Gloucester, Robert, earl of

Gloucester, Robert, earl of,

d. 1147, English nobleman; illegitimate son of Henry I. Henry created (c.1121) the earldom of Gloucester for him. After his father's death (1135), Robert appeared to accept the seizure of the throne by Henry's nephew, StephenStephen,
1097?–1154, king of England (1135–54). The son of Stephen, count of Blois and Chartres, and Adela, daughter of William I of England, he was brought up by his uncle, Henry I of England, who presented him with estates in England and France and arranged his
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, to whom he did conditional homage in 1136. They soon quarreled, however, and after Stephen had seized (1138) Robert's lands, Robert led a baronial rebellion in favor of his half-sister, MatildaMatilda
or Maud,
1102–67, queen of England, daughter of Henry I of England. Henry arranged a marriage for her with Holy Roman Emperor Henry V, and she was sent to Germany, betrothed, and five years later (1114) married to him.
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. The earl captured Stephen at Lincoln in 1141, but later in the year he himself was captured, while covering Matilda's retreat from Winchester, and exchanged for the king. Robert then went to France to get aid from Matilda's husband, Geoffrey IV of Anjou, and returned to England with her son Henry (later Henry II). Robert held the Angevin party in England together and consistently labored for Matilda's cause.
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