Margaret de Clare, Countess of Gloucester

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Margaret de Clare, Countess of Cornwall & Gloucester

Birthplace: Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, England (United Kingdom)
Death: April 09, 1342 (48)
Badlesmere, Kent, , England
Place of Burial: Tonbridge Priory, Tonbridge, Kent, England
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Gilbert de Clare, 7th Earl of Gloucester and Joan of Acre
Wife of Piers de Gaveston, 1st Earl of Cornwall and Hugh de Audley, 1st Earl of Gloucester
Mother of Joan Gaveston and Countess Margaret de Stafford
Sister of Gilbert de Clare, 8th Earl of Gloucester; Eleanor de Clare, suo jure 6th Lady of Glamorgan and Elizabeth de Clare, 11th Lady of Clare
Half sister of Mary de Monthermer, Countess of Fife; Joan de Monthermer, Nun at Amesbury; Thomas, 2nd Baron de Monthermer; Edward de Monthermer, 3rd Baron Monthermer; Stillborn de Monthermer and 2 others

Managed by: Anne Brannen
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About Margaret de Clare, Countess of Gloucester

Margaret de Clare, Countess of Cornwall, Countess of Gloucester (October 1293 – April 1342), was an English noblewoman, heiress, and the second eldest of the three daughters of Gilbert de Clare, 6th Earl of Hertford and his wife, Joan of Acre, making her a granddaughter of King Edward I of England. Her two husbands were Piers Gaveston and Hugh de Audley, 1st Earl of Gloucester.


Spouse(s) 1) Piers Gaveston[3][2] 2) Hugh de Audley, 1st Earl of Gloucester[3][2]


  1. Joan Gaveston[2]
  2. Margaret de Audley[2]


She was married to Piers Gaveston, the favourite (and possible lover) of her uncle Edward II, in October 1307 around the time of her 14th birthday. According to the Vita Edwardi Secundi, this marriage was arranged by the King "to strengthen Piers and surround him with friends." Gaveston celebrated the marriage with a lavish tournament at Wallingford Castle. The marriage of such a high-born heiress to a foreigner did not please the English nobility and engendered a great deal of unpopularity. They had one child:

  • Joan Gaveston, born 12 January 1312, at York. She died in January 1325 at Amesbury Priory.[1]

King Edward arranged a lavish celebration after the birth of this little girl, complete with minstrels. However, Piers Gaveston was executed only six months later, leaving Margaret a widow with a small child. Her dower rights as Countess of Cornwall were disputed, and so King Edward instead assigned her Oakham Castle and other lands. She joined the Royal household and in 1316 accompanied the King in his journey from London to York.

Following the death of their brother, Gilbert de Clare, 7th Earl of Hertford, at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, Margaret and her sisters, Elizabeth and Eleanor de Clare received a share of the inheritance. Margaret was now one of the co-heiresses to the vast Gloucester estate, and King Edward arranged a second marriage for her to another favourite, Hugh de Audley, 1st Earl of Gloucester. She was High Sheriff of Rutland from 1313 to 1319.[2]

Heiress sisters

In 1317, twenty-two years after their father’s death, ten after their mother’s, the Clare inheritance was finally equally partitioned between Elizabeth the youngest daughter, who by then was married to Roger d’Amory, and her two sisters, Eleanor wife to Hugh Despenser the Younger and Margaret widow of Piers Gaveston, wife to Hugh de Audley. The total valuation of the inheritance just over £6,500.

On 28 April 1317 Margaret de Clare wed Hugh de Audley, 1st Earl of Gloucester at Windsor Castle. They had one daughter:

  • 1.Margaret de Audley, born between January 1318 and November 1322.

Hugh and Margaret were among the victims of their brother-in-law, Hugh the younger Despenser. In his rashness and greed for the Clare lands, he robbed Margaret of much of her rightful inheritance. In 1321, Hugh de Audley joined the other Marcher Barons in looting, burning, and causing general devastation to Despenser's lands which subsequently became the Despenser War.

'Hugh was captured at the Battle of Boroughbridge in 1322, and was saved from a hanging thanks to the pleas of his wife. He was imprisoned, and two months later Margaret was sent to Sempringham priory. She remained there until 1326, when Hugh escaped prison and she was released from Sempringham.

Hugh and Margaret were reunited sometime in 1326. In summer 1336, their only daughter, Margaret Audley, was abducted by Ralph Stafford, 1st Earl of Stafford. Her parents filed a complaint, but King Edward III of England supported Stafford. He appeased Hugh and Margaret by creating Hugh Earl of Gloucester. Margaret was henceforth styled Countess of Gloucester.

Margaret died in April 1342 and her sister Elizabeth de Clare paid for prayers to be said for her soul at Tonbridge Priory, where she was buried.[3]


Citations / Sources:

[S2] Paget Heraldic Baronage, Paget, Gerald, (Manuscript, filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1957), chart no. 17 Audley, Earl of Gloucester, chart no. 29 Basset of Drayton, FHL microfilm 170063, chart no. 130 Clare, FHL microfilm 170063, 2/2.

[S106] Royal Genealogies Website (ROYAL92.GED), online Hereinafter cited as Royal Genealogies Website.

[S11] Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Family: A Complete Genealogy (London, U.K.: The Bodley Head, 1999), page 83. Hereinafter cited as Britain's Royal Family.

[S6] G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume I, page 346. Hereinafter cited as The Complete Peerage.

[S4587] The Magna Charta Sureties, 1215 (1964), Adams, Arthur and Weis, Frederick Lewis, (Reprint of the second authorized edition with revision and corrects by Walter Lee Shepard, Jr. published in Baltimore in 1964. The original was first published in Boston in 1955. Microfilm of original published: Baltimore [Mayland]: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1968. Salt Lake city, Utah: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1978), FHL book 973 D2aa, volumes 1-5; FHL microfilm1,036., p. 36 line 28:5.

[S2420] #11886 The Golden Grove books of pedigrees (filmed 1970), (Manuscript, National Library of Wales manuscript number Castell Gorfod 7. Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1950), FHL microfilms 104,349-104,351., book 5 p. C624*.

[S673] #1079 A History of Monmouthshire from the Coming of the Normans into Wales down to the Present Time (1904-1993), Bradney, Sir Joseph Alfred, (Publications of the South Wales Record Society, number 8. Five volumes in 13. London: Mitchell, Hughes and Clarke, 1904-1993), FHL book 942.43 H2b., vol. 3 p. 8*.

[S2511] Plantagenet Ancestry of Seventeenth-century Colonists: the Descent from the Later Plantagenet Kings of England, Henry III, Edward I, Edward II, and Edward III, of Emigrants from England and Wales to the North American Colonies Before 1701 (2nd ed., 1999), Faris, David, (2nd edition. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1999), FHL book 973 D2fp., p. 299 RANDOLPH:11.


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Margaret de Clare, Countess of Gloucester's Timeline

October 12, 1293
Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, England (United Kingdom)
January 1305
January 12, 1312
Tunbridge Castle, Kent, , England
April 9, 1342
Age 48
Badlesmere, Kent, , England
April 13, 1342
Age 48
Tonbridge Priory, Tonbridge, Kent, England
Age 48
Age 48
December 12, 1925
Age 48