Godfrey Fitzrichard DE BRIONNE Comte d' Eu
Gilbert DE BRIONNE Comte de Brionne et d' Eu
Richard FitzGilbert DE BRIONNE
(Bef 1035-1090)


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Richard FitzGilbert DE BRIONNE

  • Born: Bef 1035, Bienfaite, Normandy, France
  • Married: Abt 1054
  • Died: Apr 1090, St Neots, Huntingdonshire, England
  • Buried: Priory, St Neot's, Huntingdonshire, England

  General Notes:

Compiler's 27/28/29/30/31/32 x great-grandfather

  Research Notes:

When William the Conqueror married Count Baldwin's daughter, he restored Gilbert's sons to Normandy, although he did not invest them with either Brionne or Eu or a comital title. William granted the lordships of Bienfaite and Orbec to Richard fitz Gilbert, and Le Sap and Meules to Baldwin. While Gilbert's descendants later pressed a claim for Brionne, it was never restored.

He was regent of England jointly with William de Warenne during the Conqueror's absence in 1075, and he served in various other important capacities for the King. King William rewarded his cousin well, granting him one of the largest fiefs in the territorial settlement. The lordship centered on Clare (obviously the origin of the Clare family name), Suffolk, which had been an important stronghold in Anglo-Saxon times. The bulk of Richard fitz Gilbert's estates lay in Suffolk, Essex, Surrey, and Kent, but comprised holdings in various other counties in the southern and eastern parts of the kingdom as well. In addition, King William arranged for Richard's marriage to Rohese, sister of Walter Giffard, later Earl of Buckingham, and her dowry, consisting of lands in Huntingdon and Hertford, became absorbed in the family inheritance.
Lord of Clare, so named about 1117. He was founder of the priory at Tonbridge. He was surprised and slain by the Welsh, near Abergavenny on April 15, 1136. Birth year after 1095 based on the fact that his mother was born after 1080.
He tried to consolidate the gains made by his father in Cardigan, but was killed in an ambush in 1136 and the lordship was soon recovered by the Welsh. 1


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”. Orderic Vitalis names “...Balduinus et Ricardus Gisleberti comitis filii...” among the leading lords under Guillaume II Duke of Normandy. 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 them 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.

Orderic Vitalis records the rebellion of Robert, son of King William I, and his departure from Normandy accompanied by “Rodbertus de Bellismo et Guillelmus de Britolio, Rogerius Ricardi de Benefacta filius, Rodbertus de Molbraio et Guillelmus de Molinis, Guillelmus de Ruperia”, dated to [1077/78], and their journeys during five years of exile. 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”. 2

  Marriage Information:

Richard married Rohese DE GIFFARD, daughter of Gauthier DE GIFFARD Earl of Buckingham, Lord of Longueville and Ermengarde FLAITEL, about 1054. (Rohese DE GIFFARD was born in 1034 in Longueville, Normandy, France, died in 1113 and was buried in Colchester, Essex, England.)


1 A Baronial Family in Medieval England: The Clares, 1217-1314, Michael Altschul, (Baltimore, The Johns Hopkins press, 1965).

2 Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, Medlands, Richard de Brionne.

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