Guillaume de Poitou names "natione Normannus, Rotbertus filius Wimaræ nobilis mulieris" as one of the supporters of Guillaume II Duke of Normandy "domino suo atque consanguineo" at the battle of Hastings. Domesday Book records that "Robert fitzWymarc" held Shoebury (and other properties) in Essex after the death of King Edward "now Swein [holds it]".
The name of Robert's wife is not known. It is possible that she was Beatrice, daughter of ---, who was one of the grandmothers of Robert FitzSwein..., as shown by the manuscript recording the priors of Prittlewell which quotes a charter under which "Robertus filius Sueni" founded Prittlewell priory, for the souls of "…aviæ meæ Beatricis", but the document does not specify whether she was the founder's paternal or maternal grandmother. 1
The founder of the family of de Essex was Robert Fitz-Wimark a Norman noble who settled in England in the days of Edward the Confessor. He was a great favourite of the King, who died supported in his arms, in the presence of the Queen "the Lady Eadgyth," Dux Haraldus (afterwards King Harold) and Stigand Archbishop of Canterbury, a group which appears in the Bayeux Tapestry. His common title was Robert the Staller (Regalis Palatii Stabilitor), and he held the office of Sheriff of Essex.
Just before the battle of Hastings Robert Fitz-Wimark despatched a message to William of Normandy, urging the folly of risking a pitched battle with Harold who was advancing to meet him at the head of 100,000 men. Had the advice of Robert Fitz-Wimark been followed the whole history of England might have been changed. 2