Some corrections and additions to the Complete Peerage: Volume 9: Mortimer of Richard's Castle

MORTIMER of Richard's Castle

See also "proposed" section

Volume 9, page 257, note i:
Hugh [de Say (d. before Michaelmas 1190)] and Lucy had a younger son Richard, and a daughter Lucy Ardern (Montacute Cart., Som. Rec. Soc., nos. 35, 36), presumably wife of Thomas de Ardern, between whom and her brother Hugh de Say there was a question of exchange of property (Rot. Lit. Claus., vol. i, p. 261).

Richard's charter for Montacute mentions a previous gift by another brother, Sir Gilbert.

Lucy's gift to Montacute was of land in Gevele, while the property said to have been given in exchange by Thomas de Ardern to Hugh de Say was the manor of Gifle [i.e. Kingston in Yeovil, Somerset; see Victoria County History, Oxfordshire, volume 6, pages 301-312].

[Item last updated 26 March 2017.]

Volume 9, page 258:
His widow [the widow of Hugh de Say (d. before Michaelmas 1197)] Mabel by Easter 1201 was m. to Reynold (-).(h)
Note h:
Curia Regis Rolls, vol. i, p. 413.

Mabel's husband was presumably the man referred to in August 1204 as Roger de Aumu[n]devill', when the sheriff of Worcestershire was ordered to cause William de Cantilupe to have seisin of the land which had been of Roger in respect of Mabel, his wife (Rotuli Litterarum Clausarum, volume 1, page 5). The entry similarly mentions the land which had been of Hugh de Ferrières in respect of his wife Margaret (the daughter and heir of Hugh de Say) and another in October 1204 similarly mentions the manor of Yeovil, which had been of Lucy de Say (the sister of Hugh de Say; see correction to Complete Peerage, volume 9, page 261, note a, below).

[Item last updated 26 March 2017.]

Volume 9, page 258:
ROBERT DE MORTIMER [d. before 5 July 1219] was s. of Robert DE MORTIMER of Essex.(j)
Note j:
Robert de Mortimer, s. of Robert de Mortimer, for his soul and the soul of his wife Margaret de Say, da. of Hugh de Say, confirmed to [? Lanthony] Abbey the gift of Roger de Alreton in Bilbury, which had been granted to Roger de Hugh de Say, lord of Castle Richard, son of Hugh de Say, and confirmed to him by Hugh de Ferrières (Harl. MS. 6821, fos. 101, 101 d - a collection of papers formerly belonging to Gregory King, Rouge Dragon). Robert the father on his marriage received Little Woodham (Woodham Mortimer) in Essex from Henry II by the service of ½ fee (Book of Fees, p. 121), and probably Amberden (in Debden) as another ½ fee. In 1190/1 he, or his son, was assessed to the scutage of Wales for one knight's fee of the Honour of Peverel of London in Essex (Red Book of the Exchequer, p. 78). Woodham and Amberden were held by Robert the son in 1212 as one fee (Book of Fees, p. 1464). The father's marriage presumably took place in or before 1168, when he was pardoned a debt in the account of the sheriff of Essex (Pipe Roll, 14 Hen. II, p. 44). It is not easy to distinguish this Robert from his son Robert at a time when either might have been the tenant of Woodham, or to distinguish them from their namesake and contemporary Robert de Mortimer of Attleborough. As to the latter difficulty, a clue is furnished by the inference to be drawn from an order of 28 Sep. 1201, to assign to Robert de Mortimer reasonable exchange for what he had in Cossey, either in the honour of Peverel or elsewhere (Rot. de Liberate, p. 20). If the Robert who at intervals held Cossey in Norfolk at fee farm from the Crown, as of the Honour of Richmond or Brittany, may be identified with the Robert who held Woodham and Amberden of the Honour of Peverel of London, there appears to be a distinct and reasonable cleavage between his career and that of the Robert who (and his descendants after him) held Attleborough, Scoulton, Buckenham, &c., in Norfolk under Earl Warenne, and land in Cambs and Hunts under the Earl of Huntingdon. There seems to have been as close a connection between the Mortimers of Attleborough and their said overlords as between Robert of Essex and the King. It would appear likely that it was Robert of Essex, the protégé of Henry II, who witnessed at Valoignes the later version of the treaty of Falaise, some time in the early months of 1174, as being in the train of King Henry, while William de Mortimer of Attleborough was one of the hostages under that treaty for William the Lion - Earl of Huntingdon until his defeat at Alnwick in July 1174 (Fœdera, vol. i, p. 31; Liber Niger, vol. i, p. 38, where William appears as de Moremer'); also that it was Robert of Essex who, at Le Mans, witnessed a charter of Henry II (Cal. Docs. France, no. 162, where it is dated [1175-83]; Delisle, Rec. des Actes de Hen. II, no. DX, where it is shown to belong to 1177). That there was a close connection between the families of Attleborough and Richard's Castle is suggested by heraldic evidence; by the recurrence in both families of the names Robert and William (Hugh probably came in at Richard's Castle from Say); and by the few details that are known about a shadowy Pernel de Mortimer, who seems to have belonged to both families. Of her it is known that before 1199 (probably before May 1194) she had land in Dengey Hundred, in which are Woodham Mortimer and Amberden, which later was given to Tiltey Abbey; that in July 1199, as a widow, she was suing R. del Ech for dower in Cambs (where Mortimers of Attleborough had large holdings); and in 1203 levied a fine with William de Buckenham as to the advowson of Buckenham and land there - a Mortimer of Attleborough manor (Cal. Charter Rolls, vol. i, p. 358; Rot. Curiæ Regis, vol. i, p. 326; Feet of Fines, Norfolk, 4 John, no. 147).

Ian Mortimer has provided further evidence relating to the origins of the Mortimer family of Richard's Castle [The Medieval Mortimer Family: An outline lineage].

He observes that the Mortimers of Bec bore arms which were almost identical to the original arms of the Mortimers of Richard's Castle (which were later changed). Since hereditary heraldry developed only in the mid-12th century, he argues that Robert de Mortimer of Richard's Castle (d. 1219) and William de Mortimer of Bec (fl. 1189-1224) would have been brothers, the sons of Robert de Mortimer of Essex. In support of this suggestion, he cites the occurrence of William de Mortimer and his brother Robert as witnesses of a charter of John, count of Mortain, dated to 1189.

The original arms of the Mortimers of Richard's Castle also appeared in the medieval windows of Attleborough church, alongside those of Mortimer of Attleborough. Furthermore, after the loss of Normandy, William de Mortimer of Bec forfeited the manor of Scoulton in Norfolk, which he had held of the earls Warenne, and it was then granted to Robert de Mortimer of Attleborough. These facts confirm the evidence outlined in volume 9, suggesting a close connection between the Mortimers of Richard's Castle and Attleborough. This includes that summarised in note (j) above, indicating that Pernel de Mortimer was associated with both families, and also the suggestion on page 257, note k, that Sir Bartholomew de Mortimer, the second husband of the grandmother of Robert's wife Margaret de Say, was perhaps of the Norfolk family.

As Pernel had land in Dengey Hundred, where Robert de Mortimer of Essex had been given Woodham in marriage, Mortimer identifies Pernel as Robert's widow. On the basis of the established naming pattern in the family, he suggests that Robert de Mortimer of Essex was a younger son of Robert de Mortimer of Norfolk, the progenitor of the Attleborough branch.

[Item last updated 22 June 2019.]

Volume 9, page 261, note a:
Margaret [daughter and heir of Hugh de Say (she d. apparently before Autumn 1242)] is called heir of Hugh de Say also at the time of her 2nd marriage, in 1210, but there is an ambiguous entry on the Close Roll of an order, 20 Oct. 1204, to the sheriff of Somerset which suggests that Margaret may have had an elder sister Lucy who, possibly on account of idiotcy or for some other cause, was excluded from the inheritance: Precipimus tibi quod facias habere Wo de Cantilupo seisinam manerii de Gifle [Yeovil] ... quod fuit Luce de Say aine fil' [sic] Hugonis de Say que est in custodia tua (R. Lit. Claus., vol. i, p. 12).

Evidently this relates not to a sister of Margaret named Lucy, but to her paternal aunt Lucy de Ardern (the daughter of Margaret's grandfather Hugh), whose presumed husband Thomas de Ardern was said to have given Margaret's father Hugh the manor of Gifle in exchange for the manor of Souldern, Oxfordshire (see addition to Complete Peerage, volume 9, page 257, note i, above). "Luce" in the published Close Roll must be an error for "Lucie".

[Item last updated 26 March 2017.]