The Ros Tapestry Lovers

Michelle Obama Views  Ros Tapestry Panel at Farmleigh May 2011

The Marriage of Isabel de Clare and William Marshal

The daughters of Irish Chieftains and Norman knights had been espoused before the momentous union between Aoife MacMurrough and Strongbow, but rarely with so much at stake or with such far-reaching consequences.

This panel demonstrates how much cultural and material heft attended these two marriages of Aoife and that of her daughter Isabel. At the top of the panel Aoife is seen accepting Richard as her husband, thus legitimising his claim to the province of Leinster. Below is seen the wedding of Isabel and William at Stoke d’Abernon in Surrey, flanked by William’s two friends Gilbert Pipart and Engerrand de Abernon.

Despite their age differences – Isabel was just eighteen and William nearly fifty – their union was long and very happy. Their five daughters inherited their combined estates, the five sons dying without issue. The fate of Leinster might very well have been different if one of the male children had established a family line.

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