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27 Jul

Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke (Strongbow) (1130 – 1176)

Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke also known as Strongbow became famous for his military campaigns in Ireland which marked the beginning of the Norman settlement in Ireland. Strongbow invaded Ireland in 1170 after Dermot MacMurrough, King of Leinster asked him for military assistance against King of Connaught. He subdued much of eastern Ireland including Dublin, married Dermot’s daughter Aoife of Leinster and claimed the kingship of Leinster after Dermot’s death in 1171. However, faced with the general uprising Strongbow was forced to surrender all his lands and castles to Henry II of England in return for his military assistance. Henry II invaded Ireland in 1172, appointed his men to key positions and assumed the title Lord of Ireland. Strongbow kept only Kildare but he was reinstated in Leinster and made governor of Ireland after helping Henry II against his sons in 1173. He died in 1176 of an infection in his foot.

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