Robert Curthose Haiku

Be brave all you want.

They won’t forget when bros dumped

Chamberpot on head.

Robert Curthose (1052?-1134), Duke of Normandy, was the eldest son of William the Conqueror (King of England). Despite being the eldest, he was definitely the Jan Brady of the brood. Let’s start with the ‘Curthose’ thing. What did that mean? Short stockings. Dear old dad gave him the nickname to make fun of his teeny legs.

It should come as no surprise, then, that Robert eventually rebelled, but it wasn’t sparked by anything dramatic and grand. Little brothers William Rufus and Henry, in a display of youthful hijinks, dumped a full chamberpot on his head. Instead of punishing the two, Pops just thought this was hilarious and let the lovable scamps be. So Robert and friends laid siege to the Castle of Rouen, failed, and ran away when Pops ordered their arrest. (Just a thought: there may have been other factors, as witnessed by Robert being called by his own family the medieval equivalent of ‘short pants.’)

They kept fighting for a dramatic three years, which included Robert wounding Pops in battle, Pops getting pissed because Ma was sending him cash, sieges, plundering, that sort of thing. They made up because of Queen Matilda (Ma). Then she died, so Robert decided to wander Europe and father a lot of bastards. When Pa died, Robert got Normandy, William Rufus got England, and Henry got cash.

One year later, Robert decided he wanted England. Rufus whipped his forces in response, but not Robert, because he didn’t even bother to show up in England. Robert went crusading, spent all his money, and tried to find a rich wife. Thus when William Rufus died in a hunting accident (and it probably was an accident, because these hunting parties were stupid dangerous), Henry was the man on the spot to become the next King of England.

Robert started shit AGAIN. Henry had enough this, took Normandy from him, and threw him in the royal equivalent of the clink until Robert died at a ripe old age.

You know what, guys? My brothers are pretty great.

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