Robert de Styveton

Robert de StyvetonRobert de Styveton has a fine carved effigy – but, sadly, the Victorian inscription is almost certainly wrong!

The Victorians who set the effigy on its stone plinth in 1854 firmly labelled this as the Robert who died in 1307.  The trouble is that the man-at-arms depicted is wearing armour that dates him to the middle of the 14th century – of the time of the beginning of the Hundred Years’ War, and the conflict with France.

There was a huge funeral feast in Bolton Abbey for that Robert.  This is probably his grandson who died 1n 1353.

And, yes… the tradition that crossed legs mean that he went on the Crusades.  The Crusades that we think of took place from 1095 and English involvement mainly petered out at the end of the Fourth Crusade in 1192.  There were further battles, up to around 1270.  There are no records that either Robert fought in the Crusades and the dates make it highly unlikely that either Robert could have joined the fighting.  Crossed legs on a monument depict vigour and strength.  They say nothing about the crusades.