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Robert II, Count of Artois

Count of artois
The basics
Date of birth Mansoura, Dakahlia Governorate, Egypt
Date of death Jul 11, 1302 Kortrijk, West Flanders, Flemish Region, Belgium
Children: Mahaut, Countess of Artois Philip of Artois
Father: Robert I, Count of Artois
Brother(s): Hugh II Count of Blois Guy IV Count of Saint-Pol Jacques de Châtillon
Spouse: Amicie de Courtenay
Mother: Matilda of Brabant, Countess of Artois
Sister(s): Blanche of Artois
The details

Robert II (September 1250 – 11 July 1302) was the Count of Artois, the posthumous son and heir of Robert I and Matilda of Brabant. Nephew of the sainted King Louis IX, as a young man Robert was fond of practical jokes and in later life owned a pet wolf. He died at the Battle of the Golden Spurs.


An experienced soldier, he took part in the Aragonese Crusade and attempted an invasion of Sicily in 1287. In 1288 Robert began work on a great park at Hesdin. The park contained a menagerie, aviaries, fishponds, orchards, an enclosed garden and facilities for tournaments. It also contained mechanical statues including waving monkeys draped in skins.

He defeated the Flemings in 1297 at the Battle of Furnes. He was again sent into Flanders in July 1302, where he began to ravage the countryside and attempted to take the town of Kortrijk.


Robert loved pranks. His garden had:

  • A statue that squirted water at people that walked past
  • A trapdoor that dropped people onto a feather bed
  • A hose pipe that squirted water up ladies' dresses
  • A statue that squawked like a parrot
  • And a room that greeted people with a thunderstorm as they opened the door.

Robert also brought falcons into church and let farm animals loose.

Battle of the Golden Spurs

He then met the Flemish army at the Battle of the Golden Spurs. His infantry advanced with great success against the Flemings (mostly city militia), but he ordered their recall to allow his cavalry to make the final, victorious charge. But on the broken, marshy ground, his knights were unable to gain enough momentum to break the Flemish shieldwall, and they were knocked down and slaughtered. Robert led some of the reserves in a second charge in an attempt to reverse their fortunes, but he and his troops were cut down by the Flemish infantry.


In 1262 in Paris Robert married Amicie de Courtenay (1250–1275), daughter of Pierre de Courtenay, Seigneur de Conches, a great-grandson of Louis VI, and Perronelle de Joigny. They had three children:

  • Mahaut (1268–1329)
  • Philip (1269–1298)
  • Robert (born 1271, died young).

After Amicie's death, Robert married twice more: first, in 1277, to Agnes of Dampierre (1237–1288), heiress of Bourbon, and then, on 18 October 1298 to Margaret (died 1342), daughter of John II, Count of Hainaut. After Robert's death, his daughter Mahaut inherited Artois, but his grandson Robert III unsuccessfully tried to claim it.

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