King William Normandy ENGLAND, I
Queen Matilda Flanders ENGLAND
(Abt 1031-1083)
Gwladus Verch RHIWALLON
(Abt 1041-)
King Henry ENGLAND, I
(Abt 1068-1135)
Princess Nest Verch Rhys WALES
(Abt 1073-Abt 1163)
Earl Robert De Caen GLOUCESTER
(Abt 1074-1147)


Family Links
1. King Henry ENGLAND, I & Princess Nest Verch Rhys WALES
2. King Henry ENGLAND, I & Concubine England Henry I ENGLAND, I

1. Countess Mabel Fitz Hamon GLOUCESTER

2. Concubine Gloucester Robert De Caen , I
3. Concubine Gloucester Robert De Caen , II

Earl Robert De Caen GLOUCESTER 1

  • Born: Abt 1074-1090, Caen, Calvados, Normandy, France
  • Christened: , , England
  • Married (1): Abt 1115, , Gloucestershire, England
  • Died: 31 Oct 1147, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England
  • Buried: Priory, St James, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England

   Other names for Robert were GLOUCESTER Earl, "The King's Son" and BEND SINISTER Knight.

   Ancestral File Number: FL7G-GQ. User ID: 151279044/151292034.

   General Notes:

"The King's Son", Knight of the BEND SINISTER, Earl of GLOUCESTER 1122-1147.

Illegitimate Son of Henry I King of ENGLAND, Half-Brother of Matilda Princess of ENGLAND, Uncle of Henry II King of ENGLAND, Great Uncle of John Lackland King of ENGLAND.

Kings and Queens of GreatBritain, Genealogical Chart, Anne Taute and Romilly Squire, Taute, 1990: "Robert 1st Earl of Gloucester, Mar Mabel Daughter of Robert Fitzhammon, Died 1147."

Kings and Queens of Great Britain, Genealogical Chart, Anne Taute and Romilly Squire, Taute, 1990: "John Lackland (Sans Terre) Lord of Ireland, Count of Mortain, Mar =1 Isabel Countess of Gloucester, Daughter of William Fitz Robert, Son of Robert, Bastard Son of King Henry I."

The Political History of England, Vol II, GeorgeBurton Adams Longmans Green and Co, 1905, Ch VIII p170:
[1121] "During this period also, probably within a year after the death of his son William, Henry took measures to establish the position of one of his illegitimate sons, very likelywith a view to the influence which he might have upon the succession when the question should arise. Robert of Caen, so called from the place of his birth, was created Earl of Gloucester, and was married to Mabel, heiress of the large possession of Robert Fitz Hamon in Gloucester, Wales, and Normandy. Robert of Gloucester, as he came to be known, was the eldest of Henry's illegitimate sons, born before his father's accession to the throne, and he was now in the vigour of young manhood. He was also, of all Henry's children of whom we know anything, the most nearly like himself, of more than average abilities, patient and resourceful, hardly inheriting in full his father's diplomatic skill but not without gifts of the kind,and earning the reputation of a lover of books and a patron of writers. A hundred years earlier there would have been no serious question, in the circumstances which had arisen, of his right to succeed his father, at least in the duchy of Normandy. That the possibility of such a succession was present in men's minds is shown by a contemporary record that the suggestion was made to him on the death of Henry, and rejected at once through his loyalty to his sister's son. Whether this record is to be believed or not, it shows that the even was thought possible.
"Certainly there was no real movement, not even the slightest, in his favour, and this fact reveals the change which had taken place in men's ideas of succession in a century. The necessity of legitimate birth was coming to be recognized as indisputable, though it had not been by the early Teutonic peoples...One may almost regret that this change of ideas, which was certainly an advance in morals, as well as in law, was not delayed for another generation; for if Robert of Gloucester could have succeeded on the death ofHenry without dispute, England would have been saved weary years of strife and suffering."

Ch X, p216: [1138] "Whether the insurrection in the south and west had become somewhat genteral before, or was encouraged by it to begin, the chief event connected with it was the formal notice which Robert of Gloucester served on the king, by messengers from Normandy, whoreached Stephen about the middle of June, that his allegiance was broken off. In June, Geoffrey of Anjou entered the duchy again with an armed force, and is said to have persuaded Robert to take the side of his sister. Probably Robert had quiteas much as Geoffrey to do with the concerted action which seems to have been adopted, and himself saw that the time had come for an open stand...
"It is natural to suppose that the many barons who now declared against the king, and fortified their castles, were influenced by a knowledge of Robert's action, or at least by a knowledge that it was coming. No one of these was of the rank of earl. William Peverel, Ralph Lovel, and Robert of Lincoln, William Fitz John, William of Mohun, Ralph Paganel, and William Fitz Alan, are mentioned by name as holding castles against the king, besides a son of Robert's and Geoffrey Talbot who were at Bristol, and Walkelin Maminot who held Dover. The movement was confined to the southwest, but as a beginning it was not to be neglected..."
p230: "...One of the virtually independent feudal principalities created in England by the Conqueror and surviving to this time was the palatine earldom of Chester. The then earl wasRalph II, in succession to his father Ralph Meschin, who had succeeded on the death of Earl Richard in the sinking of the White Ship. It had been a grievance of the first Ralph that he had beenobliged by King Henry to give up his lordship of Carlisle on taking the earldom, and this grievance had been made more bitter for the second Ralph when the lordship had been transferred to the Scots...
"...He applied for helf to Robert of Gloucester, whose son-in-law he was, and offered togo over to Matilda with all that he held..."
p244: [1149] "In the spring of the next year, young Henry of Anjou made an attempt on England, and found his enemies still too strong for him. In the interval since his first visit, Robert ofGloucester, the wisest of the leaders of the Angevin cause, had died in his fortress of Bristol in 1147..."

A History of the Plantagenets, Vol I, The Conquering Family, Thomas B Costain, Doubleday & Co, Garden City, 1949:
p9: "Stephen wasat the bedside of Henry, and he heard the dying King give instructions to Robert of Gloucester, who stood on the other side of the couch, for his burial. He heard also the low tones in which Henry asserted that he bequeathed all his dominionsto his daughter.
"Could any intimation of coming events, of the struggle they would wage between them, have been communicated itself to these two men who saw the old King breathe his last? Stephen would have been more likely to sense whatwas ahead than the other. Robert of Gloucester was one of Henry's score of natural children, the best of the lot, his mother a Welsh princess named Nesta who had been made a prisoner during some fighting along the Marches. He was a man of loftyideals, of great courage and compassion, a capable leader and soldier. It would not occur to one of his high honor that the wishes of the dead monarch might be set aside, and it is unlikely that he entertained any suspicions when Stephen disappeared abruptly..."
p13: "The first important victory was won by the forces of the Empress. Stephen had taken a small army of his Brabancon mercenaries to oust the other faction from the city of Lincoln. While he was about the tedious andbloody business of ferreting them out of reinforced corners, Robert of Gloucester appeared suddenly on the scene with a much larger army. It was Candlemas Day and very cold, and Stephen was taken completely by surprise when they swam the icy waters of the River Trent and came in behind him on the other side..."
p19: "Robert of Gloucester died on October 31, 1147, and, realizing that it would be useless to fight on without the aid of that strongest prop of her cause, the Empressfollowed her son to Anjou, and the struggle ceased for a time..."
p205: "John's wife Avisa was a granddaughter of the great leader and knight of the bend sinister, Robert of Gloucester, and so they were cousins a few times removed. There had been opposition to the match on that account..."

A History of the English Speaking People Winston S Churchill Vol I The Birth of Britain Dodd Mead & Co p191:
"There was an additional complication. Henry I had a bastard son, Robert of Gloucester, a distinguished soldier and a powerful magnate in the West Country, who is usually regarded as one of the rare examples of a disinterested baron. Robert did not rate his chances sufficiently high to compete with either of the legitimate heirs. Almost from the beginning he loyally supported his half-sister Maud, and became one of Stephen's most determined opponents."

The Lives of the Kings and Queens of England, Antonia Fraser, 1975, Alfred Knopf, p24: "Robert of Gloucester, illegitimate, died 1147..."

Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1981, Micropaedia, Vol IV, p580, Gloucester Robert Earl of: "Born Abt 1090, Died 31 Oct 1147, chief supporter of the royal claimant Matilda [his half sister] during her war with King Stephen of England (ruled 1135-1154). The illegitimate son of King Henry I of England (ruled 1100- 1135), he was made Earl of Gloucester in 1122. After the death of Henry I and usurpation of power by Stephen (Dec 1135), Gloucester became the leader of the party loyal to Matilda, his half sister, who had been designated heir to the throne by henry I. He took Matilda to England in Sep 1139 and at the head of her forces won from Stephen most of western England and southern Wales. In Feb 1141 he captured Stephen at Lincoln and imprisoned him in Bristol. Later that year Gloucester was captured at Winchester, Hampshire, and exchanged for the King. He continued to be the mainstay of Matilda's cause until his death. The 12th-centurychroniclers considered Gloucester an able and sagacious leader."

Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1981, Macropaedia, Vol X, p236, John of England: "On Richard's accession in July 1189, John was made Count of Mortain (a title that became his usual style), was confirmed as lord of Ireland, was granted lands and revenues in England worth 6,000Lb a year, and was married to Isabella, heiress to the earldom of Gloucester..."

The Story of Civilization, Will Durant, Vol IV, The Age of Faith, BkV, The Climax of Christianity, Ch XXV, The Recovery of Europe, Sec 3, Magna Carta, p674: "In 1199 John secured permission from Pope Innocent III to divorce Isabel of Gloucester on grounds of consanguinuity..."
"The renewal of war in Francewas triggered off by John's second marriage. His first wife, Isabella of Gloucester, was never crowned, and in 1199 the marriage was dissolved on grounds of consanguinity, both parties being great-grandchildren of Henry I."

The New Columbia Encyclopedia, 1975, p1095, Gloucester Robert Earl of: "Died 1147, English nobleman; illegitimate son of Henry I. Henry created (Abt 1121) the Earldom of Gloucester for him. After his father's death (1135), Robert appeared to accept the seizure of the throne by Henry's nephew, Stephen, to whom he did conditional homage in 1136. They soon quarreled, however, and after Stephen had seized (1138) Robert's lands, Robert led a baronial rebellion in favor of his half sister, Matilda. The Earlcaptured Stephen at Lincoln in 1141, but later in the year he himself was captured, while covering Matilda's retreat from Winchester, and exchanged for the king. Robert then went to France to get aid form Matilda's husband, Geoffrey IV of Anjou, and returned to England with her son Henry (later Henry II). Robert held the Angevin party in England together and consistently labored for Matilda's cause."

Ancestral File Ver 4.10 FL7G-GQ Born Abt 1074 Mar Mrs Robert Earl of GLOUCESTER (AFN:FL7G-HW) Father of Mabel (AFN:FL7G-B2).

Ancestral File Ver 4.13 V9V7-BV Robert "The King's Son" De CAEN [Earl of Gloucester] Born Abt 1090 Caen Normandy France Son of Henry I "Beauclerc" King of ENGLAND (AFN:8XJ0-6V) and ?Mrs-Henry I Concubine 1 of ENGLAND (AFN:9FTJ-QR)< Nest Verch RHYS [PRINCESS OF WALES] (AFN:8XJ2-WR).

Ancestral File v4.19 V9V7-BV Born Abt 1090.

   Marriage Information:

Robert married Countess Mabel Fitz Hamon GLOUCESTER, daughter of Lord Robert Fitz Hamon Cruelly CORBEIL and Matilda De MONTGOMERY, about 1115 in , Gloucestershire, England. (Countess Mabel Fitz Hamon GLOUCESTER was born about 1078-1094 in , Gloucestershire, England and died in 1157 in Bristol, Gloucestershire, England.)

   Marriage Information:

Robert also married Concubine Gloucester Robert De Caen , I.

   Marriage Information:

Robert also married Concubine Gloucester Robert De Caen , II.


1 Ancestral File Ver 4.19, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Copyright (c) 1987, June 1998, data as of 5 January 1998.

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