Robert I, Duke of Burgundy
Robert I Capet or Robert I of Burgundy, known as Robert the Old (ne: Robert le Vieux, 1011 – March 21, 1076) was duke of Burgundy
Duke of Burgundy
Duke of Burgundy was a title borne by the rulers of the Duchy of Burgundy, a small portion of traditional lands of Burgundians west of river Saône which in 843 was allotted to Charles the Bald's kingdom of West Franks...

 between 1032 to his death. Robert was son of King Robert II of France
Robert II of France
Robert II , called the Pious or the Wise , was King of France from 996 until his death. The second reigning member of the House of Capet, he was born in Orléans to Hugh Capet and Adelaide of Aquitaine....

 and brother of Henry I of France
Henry I of France
Henry I was King of France from 1031 to his death. The royal demesne of France reached its smallest size during his reign, and for this reason he is often seen as emblematic of the weakness of the early Capetians...


In 1025, with the death of his eldest brother Hugh Magnus, he and Henry rebelled against their father and defeated him, forcing him back to Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

. In 1031, after the death of his father the king, Robert participated in a rebellion against his brother, in which he was supported by his mother, Constance of Arles
Constance of Arles
Constance of Arles , also known as Constance of Provence, was the third wife and queen of King Robert II of France. She was the daughter of William I, count of Provence and Adelais of Anjou, daughter of Fulk II of Anjou...

. Peace was only achieved when Robert was given Burgundy (1032).

Throughout his reign, he was little more than a robber baron
Robber baron
A robber baron or robber knight was an unscrupulous and despotic nobility of the medieval period in Europe, for example, Berlichingen. It has slightly different meanings in different countries. In modern US parlance, the term is also used to describe unscrupulous industrialists...

 who had no control over his own vassals, whose estates he often plundered, especially those of the Church. He seized the income of the diocese of Autun
Diocese of Autun
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Autun, is a diocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic church in France. The diocese comprises the entire Department of Saone et Loire, in the Region of Bourgogne....

 and the wine of the canons of Dijon
Dijon is a city in eastern France, the capital of the Côte-d'Or département and of the Burgundy region.Dijon is the historical capital of the region of Burgundy. Population : 151,576 within the city limits; 250,516 for the greater Dijon area....

. He burgled the abbey of St-Germain at Auxerre. In 1055, he repudiated his wife, Helie of Semur, and assassinated her brother Joceran and murdered her father, his father-in-law, Lord Dalmace I of Semur, with his own hands. In that same year, the bishop of Langres, Harduoin, refused to dedicate the church of Sennecy so as not "to be exposed to the violence of the duke."

His first son, Hugh, died in battle at a young age and his second son, Henry, also predeceased him. He was succeeded by Henry's eldest son, his grandson, Hugh I.


He married his first wife, Helie of Semur, about 1033, and repudiated her in 1046. Robert and Helie had five children:
  1. Hugh (1034–1059), killed in battle
  2. Henry (1035–ca.1074). He died shortly before his father, thus making his son Robert's heir. The name of his wife is unknown (that it was Sybil has been discredited) as is her origin, although a connection to the Counts of Barcelona has been hypothesized. Their children were:Hugh I, Duke of Burgundy
    Hugh I, Duke of Burgundy
    Hugh I was duke of Burgundy between 1076 and 1079. Hugh was son of Henry of Burgundy and grandson of duke Robert I. He inherited Burgundy from his grandfather, following the premature death of Henry, but abdicated shortly afterwards to his brother Eudes I. He briefly fought the Moors in the...

     (1057–1093); Odo I, Duke of Burgundy (1058–1103); Robert
    Robert of Burgundy
    Robert of Burgundy was a son of Henry of Burgundy and grandson of Robert I, Duke of Burgundy. He was named bishop of Langres in 1085. He died at Châtillon-sur-Seine on September 18, 1111.-External links:*...

    , bishop of Langres (1059–1111); Helie, a nun (b. 1061); Beatrice (b. 1063), married Guy I, count of Vignory; Reginald, abbot of St Pierre (1065–1092); Henry, Count of Portugal
    Henry, Count of Portugal
    Henry of Burgundy, Count of Portugal was Count of Portugal from 1093 to his death. He was brother of Hugh I, Duke of Burgundy, and Odo I, Duke of Burgundy, all sons of Henry, the heir of Robert I, Duke of Burgundy. His name is Henri in modern French, Henricus in Latin, Enrique in modern Spanish...

     (1066–1112), who became a vassal of León and ruler of the county of Portugal in 1093 - his son would be Afonso Henriques
    Afonso I of Portugal
    Afonso I or Dom Afonso Henriques , more commonly known as Afonso Henriques , nicknamed "the Conqueror" , "the Founder" or "the Great" by the Portuguese, and El-Bortukali and Ibn-Arrik by the Moors whom he fought, was the first King of Portugal...

    , first king of Portugal
    Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

  3. Robert (1040–1113), poisoned; married Violante of Sicily, daughter of Roger I of Sicily
    Roger I of Sicily
    Roger I , called Bosso and the Great Count, was the Norman Count of Sicily from 1071 to 1101. He was the last great leader of the Norman conquest of southern Italy.-Conquest of Calabria and Sicily:...

  4. Simon (1045–1087)
  5. Constance
    Constance of Burgundy
    Constance of Burgundy was the daughter of Duke Robert I of Burgundy and Helie de Semur-en-Brionnais. She was Queen consort of Castile and León by her marriage to Alfonso VI of Castile. She was the granddaughter of King Robert II of France, the second monarch of the French Capetian dynasty...

     (1046–1093), married Alfonso VI of León and Castile
    • From his second wife, Ermengarde, daughter of Fulk III of Anjou
      Fulk III of Anjou
      Fulk III , called Nerra after his death, was Count of Anjou from 21 July 987 to his death. He was the son of Geoffrey Greymantle and Adelaide of Vermandois....

      , he had one daughter:
  6. Hildegard (c.1056–1104), married Duke William VIII of Aquitaine
    William VIII of Aquitaine
    William VIII , born Guy-Geoffrey , was duke of Gascony , and then duke of Aquitaine and count of Poitiers between 1058 and 1086, succeeding his brother William VII ....


  • Gwatking, H. M., Whitney, J. P., et al. Cambridge Medieval History: Volume III—Germany and the Western Empire. Cambridge University Press
    Cambridge University Press
    Cambridge University Press is the publishing business of the University of Cambridge. Granted letters patent by Henry VIII in 1534, it is the world's oldest publishing house, and the second largest university press in the world...

    : London
    London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

    , 1930.


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