Strongbow (c.1127-1176)

Detail of 'The Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife' by Daniel Maclise (1854)

Strongbow (also known as Richard fitz Gilbert and Richard de Clare) was earl of Pembroke and Strigoil, and lord of Leinster.  He was the eldest son of Gilbert de Clare, earl of Pembroke, and succeeded to his father’s earldom in 1148.

Dermot MacMurrough, king of Leinster sought Strongbow’s assistance in regaining his power in Ireland.  In return he promised Strongbow his daughter Aoife in marriage. Strongbow landed in Ireland on 23 August 1170 and attacked Waterford with a force of some two hundred knights and one thousand other troops. Aoife and Strongbow were married at Christ Church Cathedral soon after Waterford was seized.

MacMurrough died in Ferns in May 1171, at the height of his power, leaving his kingdom to Strongbow. Strongbow died in late May 1176. By some accounts he was buried in Christ Church, Dublin, but according to others, he is buried in Gloucester.