Alternate names/spellings: Giraldus Cambrensis, Gerallt Gymro, Gerald de Barri

Dates: 1146 - 1223 (Dates are approximate. ) 

Gerald of Wales was born around 1146 at Manorbier Castle in Pembrokeshire to a noble family of mixed Norman and Welsh blood. After his education in Gloucestor and Paris, he was sent by Richard of Dover, the Archbishop of Canterbury, on ecclesiastical missions in Wales before becoming archdeacon of Brecon. In 1176, the chapter at St. David’s suggested Gerald to King Henry II as most likely to withstand the aggressions of the Archbishop of Canterbury. He was rejected for the nomination as bishop, however, and instead returned to Paris to continue his education and teach. Gerald then became the royal clerk and chaplain to Henry II in 1184, and journeyed to Ireland with one of the king’s sons, which he wrote about in Topographia Hibernica and Expugnatio Hibernica. In 1188, he traveled through Wales with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Baldwin of Exeter, to recruit for the third Crusade, which was recounted in Itinerarium Cambriae and Descriptio Cambriae. Gerald was offered several bishoprics, but chose rather to move to Lincoln in 1196 where he wrote the influential and important chronicle of contemporary events in De instructione principis. He was once again nominated as bishop of St. David’s in 1198 and traveled to Rome for confirmation, but was ultimately rejected by Pope Innocent III. The rest of his life was spent teaching and writing. TLM