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Male 1035 - 1090  (55 years)

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  • Name Richard FITZ GILBERT 
    Born 1035  Normandy, France Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 1090  St. Neot's Priory, Huntingdonshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I672075692  Johnson & Hanson
    Last Modified 12 Dec 2015 

    Father Gilbert DE BRIONNE, Count of Brionne,   b. 1000, Duchy of Normandy Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1040, France Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 40 years) 
    Family ID F565995874  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Rohese GIFFARD 
    • Richard fitz Gilbert (bef. 1035?c.?1090), was a Norman lord who participated in the Norman conquest of England in 1066, and was styled "de Bienfaite", "de Clare", and of "Tonbridge"[n 1][1] from his holdings.[2][3]

      He was the son of Gilbert, Count of Brionne in Normandy.[2] Gilbert was a guardian of the young duke William and when he was killed by Ralph de Wacy in 1040, his two older sons Richard and Gilbert fled to Flanders.[4] On his later return to Normandy Richard was rewarded with the lordship of Bienfaite and Orbec in Normandy.[4] In 1066, Richard came into England with his kinsman William the Conqueror, and received from him great advancement in honour and possessions.[2]

      The Dictionary of National Biography and other sources are vague and sometimes contradictory about when the name de Clare came into common usage, but what we do know is that Richard fitz Gilbert (of Tonbridge), the earliest identifiable progenitor of the family, is once referred to as Richard of Clare in the Suffolk return of the Domesday Book.[5]


      He was rewarded with 176 lordships and large grants of land in England, including the right to build the castles of Clare and of Tonbridge. Richard fitz Gilbert received the lordship of Clare, in Suffolk, where parts of the wall of Clare Castle still stand.[6] He was thus Lord of Clare. Some contemporaneous and later sources called him Earl of Clare, though many modern sources view the title as a "styled title".

      He served as Joint Chief Justiciar in William's absence, and played a major part in suppressing the revolt of 1075.
      Rebel Baron

      On the Conqueror's death, Richard and other great Norman barons, including Odo of Bayeux, Robert, Count of Mortain, William fitz Osbern and Geoffrey of Coutances, led a rebellion against the rule of William Rufus in order to place Robert Curthose on the throne. However, most Normans in England remained loyal. William Rufus and his army successfully attacked the rebel strongholds at Tonbridge, Pevensey and Rochester.[7]
      Death and succession

      He was buried in St. Neot's Priory in 1091. His widow was still living in 1113. His lands were inherited by his son, Gilbert fitz Richard.

      Richard married Rohese Giffard, daughter of Sir Walter Giffard, Lord of Longueville and Agnes Flaitel,[3] and they had the following children:

      Roger fitz Richard de Clare, received Norman lands and d. 1131, apparently without issue.[3]
      Gilbert fitz Richard, d. 1115, succeeded his father as Earl of Clare.[3]
      Walter de Clare, Lord of Nether Gwent, d. 1138.[3]
      Isabel de Clare, d. 1088, m. Humphrey d'Isle.[3]
      Richard fitz Richard de Clare, Abbot of Ely.[3]
      Robert fitz Richard,[3] Lord of Little Dunmow, Baron of Baynard, d. 1136.[8]
      Alice (or Adeliza) de Clare, d. 1138. m. Walter Tirel.[3][9]
      Rohese de Clare, d. 1121, m. (ca. 1088), Eudo Dapifer.[3]
     1. Walter DE CLARE, Lord of Nether Gwent
    +2. Gilbert FITZ RICHARD DE CLARE, Lord of Clare,   b. Clare, Suffolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. England Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified 14 Dec 2015 
    Family ID F565995873  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart