Line X. Kelley suggests that the line might be valid "at least to the third century A.D.," but I can see no reasonable possibility that such a statement might be true for this or any other Irish family. The pedigree is quite solid back to the late seventh century, but the earlier dynastic history of Osraige is obscure, and confused further by the fact that another dynasty apparently occupied the throne in the late sixth and early seventh centuries. See the discussion in "Ireland before the Vikings", by Gearoid Mac Niocaill (Gill History of Ireland, vol. 1, Dublin 1972), especially pp. 84-86, 98- 99, 127, 129.


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Stewart Baldwin. Note in Soc.Genealogy.Medieval dated 2/26/98, reposting an item posted 27 July 1996. Eve of Leinster and Radnaillt of Dublin Baldwin notes that the numerous diacritical marks have been omitted on this chart, due to the usual difficulty of transmitting special characters over the internet. Accessed 1/22/2019 jhd

See also:

  • Royal Ancestry 2013 Vol. IV p. 339-340
  • Ancestral File Number: 91SF-JD
  • Croinin, Daibhi (1995) Early Medieval Ireland 400-1200 London: Longman Press; p. 281
  • Salmonson, J. A. (1991) The Encyclopedia of Amazons, (pp.60). Paragon House. ISBN 1-55778-420-5
  • Weis, F.L. (n.d.) Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America Before 1700, (Lines: 66-26, 175-7, 261-30). N.p.
  • Adam-Smith, P. (1986), Patsy Adam-Smith. Heart of Exile. Victoria, AU: Nelson Publishers. ISBN 0 17006170 1.

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On 21 Jul 2018 at 14:56 GMT James LaLone wrote:

Eve 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.

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Categories: Irish History, Kingdom of Leinster