Sussex Castles




The Battle of Tinchebrai


28 September 1106, King Henry I defeats Robert, Duke of Normandy

Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy, was always disappointed to be away on the first crusade when William II had mysteriously died in the New Forest, allowing his younger brother Henry to seize the throne of England in 1100.In 1101 and expecting a possible visit from his brother, Henry concentrated his troops near Hastings, but Robert landed at Portsmouth and made for Winchester. Some nobles came over to Robert’s side, but the clergy, common soldiers and people of England were solidly behind the king. Robert modestly demanded that King Henry give England to Robert. To avoid an armed confrontation, the brothers agreed to negotiate. The negotiations took place at Northampton. The dispute was apparently settled when King Henry agreed to pay Duke Robert three thousand marks yearly. 

Robert de Belèsme, one of Duke Roberts supporters still did not support the King and fortified his castles in England and Normandy against Henry. He provisioned his castle at Arundel with weaponry and supplies and garrisoned knights and foot-soldiers there. The King laid siege to Arundel and Robert de Belèsme’s forces surrendered within 30 days. After suppressing insurrection, Robert de Belèsme was banished from England in disgrace.

Duke Robert had never really given up his claim to the throne of England, necessitating Henry resolve the issue though force of arms, culminating at the Battle of Tinchebrai. Duke Robert was supported in his claims by William, Count of Mortain (Pevensey) and Robert de Bellême (Arundel). The battle was fought at Tinchebrai in 1106 with King Henry the clear victor. Duke Robert and the Count of Mortain were captured, imprisoned and forfeit all their lands. The cowardly Robert de Bellême fled the battle when it appeared he might have to fight. William d'Aubigny, a later earl of Arundel, fought with distinction for King Henry.

Sussex Timeline