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Robert de Belleme


Unlike the Conqueror, the Red, Warenne or others such as Lanfranc, Robert de Belleme cannot be described at all as a Hero Of The Norman Revolution due to the facts that he supported the 1088 Counter-Revolution against the Red by backing Robert Courtheuse and also supported the 1100 Counter-Revolution led by Henri Beauclerc immediately following the assassination of the Red on 2/8/1100.
However, we think that recording his positive defence of the Red during the crucial years in the 1090’s merits recognition to highlight by contrast the depths of his ultimate, permanent betrayal of The Norman Revolution.

 He lived 1052-1130 and was the son of Count Roger de Montgomery and Countess Mabel and acquired the latter’s castles at Belleme, Domfron, Alencon with associated lands in Normandy following her abominable murder in 1078.

 He was knighted by the Conqueror in 1073 during an exceptionally brutal siege at Fresnay in Maine and later married the Countess of Ponthieu.

 According to the De Obitu Willelmi , Belleme was outside Rouen when the Conqueror died in 1087.

 With his brothers Hugues de Montgomery , Roger de Poitevin, Arnulf allied to Eustace 111 de Boulogne, he was sent by Courtheuse to Angleland to co-lead his Counter-Revolution with Odo de Bayeux at Rochester in 1088. De Belleme at this time was firmly pro-Frankish King as well as pro-Courtheuse.

 In 1088 following the Red’s suppression of the Counter-Revolution he accompanied the Red’s brother Count Henri in his return to Normandy after the Red had dismissed Henri’s unjust demand for his mother Matilda’s lands in Angleland. Courtheuse had him and Henri arrested on arrival in Normandy fearing they had betrayed him.

 His support for the Red’s leadership dates from after the defeat of the Counter-Revolution in 1088 when he conducted the defence of the Welsh Marches.

 Two years after the Red’s re-unification of The Norman Revolution in 1096, As punishment for de Belleme’s complicity with the 1095 Counter-Revolution he fined de Belleme 3000 marks and an undisclosed sum for de Belleme’s inheritance of Castle Tickhill and of the lands of Roger de Bully.

 Orderic Vitalis depicts de Belleme as having a vile, private life with a penchant for military architecture.

 1088-92 saw an upsurge of castle building in Normandy without Courtheuse’s permission. De Belleme seized Castle Exmes from Courtheuse’s vassal Gilbert who did not survive the loss, meeting his death in a roadside fracas.

 During the uprising in Rouen of 1088 led by Conan, De Belleme supported Courtheuse but was shortly afterwards blocked by Hugues de Grandmesnil and Richard de Courcy. Courtheuse supported Belleme while Grandmesnil and Courcy received the tacit support of the Red in their resistance.

 De Belleme joined the Red following the reunification of Normandy-Angleland in 1096 and became one of his senior commanders during the consolidation of the victory and the revolutionization of Maine with its famous victory at Le Mans. Not long after this victory , the Red made De Belleme Earl of Shrewsbury as recognition for his support.

 The Siege of Le Mans of 1099 was lifted by the Red’s Army after De Belleme had sent a messenger from his base at Ballon informing him of the devastation wreaked there by forces lead by Count Helias.

 Following his capitulation to Henri Beauclerc’s Counter-Revolution of 1100 De Belleme clashed with his leader and believed himself betrayed. This farcical turnaround did his credibility no good at all and his lands in Angleland were confiscated by Beauclerc in [sign in to see URL] Normandy he resisted Beauclerc after 1106 and his new leader Courtheuse’s defeat at Tinchebrai. Captured in 1113 he was sentenced to life in prison at Castle Wareham, Dorset.

Rob, Chairperson, Franc B, First Secretary, Hugo, Lydia Giles, Martin Tilston (all in personal capacity)
Nov/12/2005, 7:53 am Link to this post Send Email to thewilliam theredforum2002   Send PM to thewilliam theredforum2002
 
mousteriana Profile
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Re: Robert de Belleme


All:

Uh, well, Robert Belleme was supposed to have been of horribly bad character. It didn't help that his mother Mabel was supposed to have been of equally bad character and she was supposed to have been killed by four men seeking revenge, while she was bathing.
Anne G
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Re: Robert de Belleme


Rob et alia great posting!Belleme is one of those characters who points up a prob that the Conqueror and the Red with their revolutionist strategy-driven visions always had to grapple with which is how to form a type of cadre in their leadership which could act as a transmission belt between them and those who committed to The Norman Revolution but who vacillated when severely tested by the implementation of those visions. The Conqueror's 1087 last day at St Gervais Priory being the supreme example for him and Aquitaine 1099 concerning the [sign in to see URL] about the "export or die" imperative that was imprinted on the Revolution from 1058 onward and which at each turn in the viscissitudes of historical situations that followed constantly demanded the Conqueror and the Red's revolutionist leadership cadres to rise to ever greater demands or sink in ignominy to become the prey of Counter-Revolution which by its very nature did not come in a rush but evolved advancing (Gerberoi) or retreating (arrest of Odo de Bayeux at Carisbroke Castle 1082).From my view Belleme was always putting his interests above those of the Revolution only when they coincided sporadically was he moved to commit to [sign in to see URL] kind of retrograde strategy and tactics ultimately leads to the situation he found himself in viz-a-vis Beauclerc where having served his purpose he was duly dispatched to [sign in to see URL] to tell the Revolution was very much external to him despite the incredible bravery he showed at Fresnay as early as 1073. Was it a failure of leadership by the Conqueror and the Red that they did not consistently form such reliable cadres to transmit their vision to the vacillators some of whom turned counter-revolutionary as a result? From my view the answer is No. They had enough on their hands to lead those who were committed than to reach out to those elements who were just there "to occupy space" instead of aim to be first into the [sign in to see URL] Belleme was there for the Revolution he gave his utmost when he wasnt he was a vacillating liability, a danger to the Revolution and easy meat to those Counter-Revolutionists like Courtheuse,Odo etc who consistently knew exactly what they wanted.
CT, Vice-Chairperson (personal capacity)
Nov/13/2005, 1:39 pm Link to this post Send Email to thewilliam theredforum2002   Send PM to thewilliam theredforum2002
 
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Re: Robert de Belleme


CT and all:

It seems to me you kinda miss the point here. The trouble both Williams and Henry I had wasn't just with Belleme(although he was among the more spectacular). Most or all of those lords were pretty much "out for themselves". Some just managed to cover this greed up better than others.
Anne G
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Re: Robert de Belleme


All: The problem really starts with Fitzosbern in the build up to Senlac. If the Conqueror was diverted in giving the necessary leadership that would "construct" a type of cadre who would be the link to those who were out for themselves, which I do not consider the majority since the revolutionary cluniacist process in Normandy from Varaville forward demanded a collective identity in step with the trajectory of the Revolution Councils of Lillebonne and Bonneville-sur-Epte notwithstanding emoticon
That Fitzosbern was the leading figure after the Conqueror in that build-up is something that is [sign in to see URL] was that [sign in to see URL] fact that in the most significant months after Senlac he blocked with Odo de Bayeux during the Conqueror's return to Normandy in a partnership that did not provide the continuity in leadership that was demanded by the Conqueror was the central factor in Fitzosbern being sent by him on mission impossible to rescue Richildis in 1071 at Cassel from the most formidable warrior in Europe after the Conqueror, Robert Le Frison.
That was a central defeat for the Conqueror in "constructing" that cadre.
Belleme emerges at Fresnay in 1073 on the heels of Fitzosbern's demise. It doesn't surprise me that instead of gravitating towards Warenne he chose the survivor Bayeux and his followers.
Lets be accurate with choosing Warenne as the prototype of the sort of cadre needed. His revolutionist cluniacist credentials are impeccable and he certainly had a following but whether that was sufficient to call them "link cadres"??

S. Walsh (personal capacity)
Nov/20/2005, 2:54 pm Link to this post Send Email to thewilliam theredforum2002   Send PM to thewilliam theredforum2002
 
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Re: Robert de Belleme


Steve,
I would not hesitate to give William de Warenne that title.
In my opinion if there was any greater proof than his devotion to Cluniacism and a deed that he has never been sufficiently esteemed from historians for: his leading part in the suppression of the Counter-Revolution of 1075.
De Gael was the leading element in that event and a formidable opponent who some would have thought twice about [sign in to see URL] [sign in to see URL] gave leadership to Lanfranc who lacked a certain military technique and made sure of victory.
I believe that had he been at Dol in the following year the Conqueror would not have been forced to retreat before De Gael's "infamous alliance" emoticon The question of such a type of cadre has a high-profile bearing on the course of The Norman Revolution.
But I believe it should not be a "totem" to obscure what was achieved by the Conqueror and the Red's leadership at its most fundamental source which even the Counter-Revolution of 1100 could not extirpate.

Franc B , First Secretary (personal capacity)

Last edited by thewilliam theredforum2002, Dec/2/2005, 8:05 pm
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Xavier9 Profile
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Re: Robert de Belleme


I find this thread illuminating and [sign in to see URL] was fickle in his loyalties and was more for Beauclerc in the scramble to succeed his brother as king than the [sign in to see URL] this reason I do not see him as compatible with the other collaborators [sign in to see URL] what are "link cadres"?
Jun/25/2015, 11:34 am Link to this post Send Email to Xavier9   Send PM to Xavier9
 


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