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MORTAIGNE, Earl Robert de

MORTAIGNE, Earl Robert de

Male Abt 1037 - 1090  (~ 53 years)  Submit Photo / DocumentSubmit Photo / Document

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  • Name MORTAIGNE, Robert de 
    Prefix Earl 
    Born Abt 1037  Conteville, Normandy, France Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Buried Dec 1090  Mortain, Manche, Normandie, France Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Died 8 Dec 1090  Grestain, Eure, Normandie, France Find all individuals with events at this location 
    WAC 7 Jan 1931  ARIZO Find all individuals with events at this location 
    _TAG Reviewed on FS 
    _TAG Temple 
    Headstones Submit Headstone Photo Submit Headstone Photo 
    Person ID I57181  Joseph Smith Sr and Lucy Mack Smith | Joseph Sr.
    Last Modified 17 Aug 2020 

    Father CONTEVILLE, Viscomte Harlevin de ,   b. 3 Sep 1001, Conteville, Calvados, Basse-Normandie, France Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1087, Mortain, Manche, Basse-Normandie, France Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years) 
    Mother FALAISE, Lady Herleva de ,   b. Abt 1003, Falaise, Calvados, Basse-Normandie, France Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1050, Grestain, Eure, Haute-Normandie, France Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 47 years) 
    Married Aft 1035 
    Family ID F25347  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family MONTGOMERY, Maud de ,   b. 1023, Mortaigne, Nord, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1107  (Age 84 years) 
    Married Bef 1066 
    Last Modified 6 Oct 2020 
    Family ID F24250  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Robert ("Rotbert"), Count of Mortain
    Robert ("Rotbert"), Count of Mortain
    Robert - Count of Mortain
    Robert - Count of Mortain
    Robert - Count of Mortain

  • Notes 
    • Earl of Cornwall, Count of Mortain

      Robert was the son of Herluin de Conteville and Herleva of Falaise, the grandson of Jean de Conteville, brother of Odo de Bayeaux, and half brother of William The Conqueror. Robert was the husband of Matilda, the daughter of Roger de Montgomery, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury. They were married before 1066 and had four children:
      * William, Count of Mortain
      * Agnes, wife of Andre de Vitre
      * Denise, wife of Guy de la Val
      * Emma, wife of William Toulouse IV
      Matilda died in 1085, and Robert married Almodis de la Marche, the daughter of Adalbert III, Count Haute Marche, and widow of Roger de Montgomery. They had no issue.

      Robert was born in Normandy, probably a year younger than his brother, Odo. In 1049, William made him Count of Mortain, the county with southern borders of Brittany; critical locations. Robert was part of William's inner circle for the conquest of England, providing 120 ships, more than any other of William's companions, and was rewarded vast lands and spoils, 797 manors at Domesday worth £2100. The greatest concentration of his holdings were in Cornwall, where he was considered to be the Earl of Cornwall. His largest holding was the rape of Pevensey in East Sussex, an area that protected the southern England coasts.

      Robert de Mortain and Robert de Eu led a victorious force against the Danes in Lindsay, but with his brother, Odo, participated in a revolt against William in 1088, and later pardoned.

      Robert chose to be buried next to his father and his wife, Mathilda.

      William of Malmesbury described Robert as stupid and dull yet William the Conqueror considered his one of his greatest supporters, an extremely trust that would not have been honored to anyone that incompetent. Robert was recorded as having beaten his wife, a monk interfered, and Robert sought his forgiveness. Religious, ill-tempered but not known for his wisdom.

      From the Wikipedia article at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert,_Count_of_Mortain
      Robert, Count of Mortain was the half-brother of William I of England. Robert was the son of Herluin de Conteville and Herleva of Falaise (who was also William's mother) and was full brother to Odo of Bayeux. The exact year of Robert's birth is unknown (perhaps ca. 1038), although it is generally thought that Odo was the elder of the two, and that Robert was probably not more than a year or so younger than his sibling: there is considerable doubt about the year of Odo's birth.

      Count of Mortain
      His name first appears in or about the year 1049 when he was made Count of Mortain in the Cotentin, in place of one William Warlenc, who had been banished by Duke William on suspicion of treason. The suspicion is that this William Warlenc was a grandson of Duke Richard I and therefore a potential rival to William the Bastard.
      Five years later Robert was to be found supporting William against the French King Henri I's invasion of Normandy, although he does not appear to have taken part in the famous victory of the battle of Mortemer. He was however present at the council of Lillebonne in 1066, held to discuss the Duke's planned conquest of England when Robert agreed to contribute 120 ships to the invasion fleet. Robert was thus one of the undoubted Companions of the Conqueror, who fought at William's side at the battle of Hastings where he commanded a company of knights from the Cotentin, although he seems to have played no heroic role at the battle.

      Lands granted by William the Conqueror
      Robert's contribution to the success of the invasion was however regarded as fairly significant by William who awarded him a large share of the consequent spoil. He was granted the rape of Pevensey in Sussex and a total of 549 manors scattered across the country; 54 in Sussex, 75 in Devon, 49 in Dorset, 29 in Buckinghamshire, 13 in Hertfordshire, 10 in Suffolk, 99 in Northamptonshire, 196 in Yorkshire, and 24 in other counties. However the greatest concentration of his landed wealth was in Cornwall (where he held a further 248 manors at the time of the compilation of the Domesday book, together with the castles of Launceston and Trematon) although these Cornish estates were not granted to him until after 1072 when Brian of Brittany decided to return home. His position of authority in the south west has therefore led many to consider him as the Earl of Cornwall, although it appears uncertain whether he was formally created as such.

      Later life
      His one public act after the conquest took place in 1069, when together with his cousin and namesake Robert of Eu, he led an army against a force of Danes who had landed at the mouth of the Humber and laid siege to York. As the Norman forces approached the Danes decided to retreat to the Fens where they fancied they would be safe. The two Roberts however surprised the Danes whilst they were being entertained by the disaffected natives and ""pursued them with great slaughter to their very ships"".
      After that there is little mention of Robert (who may well have spent much of his time in Normandy) until he appears at the deathbed of William I in 1087 pleading for the release of his brother Odo who had been imprisoned for revolt earlier in 1082. It is said that William was reluctant to accede to the request, believing that Odo was an incorrigible rogue. As it happens William was right, for as soon as the Conqueror was dead, Odo was soon fomenting a revolt against the Conqueror's successor William Rufus, and promoting the claims of Rufus' brother and rival Robert Curthose. Odo persuaded his brother to join in the rebellion which proved failure. But whilst Odo was exiled to Normandy by William Rufus, Robert of Mortain was excused punishment and pardoned, most probably because his extensive English estates meant that it was worthwhile for the king to gain his support.

      Family life, character and death
      Nothing is known of Robert's life afterwards; it seems that he died sometime between the accession of William Rufus and the year 1103, by which time his son William, Count of Mortain had most certainly succeeded him, most probably sometime around the year 1095.
      Robert was married to Matilda, daughter of Roger de Montgomerie, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury, and by her left a son, the aforementioned William of Mortain, and three daughters; Agnes who married André de Vitry, Denise, married in 1078 to Guy, 3rd Sire de La Val; and Emma of Mortain, the wife of William IV of Toulouse.
      "He is described by William of Malmesbury as a man of a heavy, sluggish disposition, but no foul crimes are laid to his charge. He had evidently the courage of his race, and his conduct as a commander is unassociated with any act of cruelty. Scandal has not been busy with his name as a husband. No discords are known to have disturbed his domestic felicity."

      Portrayals on screen
      On screen, Robert has been portrayed by Gordon Whiting in the two-part BBC TV play Conquest (1966), part of the series Theatre 625, and by Richard Ireson in the TV drama Blood Royal: William the Conqueror (1990).

      Golding, Brian (1990) "Robert of Mortain", in: Anglo-Norman Studies XIII"Golding, Brian (1990)". http://www.rhs.ac.uk/bibl/wwwopac.exe?&database=dcatalo&rf=000069344&SUCCESS=false&SRT2=ti&SEQ2=ascending. Retrieved 2009-04-25.

      External links
      "1066 - Robert of Mortain becomes first Earl of Cornwall". http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=5749.
      "Norman Nobility". Medieval Lands Project. http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/NORMAN%20NOBILITY.htm#_Toc160529811.
      "Robert de Mortain (in French)". http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_de_Mortain.
      "Robert of Mortain". http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1410425.
      French nobilityPreceded by
      William WarlencCount of Mortain
      1055-1095Succeeded by
      WilliamPeerage of EnglandPreceded by
      New CreationEarl of Cornwall
      1066–1095Succeeded by