The House of de Clare

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Bad Viking
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The House of de Clare

Post by Bad Viking »

Hello
I'm interested in this Norman family and keen to see if ther is any good and worthy information relating to them with the view to setting up a Living History Group.
Ta
I might be in the gutter....but I'm still looking up at the takeaway !.

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Brother Ranulf
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Re: The House of de Clare

Post by Brother Ranulf »

Which era are you thinking of?

I have quite a lot on the Clares and Giffords (closely related through marriage) during the post-conquest period and up to 1200 - there were quite a number of "false de Clares" who adopted the name without being related. Baldwin de Meules and Richard de Bienfaite, founder of St Neot's Priory are two examples.

The de Clares are implicated in the death of William Rufus and much intrigue at the court of Henry I. Under Henry II Richard de Clare ("Strongbow") became a trusted vassal and was instrumental in the Anglo-Norman Irish expedition to support Dermot McMurrough.
Brother Ranulf

"Patres nostri et nos hanc insulam in brevi edomuimus in brevi nostris subdidimus legibus, nostris obsequiis mancipavimus" - Walter Espec 1138

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Bad Viking
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Re: The House of de Clare

Post by Bad Viking »

Wow !!!!!!!! that is absolutly excellent - exactly what I'm looking for -- I'm aiming to put some ideas together for an extension to my living history and want to get an understanding of the de Clares-- its ok just standing around in soft kit looking like a de Clare -- but I really want to know my stuff before speaking to the public. Can you recommend a book worth purchasing on the subject ? Ta
I might be in the gutter....but I'm still looking up at the takeaway !.

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Brother Ranulf
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Re: The House of de Clare

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If only it were that easy!!! I have pieced together lots of small bits of info from very many places (that's the nature of researching the 12th century), including:

Feudal England by J H Round (1895) - very useful, rare and out of print but I think it is now available on-line. Includes a family tree for the de Clares and false-Clares.

England Under the Norman and Angevin Kings by Robert Bartlett (2000)

Domesday Book - Penguin Classics (2003)

12th century seals of Gilbert de Clare and Gilbert fitz Gilbert de Clare - MS Lansdowne 203

There are some interesting websites that may help, including this site: http://castlewales.com/strngbow.html

The Arms of the de Clares would almost make a lifetime's study on their own - the seals of the 1148 period show shields with about 6 chevrons, whereas they later changed to just 3. Heraldry had few rules at that time and no regulating body. But there is said to be an older ( :o ) blazon for the de Clares (perhaps for one of the "false Clares?) with just a canton.
Brother Ranulf

"Patres nostri et nos hanc insulam in brevi edomuimus in brevi nostris subdidimus legibus, nostris obsequiis mancipavimus" - Walter Espec 1138

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Bad Viking
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Re: The House of de Clare

Post by Bad Viking »

Amazing stuff Brother Ranulf !!!
Are you going to be at any shows next month ?
I might be in the gutter....but I'm still looking up at the takeaway !.

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Brother Ranulf
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Re: The House of de Clare

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I have PMed you.
Brother Ranulf

"Patres nostri et nos hanc insulam in brevi edomuimus in brevi nostris subdidimus legibus, nostris obsequiis mancipavimus" - Walter Espec 1138

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Colin Middleton
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Re: The House of de Clare

Post by Colin Middleton »

Wasn't it a de Clare (Gilbert?) who lead the rebelion against King John? I think that he was connected with either Lewis Castle or Tonbridge Castle in Kent.

Best of luck
Colin

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Re: The House of de Clare

Post by Simon_Diment »

Norman lords of Glamorgan responsible for the construction of Morlais Castle.
Lands disputed with de Braose of Brecon.
Association with Caerphilly castle.
Stained glass window in Tewksbury Cathedral depicts one of the male de Clare's.
Last male heir killed at Bannockburn.
Sisters married off to several of Edward IIs cronies

http://www.castlewales.com/clares.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Clare

Easy enough to find info as you have internet access, look for the references and start from there with selected bibliographies.

Look forward to hearing an update on your progress, it'll be a b**ger making sure your hard & soft kit is up to spec due to the profile of the family.
Bitter and Twisted IS a lifestyle option!
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Bad Viking
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Re: The House of de Clare

Post by Bad Viking »

Have I made a rod for my own back I wonder !!! haha
I might be in the gutter....but I'm still looking up at the takeaway !.

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Brother Ranulf
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Re: The House of de Clare

Post by Brother Ranulf »

When researching individual knights of the 12th century period, contemporary documents and personal seals are the first things to look at. Seals offer the best depictions of heraldry (after 1140) and personal kit, but they can be fairly difficult (read almost impossible) to find – I believe there are plans to publish a database of medieval seals on-line which, if it happens, will be a real help. The knight wanted himself shown on his seal in all his best finery and instantly recognisable, since the seal embodied his personal authority even more than his heraldry did. Such evidence is specifically and reliably datable.

Evidence such as funerary effigies and stained glass windows is far less reliable, since these were often retrospective – sometimes by over 100 years.

The 12th century seals of the de Clares all show kite shields with multiple chevrons – certainly six, perhaps seven.

The 1148 seal of Gilbert fitz Gilbert de Clare has a type 1 kite shield without a boss (round-topped – the typology is one I came up with as there does not seem to be one in place for 12th century shields); the multiple chevrons are clearly shown and he wears a tall nasal helm, a knee-length hauberk with no surcote, possibly with leg and foot armour. He carries a sword and his horse furniture includes a saddle-cloth with very long, square-ended pendant sections along its lower edge.

The seal of Richard Arcfort de Clare (circa 1170) shows him with a type 2 kite shield again with no boss – with a curved but flatter top edge. Again there are at least six chevrons. Richard wears a standard nasal helm and there is full-length, full-skirted pleated garment (silk?) beneath his hauberk. As Marechal of England Richard would have had a large personal following including a banner-bearer; the banner would be rectangular and would again carry the multiple de Clare chevrons. It signified his presence, so it went wherever he went.
I have made these very rough sketches of his shield and kit based on the details on his seal:
richard arcfort de clare - Copy.JPG
Brother Ranulf

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Bad Viking
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Re: The House of de Clare

Post by Bad Viking »

Brother Ranulf !!!


Thankyou so so much !!!!, off to get some material and some paint !! :D
I might be in the gutter....but I'm still looking up at the takeaway !.

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