Clare, Richard fitzGilbert de (Strongbow, Earl of Pembroke)

 Born  1130   Born At  
 Died  1176   Buried At  
Richard de Clare, Earl of Pembroke, is also known as 'Strongbow'. In around 1168 the Earl was approached by the Irish King Dermot of Leinster who had been forced to flee to England by a rival Rory O'Connor. Dermot wanted help to regain his lands in Ireland and offered to let Richard marry his daughter and to rule Leinster after his death. Richard invaded Ireland and took back Leinster and captured Dublin. Richard's father Gilbert had been granted the castle at Chepstow and when Richard died the castle passed into the hands of his only daughter Isabel. Isabel married William Marshal who then took ownership of the castle.


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1166   36yrsDermot exiled from Ireland
 Dermot, the King of Leinster in eastern Ireland, was defeated in battle by Tighernan O Ruairc, another ruler in the region. Dermot was exiled and went to Normandy and the court of Henry II of England to ask for assistance in retaking his lands. Henry gave Dermot permission to find a willing army from either England or Wales and so Dermot approached Richard de Clare, the Earl of Pembroke who agreed to help in return for several demands. These demands were Dermot's daughter's hand in marriage and to rule Leinster after Dermot died.[1]

Episode: Conquest of Ireland  
1169 May  39yrsDermot retakes Leinster
 Some the men promised to assist Dermot in Ireland landed at Bannow with the sons of Nesta. The poorly protected Irish warriors were no match for the armoured knights and archers that arrived from Wales. By the end of the year Leinster fell and Dermot once again became the King. After his victory Dermot was not satisfied with just ruling Leinster but wanted to become High King of Ireland. To fulfil his ambitions he had to wait for the arrival of Strongbow, the Earl of Pembroke, for that to be a possibility.[1]

Episode: Conquest of Ireland  
1170 May  40yrsRaymond de Gros lands in Ireland
 Raymond de Gros arrived in Ireland in support of Dermot a few months ahead of Strongbow. He landed at Waterford and constructed a fort in which he and his men prepared for the arrival of the Earl.

Episode: Conquest of Ireland  
 Aug  Ireland attacked by Earl of Pembroke
 Richard de Clare, the Earl of Pembroke, invaded Ireland with 200 knights in armour and up to a 1,000 foot-soldiers capturing Waterford easily and then Dublin on behalf of Dermot, the King of Leinster.

Episode: Conquest of Ireland  
 Winter  The Earl at Dublin
 After letting the population of Dublin leave, the Earl of Pembroke and his men spent the Winter in the city.[1]

Episode: Conquest of Ireland  
1171 Spring  41yrsDeath of Dermot, King of Leinster
 The agreement between the Earl of Pembroke and Dermot, the King of Leinster, was that if the Earl helped the King retake Leinster the Earl would become the ruler of Leinster when Dermot died. When the king died in the spring of 1171 the agreement fell apart due to the lack of support from Dermot's tribesmen. The tribesmen elected a nephew of Dermot's as the new king instead.[1]

Episode: Conquest of Ireland  
 Jul  Henry plans invasion of Ireland
 King Henry II had become concerned that Strongbow was building a strong base in Ireland, strong enough to become an independent state separate from England. Henry planned to take an army to Ireland to deal with Strongbow but Strongbow travelled to England and in September met Henry and promised his loyalty to the King.[1]

Episode: Conquest of Ireland  
 Oct 17  Henry lands at Waterford in Ireland
 Henry II travelled to Ireland to receive the homage of the Irish leaders. Traders were invited to Dublin where a colony of English was set up. Henry stayed in Ireland over the winter months returning to England in the spring of 1172.[2]

Episode: Conquest of Ireland  
1176 Summer  46yrsDeath of Strongbow in Ireland
 Richard 'Strongbow' fitzGilbert de Clare, Earl of Pembroke died in Ireland.[2] 

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