1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Gloucester, Richard de Clare, Earl of

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GLOUCESTER, RICHARD DE CLARE, Earl of (1222–1262), was a son of Gilbert de Clare, 6th earl of Gloucester and 7th earl of Clare, and was born on the 4th of August 1222, succeeding to his father’s earldoms on the death of the latter in October 1230. His first wife was Margaret, daughter of Hubert de Burgh, and after her death in 1237 he married Maud, daughter of John de Lacy, earl of Lincoln, and passed his early years in tournaments and pilgrimages, taking for a time a secondary and undecided part in politics. He refused to help Henry III. on the French expedition of 1250, but was afterwards with the king at Paris; then he went on a diplomatic errand to Scotland, and was sent to Germany to work among the princes for the election of his stepfather, Richard, earl of Cornwall, as king of the Romans. About 1258 Gloucester took up his position as a leader of the barons in their resistance to the king, and he was prominent during the proceedings which followed the Mad Parliament at Oxford in 1258. In 1259, however, he quarrelled with Simon de Montfort, earl of Leicester; the dispute, begun in England, was renewed in France and he was again in the confidence and company of the king. This attitude, too, was only temporary, and in 1261 Gloucester and Leicester were again working in concord. The earl died at his residence near Canterbury on the 15th of July 1262. A large landholder like his son and successor, Gilbert, Gloucester was the most powerful English baron of his time; he was avaricious and extravagant, but educated and able. He left several children in addition to Earl Gilbert.