Robert II, Archbishop of Rouen

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Robert II Archbishop of Rouen (989–1037) and Count of Évreux. He was an important and influential member of the clergy of Normandy. Robert was an advisor to five dukes of Normandy.

Career[change | edit source]

Robert was the son of [[Richard I the Fearless]] by his wife Gunnora.[1] He was a younger brother of duke Richard II and the uncle of duke Robert I.[1] He was appointed the Archbishop of Rouen by his father c. 989–990. He was also given the countship of Évreux at the same time.[2] Robert had always been involved in Norman politics and was a strong supporter of the Norman dukes.[3] His nephew Richard III had a troubled and short reign of just over a year. When he was succeeded by his brother Robert I, as Duke of Normandy, Archbishop Robert had a great deal of trouble helping the new duke.[4] In 1028 the duke attacked him and then made him leave Normandy.[4] Duke Robert I then laid siege to Hugh d'Ivry, Bishop of Bayeux who also questioned his authority as duke.[5] From exile in France, Archbishop Robert excommunicated his nephew Duke Robert and placed Normandy under an interdict.[5]

The Archbishop and Duke finally came to an agreement. Archbishop Robert lifted the interdict and excommunication; Duke Robert restored the Archbishop to his see. He also gave back his countship of Evereux, and returned all his properties.[6] Duke Robert also returned all the property that he or his vassals had taken from the church.[6] By 1033 Duke Robert was starting a major campaign against his cousin Alan III, Duke of Brittany.[7] He and Alan had been raiding back and forth but finally a peace was negotiated between them by Archbishop Robert, their mutual uncle.[7] In 1035 Duke Robert had decided on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.[8] After making his illegitimate son William (William the Conqueror) his heir he asked the archbishop to watch over and protect his young son. Duke Robert then set out on his pilgrimage to Jerusalem never to return to Normandy.[8] He died on his return journey.[8]

Archbishop Robert kept his promise and ruled Normandy as regent for William[8] until his death in 1037. When Robert died it caused an increase in lawlessness in Normandy.[9] Robert was a witness to at least fifteen ducal charters during his career.[10] He influenced Norman politics for nearly fifty years.[10]

Family[change | edit source]

Robert married Herlevea [1] and they had the following children:

  • Richard, Count of Évreux (d. 1067).[1]
  • Ralph de Gacé, Sire de Gace.[1] He married Basilla, daughter of Gerard Flaitel. They had one son, Robert, who died without heirs. Basilla

married secondly Hugh de Gournay.[11]

Notes[change | edit source]

References[change | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Detlev Schwennicke, Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten, Neue Folge, Band II (Marburg, Germany: Verlag von J. A. Stargardt, 1984), Tafel 79
  2. David Crouch, The Normans; The History of a Dynasty (London & New York: Hambledon Continuum, 2007), p. 21
  3. David C. Douglas, William the Conqueror (Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1964), p. 119
  4. 4.0 4.1 David C. Douglas, William the Conqueror (Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1964), p. 32
  5. 5.0 5.1 François Neveux, The Normans, Trans. Howard Curtis (London: Constable & Robinson, Ltd., 2008), p. 100
  6. 6.0 6.1 François Neveux, The Normans, Trans. Howard Curtis (London: Constable & Robinson, Ltd., 2008), p. 102
  7. 7.0 7.1 David Crouch, The Normans; The History of a Dynasty (London & New York: Hambledon Continuum, 2007), p. 52
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 The Gesta Normannorum Ducum of William of Jumièges, Orderic Vitalis, and Robert of Torigni, Ed. & Trans. Elizabeth M.C. Van Houts, Vol. I (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1992), pp. 80-5
  9. David C. Douglas, William the Conqueror (Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1964), p. 164
  10. 10.0 10.1 David Douglas, 'The Earliest Norman Counts', The English Historical Review, Vol. 61, No. 240 (May, 1946), p. 132
  11. Anselme de Sainte-Marie, Histoire de la Maison Royale de France, et des grands officiers (Paris: Compagnie des Libraires, 1726), p. 478
  12. Detlev Schwennicke, Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten, Neue Folge, Band II (Marburg, Germany: Verlag von J. A. Stargardt, 1984), Tafel 206