Richard Strongbow Fitzgilbert de Clare 2nd Earl Pembroke  24
- Born: Abt 1130, Tonbridge, Kent, England
- Marriage: Aoife (Red) Eva (Irish: Aoife Rua) of Leinster MacMurrough Countess Ireland  on 26 Aug 1171 in Christchurch Cathedral, Waterford, Waterford, Munster, Ireland
- Died: 20 Apr 1176, Dublin, Ireland about age 46
- Buried: Holy Triniy, Dublin
Lord of Leinster 1171. The Complete Peerage vol.X,pp.352-357.
was a Cambro-Norman lord notable for his leading role in the Norman invasion of Ireland .
Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke (1130 - 20 April 1176), known as Strongbow, was the son of Gilbert de Clare, 1st Earl of Pembroke and Isabel de Beaumont.
De Clare was a Cambro-Norman lord notable for beginning the Norman conquest of Ireland. His father Gilbert died when he was about eighteen years old, and he inherited the title Earl of Pembroke, but not at that stage his father's lands in the Welsh marches.
When Diarmuid MacMorrough, King of Leinster, sought help from King Henry II to regain his kingdom, he was pointed in the direction of Richard de Clare and other Welsh Marches barons and knights, together with Welsh archers -- hence the name "Strongbow", though this nickname was first used in 1223 in a charter for Tintern Abbey. (It is as a result of Welsh settlers remaining behind after this expedition that certain Irish surnames such as "Walsh" and "Wogan" are said to originate.) This army took Wexford, Waterford and Dublin in 1169 and 1170, and Strongbow joined them in August 1170. The day after the capture of Waterford, he married MacMorrough's daughter Aoife of Leinster. When MacMorrough died, Strongbow claimed the kingship of Leinster in the right of his wife. Henry II was concerned about his barons' new lands in Ireland and summoned them back to England in 1171 to extract their fealty and to prepare for his own invasion of Ireland that year to create the lordship of Ireland. In 1173, Henry's sons rose against him in Normandy; Strongbow's support for Henry led to him being made Henry's governor of Ireland. Richard also held the title of Lord Marshal of England.
Strongbow died of an infection in his foot in 1176 during a rebellion by the Irish and was buried in Dublin - his monument can be viewed in Christ Church Cathedral. He left a young son Gilbert who died in 1185 while still a minor, and a daughter Isabel. King Henry II promised Isabel in marriage to William Marshal together with her father's lands and title. Strongbow's widow, Aoife, lived on to 1188, when she is last found in a charter.
It is said that de Clare inspired the naming of the popular cider Strongbow.
Richard, the son of Gilbert de Clare, was born in about 1130. His mother was Elizabeth, the daughter of Robert de Beaumont, the Earl of Leicester.
In 1138 Stephen <http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/MEDstephen.htm> created Gilbert the first Earl of Pembroke. On the death of his father in 1148, Richard became the 2nd Earl of Pembroke.
In 1169, Dermont MacMurrough, the king of Leinster was defeated by Roderic, the king of Connacht. Dermont went to Wales and asked Richard to help him in his war against Roderic. Richard agreed to help on condition that he was allowed to marry Dermont's daughter, Eva.
With Richard de Clare's help Dermont was able to defeat the king of Connacht's forces, who were armed only with slings and stones. Richard de Clare, whose army relied heavily on Welsh archers, soon obtained the nickname 'Strongbow'.
When Dermont died in 1171, Strongbow became the new king of Leinster. Henry II <MEDhenryII.htm> of England became concerned about Strongbow's growing power in Ireland and so later that year he arrived with his own army. Strongbow was forced to surrender Leinster to the king. The land was then given back to Strongbow in return for the service of 100 knights.
Henry II now began establishing his hold over Ireland. He built several castles and persuaded most of the Irish kings to accept him as their overlord. ]
In 1185 Henry sent his son John <MEDjohn.htm> to rule Ireland. Disliked by both the Normans and the Irish, John was unable to establish himself in Ireland and six months later was forced to return to England.
Several attempts were made by English kings to take control of the whole of Ireland. These campaigns failed and royal authority was limited to a few hundred square miles round Dublin known as 'the Pale'.
Strongbow did manage to keep control of Leinster. To help the local economy he encouraged the development of towns and markets in the area.
To maintain control he built several castles. He divided the territory into five lordships: Wexford, Kilkenny, Kildare, Dunamase and Carlow. A seneschal, based at Kilkenny Castle, was appointed to administer the land for the Clare family. He received £100 a year, which made him the highest paid of all Strongbow's officials.
Richard de Clare, Earl of Pembroke, died in 1176. The Irish estates were inherited by his daughter Isabel and her husband William Marshall. The couple had five boys and five girls. When William Marshall died none of his sons were left alive and so the Irish estates were divided up among the five daughters and their families. By 1262 only the lordship of Kilkenny remained under the control of the Clare family. The lordship was valued at £343 a year and in return the Clare family were required to provide the king with 22 knights. However, instead of supplying knights, the Clare family chose to pay a regular scutage of £44 to the king.
Noted events in his life were:
• Acceded, 1148.
Richard married Aoife (Red) Eva (Irish: Aoife Rua) of Leinster MacMurrough Countess Ireland  [MRIN: 1475], daughter of Diarmait macDonnchada MacMurchada King of Leinster  and Mor Ingen Muirchertaig O'Toole , on 26 Aug 1171 in Christchurch Cathedral, Waterford, Waterford, Munster, Ireland. (Aoife (Red) Eva (Irish: Aoife Rua) of Leinster MacMurrough Countess Ireland  was born in 1145 and died in 1188.)