Robert III Clément

Robert III Clément (c. 1120/1130 – c. 1182) was a French nobleman and courtier who served as tutor and senior Minister of State to Philip II of France. Two of his sons, Albéric and Henry I Clément, were appointed the first and third Marshals of France respectively.

Robert III Clément
Lord of Mez
PredecessorAubry Clément
SuccessorAlbéric Clément
Bornc. 1120/1130
Diedc. 1182
Spouse(s)Hersende de Mez
IssueAlbéric Clément
Henry I Clément
Hugh Clément
FatherRobert II Clément
MotherMahaut de Tourneau

Life and careerEdit

Born to Robert II Clément and Mahaut de Tourneau sometime between 1120 and 1130, Robert inherited the seigneurie of Mez on his brother Aubry's death in 1148.[1][2] He had accompanied Aubry to the Holy Land in 1147 as part of the Second Crusade, but returned to France after his brother's death at Constantinople in 1148. Robert then set about recovering property of the Lordship of Mez that Aubry had sold to the Ferrières Abbey in order to fund their journey, contesting the sale on the grounds that he, as the heir to the title, had never ratified it.[2] Robert then entered the court of Louis VII of France along with his brother Giles, distinguishing himself in administration, gaining a reputation for good judgement and integrity, and becoming one of Louis's most prominent counselors towards the end of his reign.[3] In 1178, he (alongside Giles) was one of the judges in the suit between Barthelemy of Paris and the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés.[4]

Robert was appointed tutor to a young Philip II, with Robert of Auxerre noting in his work that he was also appointed guardian of the prince by his father Louis VII, although the exact nature of Robert's later relationship with the young monarch is not clear, with some sources putting Robert as simply one of the chiefs among Philip's ministers (alongside Giles) rather than a straightforward guardian or regent.[3] In addition, Philip's actions even in the period immediately following his coronation show no signs of being dictated by a regent; the boy king even negotiated directly with Henry II on the matter of the French war against Philip I, Count of Flanders.[3] Robert nevertheless exercised significant control and influence over Philip's early reign, with the king depending on Robert for day-to-day administration of the kingdom.[3]

Robert died sometime between 1181 and 1182[3] Giles appears to have briefly taken over his brother's position after his death.[3][5]


Robert had three sons with Hersende de Mez: Albéric, Henry and Hugh. While both Albéric and Henry would go on to serve at court and in the armies of the French sovereign, Hugh entered the Church, serving as abbé of St Spire de Corbeil (1190-1196), and later Dean of Notre-Dame de Paris (1200-1203).[6][7]


  1. ^ "Robert CLÉMENT". Geneanet. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  2. ^ a b Violas, Liliane (14 October 1999). "Dordives" (2815). L'Éclaireur du Gâtinais. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Walker, Williston (1888). On the Increase of Royal Power in France Under Philip Augustus, 1179-1223 ... Leipzig: University of Leipzig. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  4. ^ Plon, Henri (1869). Actes importants de l'histoire de France et autographes des hommes célèbres exposés dans l'hôtel Soubise par ordre de l'empereun sous la direction de M. le marquis de Laborde, directeur général: Ouvrage enrichi de plus de 2,000 fac-simile. Paris.
  5. ^ Baldwin, John W. (1991). The Government of Philip Augustus: Foundations of French Royal Power in the Middle Ages. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 33–34. ISBN 9780520073913. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  6. ^ de Sainte-Marie, Anselme (1712). Histoire Genealogique et Chronologique de la Maison Royale de France, des Grands Officiers de la Couronne et de la Maison du Roy: Avec les Qualitez, l'origine, et le Progrés de leurs Familles. Ensemble les Statuts & le Catalogue des Chevaliers, Commandeurs, & Officiers de l'Ordre du Saint Esprit. le Tout Dressé sur les Titres Originaux, Registres des Chartes du Roy, du Parlement, de la Chambre des Comptes, & du Châtelet de Paris, Cartulaires d'Eglises, Manuscrits & Memoires de la Bibliotheque du Roy, & autres. Paris. pp. 490–491. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  7. ^ Millin, Aubin-Louis (1790). Antiquités nationales ou recueil de monuments pour servir l'histoire de l'Empire, tels que tombeaux, inscription. Drouhin. Retrieved 22 July 2018.

Preceded by Lord of Mez
Succeeded by