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Report of Colonel Morgan Morgan

Associated Reading to the Report of Colonel Morgan ap Morgan

Head | Part I | Part II | Part III | Works Cited

Gilbert de Clare

Sir Gilbert “the Red” de Clare (de Clere, de Clear) - Sir Gilbert de Clare, or Gilbert “the Red,” as he was known for the color of his hair, was born on September 2nd of 1243; the oldest son of Richard de Clare, Earl of Gloucester and Hertford, and Maud, daughter of the Earl of Lincoln. Gilbert’s father was a powerful marcher lord, and upon his death, Gilbert inherited many wealthy estates, becoming the 9th Earl of Clare, 8th Earl of Gloucester, and 7th Earl of Hertford in 1263. That same year marked the beginning of Simon de Montefort’s rebellion against King Henry of England, in which Gilbert at first supported. At the battle of Lewes in Sussex, May 14th, 1264, Gilbert helped lead Montefort’s army against the king, whom they captured and proved victorious. Gilbert and Montefort then organized a new parliament, in which they, along with the Bishop of Chichester, began controlling the country. However, when Montefort began negotiating an alliance with Llewelyn ap Gruffudd, the Welsh prince, Gilbert was infuriated. Earlier in 1262, Gruffudd had captured the lands of Humphrey de Bohun, who was Gilbert’s guardian, and the two would later become enemies. Gilbert soon left Montefort and made a new allegiance with Prince Edward, who would play an important role in the defeat of Montefort’s army at the Battle of Evesham, allowing Gilbert to strengthen his control over his Welsh territories. In 1266, Gilbert took control of upland Senghennydd from Gruffydd ap Rhys in Glamorgan, and soon began building Caerphilly Castle. The following year, Llewelyn’s forces would invade Senghennydd, and patiently wait as the king attempted to make a truce. After a year however, Llewelyn lost patience and sacked several fortifications of Caerphilly. When Gilbert began rebuilding his stockade, Llewelyn again began to prepare for war, but as his enemy began to win new allegiances, Llewleyn was humbled to Gilbert’s project - and the construction of Caerphilly commenced. By 1287, Gilbert had also built a road into Brecon, where he had begun the erection of another castle at Morlais. Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hertford, strongly protested as he claimed ownership of the Morlais territory, and a much larger conflict would arise as a Welsh rebellion under Madog ap Llywelyn would begin in 1294. Though Madog concentrated his forces in the north and west of Wales, their cause soon spread south to Glamorgan where Morgan ap Maredudd, who’s father had been dispossessed by Gilbert in 1270, led attacks against de Clare estates. Morgan’s rebels would accomplish the capture of Morlais Castle, and the burning of much of Caerphilly, but were later forced to surrender to the king, in which Maredudd was pardoned. Gilbert would die the following year at the age of fifty two, in December of 1295. His estates were passed to his wife until her death in 1307, in which they were then passed to their son, also named Gilbert. However, he would be killed in the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, marking the end of the male de Clare line.