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 Robert de Bethune

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Robert de Bethune

  • Birth 1247
  • Death 17 Sep 1322 Ypres (Ieper), Arrondissement Ieper, West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen), Belgium
  • Burial Ypres (Ieper), Arrondissement Ieper, West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen), Belgium
  • Plot In the nave
  • Memorial ID 6046

Count of Nevers, 1273 to 1322 and Count of Flanders, 1305 to 1322. He was also known as Robert III of Flanders and nicknamed "The Lion of Flanders" for the defense of his country against France. He was born in 1249 (some accounts say the year of his birth was 1247), the oldest son of Guy of Dampierre and the reign of Flanders was transferred to him in November 1299, during the war with King Phillip IV of France. From 1265 to 1268 he gained fame and popularity when he aligned himself with King Charles I of Sicily (whose daughter Blanche he married in 1265) to defeat the House of Hohenstaufen Sicilian Kings Manfred and Conradin. In 1270 he and his father participated in the Eighth Crusade to the Holy Land, led by French King Louis IX (later Saint Louis), which ended in total failure. After returning from the Crusade, he continued to support his father by political and military means, in the struggle to resist the attempts of Philip IV to add Flanders to French rule. On January 20, 1297 his father severed ties with France and under pressure from the Philip IV, he allowed himself to be taken prisoner at the castle of Chinon with his father and brother in May 1300. In July 1305 his father died in captivity and he was released to return to Flanders. In April 1310 he began to radically resist French rule and managed to make a stand against the French King. He assembled an army and marched to Lille, but the militia forces from Ghent refused to cross the Leie River with him. Under pressure from his grandson, Louis I of Nevers, he gave up the fight and went to Paris, France to restore feudal bonds with the French King. He died at Ypres, France on September 17, 1322. The 19th century Flemish author Hendrik Conscience created a heroic portrayal of him in his book "De Leeuw van Vlannderen" ("The Lion of Flanders").

Bio by: William Bjornstad

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Aug 1999
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6046
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Robert de Bethune (1247–17 Sep 1322), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6046, citing Sint-Maartenskathedraal, Ypres (Ieper), Arrondissement Ieper, West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen), Belgium ; Maintained by Find A Grave .