- 1st Earl of Leicester
- Count of Meulan
- Norman Knight
- Companions of William the Conqueror during Invasion of England in 1066
- Major landholdings in England per 1086 Domesday Book
Robert de Beaumont, 1st Earl of Leicester, was born 1049 in Pont-Audemer, France to Roger I de Beaumont (1022-1094) and Adeline de Meulan (c1016-1081) and died 5 June 1118 of unspecified causes. He married Godeheut de Tosny (c1080-1097) . He married Elizabeth de Vermandois (c1081-1131) 1096 JL .
Robert was born between 1040 and 1050, the eldest son of Roger de Beaumont (1015–1094) by his wife Adeline of Meulan (died 1081), a daughter of Waleran III, Count de Meulan, and was an elder brother of Henry de Beaumont, 1st Earl of Warwick (c. 1050–1119)
Robert de Beaumont, 1st Earl of Leicester, Count of Meulan (c. 1040/1050 – 5 June 1118), also known as Robert of Meulan, was a powerful Norman nobleman, one of the very few proven Companions of William the Conqueror during the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, and was revered as one of the wisest men of his age. Chroniclers spoke highly of his eloquence, his learning, and three kings of England valued his counsel. He was granted immense land-holdings in England (mainly in the Midlands) by William the Conqueror and by Henry I of England (1068-1135) and was created Earl of Leicester.
Norman Conquest 1066
Robert de Beaumont was one of the 15 proven Companions of William the Conqueror specifically referred to in surviving documents as having fought at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 under William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, who was his cousin. He served as leader of the infantry on the right wing of the Norman army, as evidenced in the following near contemporary account by William of Poitiers:
'A certain Norman, Robert, son of Roger of Beaumont, being nephew and heir to Henry, Count of Meulan, through Henry's sister Adeline, found himself that day in battle for the first time. He was as yet but a young man and he performed feats of valour worthy of perpetual remembrance. At the head of a troop which he commanded on the right wing he attacked with the utmost bravery and success".
Domesday Book 1086
Domesday Book is a manuscript record of the "Great Survey" of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086 by order of King William the Conqueror (1027-1087). The first draft was completed in August 1086 and contained records for 13,418 settlements in early England.
His service earned him the grant of more than 91 English manors confiscated from the defeated English, as listed in the Domesday Book of 1086.
- Robert of Beaumont landholdings - OpenDomesday.org
The title was first created for Robert de Beaumont, but he nearly always used his French title of Count of Meulan. Three generations of his descendants, all also named Robert, called themselves Earls of Leicester. The Beaumont male line ended with the death of the Fourth Earl. His property was split between his two sisters, with Simon IV de Montfort, the son of the eldest sister, acquiring Leicester and the rights to the earldom. (The husband of the younger daughter, Saer de Quincy, was created Earl of Winchester.) De Montfort however was never formally recognized as earl, due to the antipathy between France and England at that time. His second son, Simon V de Montfort, did succeed in taking possession of the earldom and its associated properties. He is the Simon de Montfort who became so prominent during the reign of Henry III. He was killed at the Battle of Evesham in 1265, and his lands and titles were forfeited.
Other Noteworthy Items
When his mother died in 1081, Robert inherited the title of Count of Meulan in Normandy, and the title Viscount Ivry and Lord of Norton. He paid homage to King Philip I of France for these estates and sat as a French Peer in the Parliament held at Poissy.
He and his brother Henry were members of the Royal hunting party in the New Forest in Hampshire when King William II Rufus (1087–1100) was shot dead accidentally by an arrow on 2 August 1100. He pledged allegiance to William II's brother, King Henry I (1100–1135), who created him Earl of Leicester in 1107.
On the death of William Rufus, William, Count of Évreux and Ralph de Conches made an incursion into Robert's Norman estates, on the pretence they had suffered injury through some advice that Robert had given to the king; their raid was successful and they collected a vast booty.
During the English phase of the Investiture Controversy, he was excommunicated by Pope Paschal II on 26 March 1105 for advising King Henry to continue selecting the bishops of his realm in opposition to the canons of the church. Sometime in 1106, Henry succeeded in having Anselm, the exiled archbishop of Canterbury, revoke this excommunication. Anselm's (somewhat presumptuous) act was ultimately ratified by Paschal.
According to Henry of Huntingdon, Robert died of shame after "a certain earl carried off the lady he had espoused, either by some intrigue or by force and stratagem." He was the last surviving Norman nobleman to have fought in the Battle of Hastings.
Robert de Beaumont was buried at the Abbey of Saint-Pierre de Préaux in Normandy.
In 1096, he married Elizabeth (or Isabel) de Vermandois, daughter of Hugh Magnus (1053–1101) and Adelaide de Vermandois (1064-1120). After his death Elizabeth remarried in 1118 to William de Warenne, 2nd Earl of Surrey. Robert had the following progeny:
- Waleran IV de Beaumont, Count of Meulan, 1st Earl of Worcester (b. 1104), eldest twin and heir. Inherited lands in Normandy. In 1122 Waleran and three of his brother-in-laws rebelled against Henry I of England rule in Normandy.
- Robert de Beaumont, 2nd Earl of Leicester & Earl of Hereford (b. 1104), twin Inherited lands in England
- Hugh de Beaumont, 1st Earl of Bedford (1106-) (born c. 1106)
- Emma de Beaumont (c1102-) -
- Adeline de Beaumont (c1107-) - married Hugh de Montfort-sur-Risle (1075-1147)
- Aubree de Beaumont (c1109-1191) - married Hugh II of Châteauneuf-Thimerais.
- Agnes de Beaumont, a nun
- Maud de Beaumont, married William Lovel (born c. 1102)
- Isabel de Beaumont, a mistress of King Henry I. Married twice:
In 1115, Isabel was either carried away or willingly abducted by William de Warrene, revealing they had been lovers for some time. They were unable to marry until the death of Sir Robert, which occurred in 1118. According to Henry of Huntingdon, Robert died of shame after "a certain earl carried off the lady he had espoused, either by some intrigue or by force and stratagem."
- Robert Beaumont
- Beaumont Family Ancestry
- wikipedia:en:Robert de Beaumont, 1st Earl of Leicester
- Robert de Meulan, 1st Earl of Leicester - ThePeerage.com
- Robert de Beaumont, 1st Earl of Leicester - Geni.com
- Robert de Beaumont at Find A Grave
- ^ Cite error: Invalid
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- ^ Wm. of Poitiers, per Douglas (1959), p.227
- ^  J. R. Planché, The Conqueror and His Companions, Vol. I (Tinsley Bros., London, 1874) p. 212
- ^ Edward T. Beaumont, J.P. The Beaumonts in History. A.D. 850-1850. Oxford.
- ^ a b c Le Patourel 1984, p. 13.
- ^ a b Altschul 2019, p. 21.