2019-07-22 15:28:45 UTC
Complete Peerage 6 (1926): 503 (sub Hertford) says Amice de Clare, Countess of Hertford “is stated to have died 1 January 1224/5, before which date she appears to have been recognized as Countess of Gloucester.” This statement regarding her being acknowledged Countess of Gloucester appears to be without foundation. In Amice’s own charters which have survived and in contemporary records, she is styled solely as Countess of Clare (i.e., Hertford), and never as Countess of Gloucester [see, for instance, Dugdale, Monasticon Anglicanum 6(3) (1830): 1658–1659 (charters of Amice, Countess of Clare, daughter of William Earl of Gloucester); Clark, Cartæ et Alia Munimenta de Glamorgancia 2 (1910): 358 (charter of Amice, Countess of Clare, widow); Harper-Bill, Stoke by Clare Cartulary 1 (Suffolk Charters 4) (1982): 41-48 (charters of Amice, Countess of Clare); Mortimer, Charters of St. Bartholomew’s Priory (Suffolk Charters 15) (1996): 25–26 (charter of Amice, Countess of Clare)]. Rather, Dugdale, Monasticon Anglicanum 1 (1817): 33 correctly states that Amice’s son and heir, Gilbert de Clare, took up the twin earldoms of Gloucester and Hertford in 1217, which occurred during his mother’s lifetime. In Nov. 1217, shortly after the death of his aunt, Isabel, Countess of Gloucester, Gilbert confirmed several benefactions as Earl of Gloucester and Hertford [see Stevenson, Durford Cartulary (Sussex Rec. Soc. 90) (2006): 81]. In the same month there was a plea between Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, and William de Cauntelo and his wife, Milicent, widow of Amaury, Count of Evreux. Livery of various lands was also ordered [see Complete Peerage 5 (1926): 694 (sub Gloucester)]. Gilbert certainly had possession of the Gloucester inheritance before 1220/1, when the Pipe Rolls sub Norfolk and Suffolk state that “Isti habunt quietancias per brevia … Comes de Clara de 131 f etc.” [see Great Roll of the Pipe Michaelmas 1221, cited in Complete Peerage 6 (1926): 503, footnote c]. Presumably Amice was excluded from the Gloucester inheritance by the terms of her father’s agreement with King Henry II in 1176, by which King Henry’s son, John (later King John) was acknowledged as heir to William Earl of Gloucester (as future husband of his youngest daughter, Isabel); in return for this grant, the king agreed to give £100 yearly rental to Earl William’s older daughters, Mabel and Amice [see Lambert, Bletchingley: A Parish Hist. 1 (1921): 53–54, 59, footnote 2].
As to Amice’s exact date of death, John Gough Nichols, published a well researched article entitled “Descent of the Earldom of Gloucester” in Memoirs illus. of the Hist. & Antiqs. of Bristol (1853): 65–79. He mentions Countess Amice in passing but does not comment on her date of death. Elsewhere another competent historian, G.T. Clark, in his article, “The Land of Morgan. Part III. The Earls of Gloucester,” published in Archaeological Journal 35 (1878): 313–338, simply states “Countess Amice seems to have died before 1226, the date of the death of her nephew Aymaric d’Evreux.” Whatever the case, Amice was certainly living as late as 9 Henry III [i.e., 1224–25], in which regnal year Hugh de Gundevill quitclaimed to Amice, Countess of Clare, one knight’s fee in Pimperne, Dorset; in return for which Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester and Hertford, son of the Countess, granted Hugh 100s. of land in Upton, Dorset [see Fry & Fry Abs. of Feet of Fines rel. Dorset 1 (Dorset Rec. Soc. 5) (1896): 26].
Douglas Richardson, Historian & Genealogist