Geoffroy de Brionne Comte d'Eu
(Abt 0953-Abt 1015)
Gilbert de Brionne Comte d'Eu
(Between 0979/1000-Abt 1040)
Richard de Brionne Lord of Clare and Tonbridge
(Bef 1035-Abt 1090)


Family Links

1. Rohese Giffard

Richard de Brionne Lord of Clare and Tonbridge 2 3 4 5

  • Born: Bef 1035 1 5
  • Marriage (1): Rohese Giffard 1
  • Died: Abt Apr 1090 1 6 7
  • BuriedMale: St. Neots Priory, St. Neots, Cambridgeshire, PE19, GB

   Another name for Richard was Richard FitzGilbert.

  General Notes:

RICHARD de Brionne, son of GILBERT de Brionne "Crespin" Comte d'Eu & his wife --- (before 1035-[Apr] [1090], bur St Neots, Huntingdonshire). Guillaume of Jumièges names "Richardum strenuissimum militem" as the son of "comes Gislebertus filius Godefridus comitis", adding that he donated property to Bec with "filii eius Gislebertus, Rogerius, Walterius, Rodbertus". He and his brother are named sons of Gilbert de Brionne by Orderic Vitalis, recording that they took refuge in Flanders after their father was murdered. Seigneur de Bienfaite et d'Orbec, after Guillaume II Duke of Normandy restored these properties to him after being requested to do so by his father-in-law Baudouin V Count of Flanders. He accompanied William I King of England into England and was rewarded with 176 lordships, mainly in Suffolk (many attached to the honour of Clare) and Kent. Lord of Clare and Tonbridge. Regent of England 1075. Domesday Book records that "Richard [fitzGilbert] of Tonbridge" held Yalding in Twyford Hundred, East Barming in Maidstone Hundred, in Kent, land in Tandridge, Brixton, Reigate and other Hundreds in Surrey, and that "Richard son of Count Gilbert" held Lympstone in Devonshire, Harefield in Elthorne Hundred in Middlesex; numerous properties in Essex; and in Suffolk. The necrology of Saint-Nicaise de Meulan records the death of "Richardus filius comitis Gilberti monachus nostre congregationis", undated but listed among deaths recorded in late April. The Genealogia Fundatoris of Tintern Abbey, Monmouthshire records that "Ricardo filio comitis Gisleberti" was buried "apud sanctum Neotum".

m [as her first husband,] ROHESE Giffard, daughter of GAUTHIER Giffard & his wife Ermengarde --- (-after 1113, bur [Colchester]). Guillaume de Jumièges names "Galterium Giffardum primum" as father of "secundum Galterium Giffardum et filias plures" of whom "una...Rohais" married "Richardo filio comitis Gisleberti". Her father is named by Orderic Vitalis, who does not state her own name. Domesday Book records "Rohais wife of Richard son of Gilbert" holding Standon in Braughing Hundred in Hertfordshire; and Eynesbury in Huntingdonshire. Rohese may have married secondly Eudes de Rie dapifer. According to the Genealogia Fundatoris of Tintern Abbey, Monmouthshire, "Rohesia" married secondly "Eudoni dapifero Regis Normanniæ" after the death of "Ricardo filio comitis Gisleberti". According to The Complete Peerage, this genealogy is "probably erroneous" but it does not explain the basis for the doubts. From a chronological point of view, the connection would be tight, assuming that the death date of Richard FitzGilbert is correctly estimated to [1090] and the birth of Rohese´s granddaughter by her alleged second marriage, Beatrix, is correctly assessed at [1105]. An alternative perspective is provided by the History of the foundation of St John´s abbey, Colchester which names "Eudoni…major domus regiæ" and "Roasya uxor eius…Gilbertum comes, Rohaisæ frater", who would have been the daughter of this Rohese Giffard as noted below.

Richard & his wife had eight children: Roger, Rohese, Gilbert, Robert, Walter, Avice, Richard and Adelisa.

[FMG/Medieval Lands]


Richard Fitz Gilbert; also known as "de Bienfaite" (from the quantity of his fiefs [so states BP, but CP states Richard was lord of Bienfate & Orbec in Normandy]), "de Clare" or "de Tonbridge" (from actual fiefs); went with his cousin William I the Conqueror to England and was granted 176 Lordships, 95 of them associated with the Honour (feudal unit of administration) of Clare, Suffolk, and others with Tonbridge, Kent. [Burke's Peerage]


Observations. In the times of the Heptarchy the border fortress of Clare (Suffolk), on the confines of the Kingdoms of East Anglia and Essex, was of the greatest importance, and continued to be so or many centuries afterwards, when, it was granted by the Conqueror to Richard FitzGilbert. FitzGilbert's successors the earlier Lords of Clare were, "it is implied in the Lords' Reports [vol. iii, p. 124] and elsewhere, styled Earls of Clare before they were Earls of Hertford, but investigation disproves this," though doubtless, these Lords, after they obtained that Earldom, were according to the usage of the period, frequently styled "Earls of Clare," just as the Earls of Derby were styled "Earls Ferrers," &c. On account of the great importance of these feudal Barons, the earlier Lords of Clare, so frequently considered to have been actual Peers, a short account of them is subjoined, as under.


RICHARD FITZGILBERT, styled (from his possessions) " DE BIENFAITE," "DE CLARE," and "DE TONBRIDGE, was son of Gilbert, COUNT OF BRIONNE in Normandy, which Gilbert was son and heir of Godfrey, COUNT OF BRIONNE, illegitimate son of Richard, DUKE OF NORMANDY. He was born before 1035, was Lord of Bienfaite and Orbec in Normandy, accompanied his kinsman, William the Conqueror, into England, and was rewarded by him with no less than 176 Lordships, of which 95 were in Suffolk, attached to the Honour of Clare, which honour,, with the Castle of Clare, as also the Castle of Tonbridge in Kent, he obtained, becoming thus Lord of Clare and of Tonbridge. During the King's absence he was joint Chief justiciar, and, as such, suppressed the revolt of 1075.

He married Rohese, daughter of Walter GIFFARD, the elder, and aunt and heir of Walter [GIFFARD], 2nd Earl of Buckingham, through which match his descendants became co-heirs to the lands of that family. He was living 1081, but appears to have died about 1090 being buried at St. Neots, co. Huntingdon. His widow was living, as such, 1113. [Complete Peerage III:242, XIV:183, (transcribed by Dave Utzinger)]


Richard FitzGilbert, having accompanied the Conqueror into England, participated in the spoils of conquest and obtained extensive possessions in the new and old dominions of his royal leader and kinsman. In 1073 we find him joined under the designation of Ricardus de Benefacta, with William de Warren, in the great office of Justiciary of England, with whom, in three years afterwards, he was in arms against the rebellious lords Robert de Britolio, Earl of Hereford, and Ralph Waher, or Guarder, Earl of Norfolk and Suffolk, and behaved with great gallantry. But afterwards, at the time of the General Survey, which was towards the close of William's reign, he is called Ricardus de Tonebruge, from his seat at Tonebruge (now Tunbridge) in Kent, which town and castle he obtained from the archbishop of Canterbury in lieu of the castle of Brion, at which time he enjoyed thirty-eight lordships in Surrey, thirty-five in Essex, three in Cambridgeshire, with some others in Wilts and Devon, and ninety-five in Suffolk, amongst those was Clare, whence he was occasionally styled Richard de Clare, and that place in a few years afterwards becoming the chief seat of the family, his descendants are said to have assumed thereupon the title of Earls of Clare. This great feudal lord m. Rohese, dau. of Walter Giffard, Earl of Buckingham, and had issue, Gilbert, his successor, Roger, Walter, Richard, Robert, a dau. m. to Ralph de Telgers, and a dau. mo. to Eudo Dapifer. Richard de Tonebruge, or de Clare, whose is said to have fallen in a skirmish with the Welsh, was s. by his eldest son, Gilbert de Tonebruge. [Sir Bernard Burke, Dormant and Extinct Peerages, Burke's Peerage, London, 1883, p. 118, Clare, Lords of Clare, Earls of Hertford, Earls of Gloucester] 1


• Title: Seigneur de Bienfaite et d'Orbec. 1

• Title: Lord of Clare and Tonbridge. 1

Richard married Rohese Giffard, daughter of Gauthier Giffard and Ermengarde Flaitel.1 (Rohese Giffard died after 1113 1 5.)


1 Charles Cawley, <i>Medieval Lands</i>.

2 Frederick Lewis Weis, Walter Lee Sheppard, William Ryland Beall, <i>Magna Carta Sureties 1215: the Barons Named in the Magna Carta, 1215 and Some of their Descendants who Settled in America during the Early Colonial Years</i> (Genealogical Publishing Company, 1999), 153-1, 157-1.

3 Charles Mosley, <i>Burke's Peerage & Baronetage</i> (Burke's Peerage, 1999), 1069.

4 William Henry Turton, <i>The Plantagenet Ancestry</i> (1968), 94.

5 George Edward Cokayne, "Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom" (Sutton Publishing Ltd., 2000), III:242.

6 Frederick Lewis Weis, Walter Lee Sheppard, David Faris, <i>Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America Before 1700: The Lineage of Alfred the Great, Charlemagne, Malcolm of Scotland, Robert the Strong, and Some of Their Descendants</i> (Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1992), 184-2.

7 Newsgroup: soc.genealogy.medieval, at groups -, Peter Stewart, 19 May 2002.

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