Robert de Vieuxpont

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Arms of Vipont: Gules, six annulets or. Adopted at the start of the age of heraldry (circa 1200-1215). These arms were later quartered by Baron de Clifford
Brougham Castle, built by Robert de Vieuxpont

Robert de Vieuxpont (died 1227/8) (alias Vipont, also Veteripont Latinized to de Vetere Ponte ("from the Old Bridge")) was an Anglo-Norman landowner and administrator in the north of England.


He was born the younger son of William de Vieuxpont and his wife Maud de Morville.


He entered royal service and was initially employed in Normandy as a paymaster of troops and director of military works, including those on Rouen Castle. He was rewarded in February 1203 by being given custody of Appleby Castle and Brough Castle, to which the lordship of Westmorland was added a month later, together with the office of Sheriff of Westmorland, to be held in perpetuity by his heirs.

After returning from Normandy with King John in late 1203 Vieuxpont became increasingly involved in northern administration. In October 1204 he became High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and the Royal Forests including control of Nottingham Castle, an important power base and store of the royal treasury. In 1206 he was a justice and assessor of tallage in the northern counties, in 1207 he was given custody of the See of York, and in April 1208 custody of the See of Durham. From 1210 to 1216 he was Sheriff of Devon and from 1210-1213 Sheriff of Wiltshire. He was highly trusted by King John, who put in his care both his treasury, his son Richard and his niece Eleanor, Fair Maid of Brittany. In 1216 he was also entrusted with the custody of Carlisle Castle, and from 1217 to 1222 was appointed Sheriff of Cumberland. He successfully defended his extensive landholdings from Scottish depredation, and built Brougham Castle in the process.

Marriage and children[edit]

In 1213 he married Idoine de Builli, the daughter of John de Builli, a descendant of Roger de Busli, which match brought him more land and honours. By Idonea he had children:

  • John Vipont (died 1242), who left children:
    • John Vipont (died 1241)
    • Robert de Vieuxpont (died 1264), who died from wounds received at the Battle of Lewes (1264) fighting on the side of Simon de Montfort. Following the defeat of de Montfort at the Battle of Evesham in 1265 and the return of King Henry III to power, Robert II's estate was seized by the Crown, but was later returned as part of a settlement with the reform leaders, and the Vieuxpont inheritance was divided in moieties between the daughters and co-heiresses of Robert II – Isabella and Idonea. On the death of Idonea Vipont her moiety was regained by Isabella's husband Roger de Clifford, who thenceforth held one of the greatest northern lordships, ancestor of Robert de Clifford, 1st Baron de Clifford (c. 1274 – 1314), Feudal baron of Skipton.
  • Christiana Vipont, whom her father married off to his ward Thomas de Greystoke, son and heir of William de Greystoke, baron of Greystoke in Cumberland.


In 1227 he bequeathed his body and his estate at Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, to the Knights Templar, and died at some time before 1 February 1228.

See also[edit]