Robert de Vitré, Lord of Tillars

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Robert de Vitré

Also Known As: "de Vitrei", "Robert II Seigneur de Vitré"
Birthplace: Vitre, Ille-et-Vilaine, Britagne, France
Death: November 22, 1161 (65-74)
Vitré, Ille-et-Vilaine, Bretagne, France
Immediate Family:

Son of Andre, seigneur de Vitré and Agnès de Mortagne
Husband of Constance de Mayenne, Lady; Christina de Somery and Emma de la Guerche
Father of Sir Roger de Somery and Robert de Vitré, III, Lord of Tillars
Brother of Hawise de Ferrieres, Countess of Derby; Eudes de Vitré, count of Rethel and Marquise de Vitré

Occupation: Seigneur de de Tillars
Managed by: James Fred Patin, Jr.
Last Updated:

About Robert de Vitré, Lord of Tillars

  • Medlands 12 Aug 2022 update: "Brittany: Nantes, Porhoet, Rennes":
  • a) ROBERT [II] de Vitré. A charter dated to [1110] records that "Andreas dominus Vitriaci castri et frater eius Philippus et uxor ipsius Andreæ…Agnes, cum filiis suis Roberto, Gervasio et Elia" confirmed the foundation of Sainte-Croix de Vitré[864]. Seigneur de Vitré.
  • m as her second husband, EMMA de la Guerche, widow of JUHAEL Seigneur de Châteaubriand, daughter of GAUTHIER Hay Seigneur de la Guerche & his wife --- (-after 1 Apr 1161). "Robertus dominus Vitreii" granted property to Sauvigny with the consent of "Andrea filio meo et Emma matre mea et Emma uxore mea" by charter dated 1 Apr 1161[865]. Le Baud records that “Gaultier Hay sieur de la Guerche, homme lige de André de Vitré” had three daughters of whom the eldest “Emmé” married firstly “Iuhael fils Thechel de Chasteaubriand” and secondly Robert de Vitré[866].
  • The primary source which confirms her parentage has not been identified. Robert [II] & his wife had two children:
  • i) ANDRE ([1123/24]-28 Jun 1145, bur Notre-Dame de Vitré). Le Baud names “André” as oldest son of Robert de Vitré and his wife and records his death “IV Kal Jul” 1145 and his burial “ou chapitre de nostre Dame de Vitré”[867]. The primary source which confirms this information has not been identified.
  • ii) ROBERT [III] de Vitré (-11 Nov 1173). Le Baud names “Robert” as second son of Robert de Vitré and his wife[868]. The primary source which confirms his parentage has not been identified. Seigneur de Vitré.

fr.Wikipédia "Robert II de Vitré" – auto-translation:

Robert II of Vitré called the Old, born in 1095 and died after 1154 is a baron of Vitré and count of Mortain of the twelfth century. Barely became lord at the death of his father, he was expelled from Vitré by Conan III, before returning definitively 9 years later.

Origins and Count of Mortain

He was the son of André Ide Vitré and his wife, Agnès de Mortain. The marriage was concluded around 1091, after Robert de Mortain, father of Agnes, had been captured by the Vitrean lord. The latter, who defended the north of the Vendelais from the raids of the Norman count, agreed, in fact, to release the captive, under several conditions, including his marriage to Emma de Mortain. The latter finally marrying William IV of Toulouse, it is indeed Agnès de Mortain who was married to André de Vitré1.

In 1106, Count Guillaume de Mortain, son of Robert, was deposed, because of his opposition to Henry IBeauclerc. At the same time, Andrew I was a comrade-in-arms and vassal of the English sovereign as Lord of Triggshire, and his marriage to the daughter of the previous Earl of Mortain gave him legitimacy over the Norman county.1. It was finally granted to André's son, Robert de Vitré, then barely eleven years old.

The reign of Robert II de Mortain was nevertheless short-lived, since Henry I ceded the county in 1112 to his nephew and future king of England, Stephen of Blois. Almost nothing is known about Robert's six-year reign at Mortain, his name appearing only in a few charters of Savigny.2.

Accession to power and war against the Duke of Brittany

In 1135, Baron Andrew I died, Robert II inheriting his fief. In the weeks that followed, helped by some Vitreans, Conan III came to take Vitré by surprise, by "treason", according to Arthur de La Borderie3. The Breton sovereign had already made himself master of Vitré three years earlier, before quickly returning the city to its owner but, this time the occupation was intended to be permanent.4. A close friend of the duke, a certain Goranton, was then placed at the head of the barony.5.

Taking refuge with his relative Henri de Fougères in 1137, Robert de Vitré "made frequent and disastrous incursions into his former barony: he ravaged the Vendelais" (according to Louis Du Bois). Against the control of part of the forest of Rennes and the village of Gahard, the Baron de Fougères drives out his cousin, pushing him to retire to Maine, to Mayenne.4. Here again, an agreement between Duke Conan and Lord Juhel, made at Montautour, pushed Robert to flee to his cousin Gui de Laval. Still according to Louis Du Bois, the deposed baron "fell unexpectedly and caused the greatest damage" to the castles of La Gravelle and Launay-Villiers, where he retreated for a few months.6,7. Again expelled, he left Laval to take refuge with his brother-in-law Guillaume de Châteaubriant, lord of La Guerche and first son of Emme de La Guerche, whom she had had from a first marriage with Juhel de Châteaubriant.

Conan of Brittany took advantage of this opportunity to besiege La Guerche, positioning his ost near the bridge of Visseiche. Cousin and ally of the duke, Count Geoffrey V of Anjou came to his aid and arrived between La Selle and Moutiers, only a few leagues from the besiegers6. Seeing the noose tightening, Guillaume de Châteaubriant and Robert de Vitré, supported by Thibault de Mathefelon and the Lord of Candé, ambushed in the forest of La Guerche, attacked by surprise the ducal forces, before they could receive the recourse of the Angevins. The victory of the coalitionists was, according to Lobineau, "total", Conan retreating hastily to Châteaugiron and the lords of Raix and Malestroit being captured.4. In addition, Geoffrey of Anjou, learning of his cousin's defeat, withdrew to Angers.

According to Dom Morice and Pierre Le Baud, Robert recovered his barony, thanks to some Vitreans giving him the wax imprint of the keys of the City. They were, in fact, among those who had offered Vitré to Conan and then had remorse. According to Louis Du Bois, they went to seek absolution from Pope Luce II, which makes it possible to date the return of the baron to Vitré5. We know, indeed, thanks to Pierre Le Baud, that Robert de Vitré recovered his fief on December 4, so certainly in 1144, since Luce II died in February 1145.

The baron would have started to war again the following year, attacking Juhel II of Mayenne, whose betrayal a few years earlier had amputated the barony of some parishes.3.

Goranton and Hervé, barons of Vitré

During the absence of Robert the Old in Vitré between 1135 and 1144, two barons of the competing line of Goranton-Hervé succeeded one another whose ancestor Goranton Iis mentioned in 1030: a certain Goranton III, son of Hervé II (around 1093), to whom some charters give a Geoffrey for brother. His son, Hervé III, succeeded him at an unknown date. His wife is Sézillia and another Goranton IV (c. 1075) is said to have been son. The last representative of this family Agnes, daughter of Goranton V (around 1225) married in 1240 Guillaume de Fontenay a simple knight (miles) 8. These two lords appear in various acts of donation in favor of religious buildings in the region5.

Revolt of Robert the Younger and exile to Marmoutier

Robert II's son, Robert the Younger, revolted against him in 1154, in order to recover the fief of Vitré early. According to "La Chronique de Vitré" by Pierre Le Baud, the future Robert III "entered Bourg-aux-Moines, where he seized the church of Sainte-Croix and had it enclosed with the circuit around, as well as the ditches of the old chasteau are contained (the ditches of the primitive castle). And then his father was in his hall (that is to say, in the "modern" castle, built by Robert IER); but so Robert the Younger gathered all his power, and assaulted the chastelet and besieged his father.3" Defeated, Robert the Old appealed to Eudon de Porhoët, who put an end to the war and made Robert the Younger, the master of Vitré.4.

Exiled, Robert II died in Marmoutier on 22 April.

Union and posterity

According to Arthur Bertrand de Broussillon, Robert had three children from his marriage to Emme de La Guerche9 :
Robert the Younger, Baron of Vitré from c. 1154 to 1173 ;

This descent is partially confirmed by the Medieval Lands website gives him only two sons.10 :
Andrew (born c. 1123/1124 died 28 June 1145) ;
Robert the Younger.

In his recent study Frédéric Morvan, gives him a significantly different offspring11 :
Robert the Younger ;

Robert De Vitre II
BIRTH 1091
DEATH May 1161 (aged 69–70)
Burial Details Unknown
MEMORIAL ID 91302062

Family Members
Andre De Vitre I
Agnes De Mortain De Vitre

Emma De Vitre
1099 – unknown

Hawise De Vitre

Matilda "Maud" De Vitre De Pomeroy
Robert III de Vitré
unknown–1173 ·
Marquise de Vitré, first married Hugh I de Craon then Hugues DE Mathefelon ;
Havoise de Vitré, wife of Robert de Ferrières or Ferrers (died 1139) 1st Earl of Derby12.

Also see "My Lines" ( )

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Robert de Vitré, Lord of Tillars's Timeline

Vitre, Ille-et-Vilaine, Britagne, France
Essex, England
Vitre, Ille-et-Vilaine, Bretagne, France
November 22, 1161
Age 70
Vitré, Ille-et-Vilaine, Bretagne, France