Simon [I] Corbet 2nd Baron of Caus
Simon [II] Corbet 3rd Baron of Caus
(-Bef 1162)
Robert [III] Corbet 4th Baron of Caus
(Bef 1158-Between 1219/1222)


Family Links

1. Unknown

Robert [III] Corbet 4th Baron of Caus

  • Born: Bef 1158
  • Marriage (1): Unknown 1
  • Died: Between 22 Jul 1219 and 17 Oct 1222

  General Notes:

ROBERT [III] Corbet, son of SIMON Corbet & his wife --- (before [1158]-[22 Jul 1219/17 Oct 1222]). Eyton quotes (in translation) a charter dated 24 Jan 1190 under which King Richard I restored "to Robert Corbet…the forest of Tenefrestanes…as Roger patruus of the said Robert had held in the time of King Henry, the grantor's father". In a later section, Eyton provides details of a later source which confirms Robert's parentage: in litigation with Herbert FitzPeter in 1236, Robert's son Thomas alleged that his grandfather ("avus") had been seised of the manor of Pontesbury during the reign of King Henry II. The 1175/76 Pipe Roll records "Robertus Corbet" in Shropshire. As this represents his earliest appearance in the Pipe Rolls, it is likely that he had recently attained his majority and taken control of his lands in his own name. It is unlikely therefore that Robert [III] was born later than [1158]. The Red Book of the Exchequer, listing scutage payments in [1194/95], records "Robertus Cornet" paying "iv l xx s, i militem" in Shropshire. The Red Book of the Exchequer, listing scutage payments in [1196/97], records "Robertus Corbet" paying "c s, v milites" in Shropshire. The Red Book of the Exchequer records "Robertus Corbet" holding five knights' fees in Shropshire in [1210/12]. Henry III King of England ordered that "castrum de Caos", confiscated from "Robertus [Corbet]", be restored to him after "Thomas filius suus" swore homage to the king dated [Nov] 1217. Henry III King of England ordered "…Robertus Corbet vel Thomas filius suus…" to enquire into the state of the forests "de comitatu Salopie" dated [Jul] 1219.

m ---. The name of Robert's wife is not known.

Robert [III] & his wife four children: Thomas, Hugh, Robert and Mary [or Margaret].

[FMG/Medieval Lands]


ROBERT CORBET's first appearance is in the year 1176, when he was amerced 20 merks by King Henry II. for trespass in the Royal Forests. The fine was paid, by even instalments, in 1176 and 1177.

On January 24, 1190, King Richard I., being at Westminster, expedited a Charter to Robert Corbet relating to the Stiperstones Forest, of which it would seem that Corbet had been deprived. By this Charter the King "restored and confirmed to Robert Corbet the whole Forest of Tenefrestanes with its appurtenances, to hold to the same Robert and his heirs, as that which pertained to the Honour of hie Barony. Wherefore the said Robert and his heirs were to have and to hold the aforesaid Forest, well, and peaceably, and honourably, as Roger, the paternal uncle (patruus) of the said Robert, had held it in the time of King Henry, the Grantor's father. The Charter was expedited by the hand of William, Bishop of Ely, the King's Chancellor, and was attested by H. Bishop of Durham, R. Bishop of London, H. Bishop of Coventry, Henry (read Herbert) Archdeacon of Canterbury, J. Archdeacon of Chichester, William fitz Aldeline, Bertram de Verdon, William Pipard, R. de Witfeld, Michael Belet, William fitz Alan, Hugh Pantulf, John de Strange, Vivian de Roshall, and Helias de Etingeham. [25]

King Richard was at this time preparing for the Crusade; and it has been stated on the authority of an ancient Roll, that Robert, son of Robert Corbet of Caus, was with the King at the siege of Acre. [26] The account, which I quote, farther represents this second Robert Corbet as succeeding to the Barony of Caus. [26] This is a complex error. There was only one Robert Corbet of Caus, and his aera was from 1176 to 1222. He had, it is true, a younger son Robert, but that son cannot have been old enough to have shared in the siege of Acre in the summer of 1191; for his elder brother, Thomas, lived till 1274. Nor yet can we entertain the alternative, that Robert Corbet, said to have borne the armorial insignia of two ravens at the siege of Acre, may have been the Baron of Caus himself. A Lord Marcher was little likely to become a Crusader, and I have given evidence already to show that in November 1192 (that is, long before King Richard's return) Robert Corbet of Caus was no further from home than at Buildwas Abbey in Shropshire. The Pipe-Roll of 1193 corroborates this testimony; for in that year the Sheriff of Shropshire had paid Robert Corbet twenty merks wherewith to support himself in the King's service.

In the next year (1194) the Scutage for King Richard's redemption was levied in Shropshire. Robert Corbet was charged, and had paid £4., for his quota in that County. He was further charged £1. for scutage of a knight's-fee in some County unspecified. This he had not paid, and it seems doubtful whether it was ever liquidated. As I have entered on the subject of scutages, I will proceed to give account of all that were assessed on the Barony of Robert Corbet. He was charged £5. on his Shropshire fees to each of the two Scutages of Normandy, as assessed in 1195 and 1197; but £1 was left in arrear in each case, and not paid till 1201. It was probably for a Fee not in Shropshire, though the Record does not mark the distinction. To the first scutage of King John assessed in 1199, at the rate of two merks per fee, Robert Corbet paid eight merks on his Shropshire fees, but left a fifth fee subject to a charge of two merks. To the second scutage of King John, assessed at two merks per fee in 1201, Robert Corbet paid ten merks at once. To the third scutage, similarly assessed in 1202, he paid nine merks down, and owed one merk. To the fourth scutage, assessed in 1203, he paid ten merks on five fees. To the fifth scutage, that of 1204, he was not assessed at all. In 1205 he was assessed ten merks to King John's sixth scutage. Of the seventh scutage, that of 1206, he was quit under a Writ Royal. To the scutage of Poitou, assessed in 1214 at the rate of £2. per fee, Robert Corbet paid £10. In October 1217 Robert Corbet had letters directed to the Sheriff of Shropshire, entitling him to levy his own scutage. [26] Nevertheless in the Pipe-Roll of 1218 he stands assessed ten merks on five fees to the first scutage of Henry III. To the scutage of Biham, assessed in 1221 at the rate of 10s. per fee, he paid £1. 1s. 7d. down, and owed £1. 8s. 5d.

On the whole, we may safely assume that Robert Corbet's Barony was reputed, as far as scutages and military services were concerned, to be a Barony of five Knights'-fees. A Feodary which belongs to the year 1211 registers this fact in the following terms,- Robertus Corbet, Baro, tenet in capite, et debet servicium V militum. [27] But with regard to one of these five fees we have seen a probability that it was not always acknowledged to be liable to scutage, and that it was not in Shropshire. At the cost of a lengthy digression I must give some account of this fee, for its history involves a point in the genealogy of Corbet.-

The Middlesex Domesday gives an account of Dallega, a Manor of three hides in Helethorne Hundred, held by one Alnod, under Earl Roger de Montgomery. [28] The place alluded to is Dawley, in the Parish of Hayes, the Hundred of Elthorne, and the County of Middlesex. On the forfeiture of Earl Roger's family, Dawley was annexed to the Honour of Wallingford, which Honour, from the failure of heirs, was in 1166 an Escheat, and in the hands of Henry II. At that date we find William Corbet enrolled as Tenant of a Knight's-fee in the said Honour; [29] and I cannot doubt that the fee in question was Dawley. Whether William Corbet thus mentioned was a brother of the second Roger Corbet of Caus, I cannot say. It is only clear that Robert Corbet of Caus was the heir of both Roger and William.
In October 1198 we find Robert Corbet suing William de Cramfield (i.e. Cranford) for 36 acres in Dalling, which Corbet claimed as appurtenant to the Barony which he held of the King in capita. This Plea is entered under the heading Villata de Oxebrug', showing that Dawley, near Uxbridge, was the place alluded to. All I shall say further of this suit is that it was still pending in October 1199, and that William fitz Rannulf, who appears as Robert Corbet's Attorney throughout, was his Feoffee at Dawley. [30] A Roll of the year 1201, recording a fine of five merks proffered by William fitz Rannulf to King John, adds that the said William "holds a knight's-fee which Robert Corbet holds of the Honour of Walingford". [31] A List of the King's Tenants in the Honour of Wallingford, drawn up in John's reign, registers Robert Corbet as holding one knight's fee in Dalleg'he; [32] William fitz Rannulf was still Tenant thereof, though his name is not mentioned. In 1235-6 we find, under Middlesex, that the Auxilium, levied on marriage of the King's Sister, was assessed at 2 merks on Matilda de Albo Monasterio as Tenant of a knight's-fee in the Honour of Walingeford; and a nearly cotemporary Record calls the Lady, Matilda de Blancmustr', and places her fee in Daldeye. [33]

In 1253 the Honour of Wallingford, or a great part thereof, was of the appanage of Richard, Earl of Cornwall, better known as King of the Romans. The Earl was requiring that the services due on Dalling should be discharged by William de Albo Monasterio; but the latter, in Trinity Term of that year, sued Thomas Corbet, to acquit him, as against the Earl; that is, the Tenant asserted the Mesne-Lord to be immediately liable to the Earl. Corbet did not appear. His Sureties, Richard le Mey of Stretton (Stoney Stretton), and Osbert de Yokylton, were judged by the Court to be insufficient, and better Sureties were ordered to be found for the Defendant's appearance on November 2nd. [34]

In March 1316 we find Gilbert de Barentyne entered as Lord of Dailey, in Middlesex. [35] Further I need not follow this subject, except to say that William fitz Rannulf, Matilda de Blancminster, William de Albo Monasterio, and Gilbert de Barentyne must all recur to our notice under Whitchurch, and that, wherever they are spoken of in connection with Dawley, it must be understood that the cotemporary Baron of Caus was their immediate Suzerain.
I now return to say what remains of Robert Corbet of Caus.- In 1195 we find Richard fitz Robert giving the King 3½ merks, that he may have right (pro habendo recto) against Robert Corbet concerning 7 merks. In 1196 the Sheriff of Shropshire pays Robert Corbet 10 merks. It was a present from King Richard "to support Corbet in the King's service in the parts of Wales". In 1198 the Sheriff again pays Robert Corbet 10 merks towards the fortifications of Caus Castle (ad firmandum castrum suum de Chaus). On April 10, 1200, King John, then at Worcester, expedited a Charter, whereby Robert Corbet and his heirs were entitled to hold a weekly market on Wednesdays at Caos. [36] A Letter of King John's, dated August 10, 1204, informs Wenunwin de Kevelloc (Prince of Powis) that the King has appointed Hugh Pantulf and Robert Corbet to ensure a safe-conduct to Wenunwin, if he comes to a Court shortly to be held at Woodstock. [37]

There was in this arrangement a special propriety, which we ascertain from other Records. Wenunwin's wife was Robert Corbet's daughter, and Hugh Pantulf was probably the Lady's maternal relative. William fitz Alan, Robert Corbet, and Hugh Pantulf were witnesses to a convention dated at Shrewsbury on October 7, 1208, between King john and Wenhunwin. The object of this treaty was to secure the fidelity of the Welsh Prince by a number of hostages. One of the said hostages is called Eyneon, son of Hedewin Flam. [38] There is extant on the Patent-Rolls a letter of Robert Corbet to King John. It probably was written in January 1209. Bidding the King greeting and fealty, Corbet certifies his Highness that he undertakes that Hemon, son of Hedenawein, shall well and faithfully serve his Lord Wenhunwin and the King; also, that Howel, who was apparently to be exchanged as a hostage for Hemon, was the said Hemon's legitimate son; and that for greater security Corbet had another of Hemon's sons in keeping at Caus. Corbet therefore entreats that Hemon may be given up to him, and that the King will send a written order for such delivery to Peter fitz Herbert, and will so act in the matter as that Corbet should not have to trouble the King again on Hemon's account. [39]

At the Forest Assizes, held in March 1209, Robert Corbet was involved in a heavy trespass. Robert, his Huntsman, and Robert, his son, had taken a stag near Stratton (Church Stretton). Up came Codigan, a servant of Robert Corbet, and to him the hunters gave a haunch (quissam) and a side (costam), to take to Ruitheton, whither it would seem Robert Corbet Senior was going. The other haunch the hunters had given to Codiwellan (probably another of Corbet's servants), when Ralph, Under-Forester to Walter de Muneton, came upon the party. Young Robert Corbet fled, carryring with him the head and fore-quarter (furcum) of the venison. The Forester, Ralph, arrested the Huntsman, Robert, and seized two of his hounds, as well as the horns and a side of the stag, all which he delivered up to Hugh fitz Robert (then Chief-Forester of Shropshire). The said Hugh, under writ of H. de Nevill (Justice of the Forest), transferred the whole to the custody of certain Keepers or Sureties till such time as Pleas of the Forest should be held. It now appeared that these Keepers produced neither the Huntsman, the dogs, nor the venison before the Justices. They were Robert Corbet (senior, I presume), Roger Purcell, Robert de Hanewode, Hugh de Mersse, Robert de Hope, Ralph de Le (perhaps Ree), Wido de Arundell, Roger Sprenghose, Wido de Mersse, Robert de Laugeford, Robert fitz Maddoc, Reiner de Acton, and Richard de Witon. The Justices seem to have deferred to an excuse of these Sureties, viz. that they all, except Robert Corbet, had fined 60 merks before the trial, that they might be quit of this Suretyship. As to Robert Corbet, senior, he pleaded that the King had excused him this suit (loquelam), and he called the King to warranty. So, because he was one of the King's Barons, and because he called the King to warranty, the Justices gave him a day (Tuesday in four weeks after Easter) to appear before the King, and bring Robert, his Huntsman, with him. As to Roger (read Robert), his son, who fled with the head and fore-quarter of the stag, Robert Corbet said that he was with the Earl of Chester, but where, he knew not. He promised however to send him word to come home (ad Curiam), and, if he so came, he (Corbet, senior) would forthwith undertake to produce him for trial (in posterum ipsum in manu capiet habendi recto). [40]

On May 22, 1209, a King's messenger is despatched from Southampton to Robert Corbet. [41] On June 25, 1209, we have an indication that Robert was in attendance on the King's Court at Odiham. The King entrusted him with 20 merks, a present which he was to convey to Woenmoen Walensis, as the Prince of Powis is called. [42] On November 13, 1213, King John, being at Woodstock, orders the Sheriff of Shropshire to respite a debt of 100s., due from Robert Corbet. [43] The money, it seems, was a praestitum or loan previously made by the King during some Welsh expedition. On August 18, 1214, King John, being at Angouleme, deputes John le Strange and Robert Corbet as the Royal Commissioners to swear to a truce, which the King had recently negotiated with Lewellyn, Wenunwen, Maelgon, Madoc ap Griffin, and other Welshmen. [44] We have sure proof of Robert Corbet's continued allegiance to King John in the fact of his obtaining Letters of Scutage from Henry III. in October 1217. His eldest son, Thomas, had however taken a different course, and the Castle of the loyal father had been seized by the Crown as a precaution against the malpractices of the son. However a Patent of Henry dated November 13, 1217, informs the Earl of Chester that Thomas Corbet had returned to his fealty, and had done homage to the King. Wherefore the Earl was to restore to Robert Corbet his Castle of Caos, and all other lands whereof he had been disseized by reason of his son's rebellion. On July 22, 1219, Robert Corbet, Vivian de Rossall, and Warner de Wililey are appointed Justices to inquire concerning Forest-Assarts in Shropshire. On August 2, 1220, Margaret Corbet names Nicholas Walsh as her Attorney in a plea of land which she had against Lewellyn. [45] This Margaret I take to have been Robert Corbet's daughter, now the widow of Wenhunwen, Prince of Powis.

On October 17, 1222, Robert Corbet was dead; Thomas, his son and heir, had fined £100. for his Relief, and had done homage to the King. The Sheriff of Shropshire was certified accordingly. [46]

Before I proceed with any account of Thomas Corbet, I must say something of a series of Charters which Robert Corbet expedited to the Monasteries of Buildwas and Shrewsbury.-

1. The earliest of these is his grant of Wentnor Mill to Buildwas. It is expressed to be with the counsel and assent of his wife, and of his heir. The Mill and Suit thereof, a Vivary, messuage, and garden are conveyed in fee; and a rent of 12d. is reserved to the Grantor. The Charter is attested by William fitz Alan; Hugh Pantulfe; William fitz Rannulf (of whom we were lately speaking); John le Strange, and Ralph his brother; Hugh, the Grantor's brother; Odo de Hodenet; Adam de Arundel (who was deceased in 1199), Fulco fitz Warin (evidently the third of his name, and, if so, succeeded to his father about 1197); Alan his brother; William fitz Odo, [47] and many others. There cannot be a doubt that the year 1198 is proximately the date of this Charter. [48]

2. Robert Corbet granted all Ritton in frank almoign to Buildwas. The territorial details of the grant belong to a future Chapter of our history. The witnesses were,- Thomas, the Grantor's son, William Corbet; William fitz Odo; Henry and Garin, Chaplains; Guido de Arundel; Roger Purcel; Henry Hager; and Robert de Hanewood. [49] The year 1203 may be named as the proximate date of this Deed.

3. Next in this series comes a Charter whereby Robert Corbet, for himself and his heirs, quit-claims to Shrewsbury Abbey the Advowson of Wentnor, which Roger Corbet, his predecessor, had given to the Abbey, as the Charter of King Henry did testify. He confirms also two-thirds of the tithes, great and small, of his demesne of Jokethiill, which tithes the Abbey had possessed from ancient times. Witnesses,- Richard Corbet, Hugh Hager, Roger de Say, Adam de Pontesburi, Wydo de Arundel, Philip de Stapelton, Roger de Pontesburi, etc. [49]

4. Robert Corbet's grant of Hulemore to Buildwas Abbey involves some territorial particulars which I need not state here. It was a grant in frank almoign, for the love of God, for the health of the Grantor's soul and of all his progeny, and was made with the counsel of his wife and his heir. It was attested by Thomas Corbet (the heir in question); Baldwyn de Hodenet; William Burnel; Wydo de Harundele; Roger de Hastim; Thomas Hager; John de Hondreslowe; Roger Burnel; Simon de Witton; Richard de Linleg; and Robert de Hanewde. [50] This Deed probably passed between 1210 and 1220.

5. Robert Corbet conferred upon Shrewsbury Abbey the tithe of all that share of lead, which belonged to him and his heirs out of the lead-mine of Selva (Shelve). Witnesses,- Thomas, Hugh, and Robert, the Grantor's sons; William, Alan, and Hugh, sons of Hugh Pantulf; Robert de Eyton; Master Stephen de Franketon; William de Cruce, Clerk; Thomas de Eston; James, son of Martin Beeche; and Girard de Egmundon. [51]

This Deed must be taken to have passed in 1220-1, and so to have been a late act of the Grantor's life. His Son Thomas's inspeximus and confirmation thereof, which probably passed immediately on his succession, is attested by seven witnesses, six of whom had attested his father's charter. The seventh was Richard Corbet. [52]

[25] Transcript, communicated by Mr. George Morris of Shrewsbury.
[26] Sheriffs of Shropshire, pp. 40, 86. The Roll alluded to, is copied in a Volume in the Ashmoleean Library (No. 1120, fo. 171). The document is not of the slightest authority as a Roll of Knights who served at Acre. One example amongst many is enough to show this. On fo. 172 we have "John le fitz Allen" bearing for arms "Gu. a lion rampant Or langued Gu". Now at the date of the Siege of Acre, the first John fitz Alan, if born, was a mere infant. The Arms assigned to him are those of Albini, Earl of Arundel (except that Albini's Lion was armed and langued azure, instead of Gules, the latter being in fact an heraldic impossibility). But John fitz Alan can have had no pretension to the Albini Arms till at least twenty-four years after the Siege of Acre, and probably never at all; for he was dead before the coheirship of Albini was recognized or had arisen.
[27] Testa de Nevill, p. 55.
[28] Domesday, fo. 129, a, 1.
[29] Liber Niger, I. 186.
[30] Rot. Cur. Regis, I. 217, 278, 403, and II. 82.
[31] Oblata, p. 158.
[32] Testa do Nevill, p. 116.
[33] Ibidem, p. 361, bis.
[34] Placita, Trin. Tm. 37 Hen. III., m. 12 dorso.
[35] Parliamentary Writs, IV. 327.
[36] Cart. Cotton, XI. 72.
[37] Rot. Patent, p. 45.
[38] [39] Foedera, I. p. 101. Patent, p. 91.
[40] Forest Rolls, Salop, No. II. m. 1.
[41] Rot. Misae, p. 112.
[42] Rot. Misae, p. 116.
[43] [44] Rot. Fin. p. 504. Patent. p. 120.
[45] Placita, 4 and 6 Hen. III. m. 21.
[46] Rot. Finium, I. p. 94.
[47] A younger son of Odo de Hodenet, and a Clerk.
[48] Monasticon, V. 358, No. vii.
[49] Rot. Cart. 20 Edw. I., No. 40.
[49] Salop Chartulary, No. 292.
[50] Rot. Cart. (ut supra).
[51] Salop Chartulary, No. 291.
[52] Ibidem, No. 290. Class. I. 94.

[Antiquities of Shropshire, Rev. R. W. Eyton] 1

Robert married.1


1 Charles Cawley, <i>Medieval Lands</i>.

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