Robert de Beaumont, 2nd Earl of Leicester

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Robert de Beaumont, 2nd Earl of Leicester (11045 April 1168), also known as Robert "Le Bossu" (meaning "Robert the Uneven" in French), was an English nobleman of French ancestry. He was the son of Robert de Beaumont, 1st Earl of Leicester and the twin brother of Waleran de Beaumont.

The two brothers, Robert and Waleran, were adopted into the royal household shortly after their father's death (upon which instance Robert inherited all of his father's hereditary titles, chiefly Earl of Leicester). They accompanied King Henry I among various missions, firstly to Normandy, then to meet with Pope Callixtus II in 1119. In 1135, the two twins were present at King Henry's deathbed; the monarch's death led to The Anarchy (under the weak rule of King Stephen), and Robert eventually captured his rival, Roger de Tosny. In June of 1139, the inseparable brothers led the actions against Roger of Salisbury (the Bishop of Salisbury) and Alexander (the Bishop of Lincoln); the former was killed in December of that year, while the latter survived for eight more years.

King Stephen had taken the two brothers as his personal advisors; the two brothers remained in his confidence for several decades. However, after Stephen's compromise with his wife, Matilda (wherein Henry, Matilda's son from a previous marriage, would succeed Stephen as king), the twins provided Henry, soon to be crowned Henry II of England, with "means for his struggle." Thereafter, the brothers were in the new monarch's confidence, as evidenced by Robert's appointment as chief justiciar and as a hereditary steward; eventually, he bought out Hugh Bigod, 1st Earl of Norfolk (another noble who enjoyed the confidence of the crown) and is considered the first Lord High Steward of England. Robert enjoyed a high status in Henry's court, even acting as head of the kingdom (in a vice-regal capacity) for a time. His name appeared at the top of the Constitutions of Clarendon, and he was present at the Council of Northampton.

He married Amice de Montfort, and they had four children:

  1. Hawise, who married William FitzRobert, 2nd Earl of Gloucester;
  2. Robert, who became 3rd Earl of Leicester;
  3. Isabel, who married Simon Saint-Lis, 2nd Earl of Northampton;
  4. Margaret, who married Ralph V de Tosny

References


Preceded by:
Lord High Steward
1154–1168
Succeeded by:
The Earl of Leicester

Template:End box

Preceded by:
Robert de Beaumont
Earl of Leicester
Succeeded by:
Robert Blanchemains

Template:End box

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