Clare, Roger de, fifth Earl of Clare and third Earl of Hertford d. 1173, was the younger son of Richard de Clare (d. 1136?) [qv.], and succeeded to his brother Gilbert's titles and estates in 1152 (Dugdale, Baronage, i. 210). In 1153 he appears with his cousin, Richard Strongbow, earl of Pembroke, as one of the signatories to the treaty at Westminster, in which Stephen recognises Prince Henry as his successor (Brompton, p. 1039). He is found signing charters at Canterbury and Dover in 1156 (Eyton, Itin. p. 15). Next year, according to Powell (History of Wales, p. 117), he received from Henry II a grant of whatever lands he could conquer in South Wales. This is probably only an expansion of the statement of the Welsh chronicles that in this year (about 1 June) he entered Cardigan and stored the castles of Humfrey, Aberdovey, Dineir, and Rhystud. Rhys ap Gruffudd, the prince of South Wales, appears to have complained to Henry II of these encroachments; but being unable to obtain redress from the king of England sent his nephew Einion to attack Humfrey and the other Norman fortresses (Brut y Tywysogion, pp. 191, &c.). The Annales Cambrić seem to assign these events to the year 1159 (pp. 47, 48); and the Brut adds that Prince Rhys burnt all the French castles in Cardigan. In 1158 or 1160 Clare advanced with an army to the relief of Carmarthen Castle, then besieged by Rhys, and pitched his camp at Dinweilir. Not daring to attack the Welsh prince, the English army offered peace and retired home (ib. p. 193; Annales Cambr. p. 48; Powell). In 1163 Rhys again invaded the conquests of Clare, who, we learn incidentally, had at some earlier period caused Einion, the capturer of Humfrey Castle, to be murdered by domestic treachery. A second time all Cardigan was wrested from the Norman hands (Brut, p. 199); and things now wore so threatening an aspect that Henry II led an army into Wales in 1165, although, according to one Welsh account (Ann. Cambr. p. 49), Rhys had made his peace with the king in 1164, and had even visited him in England. The causes assigned by the Welsh chronicle for this fresh outbreak of hostility are that Henry failed to keep his promises—presumably of restitution—and secondly that Roger, earl of Clare, was honourably receiving Walter, the murderer of Rhys's nephew Einion (ib. p. 49). For the third time we now read that Cardigan was overrun and the Norman castles burnt; but it is possible that the events assigned by the Annales Cambrić to the year 1165 are the same as those assigned by the Brut y Tywysogion to 1163.
In the intervening years Clare had been abroad, and is found signing charters at Le Mans, probably about Christmas 1160, and again at Rouen in 1161 (Eyton, pp. 52, 53). In July 1163 he was summoned by Becket to do homage in his capacity of steward to the archbishops of Canterbury for the castle of Tunbridge. In his refusal, which he based on the grounds that he held the castle of the king and not of the archbishop, he was supported by Henry II (Ralph de Diceto, i. 311; Gervase of Canterbury, i. 174, ii. 391). Next year he was one of the recognisers of the constitutions of Clarendon (Select Charters, p. 138). Early in 1170 he was appointed one of a band of commissioners for Kent, Surrey, and other parts of southern England (Gerv. Cant. i. 216). His last known signature seems to belong to June or July 1171, and is dated abroad from Chevaillée (Eyton, p. 158). He appears to have died in 1173 (ib. p. 197), and certainly before July or August 1174, when we find Richard, earl of Clare, his son, coming to the king at Northampton (ib. p. 182).
Clare married Matilda, daughter of James de St. Hilary, as we learn from an inspeximus (dated 1328) of one of this lady's charters to Godstow (Dugdale, iv. 366). He was succeeded by his son Richard, who died, as it is said, in 1217 (Land of Morgan, p. 332). Another son, James, was a very sickly child, and was twice presented before the tomb of Thomas ŕ Becket by his mother. On both occasions a cure is reported to have been effected (Benedict. Mirac. S. Thomć ap. Memorials of Thomas Becket, Rolls Series, ii. 255-7).
Dugdale's Baronage, i.
Dugdale's Monasticon (ed. 1817-46), iv.
Eyton's Itinerary of Henry II
Powell's History of Wales (ed. 1774)
Brut y Tywysogion and Annales Cambrić, ed. Ab Ithel (Rolls Series)
Ralph de Diceto and Gervase of Canterbury, ed. Stubbs (Rolls Series)
Clark's Land of Morgan in the Journal of the Archćological Society, vol. xxxv. (1878)
Stubbs's Select Charters
Brompton's Chronicon ap. Twysden's Decem Scriptores.
Contributor: T. A. A. [Thomas Andrew Archer]