|SOME NOTES ON MEDIEVAL ENGLISH GENEALOGY|
Volume 9, page 243:
The Mortimers of Norfolk held under the Earls Warenne a fief of which Attleborough was the caput, and Scoulton, Raveningham, Stanford and Rockland among its members. No blood relationship has been proved between them and the Mortimers of Wigmore, but the history of the latter family was also associated with that of the great house of Warenne; for when the castle and seignory of Mortemer-sur-Eaulne were forfeited in 1054 by Roger de Mortemer (ancestor of the Mortimers of Wigmore) they were granted to William de Warenne.
Ian Mortimer has published evidence supporting the suggested descent of the Mortimers of Attleborough from the Mortimers of Wigmore, based on the tenure of two Lincolnshire manors [The Medieval Mortimer Family: An outline lineage, version 4.7 (23 January 2019)].
A manor in Wootton in the hundred of Yarborough was held at the time of the Domesday survey by Ralph de Mortimer of Wigmore, as a tenant of the king. He still held two carucates in Wootton at the time of the Lindsey Survey of 1115 [Keats-Rohan, Domesday People, page 85]. The same manor of two carucates was held in 1212 by another Ralph de Mortimer [Book of Fees, volume 1, page 158], and in 1242-3 by a William de Mortimer [Book of Fees, volume 2, pages 1016, 1095].
Another Lincolnshire manor held by Ralph de Mortimer in 1212 was Wilsthorpe in the wapentake of Ness. It had perhaps been held in 1179-80 by a Robert de Mortimer [Pipe Roll, 26 Henry II, page 53], though this record may relate instead to the manor of Woolsthorpe near Belvoir. Ralph de Mortimer held Wilsthorpe as a tenant of Baldwin Wake, who in turn held it as a tenant of the earl of Chester [Book of Fees, volume 1, page 181]. Ralph apparently married Joan, one of the sisters of Robert de Salceto [see VCH Buckinghamshire, volume 4, pages 466-470], and was dead by 1236, when Joan de Mortimer was a party to a fine together with her brother's other heirs [National Archives, CP 25/1/15/22/31]. In 1242-3 the manor was held by Thomas de Wilsthorpe and Joan, who was evidently Ralph's widow [Book of Fees, volume 2, pages 1051, 1077]. Later it passed to Ralph's and Joan's descendants, the Mortimer family of Eakley.
Ian Mortimer suggests that the Ralph de Mortimer who held these manors in 1212 was a younger son of Robert de Mortimer of Attleborough (d. by 1217), and that Robert settled Wootton on Ralph for life, and Wilsthorpe on Ralph and Joan and their heirs. This would be consistent with Robert de Mortimer having held Wilsthorpe in 1179-80, and the man holding Wootton in 1242-3 after Ralph's death would be his elder brother, William de Mortimer of Attleborough.
A manor in Harmston in the hundred of Boothby was also held at Domesday by Ralph de Mortimer of Wigmore, as a tenant of the king. In 1212 it was held by a Robert de Mortimer [Book of Fees, volume 1, page 188].
Ian Mortimer suggests two possible identifications of the Robert de Mortimer who held in 1212 - Robert de Mortimer of Attleborough (d. by 1217) and Robert de Mortimer of Richard's Castle (d. by 1219). On his reconstruction, both these men were grandsons of Robert de Mortimer of Essex (fl. 1168), the ancestor of the Mortimers of Attleborough (see addition to volume 9, page 258).
[Item last updated: 16 March 2019.]