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Saturday, August 8, 2020

Earl Robert de Caen & Countess Mabel Fitz Robert

 159916042. Earl Robert de Caen 159916043. Countess Mabel Fitz Robert

~1086, Robert born in England; eldest natural s/o 189110274. King Henry I & 319832085. Nest ap Rhys.

9/26/1087, After the death of William the Conqueror, William Rufus crowned King of England; Duke Robert Curthose given Normandy.

~1090, Mabel born in England, heiress & d/o 319832086. Robert Fitz Hamon & 319832087. Sybil de Montgomery.

8/2/1100, Henry I crowned King of England.

~1104, Robert’s first known child [a son] born to a daughter of Bishop Samson of Worcester who had been a royal chaplain and treasurer of Bayeux.

3/1107, Mabel’s father died.

[––Robert & Mabel––]

1109, Robert married Mabel [aka Maud]. He inherited all of Gloucester and lands in Normandy. Robert was very popular with his half-sister Empress Matilda. [Through marriage Robert became lord of Bristol castle.] (S) The Patrician, V2, Burke, 1846, P163.

1113, Robert appeared at Court in Normandy.

1119 at Argenten, Robert the king’s son witnessed King Henry’s settlement of a dispute between the abbot of Caen and Vitalis of Savigny.

8/20/1119, Robert fought at the Battle of Bremule, France, as one of his father’s principal aides and captains. King Henry defeated an alliance of French forces. This battle solidified Henry’s claim to Normandy.

Aft. 11/25/1120, Following the drowning of the king’s only legitimate son, Robert became increasingly caught up in his father’s attempts to ensure the succession of the Empress Matilda, his half-sister.

1/29/1121 at Windsor castle, King Henry married Adeliza de Louvain. Robert was present. (S) King Stephen, King, 2011, P19.

6/1121, Confirmation charter for Merton priory, Surrey by King Henry; “I Robert, Earl of Gloucester.” (S) Records of Merton Priory, Stephenson, 1898, P13.

By 1121, Sir Robert, “the Consul” made 1st Earl of Gloucester by his father.

12/3/1121, Robert, earl of Gloucester, attested a royal charter in favour of Merton priory.

10/1122, at Westminster, Robert, earl of Gloucester, and Robert, earl of Leicester, attested the confirmation of an agreement between the Bishop of Salisbury and Serlo, the king’s collector of Devonshire.

1122-3 at Winchester, Confirmation by Henry I. to the abbot and monks of St. Mary, of Tewkesbury: Witnesses – Robert, earl of Mellent, Robert, earl of Gloucester, … Walter of Gloucester. (S) Descr. Catalogue of Ancient Deeds, Lyte, 1890.

1123, Randulf, earl of Chester, sent with Robert, earl of Gloucester, to secure Normandy which was threatened by Fulk of Anjou. (S) DNB, V16, 1909, P728.

10-11/1123, Robert earl of Gloucester and Nigel de Aubigny support the King in the capturing of Montfort in Normandy.

1125, at Rouen, Normandy, Robert earl of Gloucester, attested a royal charter to the abbey of Athelney.

By 4/1126, Robert of Gloucester made a peace agreement with the Bishop of Landaff.

1126, Robert the 2nd signatory after the king of a confirmation to the abbey of the Holy Trinity, L’Essay, of the gifts of Robert de la Hai and Muriel his wife.

1126, Robert received custody of his imprisoned paternal uncle, Robert, duke of Normandy. (S) Who’s Who in Early Medieval England, Tyerman, 2001, P81.

1/1/1127 at London, Robert one of the first to swear to accept Matilda as queen after Henry’s death.

1127, Robert earl of Gloucester, and Henry king of the English and duke of the Normans, attested a grant by Stephen, count of Boulogne and Mortain, to St. Mary of Furness of his forest of Furness and Walney.

5/22/1128, King Henry sends his daughter Matilda in the charger of her brother Robert earl of Gloucester, and Brien son of Count Alan Fergant, to Rouen [Le Mans] to be bethrothed to Geoffrey Martel [Plantagenet], son of Fulk count of Anjou.

1129-31, King Henry, Robert earl of Gloucester, Walerand count of Melan, … signatories to a confirmation of purchases of land by Eudo, abbot of St. Stephen’s Caen.

1130, Robert of Gloucester and Brian fitz Count conducted a special audit of the Exchequer. (S) Studies in Medieval History, Mayr-Harting, 1985, P128.

2/1131, at Rouen, Notification addressed to the archbishop of Rouen … Confirmed in the sight and hearing of Hugh archbishop of Rouen, … Robert earl of Gloucester the king’s son, William earl of Warren, Waleran count of Meulan, Robert earl of Leicester, …

1131, Robert of Gloucester had urban interests in Winchester, Cambridge, Canterbury, Guilford, and Winchcomb. (S) King Stephen, Matthew, 2002, P267.

7/27/1132, at Cardiff, Robert earl of Gloucester and his wife countess Mabel confirm to the monks of Montacute the gifts which Robert de la Hai gave to them. (S) Two Cartularies – Bruton Abbey, 1894, P183.

12/25/1132 at Windsor, Robert, earl of Gloucester, attended the Christmas court of King Henry. (S) King Stephen, King, 2011.

1133, Robert, earl of Gloucester, owed service to the Bishop of Bayeux in the marches of Normandy. (S) Image of Aristocracy, Crouch, 1992, P141. [Robert declared to a Norman inquest that he was ‘a baron of his lady, the blessed Mary of Bayeux’ and by hereditary right her banner bearer.]

2/10/1134, Robert’s paternal uncle, Duke Robert, died in Robert’s custody at Bristol after 28 years of imprisonment.

3/1134, Robert earl of Gloucester, at the direction of his father, holds an inquiry at Bayeux of who holds fees of the church of St. Mary, Bayeux after the death of the late bishop.

1134, Robert, earl of Gloucester, in charge of the vacated temporalities of Llandaff. (S) Studies in the Early British Church, 1958, P193.

Bef. 1135, Robert’s father gave him the Keeping of the castles of Dover and Canterbury, and thus control of Kent and the cross-Channel route.

12/1/1135, Robert at King Henry I’s side when he died at Lyons-la-ForĂȘt in Normandy; and one of the magnates who swore to stay with the king’s body until it was buried. King Henry gave Robert £60,000 to distribute to his troops and household.

12/1135, Robert attended a series of conferences in Normandy and eventually accepted as king Theobald IV, count of Blois and King Henry’s oldest nephew by his sister Adela. However, during the meeting with Theobald, news reach the Norman magnates that Theobald’s younger brother, Stephen of Mortain and Boulogne, had been accepted and crowned as king in England.

12/22/1135, Stephen crowned king of England.

4/1136 at Oxford, Robert attended King Stephen’s ceremonial court where he recognized Stephen as King.

4/1137, Robert withdrew from Stephen’s court to perform homage.

1138, Robert was with King Stephen in Normandy.

6/1138, Robert declared his support for Empress Matilda as heir to King Henry I.

9/30/1139, Robert accompanied Empress Matilda to England where they were hosted at castle Arundel by Maud’s stepmother; beginning the civil war. He commanded raids against Wareham in Dorset and Worcester; both possessions of the Beaumonts. He took Robert of Leicester’s lands in Dorset for his own. He did much the same to other royalists within his area. King Stephen succeeded in containing him along the line of the Cotswold Hills.

1140, King Stephen’s brother Bishop Henry presided over a meeting near Bristol between Robert, earl of Gloucester,  and Queen Matilda, wife of Stephen.

12/1140, King Stephen fell out with Earl Ranulf II of Chester. Ranulf’s failed negotations with the king to secure Lincoln Castle led him to ally with Robert, his future father-in-law.

1/1141, Robert and Ranulf united their forces at Castle Donington, including a host of Welsh mercenaries.

2/2/1141, Robert and Ranulf met and defeated King Stephen at the Battle of Lincoln. With the king captive, Empress Matilda should have secured the throne, but a combination of stubborn royalist support, the Empress’s miscalculation and military misjudgement led to her failure. King Stephen was held captive by Robert’s wife Mabel. (S) West Over Sea, Crawford, 2007, P46.

9/14/1141, Robert and the Empress were trapped by a royalist army in an ill-judged attempt to seize control of Winchester. Robert was captured fighting a rearguard action at the river crossing of Stockbridge to allow Matilda to escape. Robert was imprisoned for 2 months at Rochester Castle.

11/1/1141 at Winchester, the cross-over point in a joint release, the two men had a chance to exchange friendly remarks, and Robert apparently assured King Stephen that there was nothing personal in the fight.

6/1142, Robert crossed from Wareham to Normandy and stayed there till the end of October. Robert helped Geoffrey de Plantagenet, Empress Matilda’s husband, capture castles in north-west Normandy. Robert came back with no reinforcements, but with his nephew Henry, the son of the Empress. In the meantime the Empress had been trapped in Oxford; and she had to manage her own escape from the castle. (S) Anarchy of King Stephen’s Reign, King, 1994, P103.

1143, Robert, earl of Leicester, and Milo, earl of Hereford, defeated King Stephen at Wilton. King Stephen escaped during the night.

1144, King Stephen banished Robert earl of Gloucester and others from the castle of Flanders. (S) Flowers of History, V2, 1853, P48.

1144, Robert built a castle at Farringdon, which was then captured and razed by King Stephen.

1144, Robert, earl of Gloucester, laid siege and captured the castle at Malmesbury. (S) Castles and Landscapes, Creighton, 2002, P58.

1145, Philip, Robert’s son and military captain, defected to Stephen taking with him the strategic castles of Cricklade and Cirencester.

1145, King Stephen defeated Empress Matilda’s forces at the battle of Faringdon.

1146, With Gloucester and Bristol under threat, Robert started negotiations.

9/1146, Robert, Earl of Gloucester, grants some privileges to the Bishop of Bayeux. and which is said to be executed "in presence of Matilda the empress. (S) Lives of the Princesses of England, V1, Green, 1857, P162.

1147, Robert made a desperate [and unsuccessful] attack on Farnham in the late summer.

10/31/1147, Robert, Earl of Gloucester, died of a fever; buried in the priory of St James he had founded outside Bristol castle.


Mabel assumed control of the family’s Norman lands.

9/29/1157, Mabel died in Bristol.

(S) The Dormant and Extinct Baronage of England, Banks, 1837, PP302–3. (S) King Stephen, King, 2011. (S) She-Wolves, Castor, 2011. (S) English Historical Review, V34, 1919.

Family notes:

Robert was acknowledged at birth, though it is unlikely he was raised in the King’s household. He was educated to a high standard, was literate in Latin, and had a serious interest in both history and philosophy, which indicates that he was at least partly raised in a clerical household.

Mabel witnessed 4 of Robert’s charters; and endowed the founding of the abbey of Margam with her own lands.

Children of Robert and Mabel:

i. William Fitz Robert (79958114), born 11/23/1116 in England.

ii. Mabira FitzRobert, born ~1118 in England.

Mabira married Jordan de Cambernon.

iii. Roger FitzRobert, born ~1120 in England.

8/23/1164, Roger consecrated the Bishop of Worchester.

1179, Roger died at Tours in France.

iv. Harmon FitzRobert, born ~1121 in England.

1159, Harmon killed at the siege of Toulouse.

v. Maud Fitz Robert (79958021), born ~1122 in England.

vi. Richard Fitz Count, born ~1124 in England.

1154, Torigni in the possession of Richard, son of Robert of Gloucester. (S) Loss of Normandy, Powicke, 1999, P183.

8/1173, Richard fitz Count one of the generals in King Henry II’s campaign through Verneuil, Damvill, on his way to Rouen. (S) Court, Household, and Itinerary of King Henry II, Eyton, 1878, P176.

Child of Robert and Mistress:

i. Robert of Gloucester (79849866), born ~1130 in England.

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