Robert I, Duke of Burgundy

Robert I "the Old"
Duke of Burgundy
Spouse(s) Helie of Semur
Ermengarde of Anjou


Noble family Burgundy
Father Robert II of France
Mother Constance of Arles
Born 1011
Died 18 March 1076(1076-03-18)

Robert I of Burgundy (1011 18 March 1076), known as Robert the Old and "Tete-Hardi", was Duke of Burgundy from 1032 to his death. Robert was son of King Robert II of France and brother of Henry I of France.[1]

In 1025, with the death of his eldest brother Hugh Magnus, he and Henry rebelled against their father and defeated him, forcing him back to Paris. In 1031, after the death of his father the king, Robert participated in a rebellion against his brother, in which he was supported by his mother, Constance of Arles. Peace was only achieved when Robert was given Burgundy (1032).

Throughout his reign, he was little more than a robber baron who had no control over his vassals, whose estates he often plundered, especially those of the Church. He seized the income of the diocese of Autun and the wine of the canons of Dijon. He burgled the abbey of St-Germain at Auxerre. In 1048, he repudiated his wife, Helie of Semur followed by the assassination of her brother Joceran and the murdering her father, his father-in-law, Lord Dalmace I of Semur, with his own hands. In that same year, the Bishop of Langres, Harduoin, refused to dedicate the church of Sennecy so as not "to be exposed to the violence of the duke."

His first son, Hugh, died in battle at a young age and his second son, Henry, also predeceased him. He was succeeded by Henry's eldest son, his grandson, Hugh I.[2]


He married his first wife, Helie of Semur,[3] about 1033, and repudiated her in 1048. Robert and Helie had five children:

  1. Hugh (10341059), killed in battle
  2. Henry (1035ca.1074). He died shortly before his father, thus making his son Robert's heir. His children included Hugh I, Duke of Burgundy (1057–1093), Odo I, Duke of Burgundy (1058–1103), and Henry, Count of Portugal (1066–1112), among others
  3. Robert (10401113), poisoned; married Violante of Sicily, daughter of Roger I of Sicily
  4. Simon (10451087)
  5. Constance (10461093), married Alfonso VI of León and Castile
  1. Hildegarde (c.10561104), married William VIII of Aquitaine


See also


  1. Kings, Rulers, and Statesmen, ed. Mark Hillary Hansen, (Sterling Publishing Co., 2005), 111.
  2. Elizabeth Hallam, Capetian France:987-1328, (Longman Group Ltd., 1980), 30.
  3. Burgundy, Constance B. Bouchard, Medieval France:An Encyclopedia, ed. William W. Kibler and Grover A. Zinn, (Routledge, 1995), 156.
  4. Georges Duby, The Knight, the Lady and the Priest, (University of Chicago Press, 1981), 90.


Robert I, Duke of Burgundy
Cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty
Born: 1011 Died: 2 March 1076
Preceded by
Duke of Burgundy
1032 1076
Succeeded by
Hugh I
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