Robert of Bath

Robert of Bath

Infobox bishopbiog
name =Robert of Bath

religion =Catholic
See =Diocese of Bath and Wells
Title = Bishop of Bath and Wells
Period = 1136–1166
Predecessor = Godfrey
Successor =Reginald fitz Jocelin
ordination =
bishops =
post =monk of Lewes Priory
Possibly Prior of Winchester
date of birth =
place of birth =England
date of death =31 August 1166
place of death =

Robert or sometimes Robert of Lewes was a medieval Bishop of Bath.


He was a CluniacBartlett "England Under the Norman and Angevin Kings" p. 400-401] and a monk of Lewes Priory and a protege of Henry of Blois who employed him at Glastonbury Abbey on administrative tasks. [ British History Online Bishops of Bath and Wells] accessed on 23 September 2007] He was a native of England, but his ancestry was Flemish, probably of noble birth. Ramsey "Lewes, Robert of (d. 1166)" "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography" [ Online Edition] accessed 15 November 2007] He may have been the prior of Winchester but there is no certain evidence of this, as it is based on an appearance of a "Robert, prior of Winchester" on the 1130 Pipe Roll, and a 15th century historian. He was named Bishop of Bath through the influence of Henry of Blois,Crouch "Reign of King Stephen" p. 46] and was consecrated probably in March of 1136.Fryde "Handbook of British Chronology" p. 228]

He was instrumental in reorganizing his diocese as well as building and restoring at Wells. He was the bishop that organized the archdeacons of the diocese on a territorial basis. He was considered pious as well as a man of business.Barlow "The English Church 1066-1154" p. 92-93] He also built at Bath, and gave borough status to the town of Wells.

In 1138, during Robert of Gloucester's rising against King Stephen of England, the bishop was in charge of the defenses of Bath. He captured Geoffrey Talbot, who was a supporter of Robert of Gloucester's, but when he went out to parley with another group of Gloucester's supporters, the bishop was captured even though he had been offered a safe conduct for the parley. The bishop was then exchanged for Geoffrey Talbot.Appleby "The Troubled Reign of King Stephen" p. 50] In 1141 he was at the gathering where Henry of Blois changed allegiance to the Empress Matilda at Winchester.Davis "King Stephen" p. 52] Appleby "The Troubled Reign of King Stephen" p. 98]

He died 31 August 1166 and was buried in Bath Cathedral before the high altar. He may have been the author of the "Gesta Stephani",Huscroft "Ruling England" p. 200] Bartlett "England Under the Norman and Angevin Kings" p. 99] an identification first made by the historian R. H. C. Davis in 1962. While it is not certain that Robert was the author, the outlook of the work certainly fits with the known outlook of Robert.



* Appleby, John T. "The Troubled Reign of King Stephen 1135-1154" New York:Barnes & Noble 1969 reprint 1995 ISBN 1-56619-848-8
* Barlow, Frank "The English Church 1066-1154" London:Longman 1979 ISBN 0-582-50236-5
* Bartlett, Robert "England Under the Norman and Angevin Kings: 1075-1225" Oxford:Clarendon Press 2000 ISBN 0-19-822741-8
* [ British History Online Bishops of Bath and Wells] accessed on 23 September 2007
* Crouch, David "The Reign of King Stephen: 1135-1154" Harlow, Essex: Longman Pearson 2000 ISBN 0-582-22657-0
* Davis, R. H. C. "King Stephen 1135-1154" Third Edition London:Longman 1990 ISBN 0-582-04000-0
* Huscroft, Richard "Ruling England 1042-1217" London: Pearson Longman 2005 ISBN 0-582-84882-2
* Ramsey, Frances "Lewes, Robert of (d. 1166)" "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography" Oxford University Press, 2004 [ Online Edition] accessed 15 November 2007.
* Frances Ramsey, "Robert of Lewes, Bishop of Bath 1136-1166: A Cluniac Bishop in his Diocese," in "Belief and Culture in the Middle Ages: Studies Presented to Henry Mayr-Harting". Eds. Henry Mayr-Harting, Henrietta Leyser and Richard Gameson (Oxford, OUP, 2001), pp.

ALTERNATIVE NAMES=Robert of Bath; Robert of Lewes
DATE OF DEATH=31 August 1166

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