Robert is found in 884 as a count in Lorraine in the service of the emperor Charles the Fat ["... quidam vir nobilis Rotbertus comes fidelissimus noster ...", MGH DD Karl 169 (#105)]. When Robert's elder brother Eudes became king of France in 888, Robert succeeded his brother as marquis of Neustria and other dignities, and he appears often at his brother's side in his charters [e.g., 890×1: "... dilecti fratris nostri Roberti illustrissimi marchionis consilium atque consensum, ..." RHF 9: 457 (#18); 893: "... Robertus dilectus frater noster atque illustris comes et marchio ..." ibid., 461 (#23); ca. 893: "... illuster dux videlicet Robertus ..." ibid., 462 (#25)]. When Eudes died in 898, Robert recognized the Carolingian Charles the Simple as king of France. In 922, Robert revolted against Charles, joined by his son Hugues and his son-in-law Raoul, duke of Burgundy, and in late June, he was chosen as king of France ["Franci Rotbertum seniorem eligunt, ipsique sese committunt. Rotbertus itaque rex Remis, apud Sanctum Remigium, ab episcopis et primatibus regni constituitur. Heriveus, Remorum archiepiscopus, obiit tertia die post consecrationem regis Rotberti, scilicet VI nonas Julii, ..." Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 922, 10; "Secundo anno post eius mortem Robertus princeps rebellavit contra Karolum Simplicem, unctusque est in regem 3. Kal. Iulii." Historia Francorum Senonensis, MGH SS 9: 366; "Rothbertus princeps inunctus ad regem 6. Kal. Iul. contra Karolum a Gualterio archiepiscopo Senonum, ..." Annales Sanctae Columbae Senonensis, MGH SS 1: 104]. Robert's reign lasted slightly less than a year, for he fell at the Battle of Soissons on 15 June 923 ["... Rotbertus quoque rex lanceis perfossus cecidit." Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 923, 13; "Et nondum anno expleto 17. Kal. Iulii factum est bellum Suessionis civitate inter Karolum Simplicem et ipsum Robertum, qui regnum Francorum invaserat; ubi interfectus est ipse Robertus." Historia Francorum Senonensis, MGH SS 9: 366; "... et nondum anno expleto 17. Kal. Iul. peremptus est in bello ab exercitu Karoli Suessione, ..." Annales Sanctae Columbae Senonensis, MGH SS 1: 104].
Date of Birth: Unknown, adhuc parvulus
at his father's death in 866.
["... siquidem Odo et Ruotbertus, filii Ruotberti, adhuc parvuli erant, quando pater extinctus est, ..." Regino, Chronicon, s.a. 867, 93]
Place of Birth: Unknown.
Date of Death: 15 June 923.
In addition to the sources cited above, the date is given as 15 June in the Annals of Saint-Denis ["17. Kal. Iul. Rotbertus rex mor[itur]" Annales Sancti Dionysii, MGH SS 13: 720] and the necrologies of Saint-Magloire ["XVII cal. Robertus rex" Obit. Sens, 1, pt. 1: 390] and the cathedral of Chartres ["XVII kal. jul. Obiit Rotbertus rex" Obit. Sens, 2: 14]. The necrology of Saint-Père-en-Vallée ["XVI kal. Robertus, rex Francorum interfectus" Obit. Sens, 2: 190] gives 16 June.
Place of Death: In the Battle of Soissons, near the abbey of Saint-Médard de Soissons.
Father: Robert "le Fort", d. 866, marquis in Neustria, ca. 852-866.
The relationship of Robert to his father Robert and brother Eudes is well documented [e.g., "... siquidem Odo et Ruotbertus, filii Ruotberti, adhuc parvuli erant, quando pater extinctus est, ..." Regino, Chronicon, s.a. 867, 93; "Odo filius Rodberti usque ad Ligerim fluvium vel Aquitanicam provinciam sibi in usum usurpavit." Ann. Fuld., s.a. 888, 116; "... et terram patris sui Rothberti Odoni comiti concessam, ..." Ann. Vedast., s.a. 886, 62; "Rothbertus comes, frater regis Odoni" Ann. Vedast., s.a. 898, 79].
See the page of Robert le Fort for various conjectures regarding the identity of the mother of Robert I.
(1) Béatrix, apparently deceased by 21 May 907.
Beatrix is mentioned in an act of Hugues le Grand dated 26 March 931 ["Hugo rector abbatiæ sancti Martini, ... et genitoris nostri Rotberti quondam regis ac genitricis nostræ domnæ Beatricis, ..." RHF 9: 719], and her name appears in abbreviated form ("Be.") in another act ["... et Rotbertus prefatus sancti Aniani pro remedio anime suæ et anime uxoris suæ Be. atque pro incolumitate filii sui Hugonis concessit fratribus." Vidier (1907), 317]. As discussed below, Béatrix cannot have been married to Robert after 907, so if Adèle was also a wife of Robert, then Béatrix would have to be an earlier wife.
Probable additional spouse:
(2) Adèle, living 21 May 907.
Adèle appears with Robert on 21 May 907, and has been placed as either a wife or daughter of Robert. Her identity is discussed in the Commentary section.
Grand", d. 16×17 June
956, duke of the Franks;
m. (1) NN, daughter of Roger, count of Maine, by his wife Rothilde;
m. (2) 926, Eadhild, daughter of Eadweard (Edward) "the Elder", king of the West Saxons;
m. (3) 937, Hadwig, d. 9 January after 958, daughter of Heinrich I, king of Germany.
Hugues is documented as the son of Robert on numerous occasions. For example, he appears on 31 March 914, in a charter of his father Robert, then abbot of Saint-Martin de Tours, in which he is stated to be his father's heir ["S. Roberti gloriosi abbatis. S. domni Hugonis filii sui abbatis et comitis cui post ipsum iam sui honores dati erant. Geruntio Biturigenis archiepiscopus. S. domni Hugonis Cinomanorum comitis qui aderat. ..." Werner (1958), 287], and he is called a son of Robert frequently by Flodoard ["Hugo, filius Rotberti" Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 922, 7; ibid., passim]. See also the two charters mentioned above under Béatrix.
(mother not documented)
NN, m. Heribert
II, count of Vermandois.
This relationship is confirmed by the fact that Hugues the Grand was an avunculus of Heribert's sons, who in turn are called nepotes of Hugues (see the page of this daughter for details). There is no evidence which would give her the name Hildebrante, as given by some sources [e.g. Anselme, 1: 68]. The name of Adèle given to her by some is discussed in the Commentary section. Others would give he the name Liégarde (see the page of this wife). If Adèle was in fact the second wife of Robert, then there would be a reasonable case for making her the mother of Heribert's wife, since Heribert had a daughter named Adèle.
Emme, d. 934, m. Raoul,
d. 936, king of France, 923-936.
["Rotbertus igitur, ..., Rodulfo filio Richardi, genero suo, ..." Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 922, 8; "... et uxor ipsius nomine Emma, regis Rotberti filia, Remis interim ab Seulfo archipraesule consecratur regina." Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 923, 17; "... et Emma regina defungitur." Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 934, 60; "... rex Rodulfus defungitur sepeliturque Senonis, apud Sanctum Columbam, ..." Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 936, 63]
Who was countess Adèle?
On 21 May 907, a countess Adèle appears in an act of the French king Charles the Simple, named along with a count Robert who is almost certainly the future king Robert I ["... venerandi comitis Rotberti, et Adelæ comitissæ ..." RHF 9: 505; also in Rec. actes Charles III le Simple, #57 (not seen by me)]. As argued by Constance Bouchard, the most natural interpretation of this evidence would make Adèle a wife of Robert [Bouchard (1988), 16, n. 27], but it has been argued that Adèle was actually the daughter of Robert I who married Heribert II of Vermandois [Werner (1967), 458, n. 4; Settipani (1993), 407-8].
The evidence regarding Adèle is closely tied to the chronology of Béatrix (see her page), wife of Robert I and mother of Hugues le Grand. The usual interpretation is that the act of 26 March 931 indicates that Béatrix was still alive on that date, since the word quondam is applied only to Robert in that record. If we accept that scenario, and identify the Adèle of 907 as a wife of Robert, this would place Adèle as the first wife and Béatrix as the second wife [e.g., Chaume (1925), 393 (conjectured as a "probable" daughter of count Aleran II), 537; Bouchard (1988), 16, n. 27]. However, as argued by Karl Ferdinand Werner and Christian Settipani, there is a chronological problem here. If Béatrix were not married to Robert until after 21 May 907, then her son Hugues le Grand could have been born in 908 at the earliest, which goes against everything that is known about the chronology of Hugues le Grand. Hugues appears as his father's heir on 31 March 914 ["S. Roberti gloriosi abbatis. S. domni Hugonis filii sui abbatis et comitis cui post ipsum iam sui honores dati erant." Werner (1958), 287], and he was actively participating in events from 922 on [Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 922ff, 7ff]. On this basis, Werner and Settipani argue that countess Adèle was not a wife of Robert I, but his daughter who married Heribert II of Vermandois, and whose name is otherwise unknown.
All of this depends on the assumption that Béatrix was still alive in 931. However, as was pointed out recently by Peter Stewart in the soc.genealogy.medieval newsgroup, if Béatrix were still alive in 931, then she would have been married to Robert during the time that he was king of France (922-3), and she should therefore in that case appear as regina in the 931 act, and not merely as domna. This appearance as domna instead of regina would seem to outweigh the fact that she does not appear as quondam, and it therefore seems likely that Béatrix was no longer living in 931. In this case there would be no obstacle to placing her death before 907, and making Adèle a later rather than an earlier wife. Since the identification of Werner and Settipani depends heavily on ruling out Adèle as a wife of Robert, we can accept as probable Stewart's thesis that Robert was married first to Béatrix and then to Adèle.
wife (existence doubtful): Emma, daughter
of Ludwig III, king of Bavaria.
Having accepted a previous conjecture of Depoin and Chaume that the daughter of Robert who married Heribert II was named Liégarde, Vajay noted that the wife of king Ludwig III of Bavaria had the same name (in German, Liutgard, daughter of Liudolf, duke of Saxony). Since Ludwig's mother was named Emma and Robert had another daughter with the same name, Vajay conjectured that Robert's two daughters were by an otherwise unknown earlier wife Emma, daughter of Ludwig and Liutgard [Vajay (1980), 776-7 n. 106]. There is no evidence that Ludwig ever had such a daughter, and the conjecture must be regarded as doubtful.
Conjectured daughter (very
Adélaïde, m. Ermengaud, count of
Vajay identifies Adélaïde, wife of count Ermengaud of Rouergue, with the countess Adèle who appears in 907, and makes her a daughter of Robert I [Vajay (1980), 773-776]. This is pure speculation based on slim onomastic considerations (Ermengaud had a son named Hugues).
Ann. Fuld. = Friedrich Kurze, ed., Annales Fuldenses (MGH SRG 7, Hannover, 1891).
Ann. Vedast. = B. de Simson, ed., Annales Xantenses et Annales Vedastini (MGH SRG 12, 1909), 41-82.
Anselme = Père Anselme, Histoire généalogique et chronologique de la maison royale de France, 9 vols. (Paris, 1726-33).
Bouchard (1988)a = Constance Brittain Bouchard, "Patterns of women's names in royal lineages, ninth-eleventh centuries", Medieval Prosopography 9, 1 (1988): 1-32.
Flodoard, Annales = Ph. Lauer, ed., Les Annales de Flodoard (Paris, 1905).
MGH DD = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Diplomata series.
MGH SRG = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores rerum Germanicarum (separate editions).
MGH SS = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores series.
Obit. Sens = Obituaires de la Province de Sens (2 vols. in 3, Paris, 1902-6).
Regino, Chronicon = Friedrich Kurze, ed., Reginonis abbatis Prumiensis Chronicon cum continuatione Treverensi (MGH SRG, Hannover, 1890).
RHF = Recueil des historiens des Gaules et de la France.
Settipani (1993) = Christian Settipani, La préhistoire des Capétiens 481-987 (Première partie - Mérovingiens, Carolingiens et Robertiens) (Villeneuve d'Ascq, 1993).
Vajay (1980) = Szabolcs de Vajay, "Comtesses d'origine occitane dans la Marche d'Espagne aux 10e et 11e siècles", Hidalguia 28 (1980): 585-616, 755-788.
Vidier (1907) = A. Vidier, "Notices sur des actes d'affranchissement & de précaire concernant Saint-Aignan d'Orléans", Le Moyen Age 20 (1907), 289-317.
Werner (1958) = Karl Ferdinand Werner, "Untersuchungen zur Frühzeit des französischen Fürstentums (9.-10. Jahrhundert)", parts I-III, Die Welt als Geschichte 18 (1958): 256-289.
Werner (1967) = Karl Ferdinand Werner, "Die Nachkommen Karls des Großen bis um das Jahr 1000 (1.-8. Generation)", Karl der Große 4 (1967): 403-483.
Compiled by Stewart Baldwin
The Commentary section owes much to postings of Peter Stewart to the soc.genealogy.medieval/GEN-MEDIEVAL newsgroup/mailing list.
First uploaded 26 July 2008.
Minor revision uploaded 23 February 2009: added notes on supposed wife Emma and supposed daughter Adélaïde.
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