Sir Robert de Beaumont 2nd Earl of Leicester 1 2 3
- Born: 1104, <Leicester>, Leicestershire, England
- Marriage (1): Amice de Gael de Montfort after 1120
- Died: 5 Apr 1168, England at age 64
- Buried: Leicester Abbey, Leicester, Leicestershire, England
Another name for Robert was Robert "Bossu" de Beaumont 2nd Earl of Leicester.
From Wikipedia - Elizabeth of Vermandois -
Younger twin of Waleran IV de Beaumont, Count of Meulan. Nicknamed Robert Bossu (the Humpback).
From Wikipedia - Robert de Beaumont, 2nd Earl of Leicester :
Robert de Beaumont, 2nd Earl of Leicester (1104 - 5 April 1168 ) was Justiciar of England 1155-1168.
The surname "de Beaumont" is given him by genealogists. The only known contemporary surname applied to him is "Robert son of Count Robert". Henry Knighton, the fourteenth-century chronicler notes him as Robert "Le Bossu" (meaning "Robert the Hunchback" in French ).
Early Life and Education
Robert was an English nobleman of Norman-French ancestry. He was the son of Robert de Beaumont, Count of Meulan and 1st Earl of Leicester and Elizabeth de Vermandois . He was the twin brother of Waleran de Beaumont . There is no knowing whether they were identical or fraternal twins, but the fact that they are remarked on by contemporaries as twins indicates that they probably were in fact identical.
The two brothers, Robert and Waleran, were adopted into the royal household shortly after their father's death in June 1118 (upon which Robert inherited his father's second titles of Earl of Leicester). Their lands on either side of the Channel were committed to a group of guardians, led by their stepfather, William earl of Warenne or Surrey . They accompanied King Henry I to Normandy , to meet with Pope Callixtus II in 1119 , when the king incited them to debate philosophy with the cardinals . Both twins were literate, and Abingdon Abbey later claimed to have been Robert's school, but though this is possible, its account is not entirely trustworthy. A surviving treatise on astronomy (British Library ms Royal E xxv) carries a dedication "to Earl Robert of Leicester, that man of affairs and profound learning, most accomplished in matters of law" who can only be this Robert. On his death he left his own psalter to the abbey he founded at Leicester, which was still in its library in the late fifteenth century. The existence of this indicates that like many noblemen of his day, Robert followed the canonical hours in his chapel.
Career at the Norman Court
In 1120 Robert was declared of age and inherited most of his father's lands in England, while his twin brother took the French lands. However in 1121 , royal favour brought Robert the great Norman honors of Breteuil and Pacy-sur-Eure , with his marriage to Amice de Montfort , daughter of a Breton intruder the king had forced on the honor after the forfeiture of the Breteuil family in 1119 . Robert spent a good deal of his time and resources over the next decade integrating the troublesome and independent barons of Breteuil into the greater complex of his estates. He did not join in his brother's great Norman rebellion against King Henry I in 1123 -. He appears fitfully at the royal court despite his brother's imprisonment until 1129 . Thereafter the twins were frequently to be found together at Henry I's court.
Robert held lands throughout the country. In the 1120s and 1130s he tried to rationalise his estates in Leicestershire. Leicestershire estates of the See of Lincoln and the Earl of Chester were seized by force. This enhanced the integrity of Robert's block of estates in the central midlands, bounded by Nuneaton , Loughborough , Melton Mowbray and Market Harborough .
In 1135 , the twins were present at King Henry's deathbed. Robert's actions in the succession period are unknown, but he clearly supported his brother's decision to join the court of the new king Stephen before Easter 1136 . During the first two years of the reign Robert is found in Normandy fighting rival claimants for his honor of Breteuil. Military action allowed him to add the castle of Pont St-Pierre to his Norman estates in June 1136 at the expense of one of his rivals. From the end of 1137 Robert and his brother were increasingly caught up in the politics of the court of King Stephen in England, where Waleran secured an ascendancy which lasted till the beginning of 1141. Robert participated in his brother's political coup against the king's justiciar, Roger of Salisbury (the Bishop of Salisbury ).
Family and children
He married after 1120 Amice de Montfort , daughter of Ralph, senior of Gael or Montfort . They had four children:
Hawise, who married William Fitz Robert, 2nd Earl of Gloucester ;
Robert de Beaumont, 3rd Earl of Leicester ;
Isabel, who married with:
Simon II of St Liz, 4th Earl of Huntingdon and Northampton ;
Gervase Paynel of Dudley.
Margaret, who married Ralph V de Toeni
He is a minor character in The Holy Thief, one of the Brother Cadfael series by Ellis Peters .
^ a b c Powicke Handbook of British Chronology p. 69
D. Crouch, The Beaumont Twins: the Roots and Branches of Power in the Twelfth Century (Cambridge, 1986).
D. Crouch, The Reign of King Stephen, 1135-1154 (London, 2000).
E. King, "Mountsorrel and its region in King Stephen's Reign", Huntington Library Quarterly, 44 (1980), 1-10.
Leicester Abbey, ed. J. Storey, J. Bourne and R. Buckley (Leicester, 2006).
Powicke, F. Maurice and E. B. Fryde Handbook of British Chronology 2nd. ed. London:Royal Historical Society 1961
British Library ms Royal E xxv.
Noted events in his life were:
• Knighted, 1122.
• Justiciar of England, 1155-1168.
Robert married Amice de Gael de Montfort, daughter of Ralph de Gael de Montfort 1st Earl of Norfolk, Suffolk & Cambridge and Unknown, after 1120. (Amice de Gael de Montfort was born about 1108 and died 31 Aug 1168 or 1169.)