Sir Robert 'le Bossu' de Beaumont 2nd Earl of Leicester
- Born: 1104, Leicester, Leicestershire, England
- Marriage: Amice de (Uta) Gael (Waiet) Countess of Leicester after Nov 1120 in Brittany, France
- Died: 5 Apr 1168, England at age 64
- Buried: Leicester Abbey, Leicester, Leicestershire, England
Robert de Beaumont, 2nd Earl of Leicester (1104 - 5 April 1168), also known as Robert "Le Bossu" (meaning "Robert the Uneven" in French), was an English nobleman of French ancestry. He was the son of Robert de Beaumont, 1st Earl of Leicester and Elizabeth de Vermandois, the twin brother of Waleran de Beaumont.
The two brothers, Robert and Waleran, were adopted into the royal household shortly after their father's death (upon which instance Robert inherited all of his father's hereditary titles, chiefly Earl of Leicester). They accompanied King Henry I among various missions, firstly to Normandy, then to meet with Pope Callixtus II in 1119. In 1135, the two twins were present at King Henry's deathbed; the monarch's death led to The Anarchy (under the weak rule of King Stephen), and Robert eventually captured his rival, Roger de Tosny. In June of 1139, the inseparable brothers led the actions against Roger of Salisbury (the Bishop of Salisbury) and Alexander (the Bishop of Lincoln); the former was killed in December of that year, while the latter survived for eight more years.
King Stephen had taken the two brothers as his personal advisors; the two brothers remained in his confidence for several decades. However, after Stephen's compromise with his cousin, Matilda (wherein Henry, Matilda's son, would succeed Stephen as king), the twins provided Henry, soon to be crowned Henry II of England, with "means for his struggle." Thereafter, the brothers were in the new monarch's confidence, as evidenced by Robert's appointment as chief justiciar and as a hereditary steward; eventually, he bought out Hugh Bigod, 1st Earl of Norfolk (another noble who enjoyed the confidence of the crown) and is considered the first Lord High Steward of England. Robert enjoyed a high status in Henry's court, even acting as head of the kingdom (in a vice-regal capacity) for a time. His name appeared at the top of the Constitutions of Clarendon, and he was present at the Council of Northampton.
He founded, in addition to St. Mary de Pré, the abbey of Garendon, the monastery of Nuneaton, the priory of Lusfield, and the hospital of Brackley, and was a liberal benefactor to many other houses.
Family and children
He married Amice de Montfort, daughter of Raoul, senior of Gael et of Montfort. They had four children:
1. Hawise, who married William Fitz Robert, 2nd Earl of Gloucester;
2. Robert de Beaumont, 3rd Earl of Leicester;
3. Isabel, who married with:
1. Simon II of St Liz, 4th Earl of Huntingdon and Northampton;
2. Gervase Paynel of Dudley.
4. Margaret, who married Ralph V de Tosny
Robert married Amice de (Uta) Gael (Waiet) Countess of Leicester, daughter of Ralph de Waiet Seigneur Of Gael & Earl Of Norfolk and Emma (Avise) Fitzosborne, after Nov 1120 in Brittany, France. (Amice de (Uta) Gael (Waiet) Countess of Leicester was born about 1108 in Norfolk, Norfolk, England.)