Predecessor: Henri I, king of the Franks
Spouse: Helie, daughter of Dalmace I, lord of Semur, then Ermengarde, daughter of Fulk III, duke of Anjou, and Hildegarde of Sundgau
Reign: 1032 – 1076
Summary: Robert was one of the many children of King Robert II and his wife Constance. Robert grew up in a house of little love, with his father constantly trying to annul his marriage to his wife to no avail. Robert's oldest brother, Hugues, was crowned co-king of the Franks in 1017. In 1025, Hugues, Robert, and their brother Henri began a rebellion against Robert II. Sometime in late 1025 or early 1026, Hugues died from a fall from his horse. Henri and Robert kept the rebellion going despite losing support from their mother, Constance. Constance did not help in the dispute. Once Hugues died, she supported the younger Robert as heir to the throne rather than the elder Henri. The brothers almost came to blows but King Robert II resolved the issue in 1027 when he crowned Henri co-king. For the next four years, Henri and Robert kept their father in a virtual prison within Paris until he died in 1031. In that year, King Henri I became king and prince Robert began a revolt of his own against his brother with the support of Constance. King Henri wisely resolved the issue by granting his brother the significant duchy of Burgundy in 1032, a domain which would remain in his descendant's hands for two centuries.
Less is known about Robert's rule as duke in Burgundy. From what is known, it seems he had little control over the regional lords. Robert was often forced to plunder his own lands for taxes and fees. Churches were an especially common target since they often lacked protection. The entire diocese of Autun was made into a private possession of the duke and Robert also seized the wine production center of Dijon. In 1055, Robert abandoned his wife and personally murdered her brother and father. His popularity was so low that one of his own bishops would not dedicate a church to him. After living such a long life, it is no surprise that Robert outlived his two eldest surviving children. His first son, Hugues, died at the age of fifteen in battle. His second son, Henri, lived to be 39 before dying. It is from Henri that Robert found his heir, Hugues I, when he died in 1076. A brother of that duke, Henri, became count of Portugal and his descendants in the male line ruled Portugal until 1853.
Date of Death: 21 March 1076
Successor: Hugues I
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