Robert de Limesey

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Robert de Limesey
Bishop of Coventry
Church Roman Catholic Church
Province Canterbury
Appointed 25 December 1085
Term ended 1 September 1117
Successor Robert Peche
Other posts royal chaplain
Consecration 1086
Personal details
Died 1 September 1117
Previous post Bishop of Chester

Robert de Limesey (or Robert de Limesy, Robert de Limesi or Robert of Limesy; died 1117) was a medieval cleric. He became Bishop of Chester in 1085, then his title changed to Bishop of Coventry when the see was moved in 1102.[1]

Robert was a chaplain to King William I of England before the king nominated Robert to the see of Chester on 25 December 1085.[2] He may have come from a baronial family, as his surname derives from a territorial location.[3] Robert was consecrated in 1086.[1] At some point during the last years of Archbishop Lanfranc of Canterbury, Robert took over the abbey of Coventry as the seat of his bishopric, and managed to establish himself there permanently after Lanfranc's death. Coventry was a wealthy abbey, richer than Chester, and by making Coventry the cathedral, Robert increased the revenue of his see by a large amount.[4]

In 1102, Robert was one of the bishops, along with Gerard, Archbishop of York and Herbert de Losinga, the Bishop of Norwich, who returned from Rome and told King Henry I of England that Pope Paschal II had told them privately that Henry could invest bishops as in the past, provided they were good men. This was during the height of the Investiture Crisis, and the pope later denied the story.[5] Robert had been part of a royal delegation to the papal curia to seek a resolution to the dispute between the king and archbishop Anselm of Canterbury over lay investiture. Robert also had business of his own at Rome, as he had sought permission from the pope to relocate his see from Chester to Coventry.[6] Robert's effort to secure papal permission for the relocation of his see was successful.[7] But, not only did the pope deny Robert's story, Pascal excommunicated all three bishops.[8] Along with William Giffard, Bishop of Winchester; Samson, Bishop of Worcester; Ralph Luffa, Bishop of Chichester; Gerard, Archbishop of York; and Herbert de Losinga, Robert in 1106 wrote to Anselm, who was then in exile over the investiture crisis, asking the archbishop to return to England.[9] In 1106, with the settlement between the pope and the king, the pope pardoned Robert and the other bishops.[10]

Robert died on 1 September 1117.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 253
  2. ^ Barlow English Church p. 64
  3. ^ Barlow William Rufus pp. 178–179
  4. ^ Knowles Monastic Order p. 132
  5. ^ Barlow English Church pp. 299–300
  6. ^ Hollister Henry I p. 150
  7. ^ Vaughn Anselm of Bec and Robert of Meulan p. 241
  8. ^ Vaughn Anselm of Bec and Robert of Meulan p. 244
  9. ^ Cantor Church, Kingship, and Lay Investiture pp. 255–256 and footnote 134
  10. ^ Barlow English Church p. 301


  • Barlow, Frank (1979). The English Church 1066–1154: A History of the Anglo-Norman Church. New York: Longman. ISBN 0-582-50236-5. 
  • Barlow, Frank (1983). William Rufus. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-04936-5. 
  • Cantor, Norman F. (1958). Church, Kingship, and Lay Investiture in England 1089–1135. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. OCLC 186158828. 
  • Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I. (1996). Handbook of British Chronology (Third revised ed.). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-56350-X. 
  • Hollister, C. Warren (2001). Frost, Amanda Clark, ed. Henry I. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-08858-2. 
  • Knowles, David (1976). The Monastic Order in England: A History of its Development from the Times of St. Dunstan to the Fourth Lateran Council, 940–1216 (Second reprint ed.). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-05479-6. 
  • Vaughn, Sally N. (1987). Anselm of Bec and Robert of Meulan: The Innocence of the Dove and the Wisdom of the Serpent. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-05674-4. 

Further reading[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Bishop of Chester
See moved to Coventry
New title Bishop of Coventry
Succeeded by
Robert Peche