Robert de Brus

 

Born: It is assumed that Robert de Brus, the founder of the Brus family in England and Scotland was born at Brix in Western Normandy. From the known dates in his life, it seems probable that he was born in the 1070s.

 

Educated: Someone of his family background is likely to have the training given to a young man who was destined for knighthood.

 

Married: Robert de Brus married Agnes, possibly Agnes de Sourdeval of the Sourdeval family that had 55 manors in Yorkshire and held Skelton Castle before the de Bruses.

 

Family: Robert and Agnes de Brus had two sons, Adam and Robert, and a daughter, Agatha. It was their second son Robert who began the Scottish line that later produced Robert Bruce, King of Scotland.

 

Home: From Brix in Normandy, Robert de Brus settled in Yorkshire at Castleton in Eskdale. Later he established his principal seat at Skelton Castle. He also spent some time in Scotland where he forged a close relationship with King David.

 

Known for: Through almost all of Henry I’s reign, Robert de Brus was lord of Cleveland, a position that he owed entirely to the king’s patronage. In 1119 Robert de Brus founded the Augustinian priory at Guisborough and the Benedictine priory at Middlesbrough. In about 1124 Henry I sent him to Scotland to help consolidate King David’s hold over his kingdom. David seems to have had a high regard for Robert. In 1138 when civil war broke out between King Stephen and the Empress Matilda, King David of Scotland and Robert de Brus took opposite sides. De Brus was one of the military leaders at the Battle of the Standard near Northallerton where King David was defeated.

 

Died: Robert de Brus died in 1142.

 

Further Information:  “The Brus Family in England and Scotland 1100-1995” Ruth M. Blakely: “Henry I’s ‘New Men’ in North Yorkshire part 2’ G.S.Braddy in “Cleveland History” vol. 98 (2010)