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Elizabeth de Burgh; Elizabeth de Clare , magnate and founder of Clare College, Cambridge
(Lady Clare)

Born: c. 1295   Died: 1360   

The youngest daughter of Gilbert de Clare, earl of Gloucester and Hertford (1243-1295), her mother, Joan of Acre (1272-1307), was the daughter of Edward I.

Elizabeth's five-year marriage to John de Burgh ended when he was killed in 1313; three years later Elizabeth was abducted from Bristol Castle by Theobald de Verdun who subsequently married her but died several months later. In 1317 Elizabeth was married once again, this time to Roger Damory, a member of Edward II's court who succeeded to the lordship of Usk in 1320, participated in the Marcher uprising of 1321 and was killed the following year; shortly before his death Elizabeth was captured at Usk and interned with her children at Barking Abbey. She was forced to hand over Usk to the younger Despenser in exchange for the lordship of Gower which she lost soon thereafter. Elizabeth's own account of these events was recorded in 1326. In November 1322 Elizabeth's English lands were restored, but she never secured redress from Edward II for her Welsh lands. She supported Queen Isabella's invasion in the autumn of 1326 and her lordship of Usk was restored by Edward III on 26 February 1327.

Sites associated with this person

Usk Priory, Monmouthshire (patron)

Bibliographical sources

Printed sources

Ward, Jennifer C., 'Elizabeth de Burgh and Usk castle', The Monmouthshire Antiquary, 18 (2002), pp. 13-22

Web links (open in new window)

Ward, Jennifer C., Oxford Dictionary of National Biography online - Elizabeth de Clare (Burgh) (View website) (Subscription reqd.)