Gilbert de Clare, 1st Earl of Hertford

Gilbert Fitz Richard
1st Earl of Hertford
4rd Lord of Clare

Arms of Gilbert de Clare
Earl of Hereford
Lord of the Honor of Clare

Predecessor Gilbert Fitz Richard
Successor Roger de Clare

Titles and styles

4th Lord of Tonbridge
Lord of Cardigan
Family de Clare
Father Richard Fitz Gilbert de Clare
Born 1115
Hertford, Hertfordshire, England
Died 1152
Occupation Peerage of England

Gilbert FitzRichard de Clare, 1st Earl of Hertford (c.1115–1152), was Lord of Clare and created 1st Earl of Hertford by Stephen, King of England


Gilbert was the eldest son of the Richard Fitz Gilbert de Clare and Adeliza.[1] His mother Adeliza was the daughter of Ranulf le Meschin, 3rd Earl of Chester and Countess Lucy as well as the sister of Ranulf de Gernon, 4th Earl of Chester.[1] Gilbert, who was born before 1115, succeeded his father to the honor of Clare including Tonbridge Castle on 15 Apr. 1136.[1]

He was created Earl of Hertford about 1138,[lower-alpha 1] possibly about the same time his uncle was created Earl of Pembroke.[2] He was a supporter of King Stephen for a time, but seems to have joined the Empress Matilda at some point.[1] When the king took Ranulf de Gernon, the Earl of Chester, prisoner the Earl gave his nephew Geoffrey as a guarantor for his liberation and good conduct.[1]

Second rebellion

In 1147, Ranulf de Gernon, rebelled against King Stephen again. The king, in turn, seized Gilbert, the Earl of Hertford, and held him prisoner until he agreed to surrender all his castles.[3] After doing so the Earl of Hertford was released, but then joined his uncle Ranulf's rebellion.[3] Gilbert, Earl of Pembroke, who up to this time had remained loyal to Stephen, then demanded his nephew Gilbert's castles 'maintaining that they were his by hereditary right'. When Stephen refused, Gilbert the Earl of Pembroke also joined Ranulph's rebellion.[3] Stephen then confiscated his castles as well. Not long after, however, the king reconciled with both Gilberts, however Ranulf de Gernon joined Henry of Anjou (later Henry II of England).[4]

Gilbert died unmarried and without issue in 1152 and was buried at Clare Priory.[2] He was succeeded by his brother Roger de Clare.[5]


  1. According to Round, he was created Earl of Hertford before Christmas, 1141. See: J.H. Round, Geoffrey de Mandeville; a study of the anarchy (Longmans, Green, 1892), p. 271.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 George Edward Cokayne, The Complete Peerage; or, a History of the House of Lords and all its Members from the Earliest Times, eds. H. A. Doubleday; Howard de Walden, Vol. VI (London: The St. Catherine Press, Ltd., 1926), pp. 498-9
  2. 1 2 George Edward Cokayne, The Complete Peerage; or, a History of the House of Lords and all its Members from the Earliest Times, ed. Vicary Gibbs, Vol. III (London: The St. Catherine Press, Ltd., 1913), p. 244
  3. 1 2 3 Paul Dalton; G. Graeme; J. White, King Stephen's Reign: (1135-1154) (Woodbridge, UK ; Rochester, NY: Boydell Press, 2008), pp. 88-89
  4. Donald Matthew, King Stephen (London: Hambledon and London, 2001), p. 127
  5. I.J. Sanders, English Baronies; A Study of their Origin and Descent 1086–1327 (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1960), p. 35
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