Robert I

Robert (865-923) was of the Robertian line in France, which feeds into the Capetians.

Let’s begin with Genealogical tables, but please note: Sometimes the years are off by a year or so, compared with other sources I use.

GENEALOGICAL TABLES

Here is Michael Idomir Allen’s Table 8, which he put together for his translation of Pierre Riché’s The Carolingians. This table offers an overview of the House of Vermandois and the Herbertines:

 

Charlemagne’s son Pippin died in 810, while his father died in 814, so Pippin did not get any of the empire, which means his line became collateral or less important than Louis’s line, Charlemagne’s surviving son (see him in Bouchard’s table below).

At first glance, one thing strange about Table 8 is that Herbert II appears to marry his niece, but the truth is that Adela was a daughter of Robert from another alliance (see Bouchard’s table, below).

Allen names Herbert’s wife Adela (Adele). Here is his Table 4:

Note Robert II, the Pious. It is his line that this series tracks down to the Plantagenets.

Let’s insert a genealogical table from historian W. L. Warren’s superb biography of Henry II, the first Plantagenet, to understand where we’re headed in this series:

On the left are the Capetian kings. Henry of Anjou is the same as King Henry II.

Let’s return to the main subject of this post (Herbert) and insert Medievalist Prof. (emeritus) Constance Bouchard’s table of kings, dukes and counts (T1), some of whom descend from Charlemagne. Her main point in the entire article at the American Historical Review is to show that new noble families emerged in the Medieval Age, who were not necessarily connected to long family lines.

For us, however, we focus on the Counts of Vermandois, who are indeed connected to Charlemagne:

Herbert I had two children: Beatrix and Herbert II. Beatrix married Robert I, and they are the parents of Hugh the Great, the father of Hugh Capet, the namesake of the Capetians.

For a discussion of Robert’s marriage to Beatrix and her ancestry, click on Herbert I, Count of Vermandois, and scroll down to the addendum.

BASIC FACTS AND STORIES

Not as many scholars have done very much research on him (or I haven’t found one) as they have later royals. So here are the basics about him.

A Robertine or Robertian, he was born in about 865 and was the brother of King Eudes (Odo), whom he served. He turned against Carolingian Charles the Simple (the Straightforward, not simpleton) and defeated him in 920 and 922, but Charles remained powerful. Robert was elected king by a magnate Assembly on 29 June 922 and a day later was crowned at Reims, by Walter, Archbishop of Sens. Thus he was the second non-Carolingian ruler of West Francia (a much, much smaller version of a portion of the France we know today). But as noted, Charles was still alive and at liberty. He raised a force in Lotharingia and opposed Robert at Soissons in 923.

Robert died in the Battle of Soissons on 15 June 923, but Charles was defeated, for Robert’s son Hugh recovered the situation and Charles had to retreat.

Robert did not reign very long.

Herbert II tricked Charles into coming to a meeting and imprisoned him at St. Quentin, and so Charles was deposed again. Charles the Simple remained in prison at Péronne until his death in 929.

Unfortunately we don’t know much about Beatrix or Beatrice. One online source, citing the authoritative Europaeische Stammtafeln, says she was born c. 880.

Her name was fairly unusual in her own days (Bouchard, Those, p. 121). The Carolingian version of her name was Bertha. “A good proportion of the women named Beatrix in the eleventh and twelfth centuries can be demonstrated, on criteria other than simple name-similarities, to be her descendants” (Bouchard p. 121).

She died about 931.

Robert and Beatrix had three children:

1. Emma, who married Ralph of Burgundy;

2. Adela, who married Herbert of Vermandois;

3. Hugh, who became known as Hugh the Great.

RELATED

Robert I (r. 922-23) (House of Robertines)

Hugh the Great (r. 938-956)

CAPETIANS

Hugh Capet (r. 987-996)

Robert II (r. 996-1031)

Henri I (r. 1031-60)

Philip I (r. 1059 or 1060-1108)

Louis VI (r. 1108-1037)

Louis VII  (r. 1137-1180)

Philip II Augustus (r. 1180-1223)

Louis VIII (r. 1223-1226)

Louis IX, the Saintly King (r. 1226-1270)

Philip III (r. 1270-1285)

Philip IV (r. 1285-1314)

Louis X (r. 1314-1316)

Philip V (r. 1316-1322)

Charles IV (r 1322-1328) (last Capetian king)

CAROLINGIANS

Charlemagne: Interesting Facts and Stories

Pippin, Son of Charlemagne

Bernard, King of Italy

Pippin, Great-Grandson of Charlemagne (transition to the House of Vermandois)

HOUSE OF VERMANDOIS

Herbert I, Count of Vermandois

Herbert II, Count of Vermandois

SOURCES

Constance B. Bouchard, “The Origins of the French Nobility: A Reassessment.” The American Historical Review vol. 86, no. 1, Feb 1981, 501-32.

—, Those of My Blood: Constructing Noble Families in Medieval Francia (U Penn P 2001)

Jim Bradbury, The Capetians: Kings of France (Continuum, 2007).

Ivan Gobry, Robert II: Fils de Hugues Capet, Histoire des Rois de France (Pygmalion, 2005).

Medieval France: An Encyclopedia, eds. William W. Kibler and Grover A. Zinn (New York: Garland, 1995).

Pierre Riché, The Carolingians: A Family Who Forged Europe, trans. Michael Idormir Allen (U Penn P, 1993).

Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 5 volumes (Salt Lake: Published Privately, 2013).

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