Gilbert de Clare, 1st Earl of Hertford
|Gilbert de Clare|
1st Earl of Hertford
4th Baron of Clare
4th Baron of Tonbridge
Coat of Arms Associated with House de Clare
|Earl of Hereford|
Lord of Clare
|Predecessor||Richard de Clare, 3rd Baron of Clare|
|Successor||Roger de Clare, 2nd Earl of Hertford|
|Family||House de Clare|
|Father||Richard de Clare, 3rd Baron of Clare|
|Mother||Alice de Gernon|
Clare, Suffolk, Kingdom of England
Hertford, Hertfordshire, Kingdom of England
|Occupation||Peerage of England|
Gilbert de Clare, 1st Earl of Hertford, 4th Baron of Clare (1115–1152), was the eldest son of Richard de Clare, 3rd Baron of Clare (1066-1117) by his wife Alice de Gernon (1094-1128). He inherited his father's estates in 1117 at the age of 2 and was later created 1st Earl of Hertford in 1138 by King Stephen of England. He also inherited Tonbridge Castle on 15 April 1136.
He was created Earl of Hertford about 1138, possibly about the same time his uncle Gilbert de Clare, 1st Earl of Pembroke was created Earl of Pembroke. He was a supporter of King Stephen for a time, but seems to have joined the Empress Matilda at some point. When the king took Ranulf de Gernon, the Earl of Chester, prisoner the Earl gave his nephew Geoffrey as a guarantor for his liberation and good conduct.
In 1147, Ranulf de Gernon, rebelled against King Stephen again. The king, in turn, seized Gilbert, the Earl of Hertford, and held him prisoner until he agreed to surrender all his castles. After doing so the Earl of Hertford was released, but then joined his uncle Ranulf's rebellion. Gilbert, Earl of Pembroke, who up to this time had remained loyal to Stephen, then demanded his nephew Gilbert's castles 'maintaining that they were his by hereditary right'. When Stephen refused, Gilbert the Earl of Pembroke also joined Ranulph's rebellion. Stephen then confiscated his castles as well. Not long after, however, the king reconciled with both Gilberts, however Ranulf de Gernon joined Henry of Anjou (later Henry II of England).
- George Edward Cokayne, The Complete Peerage; or, a History of the House of Lords and all its Members from the Earliest Times, eds. H. A. Doubleday; Howard de Walden, Vol. VI (London: The St. Catherine Press, Ltd., 1926), pp. 498-9
- George Edward Cokayne, The Complete Peerage; or, a History of the House of Lords and all its Members from the Earliest Times, ed. Vicary Gibbs, Vol. III (London: The St. Catherine Press, Ltd., 1913), p. 244
- Paul Dalton; G. Graeme; J. White, King Stephen's Reign: (1135-1154) (Woodbridge, UK ; Rochester, NY: Boydell Press, 2008), pp. 88-89
- Donald Matthew, King Stephen (London: Hambledon and London, 2001), p. 127
- I.J. Sanders, English Baronies; A Study of their Origin and Descent 1086–1327 (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1960), p. 35