|The Reign of William the Conqueror|
The revolts of Robert Curthose
When he received the Duchy of Normandy from his dying father, Robert Curthose finally obtained from his father the share of the domains that he had been seeking from him since 1077.
Robert was born in 1052 and received as a child the title of Count of Maine. Robert established his authority over Le Mans (1062), but remained in the shadow of his father. In 1066, however, William named him as his successor, and required on his behalf the oath of the barons. The Duke combined Robert's name with that of Matilda for the regency of the Duchy during his expedition to England. After William's victory, Robert received no titles in England. In Normandy, he accompanied his father at the main ceremonies, but had no real power.
Robert's attitude was that of the companions with whom he surrounded himself, bearing witness to the changes brought by the conquest. The contribution of the booty enriched the aristocracy and the example of the more refined Anglo-Saxon court changed the austere practices of the Norman barons. Robert Curthose sought to obtain from his father the means of showing his rank, and in the face of the reluctance of the Duke-King to share his power, Robert rebelled (1077). He offered himself to the service of his enemies and then exiled himself to a life of adventure.
Returning to the authority of his father, he finally received a title in 1080 for the re-establishment of order in the County of Durham, imposing Norman authority over the King of Scotland. On this occasion he founded the fortress of Newcastle, but shortly after this he abandoned his duties and set off in search of adventure. He only returned to Normandy on the death of his father.