Robert (Evreux)

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Robert called the Dane ( le Danois , * between 967 and 974; † 1037 ) from the Rolloniden family was Archbishop of Rouen from 989 and Count of Évreux from 996. He was a son of Richard I , Duke of Normandy , and the Dane (hence the nickname) Gunnora .

His father made him Archbishop of Rouen, the most important ecclesiastical office in Normandy, at a young age. The historian Wilhelm von Jumièges reports that the clerics resisted the appointment as long as the duke refused to marry his lover Gunnora. Richard finally gave in and married Gunnora.

A few years later, in 996, the year his father died, Robert was given the county of Évreux, and in this dual role he was now the most powerful person at the Norman court after his brother Richard II , the new duke.

As Count of Évreux, he took the right to marry. He took Herleve as his wife, perhaps a daughter of Turstin the Rich , from whom he had several children, including Richard , who succeeded him in Évreux, and Raoul de Gacé . Even taking into account that the Gregorian reforms to celibacy made later to duty, married bishops were at that time already the exception. The historian François Neveux writes that Robert was a more secular than a spiritual archbishop .

In the late 1020s, Robert began enlarging Rouen Cathedral . In addition, we know from the excavations of the archaeologist Jacques Le Maho that he began to convert his castle in Gravenchon into a country residence at the beginning of the 11th century . As a patron of the arts, he gathered a literary circle around him. Dudo de Saint-Quentin and the satirist Garnier de Rouen dedicated some works to him.

In 1027 his nephew Robert I the Magnificent took over the government in Normandy, and he soon got into an argument with Robert the Dane for unknown reasons. Archbishop Robert had to leave Rouen and retired with a few knights to Évreux , where he was besieged by the duke. After some resistance, Robert the Dane went to France, where he pronounced the Duke's excommunication - a measure that probably brought the Duke to his knees. Uncle and nephew reached an understanding, the archbishop returned to the ducal court and there even became one of the most important advisers in the duchy - a position that was strengthened when Robert the Magnificent died in 1035, leaving behind a child, Archbishop William II Robert was the strong man of Normandy until his death in 1037.


  • François Neveux and Pierre Bouet: Les évêques normands du XIe siècle. Actes du colloque de Cerisy-la-Salle (1993). Presses Universitaires de Caen, 1995.


  1. ^ François Neveux: La Normandie, des ducs aux rois Xe-XIIe siècle . Ouest France, 1998, ISBN 978-2-7373-0985-4 , pp. 275 . (French)
predecessor Office successor
Hugo von Cavalcamp Archbishop of Rouen
Mauger of Normandy
–– Count of Évreux