There is reason to believe that this family
came originally from Normandy. See Harliean Society.
See the continuation of this lineage in the Zouche Line.
He died in 1257, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Pain.
Ref: Wurts, pp. 57-70, for details on the Clare Line, and pp. 75-79, for details on Robert FitzWalter.
Ref: Burke, pp. 118-120, for details on the Clare Line, and pp. 212-213, for details on Robert FitzWalter.
Ref: Cokayne, Vol VI., pp. 498-503.
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.
According to Crispin and Macary, "Falaise
Roll", pg. 27-29, the following is recorded:
"Concerning his ancestry, different
theories have been advanced one of which claims that he descended
from Rongwald, the Norwegian Viking, father of Duke Rollo the
Dane, through Hrolf Turstan (living in 920), the former's grandson.
Hrolf followed Rollo to Neustria, where he married Gerlotte,
daughter of Thibaud I. le Tricheur, Count of Blois, Chartres and
Tours, and became to ancestor of the powerful Norman houses of
Avranches, Briquebec, Crispin, and Montfort-sur-Risle. This opinion
is expressed by d'Anisy and de St. Marie in their "Recherches
sur le Domesday," wherein they are supported by "Norman
People, Cleveland, and partially by Planche, but the two generations
immediately preceding Gilbert need clarification and substantiation."
"Mr. Stacy Grimalsi records his descent
from Crispina, a supposed daughter of Duke Rollo the Dane and
others accord him Roman descent which he may have had from some
The generally accepted opinion that Gilbert
I. was descended from the ducal family of Normandy possibly through
one of the numerous children of Richard I., Duke of Normandy,
or a female offspring of William Longswood (Longsword), second
duke, persists, in which event he married a near relative. The
many historical references to his lofty ancestry, the important
fortresses which he possessed in heredity, his vast domains and
the high esteem in which he was held by duke Robert I., signifies
a very close connection. Certain it is, however, that his children
were descended from Richard I. since Gilbert's wife Gonnor (Gunnor) was
the daughter of Baldric the Teuton, and a niece of Gilbert, Count
of Brionne. This fact and the names
of his immediate family and descendants have been historically
recorded. St. Anselme confirms it by referring to one of his
grandsons as of the "first blood of Normandy." They
had issue, Gilbert II., hereditary custodian of Tillieres, William,
Count of Vexin, Robert, who distinguished himself in Constantinople,
where he was a famous general and greatly honored by the emperor,
on which account he was poisoned through jealousy by the Greeks
before 1073, leaving no issue."
The above account seems to indicate that the
lineage that follows is not related to the Crispins, but rather
to Gilbert, Count of Brionne. Further investigation of this point
is needed. In any event Gilbert, Count of Brionne had an eldest
son, Richard Fitzgilbert.
Another son was Baldwin of Meules and Exeter, Sheriff of Devon, landowner in England, 1089; died 1090, head of a line of sheriffs of Devon.
Fitz-Walter, however, is said, subsequently, to have made his peace with King John, by the great prowess and valor he displayed at a tournament, held in Normandy before the kings of France and England; where, running a tilt with his great lance, he overthrew his rival at the first course, which act of gallantry caused the English monarch to exclaim, "By God's tooth, he deserves to be a king who hath such a soldier of his train;" and afterwards, ascertaining the name of the victorious knight, he immediately sent for him, and having restored his barony, gave him liberty to repair his castle of Baynard. In the 17th year of King John, FitzWalter had so far regained the confidence of the crown, that he was appointed Governor of the castle at Hertford; but soon after, arraying himself under the baronial banner, his lands were all seized, and those in Cornwall committed to Prince Henry, the king's son; a course of proceedings that had the immediate effect of riveting the haughty baron to the cause which he had espoused, while his high rank, tried courage, and acknowledged abilities, soon gave him a lead among his peers. We find, therefore, among the first commissioners nominated to treat with the king, when it was agreed, that the city of London should be delivered up to the barons, and twenty-five of those powerful feudal chiefs chosen to govern the realm. The insurrectionary lords subsequently assembled at St. Edmundsbury, and there pledged themselves, by solemn oath at the high altar, that if the king refused to confirm the laws and liberties granted by Edward the Confessor, they would withdraw their allegiance from him and seize upon his fortresses. After which, forming themselves into a regular army, they appointed this Robert FitzWalter their general, with the title of Marshal of the Army of God and the Church, and under his command, they eventually extorted the Great Charters of Freedom from King John on the plains of Runnymede, when FitzWalter was elected one of the celebrated twenty-five, appointed to see the faithful observance of those laws. He continued, during the remainder of John's reign, equally firm to his purpose; and after the accession of King Henry III., until the battle of Lincoln, where the baronial army sustained a signal defeat under his command, and he became a prisoner himself, after displaying a more than ordinary degree of valor. He does not appear, however, to have remained long under restraint, for we find him, the very next year, in the Holy Land, and assisting at the great siege of Damietta. He married (1) Gunnora, daughter and heiress of Robert de Valonies, 2nd Lord of Valonies. They had three children: Walter Fitz-Walter, his successor, Matilda the Fair, called "Maid Marion," and said by Wurts to have been poisoned by King John, and Christian, who married (1) William Mandeville, Earl of Essex, and (2) Raymond de Burgh. Robert FitzWalter married (2) Rose (Roese) ______, who survived him. He died at the siege of Damietta in 1234, was succeeded by his eldest son, Walter, who married Ida, daughter of William Longesepee, Earl of Salisbury.
The above is from Burke, but Wurts reports
that there was a daughter, Alice, married to William de Percy.
Richard de Tonebruge or de Clare, who is said to have fallen in a skirmish with the Welsh, was succeeded by his son, Gilbert de Tonebruge.
Gilbert de Tonebruge, who was a munificent benefactor to the church, and dying in 1114 or 1117, was succeeded by his son, Richard.
He died in 1139, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Gilbert.
This earl was a Surety, one of the twenty-five barons appointed to enforce the observance of the Magna Charta. He died between October 3, 1217 and November 28, 1217, and was succeeded by his son, Gilbert.
Earl Gilbert de Clare died in 1229, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Richard.
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) Joane Plantaganet, 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. By
this lady he had issue as follows:
Gilbert de Clare died in 1295, and the Countess
Joane, surviving, married a "plain esquire," called
Ralph de Monthermer, clandestinely, without the king, her father's
knowledge; but to which alliance he was reconciled through the
intercession of Anthony Beke, the celebrated bishop of Durham,
and became eventually much attached to his new son-in-law, Ralph
de Monthermer, who, during the lifetime of the Princess Joane
his wife, enjoyed the Earldoms of Hertford and Gloucester, and
was summoned to parliament in those dignities from February 6,
1299, to November 3, 1306,
The earl was succeeded by his eldest son, Gilbert.
See continuation of this lineage elsewhere
in the Bohun and Fitz Alan Lines.