De Clare


My De Clare ancestors

The coat of arms used by Gilbert De Clare.  (From the Castle Wales site)
The following history on the De Clare line is primarily from the book:
 "Paternal Ancestry Of Homer Beers James"

"The Clare Family of English nobles was prominent in the 12th and 13th centuries. The first earl of Clare, the founder of the family, was Richard Fitzgilbert, a knight who accompanied William the Conqueror on the Norman invasion of England in 1066. His great-grandson, Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, known as "Strongbow", laid the foundations for English rule in Ireland, Richard de Clare, 6th Earl of Clare (died 1217), and his son, Gilbert de Clare, 7th Earl of Clare (flourished 1215-1280), were leaders of the barons who forced King John to sign the Magna Charta in 1215."


01. Richard I , duke of Normandy (Aug 28, 933 - Nov 20, 996), was listed as the progenitor of this line by Cokayne's Complete Peerage.


02. Godfrey , (Geoffrey) Count of Brionne, was an illegitimate son of Richard.


03. Gilbert , was Count of Brionne in Normandy.


04. Richard Fitz Gilbert , son of Gilbert, a lawyer and Chief Justice of England, born before 1035, was the founder of the House of Clare in England, first Lord of Clare. He was the eldest son of Gislebert, Count of Eu and Brionne, a descendant of Emperor Charlemagne. He accompanied Duke William into England, and later held one hundred and seventy-six lordships or manors. At the time of the General Survey, which was towards the close of King William's reign, he is called Ricardus de Tonebruge, from his seat at Tonebruge (now Tunbridge), in Kent, which town and castle he obtained from the archbishop of Canterbury, in lieu of the castle of Brion; at which time he enjoyed thirty-eight lordships in Surrey, thirty-five in Essex, three in Cambridgeshire, with some others in Wilts and Devon, and ninety-five in Suffolk, among those was Clare, whence he was styled Richard de Clare; and that place in a few years afterwards becoming the chief seat of the family, his descendants are said to have assumed thereupon the title of Earls of Clare (Burke, pg. 118-119). He married Rohese Giffard of Bolebec, daughter of Walter (Gautier) Giffard de Bolebec, Earl of Buckingham and Earl of Longueville, in Normandy, granddaughter of Osborne de Bolebec, a noble Norman, living in the time of Richard, Duke of Normandy, and granddaughter of his wife, Aveline, sister of Gunnora, Duchess of Normandy. According to Burke, pp. 230-231, he was granted for his gallant services at the battle of Hastings, the title of Earl of Buckingham. At the time of the General Survey, he was sent with Remigius, Bishop of Lincoln, and others, into Worcestershire, and some other counties, to value the lands belonging to the crown, as well as to private individuals in these parts. He himself possessed at that time two lordships in Berkshire; one in Wilts; one in Somersetshire; one in Huntingdon; five in Cambridgeshire; nine in Oxfordshire; nine in the co. of Bedford; three in Suffolk; twenty-eight in Norfolk; an forty-eight in Buckinghamshire; in all one hundred and seven. In 1089, he adhering to William Rufus, fortified his mansions in Normandy, for that king, and became chief general of his army there; yet in some years afterwards (1102), he sided with Robert Curthose (Courthouse), against King Henry I. The earl married Agnes Flaitell, daughter of Gerard Flaitell, and sister of William Flaitell, Bishop of Eureux. They had three children: Walter, his successor, 2nd Earl of Buckingham, who d.s.p; Rohais (Rohese), named above; and Isabel Giffard, who married Richard Granville or Grenville, progenitor of the house of Grenville, Dukes of Buckingham. According to Crispin and Macary, "Falaise Roll" pg. 22, Rohese was the daughter of Walter (Gautier) Giffard, brother of Berenger and Osberne (Osborne), who contributed 30 vessels and 100 men to the fleet for the Conquest as well as the horse on which William the Conqueror rode at the Battle of Hastings. He was awarded the earldom of Buckingham for his services. "Rohesia married Richard de Bienfaite, eldest son of Gilbert, Count of Brionne, from which union sprung the great house of Clare.")


05. Gilbert De Clare of Tonebridge, son of Richard and Rohese, 2nd Earl of Clare, was born before 1066. He resided at Tonebruge and inherited all of his father's lands in England. He joined in the rebellion of Robert de Mowbray, Earl of Northumberland, against the king, but observing the William Rufus upon the point of falling into an ambuscade, he relented, besought pardon, and saved his royal master. We find him subsequently, however, again in rebellion, in the same reign, and fortifying and losing his castle at Tunbridge. He married in 1113, Adeliza Clermont, daughter of Hugh de Clermont, 2nd Count of Clermont, and his wife, Marguerita, daughter of Hildwin IV., Count of Montidier and Lord of Rouci and Ramere, and his wife, Adela, Countess of Rouci, great granddaughter of Hugh Capet and his wife, Adela.


06. Richard FitzGilbert De Clare , eldest son of Gilbert and Eva, was born before 1105. He first bore the title of Earl of Hertford. He invaded Wales with an army and became lord of vast possessions there by power of his sword, but requiring other matters of moment from the king, in which he was unsuccessful, he reared the standard of revolt, and soon after was slain in a skirmish with a few Welsh yeomen, near Abergavenny, on April 15, 1136. In 1124 he removed the monks out of his castle at Clare into the church of St. Augustine, at Stoke, and bestowed upon them a little wood, called Stoke-Ho, with a doe every year out of his park at Hunedene. Richard married Alice Meschines, daughter of Ranulph(Ralph?) de Meschines, 1st Earl of Chester, and sister of Ranulph, 2nd Earl of Chester.


07. Roger De Clare , son of Richard and Alice, 3rd Earl of Hertford, born before 1116, is likewise said to have received the title of Earl of Clare. In the 3rd year of Henry II., he obtained from the king all the lands in Wales which he could win, marched into Cardigan with a great army, and fortified divers castles thereabouts. In the 9th year of the same reign, we find him summoned by the celebrated Thomas-a-Beckett, Archbishop of Canterbury, to Westminster, in order to do homage to the prelate for his castle of Tonebruge; which at the command of the king he refused, alleging that holding it by military service it belonged rather to the crown than to the church. He married Maude St. Hillary, daughter and heir of James de St. Hillary, of Field Dalling, Norfolk, by whom (who married after his decease William d'Aubigny, Earl of Arundel) he had a son, Richard, his successor. This earl, who, from his munificence to the church, and his numerous acts of piety was called the Good, died in 1173, and was succeeded by his son, Richard.


08. Richard De Clare , son of Roger and Maude, the Surety and the 4th Earl of Hertford, but like his father and his uncle was more generally known as the Earl of Clare. He was present at the coronation of King Richard at Westminster on September 3, 1189, and of King John on May 27, 1199. In the 7th year of Richard I., gave 1,000 pounds to the king for livery of the lands of his mother's inheritance, with his proportion of those sometimes belonging to Giffard, Earl of Buckingham. He sided with the barons against King John and his castle of Tunbridge was taken. On November 9, 1215, he was one of the commissioners on the part of the barons to treat peace with the king. On March 4, 1215 or 1216 his lands in cos. Cambridge, Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex were granted to Robert de Betun; and he and his son were among the barons excommunicated by the Pope in 1215. He married Amice Fitzwilliam, Countess of Gloucester, 2nd daughter and co-heiress (with her sisters Mabel, wife of the Earl of Evereux, in Normandy, and Isabel, the divorced wife of King John) of William FitzRobert (Muellent), Earl of Gloucester, and his wife Hawise (Mabel) Beaumont, daughter of Robert de Beaumont, Earl of Leicester. Amice, a descendant of the Kings of France back to Hugh Capet, died on January 1, 1224 or 1225.


09. Gilbert De Clare , son of Richard and Amice, 5th Earl of Hertford, born about 1180, who after the decease of Geoffrey de Mandeville, Earl of Essex, the 2nd husband of Isabel, the divorced wife of King John (one of the co-heiresses mentioned above of William, Earl of Gloucester), and in her right Earl of Gloucester, and her own decease, s.p., as also the decease of Almarick d'Evereux, son of the Earl of Evereux, by Mabel, the other co-heiress, who likewise succeeded to the Earldom of Gloucester, became Earl of Gloucester, in the right of his mother, Amica, the other co-heiress. In June 1202 he was entrusted with the lands of Harfleur and Mostrevilliers. This nobleman was among the principal barons who took up arms against King John, and was appointed one of the twenty-five chosen to enforce the observance of the Magna Charta. In the ensuing reign, still opposing the arbitrary proceedings of the crown, and championing Louis le Dauphin, he fought on the side of the barons at Lincoln, and was taken prisoner there by William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke; but he soon afterwards made his peace. He led an army against the Welsh in 1228 and captured Morgan Gam, who was released the next year. Being engaged in an expedition to Brittany, he died on his way back at Penros in that duchy, October 25, 1230. His body was conveyed by way of Plymouth and Cranbourn to Tewkesbury. He was buried before the high altar, November 10, 1230. He married, on October 9, 1217, Isabel Marshal, one of the daughters and eventually co-heiresses of the same William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, (who married after his decease, Richard, Earl of Cornwall, brother of King Henry III.). She was sister of William Marshal, the Surety. She died January 17, 1239/40.


10. Richard De Clare , son of Gilbert and Isabel, 6th Earl of Hertford, and 2nd Earl of Gloucester, was in minority at the time of his father's death. The wardship of this young nobleman was granted to the famous Hubert de Burgh, Earl of Kent, Justiciary of England, whose daughter, Margaret, to the great displeasure of King Henry III., he afterwards (1243) clandestinely married, but from whom he was probably divorced. She died in November, 1237. We find the king marrying him the next year, on or before January 25, 1237/8 to Maude Lacy, daughter of the Surety John de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln, in consideration whereof the said John paid to the crown 5,000 marks, and remitted a debt of 2,000 more. His lordship, who appears to have been a very distinguished personage in the reign of King Henry III., was one of the chief nobles present in Westminster Hall (40th year of Henry III.), when Boniface, Archbishop of Canterbury, with divers other prelates, pronounced that solemn curse, with candles lighted, against all those who should thenceforth violate the Magna Charta. In two years afterwards an attempt was made by Walter de Scotenay, his steward and chief counselor, to poison the earl and his brother William, which proved effective as to the latter, while his lordship narrowly escaped with the loss of his hair and nails. In the next year the earl was commissioned with others of the nobility, by the appointment of the king, and the whole baronage of England, to the parliament of France, to convey King Henry III.'s resignation of Normandy, and to adjust all differences between the two crowns; and upon the return of the mission, his lordship reported proceeding to the king, in parliament. About this period he had license to fortify the Isle of Portland, and to embattle it as a fortress. It is reported of this nobleman, that being at Tewkesbury, in the 45th year of Henry III., a Jew, who had fallen into a jakes upon the Saturday, refusing to be pulled out in reverence to the Jewish sabbath, his lordship prohibited any help to be afforded him on the next day, Sunday, the Christian sabbath, and thus suffered the unfortunate Israelite to perish. He died himself in July 15, 1262, having been poisoned at the table of Peter (Piers) de Savoy, the queen's uncle, along with Baldwin, Earl of Devon, and other persons of note.


 11. Gilbert De Clare , son of Richard and Maude was born on September 02, 1243 in Christchurch, Hampshire, England.  He was a Knight and Crusader, the 9th Earl of Clare, Earl of Hertford and Gloucester. At his death he was "the most powerful subject in the kingdom".  He was knighted on May 14, 1264.  He was called "The Red" after the fiery color of his hair.  He inherited not only the great Clare estates and lordships in England, Wales, and Ireland, but also a position of leadership among the magnates of the realm; and he was destined to play an even more decisive role in the civil wars which determined the fate of the struggle between king and baronage than his father had played in the initial stages of the movement for reform.  Being under age at his father's death, he was a ward of Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford. He married in 1257, (1) Alice le Brun, daughter of Hugh le Brun, Count of La Marche and Angoulesme, and his wife, Yolande, daughter of Pierre Mauclerk. Alice was the niece of the king of France, which monarch bestowed upon the lady a marriage portion of 5,000 marks. In April 1264 he led the massacre of the Jews at Canterbury, as Simon de Montfort had done in London. His castles of Kingston and Tonbridge were taken by the king, who, however, allowed his Countess, who was in the latter, to go free because she was his niece; and on May 12 he and Montfort were denounced as traitors. Two days later, just before the battle of Lewes, on May 14, Montfort knighted the Earl and his brother Thomas. The Earl commanded the second line of the battle and took the King prisoner, having hamstrung his horse. As Prince Edward had also been captured, Montfort and the Earl were now supreme. On October 20 following, however, the Earl and his associates were excommunicated by the Papal Legate and his lands were placed under interdict.  Gilbert, who, like his predecessors, was zealous in the cause of the barons, proceeded to London immediately after the defeat sustained by the insurrectionary lords at Northampton in the 48th year of King Henry III., in order to rouse the citizens, which, having effected, he received the honor of knighthood, from Montfort, Earl of Leicester, at the head of the army at Lewes; of which army, he, with John Fitz-John and William de Montchensi, commanded the second brigade, and having mainly contributed to the victory, in which the king and the prince became prisoners, while the whole power of the realm fell into the hands of the victors, the earl procured a grant under the great seal of all the lands and possessions, lying in England, of John de Warren, Earl of Surrey, one of the most faithful adherents of the king, excepting the castles of Riegate and Lewes, to hold during the pleasure of the crown, and he soon after, with some of the principal barons, extorted from the captive monarch commission authorizing Stephen, then bishop of Chichester, Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, and himself, to nominate nine persons of "the most faithful, prudent, and most studious of the public weal," as well prelates as others, to manage all things according to the laws and customs of the realm, until the consultations at Lewes should terminate. Becoming jealous, however, of the power of Leicester, the earl soon after abandoned the baronial cause, and having assisted in procuring the liberty of the king and the prince, commanded the second brigade of the royal army at the battle of Evesham, which restored the kingly power to its former lustre. In reward of these eminent services he received a full pardon for himself and his brother Thomas, of all prior treasons, and the custody of the castle of Bergavenny, during the minority of Maud, wife of Humphrey de Bohun. He veered again though in his allegiance, and he does not appear to have been sincerely reconciled to the royal cause, until 1270, in which year demanding from Prince Edward repayment of the expenses he had incurred at the battle of Evesham, with livery of all the castles and lands which his ancestors had possessed, and those demands having been complied with, he thenceforward became a good and loyal subject of the crown. Upon the death of King Henry, the Earl of Hertford and Gloucester was one of the lords who met at the New Temple in London, to proclaim Prince Edward, then in the Holy Land, successor to the crown, and so soon as the new monarch returned to England, he was the first to entertain him and his whole retinue, with great magnificence for several days at his castle of Tonebruge. In the 13th year of King Edward I., he divorced his wife Alice le Brun, the French Princess, and in consideration of her illustrious birth, granted for her support during her life, six extensive manors and parks, and he married in 1289, (2) Joan Plantagenet, of Acre , daughter of King Edward I ., upon which occasion he gave up the inheritance of all his castles and manors, as well in England as in Wales, to his royal father-in-law, to dispose of as he might think proper; which manors, etc. were entailed by the king upon the earl's issue, by the said Joane, and in default, upon her heirs and assigns, should she survive his lordship.


12a. Margaret De Clare , daughter of Gilbert and Joan was born in 1292 in Tunbridge Castle, Kent, England.  She married Hugh D'Audley on April 28, 1317 in Windsor, Berkshire, England.  She brought her husband a third of the vast Clare estates to which she was a co-heiress.  Margaret died on April 9, 1342 in France.  I descend from their daughter Margaret D'Audley who married Ralph Stafford .

12b. Eleanor De Clare , daughter of Gilbert and Joan was born in October, 1292.  She married Hugh Le Despencer (c1286-1326), son of Hugh Le Despencer and Isabella De Beauchamp. I descend from their 2 children:

    (1) Isabel Le Despencer (c1313-) who married Richard FitzAlan and
    (2) Sir Edward Le Despencer (1310-1342) who married Anne De Ferrers.


Surnames that married into my De Clare family








My Descent From The De Clare Line

Generation Father Mother
24 Gilbert De Clare (1243-1295) Joan "of Acre" Plantagenet (1272-1307)
23 Hugh D'Audley (1289-1347) Margaret De Clare (1292-1342)
22 Ralph De Stafford (1301-1372) Margaret D'Audley (1318-1347)
23 Sir John De Ferrers (1331-1367) Elizabeth De Stafford (c1337-1375)
22 Sir Robert De Ferrers (1359-1413) Margaret Le Despencer (1415-)
21 Sir Edmond De Ferrers (c1387-1435) Ellen Roche (-1440)
20 Sir William De Ferrers (1412-1450) Elizabeth Belknap (1471-)
19 Sir Walter Devereux (1433-1485) Anne De Ferrers (1438-1469)
18 Sir Richard Corbet (1451-1493) Elizabeth Devereux (1452-1541)
17 Sir Robert Corbet (1477-1513) Elizabeth Vernon (1481-1563)
16 Sir Richard Mainwaring (1499-1558) Dorothy Corbet (1498-)
15 Sir Arthur Mainwaring (1520-1590) Margaret Mainwaring (1521-)
14 Richard Cotton (1539-1602) Mary Mainwaring (1541-1578)
13 George Abell (1561-1631) Frances Cotton (1565-1630)
12 Robert Abell (1589) Joanna (1610-1671)
11 Caleb Abell (1646-1731) Margaret Post (1653-1700)
10 Zachariah Loomis (1681-1751) Joanna Abell (1682-1759)
9 Ebenezer Jones (1718-1800) Zerviah Loomis (1724-1808)
8 Miles Jones (1764-1812) Mehitable Adams (1771-1812)
7 Miles Jones (1794-1885) Pamelia Turner (1805-1883)
6 Darius Benjamin Jones (1834-1918) Marquerite Cowan (1835-1906)
5 Nathaniel Henry Hawk (1858-1944) Anna Irene Jones (1868-1936)
4 Ernest August Schwiening (1873-1944) Grace Myrtle Hawk (1885-1984)
3 William Edward Marshall (1901-1981) Irene Sophia Schwiening (1908-1992)
2 William Edward Marshall
1 Tod Howard Marshall

This page was last updated on 06/18/2017

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