The career of Robert of Thurnham, 1191-1211
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This thesis examines the career of Robert II of Thurnham a high ranking curial official, whose career in the royal service spanned the reigns of both Richard I [1189-1199] and John [1199-1216]. The thesis begins by examining Robert’s modest, if not humble, family background, before moving on to examine his career in the royal service. The thesis treats Robert’s curial career in broadly chronological order, starting with his activities on the Third Crusade [1191-2], and then examining his activities as seneschal of Anjou [1195-99], and later as seneschal of Poitou [1201-1204/5]. The thesis concludes by examining such factors as the rewards Robert received for his services to the crown, and the way in which these rewards affected his relationship with the wider Angevin society. This final chapter also attempts to provide more accurate dates, than have hitherto been offered, for the foundations of the religious houses that Robert established, by providing a detailed analysis of the surviving charter evidence, not all of which has been published. It also examines his controversial relationship with the Abbey of Meaux, and his relationship with his brother Stephen, and other prominent curiales. Two appendices are included. The first takes the form of an itinerary for Robert’s life, with the second examining the value to a study of Robert’s life of Peter of Langtoft’s ‘Chronicle’ and Thomas Burton’s ‘Meaux Chronicle’.
Thesis, MPhil Master of Philosophy
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