Revised 30/11/2019



[GLOU441] Robert FitzRoy (born 1090, illegitimate son of [NORK349] King Henry I by a concubine Sibylla Corbet, see NORMAN KINGS). Robert was known as Robert the Consul, and became Earl Robert of Caen. He fought at the Battle of Bremule (20th August 1119), when King Henry I defeated King Louis VI of France. For his services, Robert was created 1st Earl of Gloucester (1122).

Robert married [FHAM352] Mabel (daughter & heir of Lord Robert, see HAMON), thereby becoming the 2nd Marcher Lord of Glamorgan (see MARCHES). He thus acquired the timber castle at Cardiff, which he reinforced with stone, around c.1140. A prominent prisoner in the castle was Robert Curthose, former DUKE OF NORMANDY, the eldest brother of King Henry I, who was kept here from 1126 until his death in 1134. The castle later passed to the Clare family, through the marriage of Robert's granddaughter Amice, see later.

Stephen usurped the throne of England (1135). After quarrelling with King Stephen, Robert's estates were confiscated (1138). Thereupon Robert prepared for war against King Stephen, and took up the cause of his half-sister EMPRESS MATILDA in Normandy, obtaining the surrender of Caen and Bayeux to her husband DUKE GEOFFREY V d'ANJOU.

He landed in England with EMPRESS MATILDA (September 1139) and took her to Arundel Castle, and became her commander-in-chief in the civil war that ensued. He burned Nottingham (1140). Robert and his son-in-law Ranulph, 5th Earl of Chester, relieved Lincoln and took King Stephen prisoner (February 1141), sending him to Bristol. Robert accompanied EMPRESS MATILDA in her progress to Winchester and London, and when the citizens drove her out, fled with her to Oxford. He took part in the fighting at Winchester and helped EMPRESS MATILDA to escape from the city, but fleeing from Winchester was captured at Stockbridge (September 1141), and taken prisoner to Rochester Castle.



Rochester Castle
(13 April 1995)

Rochester Castle interior
(26 February 2013)

Shortly afterwards he was exchanged, without concessions on either side, for King Stephen, who was set at liberty (November1141). Robert then joined EMPRESS MATILDA at Bristol, and with her proceeded to Oxford. EMPRESS MATILDA sent Roger (June 1142) over to her husband, to urge him to invade England. Geoffrey declined to help until he had conquered Normandy, whereupon Robert joined him in his campaign.

Robert defeated King Stephen at Wilton (1143), and blockaded Malmesbury (1144). But EMPRESS MATILDA's party was now so much reduced that King Stephen was able to take Faringdon (1145), which Robert had fortified. On hearing EMPRESS MATILDA was besieged in Oxford, Robert hurried back to help her, taking with him her son, the future King Henry II. He captured Wareham and other places, and on EMPRESS MATILDA's escape from Oxford, he and Henry met her at Wallingford, and they went to Bristol, which was Robert's chief residence until 1146.

In the Spring of 1147 Robert took Henry, EMPRESS MATILDA's son and future king, back to Wareham, and sent him over to Anjou.

Robert founded a Cistercian Abbey at Margam (1147).

  Margam Abbey ruins
(19 August 2016)
Nave of Abbey in use as
present day Parish Church
  Twelve-sided Chapter House ruins Altar in Parish Church

Robert died of a fever at Bristol (31st October 1147), and was buried in the choir at Bristol, St. James' Priory Church, which he had founded (between 1124-37). Mabel died 1157.

base of statue of
Earl Robert of Gloucester

(18 August 2008)


There was at one time an effigy of Robert (carved c.1430) at Tewkesbury Abbey, but only the base of the statue now remains. The painted Latin inscription reads ROB. CONSULL FILIUS REGIS:




[GLOU452] Maud (daughter of Robert) married (c.1141) [BAYE341] Earl Ranulph (see CHESTER (BAYEUX) EARLDOM).

 [GLOU451] William FitzRobert (eldest son & heir of Robert) became 2nd Earl of Gloucester (1147). He married (c.1150) [BEAM374] Hawise (daughter of Earl Robert, see LEICESTER (BEAUMONT) EARLDOM). William died at Keynsham on his birthday (23rd November 1183), without (surviving) male issue. (He had 3 daughters, one of whom became Isabel, 3rd Countess of Gloucester.) Hawise died April 1197.

[GLOU462] Amice (2nd daughter & coheir, and eventually sole heir, of William) married [HERT461] Earl Richard (see HERTFORD (CLARE) EARLDOM), and also abbreviated entry next below. By the death of her sister, Countess Isabel (October 1217), Amice became sole heir of her late father, the 2nd Earl. She appears to have known as Countess of Gloucester up to her death (January 1225), and the Earldom passed to her son & heir Gilbert (1217).


(see for HERTFORD (CLARE) EARLDOM full details of 4th to 6th Earls)

 [HERT461] Richard de Clare married [GLOU462] Amice (above) and thereby became 3rd Earl of Hertford.

[HERT472] Matilda de Clere (daughter of Richard) married [CANT471] Sir Piers de Thornton (see CANTILUPE)

 [HERT471] Gilbert de Clare (son of Richard) was 4th Earl of Gloucester (1217) and 4th Earl of Hertford. He commenced the construction of the 2nd (stone) castle at Neath, the first timber construction castle (on the west bank of the river) having been abandoned and its materials probably reused in the construction of Neath Abbey.

 [HERT481] Richard de Clare was 5th Earl of Gloucester (1230) and 5th Earl of Hertford.

 [HERT491] Gilbert de Clare was 6th Earl of Gloucester (1262) and 6th Earl of Hertford. Gilbert refortified Cardiff Castle in the 1270's in anticipation of a further Welsh rebellion, which never materialised. The appearance of the keep has changed little since that time.



Cardiff Castle keep
(6 March 2006)

inside the keep
(20 March 2008)



Gilbert also founded the stone-built castle at Caerleon, replacing the 11th Century earthwork motte and bailey fortification built by Caradoc ap Gryffyd ap Rhydderch, Lord of Caerleon. All that remains in view today is a tower, by the River Usk.


Caerleon Castle's surviving tower
(29 March 2010)


guarding a bend in the River Usk
(29 March 2010)


[HERT502] Margaret (2nd daughter of Gilbert) married [GLO2501] Hugh de Audley (see later).

Gilbert de Clare (son of Gilbert) was 7th Earl of Gloucester (1295) and 7th Earl of Hertford.


[GLO2491] Hugh (born c.1267, son of [AUD1471] James de Audley, see AUDLEY (ALDITHLEY) BARONY), married (c.1288-93) [MORT492] Isolt/Isolda (widow of Sir Walter de Balun, and daughter of Lord Edmund, see WIGMORE (MORTIMER) BARONY). He fought in the French Wars (1294), fought in the Scottish wars (1299 and 1302), Justice of North Wales (1306), Governor of Montgomery Castle (1309), fought in the Scottish Wars (1309), created Lord Audley of Stratton (1321), joined the insurrection against the king and was captured at the Battle of Boroughbridge (16th March 1321-22), and thereby forfeit his Audley title. He died c.1325-26, and Isolt died some time after 1336.

[GLO2501] Hugh (born c.1289, 2nd son of Hugh) married (at Windsor, April 1317) [HERT502] Margaret (2nd daughter of [6th] Earl Gilbert, see earlier and also HERTFORD (CLARE) EARLDOM), and widow of Piers de Gaveston, 1st Earl of Cornwall, who was executed (1312).

Hugh fought on the side of Thomas, 2nd Earl of Lancaster, at the Battle of Boroughbridge (16th March 1322), where he was taken prisoner and his lands forfeited.




Battle Cross and Blue Plaque

(25 October 2014)

He was transferred from Berkhamsted prison to Nottingham Castle (1325), whence he later escaped. His lands were restored (1327), and he was made Sheriff of Rutland (1327-47), then appointed Guardian of the Coast of Essex (May 1336). He became 8th Earl of Gloucester (1337). Hugh took part in the Siege of Dunbar, which continued until 1338 when a truce was made because the besiegers then wished to accompany King Edward III on his expedition to France. Hugh was also present at the Battle of Sluys (24th June 1340).

Margaret died April 1342, and Hugh died November 1347. Hugh had no male issue, and at his death the Earldom became extinct.

[GLO2511] Margaret (born c.1324, sole daughter & heiress of Hugh) married (c. July 1336) [STAF519] Earl Ralph (see STAFFORD EARLDOM). Margaret was Baroness Audley, after her father's death (1347).