Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Robert fitz Harding

Male - 1169

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Generation: 1

  1. 1.  Robert fitz Harding was born , of Bristol, England (son of Harding fitz Eadnoth); died 1169; was buried , Abbey Church of St. Augustine, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England.

    Other Events:

    • Alternate death: 5 Feb 1171


    Founded, in 1141, the Abbey of St. Augustine in Bristol, of which he later became a canon. J. Horace Round observed that he was one of the few Anglo-Saxon nobles to successfully integrate with the Norman nobility, if not the only one.

    "Robert FitzHarding, who 'may bee called Robert the Devout,' s. of Harding, said to have been a merchant of Bristol, and of great wealth and influence, received from Henry of Anjou, in 1153 or 1154, shortly before his accession as Henry II, a grant (among others) of the Castle and 'herness' of Berkeley (as above mentioned) which was confirmed by the said Henry when King, probably in (1155) the first year of his reign, whereby he the said Robert (doubtless) became feudal Lord of Berkeley. In 1168 he entertained, at Bristol, Dermot Mac Murrough, King of Leinster, on his arrival to solicit succour from Henry II. He founded, in 1141, the Abbey of St. Augustine, at Bristol, of which he afterwards became a canon. He m. Eve. He d. 5 Feb. 1170/1, aged about 75. His wife, who founded a priory of nuns on St. Michael's hill, Bristol, whereof she d. Prioress 12 Mar. 1170, was bur. with her husband." [Complete Peerage II:124-25]

    From the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography:

    The persistent claim that Robert served as the borough's reeve is without foundation. Local tradition aptly described him as a Bristol burgess and merchant. His great stone house stood on High Street near Frome Bridge. He engaged in the Bristol land market and was landlord of properties in at least four other urban locations. He also may have been involved in Bristol's trade with Dublin.

    As a financier Robert numbered among his clients Henry FitzEmpress (during the civil war against King Stephen) and St Peter's Abbey, Gloucester. However, the scope of his land dealings went far beyond the limits of Bristol. [...] Robert's role as a proprietary land developer is evident in the charter of liberties he granted to settlers in the borough he established in Bedminster. In keeping with the trend in monastic piety and the stature he had achieved in Bristol by the early 1140s, he founded during that decade St Augustine's Abbey on his Billeswick property.

    Further social and tenurial enhancement came from patronage Robert received from Henry FitzEmpress both before and after Henry became king, almost certainly as a reward for Robert's financial backing during the war against King Stephen (1135–54). [...] Before the death of Robert, earl of Gloucester, in 1147 Robert's prominence must have led the earl to include him as an honorial familiaris (follower or companion) at his courts held at Bristol, a role he continued to enjoy under Earl Robert's heir, William (d. 1183). Then came a series of ducal and royal grants from Henry FitzEmpress, datable to 1153/4 and 1154/5, and a marriage treaty Henry sanctioned, which are recorded in a remarkable series of original charters preserved in the Berkeley Castle muniments. [...]

    In spite of Henry II's early favour, Robert never became one of his intimates. His importance remained local and regional. But in this capacity he twice provided hospitality at Bristol for the king of Leinster, Diarmait mac Murchada, during his mission of 1166–7 to enlist Anglo-Normans, notably Richard de Clare, to campaign for him in Ireland; and it is possible that Robert played some role in bringing together Clare and the Irish king.

    Robert married Eva. Eva died 12 Mar 1170; was buried , Abbey Church of St. Augustine, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England. [Group Sheet]

    1. Maurice fitz Robert fitz Harding was born , of Berkeley, Gloucestershire, England; died 16 Jun 1190; was buried , Brenford, Middlesex, England.

Generation: 2

  1. 2.  Harding fitz Eadnoth was born Abt 1060 (son of Eadnoth); died Aft 1125.

    Other Events:

    • Alternate death: 1140


    Also called Harding de Meriet. Justice itinerant in 1096.

    "Robert [fitz Harding]'s father appears in the Domesday survey as a Somerset landlord in possession of thegnland and may have had a house on Baldwin Street in Bristol." [Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, entry on his son Robert fitz Harding]

    "Harding son of Eadnoth [...] by 1086 was a substantial landowner in Somerset, probably by virtue of service to the king; he was a royal justice in the time of William II and was still living in the early 1120s. Harding's Somerset lands went to his son, Nicholas of Meriott; another son was Robert fitz Harding, the Bristol burgess and founder of the second house of Berkeley." [Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, entry on his father Eadnoth the Staller]

    1. Nicholas Fitz Harding de Meriet was born , of Merriott, Chard, Somerset, England; died Abt 1170.
    2. 1. Robert fitz Harding was born , of Bristol, England; died 1169; was buried , Abbey Church of St. Augustine, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England.

Generation: 3

  1. 4.  Eadnoth died 1068, Bleadon, Somerset, England.


    "Eadnoth the Staller (d. 1068), landowner and administrator, is addressed in a writ of Edward the Confessor, relating to Hampshire and dated between 1053 and 1066; his attestation is also found on two spurious charters for 1065 and he was probably at the beginning of his career in the 1060s. Stallers were members of the royal household and Eadnoth is elsewhere identified as the Confessor's steward; he seems also to have served as a royal justice. He continued in the service of Harold II and then of William I until he was killed in 1068 at Bleadon at the head of a force defending Somerset against an invasion by the sons of Harold." [Oxford Dictionary of National Biography]

    1. 2. Harding fitz Eadnoth was born Abt 1060; died Aft 1125.