Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Robert of Gloucester

Male Abt 1090 - 1147  (~ 57 years)


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  • Name Robert of Gloucester  [1
    Born Abt 1090  [2, 3, 4, 5
    Gender Male 
    Died 31 Oct 1147  Bristol, Gloucestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8
    Buried Priory of St. James, Bristol, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Person ID I5504  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others
    Last Modified 23 Mar 2019 

    Father Henry I, King of England,   b. 1068,   d. 1 Dec 1135, Lyon-la-Forêt, near Rouen, Normandy, France Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 67 years) 
    Mother (Unknown mistress or mistresses of Henry I) 
    Family ID F334  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Mabel fitz Robert,   d. 29 Sep 1157 
    Married Bef 1122  [2
    Children 
     1. William fitz Robert,   d. 23 Nov 1183
     2. Matilda of Gloucester,   d. 29 Jul 1189
     3. Mabira de Caen,   b. of Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1190
     4. Robert fitz Robert,   b. of Conarton in Gwithian, Cornwall, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1170
    Last Modified 24 Sep 2015 
    Family ID F2180  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Earl of Gloucester. Also called Robert de Caen; Robert fitz Roy; Rufus; Robert "The Counsel".

      Fought at Brémulé, 20 Apr 1119, where Henry I defeated Louis VI. Present at the death of Henry I in Dec 1135. Commander-in-chief for the Empress Maud from 1139 on. From Complete Peerage: "In 1140 he burnt Nottingham, and in Feb. 1141 he and his son-in-law, Ranulph, Earl of Chester, relieved Lincoln and took Stephen prisoner, sending him to Bristol. He accompanied Maud in her progress to Winchester and London, and when the citizens drove her out fled with her to Oxford. He took part in the fighting at Winchester and helped Maud escape from the city, but was captured 14 Sep. (1141) at Stockbridge and taken prisoner to Rochester. Shortly afterwards he was exchanged, without concessions on either side, for Stephen, who was set at liberty on 1 Nov., and Robert then joined Maud at Bristol, and with her proceeded to Oxford. In June 1142 Maud sent him over to her husband, Geoffrey of Anjou, to urge him to invade England. It would appear that on this occasion Robert entered into a treaty of alliance with Miles of Gloucester, Earl of Hereford. Geoffrey declined to help until he had conquered Normandy, whereupon Robert joined him in his campaign. On hearing that Maud was besieged in Oxford, Robert hurried back to help her, taking with him her son, afterwards Henry II. He captured Wareham and other places, and on Maud's escape from Oxford he and Henry met her at Wallingford, and they went to Bristol, which was Robert's chief residence till 1146. In 1143 Robert defeated Stephen at Wilton, and in 1144 blockaded Malmesbury, Stephen refusing battle; but Maud's party was now so much reduced that Stephen was able to take Faringdon, which Robert had fortified. In the spring of 1147 Robert took Henry, Maud's son, back to Wareham and sent him over to Anjou; and in the same year, he founded Margam Abbey." Shortly thereafter he died of a sudden fever, in the priory of St. James in Bristol, which he had earlier founded; his death effectively ended Maud's military campaign. The Dictionary of National Biography (1909) said that "his sister's cause almost invariably prospered when she allowed him to direct her counsels, and declined as soon as she neglected his advice."

      He was highly literate, a patron of scholars and chroniclers such as Geoffrey of Monmouth and William of Malmesbury, the latter of whom wrote the Historia Novella at his request. An enemy, Baldwin Fitz Gilbert, called him someone who "threatens much but does little, lionlike in his speech, but like a hare in his heart, great in eloquence but insignificant through laziness", which is pretty much the same insult lobbed by all of history's meatheads at people who are, like Robert, both well-spoken and ruthless at war. When Ralph Peters calls the slayer of Osama bin Laden, warlord of Libya and Afghanistan, commander of a secret empire of unimaginable violence, a "pussy", it's the voice of Baldwin Fitz Gilbert we hear. No matter how many cities you burn, if you also talk like an intellectual, some people will feel that you've let the meathead side down.

  • Sources 
    1. [S128] The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant. Full citation details here.

    2. [S142] Royal Ancestry, by Douglas Richardson. Kimball G. Everingham, ed. 2013.

    3. [S145] Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America Before 1700, by Frederick Lewis Weis and Walter Lee Sheppard, Jr. 8th edition, William R. Beall & Kaleen E. Beall, eds. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2004, 2006, 2008.

    4. [S977] The Blackmans of Knight's Creek: Ancestors and Descendants of George and Maria (Smith) Blackman by Henry James Young. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: 1980.

    5. [S3209] Ancestor Table: Hansen by Charles M. Hansen. Sausalito, California, 2017.

    6. [S145] Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America Before 1700, by Frederick Lewis Weis and Walter Lee Sheppard, Jr. 8th edition, William R. Beall & Kaleen E. Beall, eds. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2004, 2006, 2008., year only.

    7. [S1016] Medieval English Ancestors of Robert Abell by Carl Boyer III. Santa Clarita, California, 2001., year only.

    8. [S3209] Ancestor Table: Hansen by Charles M. Hansen. Sausalito, California, 2017., date only.