Richard de Clare, 6th Earl of Hertford (August 4, 1222 – July
15, 1262) was son of Gilbert de Clare, 5th Earl of Hertford and
Isabel Marshall, daughter of William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke
and Isabel de Clare, the 17-year-old daughter of Strongbow.
A year after he became of age, he was in an expedition against
the Welsh. Through his mother he inherited a fifth part of the Marshall
estates, including Kilkenny and other lordships in Ireland. In 1232
Richard was secretly married to Margaret (Megotta) de Burgh, daughter
of Hubert de Burgh, Earl of Kent. Both bride and groom were aged
about ten. Megotta died in November 1237. Before she had even died,
the earl of Lincoln offered 5,000 marks to King Henry to secure
Richard for his own daughter. This offer was accepted, and Richard
was married secondly, on or before 25 January 1238, Maud de Lacy,
daughter of the Surety John de Lacy and Margaret Quincy.
He joined in the Barons' letter to the Pope in 1246 against the
exactions of the Curia in England. He was among those in opposition
to the King's half-brothers, who in 1247 visited England, where
they were very unpopular, but afterwards he was reconciled to them.
On April 1248, he had letters of protection for going over seas
on a pilgrimage. At Christmas 1248, he kept his Court with great
splendor on the Welsh border. In the next year he went on a pilgrimage
to St. Edmund at Pontigny, returning in June. In 1252 he observed
Easter at Tewkesbury, and then went across the seas to restore the
honor of his brother William, who had been badly worsted in a tournament
and had lost all his arms and horses. The Earl is said to have succeeded
in recovering all, and to have returned home with great credit,
and in September he was present at the Round Table tournament at
In August 1252/3 the King crossed over to Gascony with his army,
and to his great indignation the Earl refused to accompany him and
went to Ireland instead. In August 1255 he and John Maunsel were
sent to Edinburgh by the King to find out the truth regarding reports
which had reached the King that his son-in-law, Alexander, King
of Scotland, was being coerced by Robert de Roos and John Baliol.
If possible, they were to bring the young King and Queen to him.
The Earl and his companion, pretending to be the two of Roos's knights,
obtained entry to Edinburgh Castle, and gradually introduced their
attendants, so that they had a force sufficient for their defense.
They gained access to the Scottish Queen, who made her complaints
to them that she and her husband had been kept apart. They threatened
Roos with dire punishments, so that he promised to go to the King.
Meanwhile the Scottish magnates, indignant at their castle of Edinburgh's
being in English hands, proposed to besiege it, but they desisted
when they found they would be besieging their King and Queen. The
King of Scotland apparently traveled South with the Earl, for on
24 September they were with King Henry III at Newminster, Northumberland.
In July 1258 he fell ill, being poisoned with his brother William,
as it was supposed, by his steward, Walter de Scotenay. He recovered
but his brother died.
Richard died at John de Griol's manor of Asbenfield in Waltham,
near Canterbury, 15 July 1262, it being rumored that he had been
poisoned at the table of Piers of Savoy. On the following Monday
he was carried to Canterbury where a mass for the dead was sung,
after which his body was taken to the canon's church at Tonbridge
and interred in the choir. Thence it was taken to Tewkesbury and
buried 28 July 1262, with great solemnity in the presence of two
bishops and eight abbots in the presbytery at his father's right
hand. Richard's own arms were: Or, three chevronels gules.
Richard de Clare, 6th Earl of Hertford, is our 25th Great Grandfather