Roger Mortimer, 1st Baron Mortimer

Roger Mortimer, 1st Baron Mortimer

Roger Mortimer (1231-1282), 1st Baron Mortimer, was a famous and honoured knight from Wigmore Castle in Herefordshire. He was a loyal ally of King Henry III of England. He was at times an enemy, at times an ally, of the Welsh prince, Llywelyn the Last.

Early career

Born in 1231, Roger was the son of Ralph de Mortimer and his Welsh wife, Princess Gwladys Ddu, daughter of Llywelyn ab Iorwerth.

In 1256 Roger went to war with Llywelyn ap Gruffydd when the latter invaded his lordship of Gwrtheyrnion or Rhayader. This war would continue intermittently until the death of both Roger and Llywelyn in 1282. They were both grandsons of Llywelyn ab Iorwerth.

Mortimer fought for the King against the rebel Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, and almost lost his life in 1264 at the Battle of Lewes fighting Montfort's men. In 1265 Mortimer helped rescue Prince Edward and they made an alliance against de Montfort.

Victor at Evesham

In August 1265, de Montfort's army was surrounded by the River Avon on three sides, and Prince Edward's army on the fourth. Mortimer had sent his men to block the only possible escape route, at the Bengeworth bridge. The Battle of Evesham began in earnest. A storm roared above the battle field. Montfort's Welsh soldiers broke and ran for the bridge, where they were slaughtered by Mortimer's men. Mortimer himself killed Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester in crushing Montfort's army. Mortimer was awarded Montfort's severed head and other parts of his anatomy, which he sent home to Wigmore Castle as a gift for his wife, Lady Mortimer.

Marriage and children

Lady Mortimer was Maud de Braose, daughter of William de Braose, Lord of Abergavenny by Eva Marshall. Roger Mortimer had married her in 1247. She was, like him, a scion of a Welsh Marches family. Their children were:
# Ralph Mortimer, died 1276.
# Edmund Mortimer, 2nd Baron Mortimer (1251-1304), married Margaret de Fiennes, the daughter of William II de Fiennes and Blanche de Brienne. Had issue, including Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March
# Isabella Mortimer, died 1292. She married (1) John Fitzalan, 7th Earl of Arundel, (2) Robert de Hastings
# Margaret Mortimer, died 1297. She married Robert de Vere, 6th Earl of Oxford
# Roger Mortimer of Chirk, died 1326.
# Geoffrey Mortimer, a knight
# William Mortimer, a knight

Their eldest son, Ralph, was a famed knight but died in youth. The second son, Edmund, was recalled from Oxford University and made heir.


Roger Mortimer died in 1282, and was buried at Wigmore Abbey, where his tombstone read:: "Here lies buried, glittering with praise, Roger the pure, Roger Mortimer the second, called Lord of Wigmore by those who held him dear. While he lived all Wales feared his power, and given as a gift to him all Wales remained his. It knew his campaigns, he subjected it to torment"."


*Mortimer, Ian. "The Greatest Traitor", 2003.
*Remfry, P.M., "Wigmore Castle Tourist Guide and the Family of Mortimer" (ISBN 1-899376-76-3)
*Remfry, P.M., "Brampton Bryan Castle, 1066 to 1646" (ISBN 1-899376-33-X)
*Dugdale, Sir William "The Baronage of England, Vol. 1", 1661.

External links

* [ various essays on Roger] ]

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