Clare, Gilbert de, seventh Earl of Clare, fifth Earl of Hertford, and sixth Earl of Gloucester d. 1230, was the son of Richard, sixth earl of Clare and Hertford (d. 1217?), by his wife Amicia, one of the three coheiresses of William, earl of Gloucester. On the death of his mother and the failure of issue to her two sisters, Mabel and Isabella (the divorced wife of King John, afterwards married to Geoffrey de Mandevil and Hubert de Burgh), he succeeded to the vast Gloucester estates apparently in the year 1217 (Annals of Margam, p. 33). He also inherited the estates of his grandmother, Maud de St. Hilary, and a moiety of the honour of Giffard from his father, who had been confirmed in this possession by Richard I as one of the coheirs of his ancestress, Rohais, daughter of Walter Giffard, earl of Buckingham (Clark, Land of Morgan, p. 332; Marsh, Chepstow Castle, p. 78). According to Dugdale his father died in 1206; but this is evidently a mistake, as both Richard, earl of Clare, and his son Gilbert appear in the patent rolls of 14 John (ed. Hardy, p. 192); while the Earl of Clare and Gilbert de Clare are to be found among the twenty-five barons appointed to carry out the great charter in June 1215, and were both excommunicated by Innocent III in the beginning of 1216 (Matt. Paris, ii. 605, 643). After the death of John he sided with the dauphin, and is said to have been taken prisoner at the battle of Lincoln by William Marshall, the earl of Pembroke, who married him to his daughter Isabella (Walsingham, Ypod. Neust. p. 137) on St. Denis's day, 9 Oct. 1217 (Annals of Margam, p. 33). In February 1225 he was present at the confirmation of the great charter at Westminster (Burton Annals, i. 232). Two years later we find him taking the part of Richard, earl of Cornwall, in his quarrel with the king, demanding a renewal of the forest acts and ascribing all the faults of the government to Hubert de Burgh (Matt. Paris, iii. 124; cf. Walter of Coventry, ii. 261, sub anno 1225). About May 1230 he appears to have attended Henry III abroad on his expedition to Brittany; but died in ipso reditu, at Penros in that duchy, 25 Oct. 1230 (Tewkesbury Annals, p. 76; Waverley Annals, p. 308). He seems to have made his first will before starting on this campaign, 30 April 1230, at Suwik-super-Mare; his second, just before his death, on 23 Oct. His body was conveyed to Plymouth, and thence, by way of Cranborne, to Tewkesbury, where he was buried before the great altar on the Sunday following St. Martin's day, in the presence of an innumerable concourse (Tewkes. Ann. p. 76). To Tewkesbury Abbey he was a great benefactor in his lifetime, and bequeathed it a silver cross and the wood of Mutha (ib. pp. 74, 76). His widow Isabella set up a memorial stone 28 Sept. 1231. In the course of the same year she married Richard, earl of Cornwall (ib. pp. 38, 78). Clare was engaged in many Welsh expeditions. He is found fortifying Builth Castle in 12 John. In 1228 he set out with a great army against the Welsh, on which occasion we read that he found silver, iron, and lead (ib. p. 70). The same year he captured Morgan Cam and sent him prisoner to England (Marg. Ann. i. 36); but a little later released him for hostages. Clare had three sons by his wife Isabella: (1) Richard, [see Clare, Richard de, 1222-1262]; (2) William; and (3) Gilbert; and three daughters: (1) Amicia (b. about 1220), who in October 1226 was betrothed to Baldwin de Redvers (Clark, p. 335); (2) Agnes; and (3) Isabel (b. 2 Nov. 1226), who married Robert de Bruce of Annandale (ib.). His widow, Isabel, died 17 Jan. 1239-40, and was buried at Beaulieu. Her heart, however, was brought to Tewkesbury by the prior in a silver-gilt casket (cuppa) and interred before the great altar (Tewkes. Ann., pp. 113-14).
The Land of Morgan, by G. T. Clark, in Archćological Journal (1878), xxxv. 332-8
Marsh's Annals of Chepstow Castle
Annals of Margam, Tewkesbury, Burton, and Waverley in vols. i. and ii. of Annales Monastici, ed. Luard (Rolls Series)
Matthew Paris, ed. Luard (Rolls Series)
Walsingham's Ypodigma Neustrić, ed. Riley (Rolls Series)
Dugdale's Baronage, vol. i.
Patent Rolls (John), ed. Hardy (1835)
Close Rolls, ed. Hardy (1833), i. 606
Walter of Coventry, ed. Stubbs (Rolls Series).
Contributor: T. A. A. [Thomas Andrew Archer]