Bruce Cooley Pusch

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  • ID: I44697
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: BET 1125 AND 1130 in TUNBRIDGE, KENT, ENGLAND
  • Event: 1 AKA Richard “Strongbow” (NOTES) (L) Fitz Gilbert de Clare, Lord of Netherwent, 2nd Earl of Pembroke & Lord of Leinster. Also Lord of Goodrich
  • Event: 2 AKA Richard (NOTES) (L) Fitz Gilbert de Clare (Strongbow)
  • Death: BET 05 AND 24 APR 1176 in DUBLIN, IRELAND
  • Note:


    (PA and MCA numbers pertain to pages in the books Plantagenet Ancestry and Magna Carta Ancestry.)

    Richard “Strongbow” Fitz Gilbert de Clare, Lord of Netherwent, 2nd Earl of Pembroke & Lord of Leinster. Also Lord of Goodrich (1148-1176)

    Born: before end of 1130 Tonbridge, Kent, England

    Died: 5 April 1176 Dublin, Leinster, Ireland (commemoration 20 April 1176)
    His funeral rite was performed by Lorcan ua Tuathail Archbishop of Dublin. His obituary is preserved at Tintern Abbey, Monmouthshire, Wales.

    Buried: Holy Trinity Church (Christ Church Cathedral) Dublin, Leinster, Ireland. Richard helped to build Holy Trinity which was the center of Dublin city life at that time.

    His tomb/monument can be seen in Christ Church Cathedral. Information on his death and burial was received in an e-mail 6/17/06 from Stuart Kinsella, research advisor at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, Ireland.

    Richard, like his father, was known as “Strongbow” for the archer skill and use of the long bow of his men of Netherwent (Gwent) in southeast Wales.
    At age 18 he took possession of his father’s lands, castles and titles including Orbec and Bienfaite in Normandy, the lordship of Striguil (Chepstow) and the earldom of Pembroke in Wales.

    He first appears in records of November 1, 1153 in the Treaty of Westminster as “comes de Penbroc“ (Lord of Pembroke).

    But once King Henry II became king in December 1154, he did not recognize Richard’s right to the title or lands of Pembroke nor as lord of Orbec and Bienfaite in Normandy.

    Richard was a knight and baron of one of the oldest and greatest families of The Conqueror’s time who found himself without rightful inheritance.

    In 1168/69 Dermot/Diarmait/Diarmuid MacMurchada/MacMurrough, King of Leinster, came to Bristol with his daughter Aoife to recruit knights from Wales and the Marches for his battle to regain his own kingship of Leinster in Ireland. At that time the king met Strongbow for the first time and at that meeting offered him lands in Ireland, his daughter Aoife (Eva) in marriage and the lordship of Leinster on Dermot’s death. At this meeting, Strongbow was offered a chance to win lands, a royal wife, wealth and knightly fame which he could not refuse.

    Norman invasion of Ireland: King Henry had made Strongbow the leader of the Norman invasion and arrived in Ireland around 23 August 1170 having previously sent many of his vassals from Wales to Ireland in May 1169 and May 1170.

    When Strongbow arrived in Ireland he met Dermot of Leinster and the Anglo-Norman knights which were already there. And with 200 men-at-arms and over one thousand archers, including his men from Strigoil, Gowerland and Havenfordwest in Wales, took Waterford on 28 August 1170. And a day later he and Aoife MacMurrough were married in the cathedral in Waterford. Strongbow and other Anglo-Normans quickly took control of Dublin and
    much of southeastern Ireland.

    For his leadship in this invasion, King Henry granted to Strongbow the lordship of Leinster upon the death in May 1171 of Dermot MacMurrough and acknowledged his comital status but not his right to Pembroke. At this point Strongbow signed his name “comes Richardus” (Lord Richard) or “comes de Strigoil” (Lord of Strigoil).

    Richard de Clare brutally pacified the kingdom. He received from Henry II the entire interior around the stronghold of Kilkenney in southeast Ireland., which, until the 12th century was the capital of Osraige.

    In April 1173 King Henry’s sons were rebelling in France and he called upon Strongbow to aid him and bring his leading knights and barons from Ireland to assist in putting down the revolt. Strongbow came with most of the leading barons in Ireland and proved his military skills and fealty at Gisors, Breteuil and Verneuil in northern France. Henry recognized Strongbow’s loyalty and actions by granting him the governing of Ireland, the city of Wexford, the castle of Wicklow, and the constableship of Waterford and Dublin. Strongbow returned to Ireland and did his best to control the rebellion that had arisen while the major knights were in Normandy. He served the king’s interest and his own in Ireland, and he did well in trying to control and modify the constant warring factions.

    Upon his death, King Henry II took all of Strongbow’s lands and castles into his own hands and placed a royal official in charge of them which he eventually guarded for Strongbow’s only living heir, his daughter Isabel (her brother Gilbert died in 1185 as a minor). One of King Henry’s last acts was to promise Isabel all of her father’s lands to William Marshal in 1189 at her marriage.

    In 1177 Henry II made his son John Lackland (later King John) the new king of Ireland due to strong forces that were needed to control the natives, who were almost as dangerous as the Welsh. John failed at his mission, and was recalled after six months.

    Richard Strongbow de Clare married on 26 August 1171 Waterford, Ireland:
    Aoife of Leinster (Anglised as ‘Eva MacMurrough‘)

    She was born c.1141 in Ireland and died after 1189, probably in Wales.
    She was buried at Tintern Abbey, Monmouthshire, Wales. She was buried with her father-in-law, Gilbert.

    She was the daughter of King Dermot of Leinster in Ireland. The following is historical background on King Dermont, his relationship with Aoife’s husband Richard Strongbow de Clare and King Henry II as excerpted from the book Henry II by W.L. Warren:

    Kings Murchetach MacLochlainn of Tirowen and Dermont of MacMurrough of Leinster were prominent among the modernizers in Ireland and were opposed by those arch-apostles of conservatism, the powerful monks who wrote the chroniclers of the era and painted the kings in a bad historical light.

    The collapse of Murchetach MacLochlainn’s power in 1161 left his ally King Dermot militarily as well as politically vulnerable, and eventually the King of Connacht drove him out of Dublin. Dermot’s response was to seek help from England. Dermot found Henry II in Aquitaine in France in 1167 and then armed with letters of patent from Henry giving him permission to recruit freelances, he set himself up in Bristol where he could catch the news from Ireland, and spent a few months touting for help among the barons of the Welsh March. By the summer of 1167 he was back in Ireland with a body-guard of Flemish mercenaries and some promises of aid from the English. But those who went to join him in Ireland were few in number.

    In 1170 they were joined by a notable figure from the Welsh March - Richard, son of Gilbert de Clare, first earl of Pembroke, Richard FitzGilbert, who was down on his luck.

    His father had helped Henry I to the throne, had held extensive lands in Kent and Sussex, had been made earl of Pembroke by King Stephen in 1138, and inherited the lordship of Strigoil from an uncle. His contemporaries called him ‘earl of Strigoil’,or, more familiarly, ‘Strongbow’.

    As an early chronicler put it regarding Richard, ‘his pedigree was longer than his purse’ and he was in hope of recouping his dwindled fortunes that he gave his ear to King Dermot’s plea for help. He went to Ireland only on the understanding that Dermot would give him his daughter in marriage and the reversion of his kingdom.

    Though few in number Dermot’s allies had an advantage of military techniques that baffled or terrified his Irish opponents - the continental device of the motte-and-bailey fort, and the combination learned in the Welsh March, of skirmishing anchors, disciplined footmen, and mounted knights. It was enough to swing the balance - just. Dermot suppressed his rebellious subject, drove his rivals out of Leinster, and began to aspire to the high-kingship. But in 1171 Dermot died. He had given his daughter to Strongbow as he promised, and Strongbow claimed Leinster as his heir.

    For the Normans, they found themselves virtually alone, pinned to the coastal ports and Strongbow was besieged in Dublin by the high-king of Connacht. In desperation a small band of Normans routed the high-kings army and a few weeks later , on 18 October 1171,

    King Henry landed at Waterford and demanded everyone’s submission. Henry had no alternative but to go to Ireland: the marriage of Earl Richard de Clare to the daughter of King Dermot of Leinster in 1170, the death of Dermot and the victory of the earls men over the forces of the high-king made Henry’s intervention imperative and urgent.

    Chroniclers state that the Irish could not prevail over the Normans and sent envoys to Henry begging him to come to Ireland and save them from the ruthlessness of Earl Richard. Strongbow also had sent messengers to Henry offering his submission if the king would allow him to hold what he had won, as his vassal - he would surrender his acquisitions freely into the king’s hands if Henry would grant him Leinster as a fief. Henry confirmed Strongbow in the lordship of Leinster abut without control of the Norse kingdom of Dublin or the townships of Waterford and Wexford.

    As has been reported, Strongbow’s widow lived in Strigoil (Striguil), Wales (Chepstow Castle) for awhile after his death. She was known to have been quite independent over her

    Regarding Aoife’s burial at Tintern, the following was received from Richard.Turner@Wales.GSI.Gov.UK on July 7, 2006:

    In 1531 William Fellows made a visitation to Tintern Abbey before the Dissolution. He wrote:“In the northe part of sayde Church Lyeth Dame Ive Burgh, doughter to Makmure, King of Lymster in Irelands, and wife to Richard Strangebowe aforewrytten on the other side.”
    The chapterhouse at Tintern is early 13th century in date and the present abbey church was started in 1269, so this slab was not in its original position when Fellows visited. Unfortunately we cannot relate any of the surviving slabs to this individual.

    A large 1854 painting of her marriage with Richard Strongbow de Clare (The Marriage of Strongbow & Aoife by Daniel Maclise) can be seen in the National Gallery, Dublin.
    Information on the death and burial of Aoife & the marriage painting was received by e-mail 6/17/06 from Stuart Kinsella, research advisor at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, Ireland.


    • Married: 26 AUG 1171 in WATERFORD, IRELAND
    2. Has Children JOAN FITZGILBERT (L) DE CLARE b: ABT 1174
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