Richard de Clare, 6th Earl of Gloucester

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Richard de Clare
Earl of Hertford and Gloucester
CoA Gilbert de Clare.svg
De Clare coat of arms
Spouse(s) Margaret (Megotta) de Burgh
Maud de Lacy
Isabel, Marchioness of Montferrat
Gilbert de Clare, 6th Earl of Hertford
Thomas de Clare, Lord of Thomond
Bogo de Clare
Margaret, Countess of Cornwall
Rohese de Mowbray, Baroness de Mowbray
Eglentina de Clare
Noble family De Clare
Father Gilbert de Clare, 4th Earl of Hertford
Mother Isabel Marshal
Born 4 August 1222
Died 14 July 1262(1262-07-14) (aged 39)
Waltham, Canterbury, England

Richard de Clare, 5th Earl of Hertford, 6th Earl of Gloucester (4 August 1222 – 14 July 1262) was son of Gilbert de Clare, 4th Earl of Hertford and Isabel Marshal.[1][2] On his father's death, when he became Earl of Gloucester (October 1230), he was entrusted first to the guardianship of Hubert de Burgh. On Hubert's fall, his guardianship was given to Peter des Roches (c. October 1232); and in 1235 to Gilbert, Earl Marshall.[3]


Richard's first marriage to Margaret or Megotta, as she was also called, ended with either an annulment or with her death in November 1237. They were both approximately fourteen or fifteen. The marriage of Hubert de Burgh's daughter Margaret to Richard de Clare, the young Earl of Gloucester, brought de Burgh into some trouble in 1236, for the earl was as yet a minor and in the wardship of King Henry III, and the marriage had been celebrated without the royal license. Hubert, however, protested that the match was not of his making, and promised to pay the king some money, so the matter passed by for the time.[4][5] Even before Margaret died, the Earl of Lincoln offered 5,000 marks to King Henry to secure Richard for his own daughter. This offer was accepted, and Richard was married secondly, on 2 February 1238 to Maud de Lacy, daughter of John de Lacy, 1st Earl of Lincoln [6]

Military career[edit]

He joined in the Barons' letter to the Pope in 1246 against the exactions of the Curia in England. He was among those in opposition to the King's half-brothers, who in 1247 visited England, where they were very unpopular, but afterwards he was reconciled to them.[7]

In August 1252/3 the King crossed over to Gascony with his army, and to his great indignation the Earl refused to accompany him and went to Ireland instead. In August 1255 he and John Maunsel were sent to Edinburgh by the King to find out the truth regarding reports which had reached the King that his son-in-law, Alexander III, King of Scotland, was being coerced by Robert de Roos and John Balliol. If possible, they were to bring the young King and Queen to him. The Earl and his companion, pretending to be the two of Roos's knights, obtained entry to Edinburgh Castle, and gradually introduced their attendants, so that they had a force sufficient for their defense. They gained access to the Scottish Queen, who made her complaints to them that she and her husband had been kept apart. They threatened Roos with dire punishments, so that he promised to go to the King.[1][4][8]

Meanwhile, the Scottish magnates, indignant at their Castle of Edinburgh's being in English hands, proposed to besiege it, but they desisted when they found they would be besieging their King and Queen. The King of Scotland apparently traveled South with the Earl, for on 24 September they were with King Henry III at Newminster, Northumberland. In July 1258 he fell ill, being poisoned with his brother William, as it was supposed, by his steward, Walter de Scotenay. He recovered but his brother died.[2]

Death and legacy[edit]

Richard died at John de Griol's Manor of Asbenfield in Waltham, near Canterbury, 14 July 1262 at the age of 39, it being rumored that he had been poisoned at the table of Piers of Savoy. On the following Monday he was carried to Canterbury where a mass for the dead was sung, after which his body was taken to the canon's church at Tonbridge and interred in the choir. Thence it was taken to Tewkesbury Abbey and buried 28 July 1262, with great solemnity in the presence of two bishops and eight abbots in the presbytery at his father's right hand. Richard's own arms were: Or, three chevronels gules.[9]

Richard left extensive property, distributed across numerous counties. Details of these holdings were reported at a series of inquisitions post mortem that took place after his death.[10]


Richard had no children by his first wife, Margaret (or "Megotta") de Burgh. By his second wife, Maud de Lacy, daughter of the Surety John de Lacy and Margaret de Quincy, he had:

His widow Maud, who had the Manor of Clare and the Manor and Castle of Usk and other lands for her dower, erected a splendid tomb for her late husband at Tewkesbury. She arranged for the marriages of her children. She died before 10 March 1288/9.[11]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b  Stephen, Leslie, ed. (1887). "Clare, Richard de (1222-1262)". Dictionary of National Biography 10. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  2. ^ a b History of Tewkesbury by James Bennett 77
  3. ^ Tewkesbury Annals
  4. ^ a b  Stephen, Leslie, ed. (1886). "Burgh, Hubert de". Dictionary of National Biography 7. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  5. ^ Tewkesbury Annals p. 102 ; Worcest Ann. p. 428 ; Matt. Paris, vi. 63, 64; Land of Morgan, p. 126
  6. ^ Tewkesbury Annals p. 106 ; Pat. Rolls, 17 b
  7. ^ Altschul, Michael. A Baronial Family in Medieval England: The Clares, 1217-1314, 1965
  8. ^ Tewkesbury Annals, i. 66, 77, 83
  9. ^ Tewkes,Ann. p. 102
  10. ^ Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, 1st series, Vol. 1, Nos. 530 & 531.
  11. ^ In Calendar of Close Rolls, 1288-1296, p. 6 an entry dated 10 March 1288/9 refers to the death of Maud, countess of Gloucester.
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Gilbert de Clare
Earl of Hertford
Succeeded by
Gilbert de Clare
Earl of Gloucester