Robert of Ghent  or Robert de Gant  c. The younger son of a nobleman, Robert was probably a member of the cathedral chapter of York before his selection as chancellor by King Stephen of England in the mids.
He is not mentioned often in documents from his time as chancellor, but why this is so is unknown. He became dean at York Minster around Robert was slightly involved in the disputes over who would be Archbishop of York in the late s and s, but it is likely that his chancellorship prevented his deeper involvement in diocesan affairs. He was no longer chancellor after the death of Stephen, but probably continued to hold the office of dean until his death around or Robert was probably one of the sons of Gilbert de Gant , who is mentioned in the Domesday Book.
If Robert was a son of Gilbert, he was a younger son, probably the youngest of the four brothers, and probably was born sometime around , as his supposed parents married about and there were older siblings.
Robert is often confused in the historical records with another Robert, son of Walter. Robert's first appearance in the historical record is at Ramsey Abbey sometime between and , where he appears as a witness to a charter. A further appearance is in a document of his brother Walter dating between and Stephen besieged Drax Castle in the summer of , which had earlier been given to Robert's nephew Robert.
The younger Robert may have objected to giving up his castle to the previous owners and the elder Robert may have taken offence at these events. This would explain why Robert does not appear on Stephen's charters after the Lincoln charter of , but this theory is just speculation by one of Robert's biographers.
Robert was replaced as chancellor by Becket shortly after Henry II's coronation on 19 December and before January Robert held the office of Dean of York from at least , but may have occupied the office as early as He may have been still alive as late as , as it is possible he was the addressee of a letter from the papacy in January His last secure attestation as dean is in October Most of the rest of the archdiocese's officials and the chapter favoured Henry Murdac. The disputed election was decided by the pope, who declared Murdac the new archbishop and gave the vacant bishopric of Chichester to Hilary.
But others among the cathedral chapter and suffragan bishops of York continued to actively agitate against Murdac, including refusing him entry to York for three years.
Probably, it was Robert's involvement in secular office as chancellor that restricted his activities with his ecclesiastical office. William was re-elected to York after Murdac's death in Although Robert was associated with Osbert's opposition to William, there is no evidence that Robert was ever thought to have been involved in the possible poisoning of William.
The historian Katharine Keats-Rohan records his death as occurring in or From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Stephen Henry II. Handbook of British Chronology pp. Crouch, David The Reign of King Stephen: — New York: Longman. Fryde, E.
Dean of York. William of St. Robert Butevilain. Provost of Beverley unlikely Lord Chancellor. In office — Lord Chancellor —