Birth 1147
Death 1223 (age 76)

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Gerald de Barri 1147 - 1223 was a member of the Barri family. Gerald was born on 1147. Gerald died on 1223 at 76 years old.

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Giraldus Cambrensis: also known as Gerald of Wales or Gerald de Barri
Life: (c.1147-1223)

He was elected Bishop of St David's in 1176, but when Henry II refused to confirm his election, he withdrew to lecture at Paris. Later, appointed a royal chaplain, in 1185 he accompanied Prince John to Ireland.

He wrote an account of Ireland's natural history and inhabitants, following this with Expugnatio Hibernica (c.1189, History of the Conquest of Ireland). In 1188 he travelled through Wales to recruit soldiers for the Third Crusade, and wrote up his observations in the Itinerarium Cambriae (1191, Itinerary of Wales).

Giraldus Cambrensis or Gerald of Wales was born at Manorbier in Pembrokeshire around 1147 into a Norman-Welsh family. His father, Gerald de Windsor had married Nest, the daughter of Rhys ap Tewdwr, Prince of Deheubarth; the family also claimed a relationship with the family of The Lord Rhys (Rhys ap Gruffydd). Gerald was educated in Paris; he served as an administrator of the see of St. David's and as a clerk at the court of Henry II, accompanied Prince John to Ireland, and traveled with Archbishop Baldwyn through Wales.

Gerald's writings reflect experiences gained on his travels as well as his knowledge of the authorities on learning. Repeatedly rejected for the bishopric of his beloved St. David's, Gerald pleaded not only his own cause, but that of St. David's as an archbishopric, visiting Rome on three occasions in support of his claims. Failing to be appointed to St. David's, Gerald maintained that it was the fear of the effect that it would have on the national politics in Wales that prevented his appointment. (The Pope was not too anxious to have a Welsh Church independent of Canterbury).


It was his prolific writing, particularly Itinerarium Cambriae (The Journey Through Wales) and Descriptio Cambriae (Description of Wales) that were to provide Wales with the only sources of many early Welsh history and folk tales.

Gerald travelled throughout Wales collecting stories, noting conversations and events of the day, and penning his books. He was nominated in 1198 for a second time as Bishop of St David. Gerald wrote Itinerarium Cambriae about the journey he made with the Archbishop Baldwyn.

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