Robert the Lotharingian
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Robert the Lotharingian
Robert the Lotharingian
Bishop of Hereford
Appointedbefore 29 December 1079
Term ended26 June 1095
Ordinationbefore 29 December 1079
by Wulfstan, Bishop of Worcester
Consecration29 December 1079
by Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury
Personal details
Died26 June 1095
BuriedHereford Cathedral
DenominationRoman Catholic Church
Previous postprobably a canon of Liège

Robert the Lotharingian[a] (died 26 June 1095) was a priest who became Bishop of Hereford following the Norman Conquest of England. His writings serve as one of the best sources for information on the process of compiling the Domesday Book, and he may have introduced the abacus to England.


Robert was a native of Lorraine[1] and probably a canon of St. Lambert's Cathedral, Liège before coming to England,[2] and may have been educated at the cathedral school there also.[3] The school at Liege specialized in mathematics, which later became a specialty of Robert's. His name is often given as Robert de Losinga, but the earliest evidence gives it as Robert the Lotharingian. His birthdate is unknown, but it was probably before 1049.[4]

Robert may have arrived in England by the 1050s,[3] or perhaps after the Norman Conquest. Arguments have been presented on both sides.[4] King William the Conqueror's appointment of Robert was somewhat unusual, not just because he was not a Norman, but because he was not a religious scholar, but was an astronomer and mathematician.[1][5] Robert was ordained as a priest by Wulfstan, Bishop of Worcester sometime before 29 December 1079.[2] Robert was consecrated as the Bishop of Hereford by Lanfranc on 29 December 1079[2][6] at Canterbury.[4]

Robert brought the chronicle of Marianus Scotus to England,[1] but it had little effect on historical writing in England,[7] beyond the use that Florence of Worcester made of it.[8] Robert inserted into his own copy of Marianus, a notice about the Domesday Book survey, that is one of the best sources for information on the process of Domesday.[9] His only other work that survives is a small introduction to Marianus' chronicle that corrects a few errors and discusses computation.[4] He was also known as a mathematician and astrologer,[10] and brought continental learning into his diocese.[5] He was also familiar with the abacus,[11] and some historians feel he helped introduce it into England.[12] Others, though, disagree and feel that the use of the abacus was known before this time in England.[13] He was good friends with Wulfstan, Bishop of Worcester and it was Robert that buried the future saint.[10] It may be that Robert gave Wulfstan a copy of Marianus' chronicle, which allowed the monks at Worcester to use it in their own works.[8] Robert was also friends with Osmund, who was Bishop of Salisbury.[14]

Robert was present at the Council of Rockingham in February 1095, which dealt with the conflict between King William II of England and Anselm, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Robert sided with the king against the archbishop.[15] Afterwards, however, Robert and Osmund, the Bishop of Salisbury, were reconciled with Anselm.[16]

Robert died on 26 June 1095.[6] He was buried in Hereford Cathedral.[4] He built a chapel at Hereford Cathedral, basing it on the church at Aachen.[4][17] This was a two-tier chapel of a type reserved for royalty or archbishops in Germany.[3] He also improved the financial condition of his diocese, although it remained poor.[18]


  1. ^ Also known as Robert de Losinga and Robert of Lorraine


  1. ^ a b c Welborn "Lotharingia" Isis p. 197
  2. ^ a b c Barrow Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066-1300: Volume 8: Hereford: Bishops
  3. ^ a b c Mason William II pp. 76-77
  4. ^ a b c d e f Barrow "Robert the Lotharingian" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  5. ^ a b Barlow English Church pp. 63-64
  6. ^ a b Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 250
  7. ^ Bartlett England Under the Norman and Angevin Kings p. 621
  8. ^ a b Barlow English Church p. 15
  9. ^ Chibnall Anglo-Norman England pp. 110-111
  10. ^ a b Williams English and the Norman Conquest p. 149
  11. ^ Chibnall Anglo-Norman England p. 124
  12. ^ Brooke "Diocese of Hereford" Churches and Churchmen p. 32
  13. ^ Evans "Schools and Scholars" English Historical Review p. 77
  14. ^ Cantor Church, Kingship, and Lay Investiture pp. 36-37
  15. ^ Vaughn Anselm of Bec pp. 180-182 and p. 182 footnote 158
  16. ^ Cantor Church, Kinship, and Lay Investiture p. 95
  17. ^ Barlow English Church p. 259
  18. ^ Mason William II p. 139


  • Barlow, Frank (1979). The English Church 1066-1154: A History of the Anglo-Norman Church. New York: Longman. ISBN 0-582-50236-5.
  • Barrow, J. S. (2002). Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066-1300: Volume 8: Hereford: Bishops. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 2007.
  • Barrow, Julia (2004). "Robert the Lotharingian (d. 1095)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/17026. Retrieved 2008.(subscription or UK public library membership required)
  • Bartlett, Robert C. (2000). England Under the Norman and Angevin Kings: 1075-1225. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-822741-8.
  • Brooke, C. N. L. (1999). "The Diocese of Hereford, 676-1200". Churches and Churchmen in Medieval Europe. London: Hambledon Press. pp. 19-36. ISBN 1-85285-183-X.
  • Cantor Norman F. (1958). Church, Kingship, and Lay Investiture in England 1089-1135. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
  • Chibnall, Marjorie (1986). Anglo-Norman England 1066-1166. Oxford, UK: Basil Blackwell Publishers. ISBN 0-631-15439-6.
  • Evans, Gillian R. (January 1979). "Schools and Scholars: The Study of the Abacus in English Schools c. 980-c 1150". The English Historical Review. 94 (370): 71-89. doi:10.1093/ehr/XCIV.CCCLXX.71. JSTOR 567158.
  • Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I. (1996). Handbook of British Chronology (Third revised ed.). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-56350-X.
  • Mason, Emma (2005). William II: Rufus, the Red King. Stroud, UK: Tempus. ISBN 0-7524-3528-0.
  • Vaughn, Sally N. (1987). Anselm of Bec and Robert of Meulan: The Innocence of the Dove and the Wisdom of the Serpent. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-05674-4.
  • Welborn, Mary Catherine (November 1931). "Lotharingia as a Center of Arabic and Scientific Influence in the Eleventh Century". Isis. 16 (2): 188-199. doi:10.1086/346608. JSTOR 224707.
  • Williams, Ann (2000). The English and the Norman Conquest. Ipswich, UK: Boydell Press. ISBN 0-85115-708-4.

Further reading

  • Moreton, Jennifer (1995). "Before Grosseteste: Roger of Hereford and Calendar Reform in Eleventh- and Twelfth-Century England". Isis. 86 (4): 562-586. doi:10.1086/357318. JSTOR 235377.

External links

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Bishop of Hereford
Succeeded by

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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