PEMBROKE, EARLS OF. The title of earl of Pembroke has been held successively by several English families, the juris diction and dignity of a palatine earldom being originally attached to it. The first creation dates from 1138, when the earldom of Pembroke was conferred by King Stephen on Gilbert de Clare (d. 1148), son of Gilbert Fitz-Richard, who possessed the lordship of Strigul (Estrighoiel, in Domesday Book), the modern Chep stow, and who, after the battle of Lincoln (I i4i), in which he took part, joined the party of the empress Matilda, and married Henry I.'s mistress, Isabel, daughter of Robert de Beaumont, earl of Leicester. For his son Richard, 2nd earl and for William Marshal, earl of Pembroke, who succeeded to the title through his marriage with Isabel, Richard's daughter and heiress, see separate articles.
Marshal's eldest son, WILLIAM MARSHAL (d. 1231), 2nd earl of Pembroke of this line, passed some years in warfare in Wales and in Ireland, where he was justiciar from 1224 to 1226; he also served Henry III. in France. His second wife was the king's sister, Eleanor, afterwards the wife of Simon de Montfort, but he left no children. His brother RICHARD MARSHAL (d. 1234), 3rd earl, came to the front as the leader of the baronial party, and the chief antagonist of the foreign friends of Henry III. Fearing treachery he refused to visit the king at Gloucester in Aug. 1233, and Henry declared him a traitor. He crossed to Ireland, where Peter des Roches had instigated his enemies to attack him, and in April 1234 he was overpowered and wounded, and died a prisoner. His brother GILBERT (d. 1241), who became the 4th earl, was a friend and ally of Richard, earl of Cornwall. When another brother, ANSELM, the 6th earl, died in Dec. the male descendants of the great earl marshal became extinct.
The extensive family possessions were now divided among Anselm's five sisters and their descendants, the earldom of Pem broke reverting to the Crown.
The next holder of the lands of the earldom of Pembroke, WILLIAM DE VALENCE (d. 1296), a younger son of Hugh de Lusignan, count of La Marche, by his marriage with Isabella of Angouleme (d. 1246), widow of the English king John, was born
at Valence, near Lusignan. In 1247 William and his brothers, Guy and Aymer, crossed over to England at the invitation of their half-brother, Henry III., who arranged a marriage between Wil liam and Joan de Munchensi (d. 1307) a grand-daughter of William Marshal, 1st earl of Pembroke. He was hated as one of the most prominent of the rapacious foreigners. He quar relled with Simon de Montfort, refused to comply with the provisions of Oxford, and took refuge in Wolvesey castle at Winchester, where he was besieged and compelled to surrender and leave the country. In 1259 he and Earl Simon were formally reconciled in Paris, and in 1261 he was again in England. He fought for Henry at the battle of Lewes, and then, after a stay in France, he landed in Pembrokeshire, and took part in 1265 in the siege of Gloucester and the battle of Evesham. After the royalist victory he was restored to his estates and accompanied Prince Edward, afterwards Edward I., to Palestine. He died at Bayonne on June 13, 1296, and was buried in Westminster abbey.
His eldest surviving son, AYMER (c. 1265-1324), fought at Bannockburn; in 1317, when returning to England from Rome, he was taken prisoner and was kept in Germany until a large ransom was paid. In 1318 he again took a conspicuous part in making peace between Edward and his nobles, and in 1322 assisted at the formal condemnation of Earl Thomas of Lancaster, and received some of his lands. His wife, Mary de Chatillon, was the founder of Pembroke college, Cambridge.
In 1339 LAURENCE, LORD HASTINGS (d. 1348), a great-grand son of William de Valence, having inherited through the female line a portion of the estates of the Valence earls of Pembroke was created, or recognized as, earl of Pembroke. His son JOHN (d. 1376) married Margaret Plantagenet, daughter of King Edward III., and on the death without issue of his grandson in 1389 the earldom of Pembroke reverted again to the Crown, while the barony of Hastings was dormant till 1840.