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Robert "Bossu" de Beaumont
2nd Earl of Leicester. He and his twin brother, Waleran, were brought up at the court of Henry I with great care because Henry was grateful to their father, Robert de Beaumont. He was knighted in 1122. The twins were famous for the extent of their learning. Both were present at Henry I's deathbed. In the anarchy which followed King Stephen's accession, Robert engaged in private warfare with his hereditary enemy, Roger de Toeni, whom he captured with Waleran's assistance. In 1137 the twins returned to England with King Stephen. In Robert's absence from France, his possessions there were overrun until he had to come to terms with Roger de Toeni. In 1139 the two brothers took a leading part in seizing the bishops of Salisbury and Lincoln at Oxford. About this time King Stephen gave Robert the town and castle of Hereford along with other possessions. However, the Empress Matilda, King Stephen's rival, had made Miles of Gloucester earl of Hereford. After the defeat of King Stephen in 1141, Robert appears to have made a truce with the Angevin party in Normandy. In 1143 the future King Henry II restored Robert's lands to him and granted him the stewardship of England and Normandy in order to secure Robert's support for his claim to the crown of England. After the accession of Henry II, Robert was made justiciar in 1155, acting as the king's viceroy during his absence from England from 1158 to 1164, and serving as justiciar until 1168. He tried unsuccessfully to reconcile Henry II and Thomas a Becket. As justiciar, he pronounced sentence on the archbishop, who cut short his address by denying the jurisdiction of the court. By his marriage, he acquired a large part of the FitzOsbern inheritance in Normandy and England.
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