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Rupert was a son of Dudo of Laurenburg (German: Dudo von Laurenburg) and the fourth of the seven daughters of count Louis I of Arnstein, possibly her name was Irmgardis or Demudis.
Rupert is mentioned as count of Laurenburg between 1124 and 1152. He probably ruled together with his brother Arnold I. Rupert and Arnold built Nassau Castle around 1124.
In 1124, Rupert became the Bishopric of Worms's Vogt over the Weilburg Diocese. He inherited this position from the Hessian Count Werner IV of Gröningen. Idstein, which had come under the control of Dudo in 1122, was also added to this fief. Through this, Rupert was able to decisively expand the possessions of his House. He gained, among other lands, the village of Dietkirchen and established himself in the Haiger Mark.
Along with numerous property and lordship rights in the Westerwald and Dill River region, Weilburg's territory included the former Königshof Nassau, which had fallen to Weilburg in 914. This did not, however, settle the dispute with the Bishop of Worms over the legality of constructing Nassau Castle.
Rupert had little luck in this dispute between his house and the Bishop of Worms over the sovereignty over Nassau Castle. He was excommunicated by Pope Eugene III. The dispute was settled through the intervention of the Archbishop of Trier in 1159, about five years after Rupert's death.
In 1126, Rupert endowed the BenedictineSchönau Abbey near Lipporn. The land had already in 1117 been donated by Count Dudo to Schaffhausen Abbey for construction of a monastery. Under Rupert's rule, from 1126 to 1145, the Romanesque buildings were constructed, presumably including a three-nave basilica. The Abbey included both a monastery for monks and a convent for nuns. From 1141 until her death in 1164, the abbey convent would be the home of St. Elizabeth of Schönau.
In a charter from 1148 a certain Gerhard of Laurenburg is mentioned, who quite possibly was a younger son of Rupert I, however his relationship does not appear in any charter. No marriage is mentioned for this Gerhard.
This article incorporates text translated from the corresponding German Wikipedia article, as of 2009-01-21 and from the corresponding Dutch Wikipedia article, as of 2019-06-15.
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^Some sources consider Gerhard, to be the son of Rupert I's brother, Arnold I. See: Family tree of the early House of Nassau, retrieved on 2009-01-22. However, Erich Brandenburg in his Die Nachkommen Karls des Großen states that it is most likely that Gerhard was Rupert I's son, because Gerhard was the name of Beatrix of Limburg's maternal grandfather. See: Table 11, Page 23 and note on page 151, quoted at Genealogy of the Middle AgesArchived 2011-06-29 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved on 2009-01-23.