Robert I, Count of Flanders

Robert I, Count of Flanders

Robert I of Flanders (b. between 1029 and 1032–13 October 1093, Kassel), known as "Robert the Frisian", was count of Flanders from 1071 to 1092.


He was the younger son of Baldwin V of Flanders and Adèle, a daughter of King Robert II of France.

Robert was originally intended to secure the northern borders of Flanders by his marriage to Gertrude of Saxony, Dowager Countess of Holland, but after his brother's death in 1070 he displaced his nephews and became count of Flanders.


By Gertrude of Saxony he had five children:
*Robert II
*Adela (d. 1115), who first married king Canute IV of Denmark, and was the mother of Charles the Good, later count of Flanders. She then married Roger Borsa, duke of Apulia.
*Gertrude, who married 1) Henry III, Count of Louvain and had 4 children. [,%20LOUVAIN.htm#HenriIIILouvaindied1095] 2) Thierry II, Duke of Lorraine, and was the mother of Thierry of Alsace, also later count of Flanders
*Philip of Loo, whose illegitimate son William of Ypres was also a claimant to the county of Flanders
*Ogiva, abbess of Messines

Count of Flanders

Robert's nephew Arnulf III (son of Baldwin VI of Flanders) succeeded his father in 1070 and was supported by his mother Richilde, Countess of Mons and Hainaut. However, Robert challenged Arnulf's succession to the throne of Flanders and began rallying support mainly in northern Flanders (where the bulk of Arnulf's forces were located). Arnulf's ranks contained individuals such as Count Eustace II of Boulogne, Count Eustace III of Boulogne, and Godfrey of Bouillon.

Moreover, Arnulf was supported by King Philip I of France since Philip's aunt, Adela, married Baldwin V of Flanders. A contingent of ten Norman knights led by William FitzOsborn were among the forces sent by Philip to aid Arnulf. Robert's forces attacked Arnulf's numerically superior army at Cassel before it could organize. Arnulf himself was killed along with William FitzOsborn while Richilde was captured by Robert's forces. However, Robert himself was captured by Eustace II. Ultimately, Richilde was exchanged for Robert's freedom. [France, p. 55.] As a result of the battle Robert became count of Flanders.



*France, John. "Victory in the East: A Military History of the First Crusade". Cambridge University Press, 1994. ISBN 0521589878.

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