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|Sir Roger de Clare|
Tonbridge, Kent, England
|Office||2nd Earl of Hertford|
|Preceded by||Gilbert de Clare|
|Succeeded by||Richard de Clare|
Roger de Clare (1116–1173) was Earl of Hertford from 1153 until his death.
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. He is found signing charters at Canterbury and Dover in 1156. Next year, according to Powell, 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 Gruffydd, 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 Humfirey and the other Norman fortresses. The 'Annales Cambriæ seem to assign these events to the year 1159 ; and the 'Brut' adds that Prince Khys 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. In 1163, Rhys again invaded the conouests of Clare, who, we learn incidentally, haa at some earlier period caused Einion, the capturer of Humfrey Castle, to be murdered by domestic treachery. In 1164 he assisted with the Constitutions of Clarendon. From his munificence to the Church and his numerous acts of piety, Roger was called the "Good Earl of Hertford".[a] He was the founder of Little Marcis Nunnery prior to 1163.
A second time all Cardigan was wrested from the Norman hands ; and things now wore so threatening an aspect that Henry II led an army into Wales in 1165, although, according to one Welsh account, Khys 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. 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 Cambræ' 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 arts of southern England (Gerv. Cant. i. 216). His last known signature seems to belong to June or July 1l71, and is dated abroad from Chevaillée.
He appears to have died in 1173, and certainly before July or August 1174, when we find Richard, earl of Clare, his son, coming to the king at Northampton.
Roger married Maud de St. Hilary, daughter of James de St. Hilary and Aveline. Together they had seven children:
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Archer, Thomas Andrew (1887). "Clare, Roger de". In Stephen, Leslie. Dictionary of National Biography 10. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
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