See also

Richard (1035-1090)

1. Richard Fitz Gilbert, Earl of Clare, Lord of Beinfaite, Orbec and Tonbridge, son of Gilbert (Giselbert) "Crispin", Count of Brionne and EU (c. 980-1040) and Constance de EU ( - ), was born in 1035 in Normandy. He married Rohese Giffard in 1054. He died in 1090 in St. Neot's Priory, Huntingdonshire.


Richard FitzGilbert was the founder of the early Anglo-Norman noble family the de Clares. Known as "de Bienfaite", "de Clare", and "de Tonbridge", he accompanied his reputed kinsman William the Duke of Normandy into England, and was rewarded with no less than one hundred and seventy six lordships and large grants of land in England, including the right to build the castles of Clare and of Tonbridge, in return for his service at the Battle of Hastings, and general assistance in conquering the Saxon. Served as Joint Chief Justiciar in William's absence, and played a major part in suppressing the revolt of 1075.

Richard took the name Earl of Clare from one of his lordships in Suffolk, where parts of the wall of Clare Castle still stand. The modern Irish county of County Clare was historically part of the North Munster Gaelic kingdom of Thomond, dominated by the O'Briens, Kings of Thomond. The region was granted to the De Clare family in 1275 and they became Lords of Thomond. When the boundaries of the modern County Clare were fixed by Sir Henry Sidney in 1565, it was named after the De Clares.

His parents were Gilbert "Crispin", Count of Brionne and his mistress Constance de Eu. Gilbert was married to Gunnora d'Aunou, and some sources list her as Richards mother. Richard's father is also sometimes listed as Robert I "the Devil", father of William the Conqueror. Sources as far back as the Annals of the Four Masters claim that Richard's great grandson, Richard "Strongbow", was the direct descendant of Robert "the Devil". Gilbert "Crispin" is a descendant of Robert's cousin, but not Robert himself. One thing can be sure, Richard was a close and trusted friend of the King.


Rohese Giffard, daughter of Sir Walter Giffard, Lord of Longueville ( - ) and Agnes Flaitel ( - ), was born circa 1034. She died in 1133. She and Richard Fitz Gilbert, Earl of Clare, Lord of Beinfaite, Orbec and Tonbridge had the following children:



Gilbert Fitz Richard , Earl of Clare, Tonbridge and Cardigan (1065-1115)

Second Generation

2. Sir Gilbert Fitz Richard , Earl of Clare, Tonbridge and Cardigan, son of Richard Fitz Gilbert, Earl of Clare, Lord of Beinfaite, Orbec and Tonbridge and Rohese Giffard, was born in 1065. He married Adelize (Alice) de Claremont in 1086. He died in 1115.


Gilbert Fitz Richard (1065-1115) was son of Richard Fitz Gilbert and Rohese Giffard. He succeeded to his father's possessions in England, his brother, Roger Fitz Richard, succeeding to his father's lands in Normandy.

He was granted lands and the Lordship of Cardigan by Henry I, including Cardigan Castle. He founded the Priory at Clare. Supposedly present at the suspicious death of William II in 1100. Fathered nine children, two of whom became peers of the realm.


Adelize (Alice) de Claremont was the daughter of Hugh de Creil, Count of Clermont ( - ) and Margaret de Roucy ( - ). She and Gilbert Fitz Richard , Earl of Clare, Tonbridge and Cardigan had the following children:



Richard Fitzgilbert de Clare, 1st Earl of Hertford (1094-1136)

Third Generation

3. Richard Fitzgilbert de Clare, 1st Earl of Hertford, son of Sir Gilbert Fitz Richard , Earl of Clare, Tonbridge and Cardigan and Adelize (Alice) de Claremont, was born in 1094. He was a Founder of Tonbridge Priory. He died on 15 April 1136.


Richard FitzGilbert de Clare. 1st Earl of Hertford (1094–15 April 1136) was the son of Gilbert Fitz Richard de Clare and Alice (Adeliza) de Claremont. He founded the priory of Tonbridge.

Richard held the lordship of Ceredigion in Wales. A Welsh revolt against Norman rule had begun in south Wales, where on 1 January 1136 the Welsh won a victory over the local Norman forces between Loughor and Swansea. Richard had been away from his lordship in the early part of the year. Returning to the borders of Wales in April, he ignored warnings of the danger and pressed on towards Ceredigion with a small force. He had not gone far when 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 the Abbey of Lanthony, Abergavenny.

The news of Richard's death induced Owain Gwynedd, son of Gruffydd 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, Adelize, 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.


Richard Fitzgilbert de Clare, 1st Earl of Hertford had the following children:



Gilbert Fitzgilbert de Clare, 2nd Earl of Hertford (1115-1153). Gilbert was born in 1115. He died in 1153.


Roger de Clare, 3rd Earl of Hertford (1116-1173). Roger was born in 1116 in Tonbridge, Kent. He died in 1173 in Oxfordshire.