Robert I, Duke of Burgundy

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Robert I
Duke of Burgundy
SuccessorHugh I
Died(1076-03-21)21 March 1076
SpouseHelie of Semur
Ermengarde of Anjou
Henry of Burgundy
Constance, Queen of León
Hildegarde, Duchess of Aquitaine
HouseHouse of Capet
House of Burgundy (founder)
FatherRobert II of France
MotherConstance of Arles

Robert I (1011 – 21 March 1076), known as Robert the Old and "Old French: Tête-Hardi, lit.'the Headstrong'", was Duke of Burgundy from 1032 to his death. Robert was the son of King Robert II of France and Constance of Arles.[1] His brother was Henry I of France.


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 of her father, 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,[1] about 1033, and repudiated her in 1048. Helie was the daughter of Dalmas I of Semur. Robert and Helie had five children:

  1. Hugh (1034–1059),[1] killed in battle
  2. Henry (1035–ca.1074).[1] 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 (1040–1113),[1] poisoned; married Violante, daughter of Roger I of Sicily
  4. Simon (1045–1087)
  5. Constance (1046–1093), married Alfonso VI of León and Castile[1]

From his second wife, Ermengarde,[3] daughter of Fulk III of Anjou, he had one daughter:

  1. Hildegarde (c.1056–1104), married William VIII of Aquitaine[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Bouchard 1987, p. 256.
  2. ^ Hallam 1980, p. 30.
  3. ^ Duby 1981, p. 90.


  • Bouchard, Constance Brittain (1987). Sword, Miter, and Cloister: Nobility and the Church of Burgundy, 980-1198. Cornell University Press.
  • Duby, Georges (1981). The Knight, the Lady and the Priest. University of Chicago Press.
  • Hallam, Elizabeth (1980). Capetian France:987-1328. Longman Group Ltd.
  • Gwatking, H. M., Whitney, J. P., et al. Cambridge Medieval History: Volume III—Germany and the Western Empire. Cambridge University Press: London, 1930.
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