Robert de Montbray
Born about 1060 - nephew and heir to Bishop Geoffrey - made Earl of Northumberland in 1080 -defended his earldom against Scots under King Malcolm in 1091 - drove them back from Chester-le-Street - when Scots invaded 1093 he defeated them at Alnwick - Malcolm and eldest son were killed.
Was with Geoffrey when he sided with Robert, other son of Conqueror against William II (Rufus) - see notes on Geoffrey for details.
In 1095 he rebelled against Rufus- part of conspiracy to put foreign Count on throne - seized four Norwegian vessels in a Northumbrian haven - Rufus took a force north and captured Robert's fortress at Newcastle- then besieged Robert in Bamborough castle and went off to fight the Welsh. Royal garrison at Newcastle drew Robert into ambush - Robert escaped to his monastery at Tynemouth - after six day siege and wounded in the leg was dragged out - taken to Bamborough and paraded before the walls in sight of his wife, Matilda - when captors threatened to tear out his eyes, Matilda surrendered the castle
Robert deprived of Earldom and all possessions - taken to Windsor and imprisoned thirty years until his death.
Contemporary account -"Powerful, rich, bold, fierce in war, haughty, he despised his equals and, swollen with vanity, disdained to obey his superiors. He was of great stature, strong, swarthy and hairy. Daring and crafty, stern and grim, he was given more to meditation than speech, and in conversation scarce ever smiled."