Biographies – Robert, Earl of Gloucester

… And speaking of Robert, Earl of Gloucester, here is a mini biography of the man himself.

• Robert of Gloucester and Mabel of Glamorgan

Robert of Gloucester
Birth: –
Death: 1147
Burial: The Priory Church of St James, Bristol
Father: Henry I, King of England
Mother: uncertain, possibly Sybil Corbet
Marriage: c.1107 – Mabel FitzHamon, Countess of Gloucester
William Fitz Robert, 2nd Earl of Gloucester
Roger, Bishop of Worcester
Maud m. Ranulf II, 4th Earl of Chester
Philip, Castellan of Cricklade

Robert, the eldest of Henry I’s many illegitimate children, would become an important and influential figure during the reign of King Stephen. He was a loyal supporter of his half-sister Matilda, who made him the chief commander of her army. He was highly educated, literate in Latin, and one of his father’s principal aides. Robert was both highly regarded and richly rewarded at court. He fought at the Battle of Bremule in 1119, and in 1122 his father created him 1st Earl of Gloucester. His marriage to Mabel, the wealthy heiress and daughter of Robert FitzHamon, Lord of Gloucester and Glamorgan, had brought him the honours of Gloucester, Glamorgan in Wales, and Evrecy and Creully in Normandy. By right of his wife, he became the 2nd Lord of Glamorgan, and gained possession of Cardiff castle in Wales. Robert Curthose, the elder brother Henry had defeated and deposed as Duke of Normandy in the Battle of Tinchebrai in 1106, was confined at Cardiff under Robert’s care in 1126 and remained there until his death in 1134.

In 1126 Robert was one of the first barons to swear an oath to recognise his half-sister, Matilda, as queen after Henry’s death. Robert was also at Henry’s side when he fell ill and died in December 1135. He was one of the barons who swore to stay with the King’s body until it was buried at Reading Abbey.

Not only did Robert play a leading role in the victory at the Battle of Lincoln in 1141, during the Rout of Winchester later that year Robert commanded the rear guard against the forces of Matilda of Boulogne. His actions allowed his half-sister to escape but Robert was imprisoned for two months at Rochester Castle. There is alot more information about Robert to come in the forthcoming discussions of The Anarchy.

A Note about Reginald, 1st Earl of Cornwall:

• Reginald, 1st Earl of Cornwall and Beatrice FitzRichard

Reginald de Dunstanville
Birth: c. 1110, Kent
Death: 1175, Surrey
Burial: Reading Abbey
Father: Henry I
Mother: Sybil Corbet
Marriage: Beatrice FitzRichard
Hawise (Denise)

Reginald was another illegitimate son of Henry I. He married Beatrice FitzRichard, the daughter of William FitzRichard who held fiefdoms in Cornwall. He was granted the title of Earl of Cornwall in April, 1141. He was involved in the Rout of Winchester and led the advance guard which protected Matilda, The Empress.


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