Robert II

I
born March 2, 1316
died April 19, 1390, Dundonald, Ayrshire, Scot.

King of Scotland (1371–90).

Grandson of Robert I, he served as regent during the periods of exile and of imprisonment by the English of his uncle, David II, and took the throne on David's death in 1371 as the first Stuart king and thus was the founder of the house of Stuart. His reign proved anticlimactic; he had little effect on political and military affairs, taking no active part in the renewed war with England (1378–88). Succession after his death was disputed by his numerous children (legitimate and illegitimate) and their descendants.
II
known as Robert Curthose

born с 1054
died February 1134, Cardiff, Wales

Duke of Normandy (1087–1106).

The eldest son of William I, he was named heir to Normandy but rebelled twice (с 1077, с 1082). Robert was exiled to Italy but returned as duke on his father's death. He pawned Normandy to his brother William II and joined the First Crusade, in which he fought bravely and helped capture Jerusalem (1099). He led an unsuccessful invasion of England after Henry I became king (1100); Henry then invaded Normandy (1105–06) and captured Robert, who spent the rest of his life as a prisoner.

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▪ count of Flanders
byname  Robert The Jerusalemite,  French  Robert Le Hierosolymitain,  Dutch  Robrecht Van Jeruzalem 
born c. 1065
died Oct. 5, 1111, near Meaux, Fr.

      count of Flanders (1093–1111), one of the most celebrated of crusaders. The son of Robert I, he sailed for the Holy Land on the First Crusade in 1096 and earned fame perhaps second only to that of Godfrey of Bouillon. Returning to Flanders in 1100, he fought with his suzerain, Louis VI the Fat of France, against the English and was drowned in 1111 by the breaking of a bridge. He was succeeded by his son, Baldwin VII, who himself died fighting the English in 1119.

▪ duke of Normandy
byname  Robert Curthose,  French  Robert Courteheuse 
born c. 1054
died February 1134, Cardiff, Wales

      duke of Normandy (1087–1106), a weak-willed and incompetent ruler whose poor record as an administrator of his domain was partly redeemed by his contribution to the First Crusade (Crusades) (1096–99).

      The eldest son of William I the Conqueror, Robert was recognized in boyhood as his father's successor in Normandy. Nevertheless he twice rebelled against his father (1077/78 and c. 1082–83) and was in exile in Italy until he returned as duke on his father's death in 1087. He was totally unable to control his rebellious vassals or to establish a central authority in Normandy.

      In 1091 Robert's younger brother, King William II of England, invaded Normandy and compelled Robert to yield two counties. William attacked again in 1094, and when a peace was made that gave him control of Normandy in return for money, Robert joined the First Crusade. He fought at Dorylaeum (1097) and was at the capture of Jerusalem (1099). His courageous leadership contributed to the victory at Ascalon (1099).

      When Robert's youngest brother, Henry I, succeeded William as king of England (1100), Robert was in Italy. He hastened back to invade England, with ignominious results, and Henry in turn invaded Normandy (1105 and 1106). Captured in the Battle of Tinchebrai (Sept. 28, 1106), Robert spent the rest of his life as a prisoner, dying in Cardiff castle.

▪ king of France
byname  Robert The Pious,  French  Robert Le Pieux 
born c. 970, , Orléans, Fr.
died July 20, 1031, Melun

      king of France who took Burgundy into the French realm.

      The son of Hugh Capet, founder of the Capetian dynasty, and Adelaide of Aquitaine, Robert was educated at the episcopal school of Reims under Gerbert of Aurillac, later Pope Sylvester II. Soon after his own coronation (July 987), Hugh prudently arranged the election and coronation (December 987) of Robert, thus facilitating his son's eventual succession (October 996) as sole ruler. His excommunication as a result of his marriage within the prohibited degrees of relationship was eventually lifted after the repudiation of the childless Bertha in 1001. Constance of Arles, whom the King married two years later, was the mother of his successor, Henry I.

      Robert's domain was not extensive; and, to increase his power, he vigorously and tenaciously pressed his claim to fiefs as they became vacant. Thus, when the duke of Burgundy died without an heir (1002), Robert went to war against a rival claimant. Only in 1015, however, did he finally succeed in subduing the rich duchy. (The gain was transitory, for in 1032 Henry I granted Burgundy to his brother, Robert, and it thereafter remained for centuries outside royal control.)

      A patron of the Cluniac monastic movement, Robert apparently ruled firmly and judiciously in his own lands.

▪ king of Scotland
also called (until 1371)  Robert the Steward , or (1357–71)  Robert Stewart, Earl of Strathearn 
born March 2, 1316
died April 19, 1390, Dundonald, Ayrshire, Scot.
 king of Scots from 1371, first of the Stewart (Stuart) sovereigns in Scotland. Heir presumptive for more than 50 years, he had little effect on Scottish political and military affairs when he finally acceded to the throne.

      On the death (1326) of his father, Walter the Steward, in 1326, Robert became seventh hereditary steward of Scotland at age 10. From 1318 he was heir presumptive to his maternal grandfather, King Robert I the Bruce (died 1329). He lost this position in 1324 when the Bruce's son, afterward King David II, was born; but two years later the Scottish Parliament confirmed Robert the Steward as heir apparent to David.

      During David's periods of exile and of imprisonment by the English, Robert the Steward was joint regent (1334–35; with John Randolph, 3rd earl of Moray) and sole regent (1338–41, 1346–57). After David had been ransomed from the English, Robert led an unsuccessful rebellion (1362–63). He succeeded in defending his own right as heir apparent against David's abortive proposal to commute his remaining ransom payments to the English by making a son of King Edward III of England heir to the Scottish throne.

      On the death of David (Feb. 22, 1371), Robert succeeded to the throne, his reign proving largely an anticlimax to his career. He took no active part in the renewed war with England (from 1378 to 1388). From 1384 the kingdom was administered by Robert's eldest son, John, earl of Carrick (afterward King Robert III), and from 1388, by his next surviving son, Robert, earl of Fife (afterward 1st duke of Albany).

      Robert's marriage (c. 1348) to Elizabeth Mure followed the birth of their four sons and five daughters, whose legitimation by the subsequent marriage did not give any of them an undisputed right of succession to the crown. A superior claim was asserted on behalf of Robert's two sons and two daughters by his second wife, Euphemia Ross, whom he married in 1355. Partly because of this dispute, Walter, earl of Atholl, one of Robert's sons by Euphemia, instigated the murder (1437) of James I, king of Scots, grandson of Robert and Elizabeth Mure. Robert also had at least eight illegitimate sons.

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Universalium. 2010.

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