Earl Richard Pembroke

Margaret Anne Cusack
start of chapter | Chapter XIX

When William Pembroke died, A.D. 1231, he bequeathed his offices and large estates in England and Ireland to his brother, Richard, who is described by the chroniclers as a model of manly beauty. Henry III. prohibited his admission to the inheritance, and charged him with treason. The Earl escaped to Ireland, and took possession of the lands and castles of the family, waging war upon the King until his rights were acknowledged. In 1232 Henry had granted the Justiciary of England and of Ireland, with other valuable privileges, to Hubert de Burgo. Earl Richard supported him against the adventurers from Poitou and Bretagne, on whom the weak King had begun to lavish his favours. The Parliament and the barons remonstrated, and threatened to dethrone Henry, if he persevered in being governed by foreigners. And well they might; for one of these needy men, Pierre de Rivaulx, had obtained a grant for life of nearly every office and emolument in Ireland; amongst others, we find mention of "the vacant sees, and the Jews in Ireland." Henry did his best to get his own views carried out; but Earl Richard leagued with the Welsh princes, and expelled the intruders from the towns and castles in that part of the country.