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Ralph de Mortimer

Also Known As: "Ranulph de Mortemer", "Ranulph de Mortimer"
Birthplace: Saint-Victor-en-Vaux, Seine-Inferieure, Normandy, France
Death: Died in Wigmore, Ludlow, Hertfordshire, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Roger I de Mortimer, Lord of Wigmore and Hawise de Mortimer
Husband of Mabel de Mortimer and Millisent de Mortimer
Father of William de Mortimer, of Northerby; Roger de Mortimer, of Richard's Castle; ? de Mortimer and Hawise de Mortimer

Occupation: Baron, de Wigmore, Sieur, de Saint-Victor-en-Caux
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Ralph de Mortimer

RALPH [I] de Mortemer [Mortimer], son of ROGER [I] de Mortemer & his wife Hawise --- (-5 Aug after [1115/18]). "Hadvise et Radulfi filii eius" donated land "in episcopatu Ambianensium apud Mers" to Saint-Victor-en-Caux by undated charter (a copy of which is attached to a late-12th century transcription of a charter under which Hugh de Mortimer confirmed donations to the monastery)[230]. He succeeded his father as Lord of Wigmore, and of other land in Herefordshire and Shropshire. Domesday Book records “Ralph de Mortimer” holding land in Buddlesgate and Barton Hundreds in Hampshire; land in Berkshire including Brimpton in Thatcham Hundred; Idbury in Oxfordshire; Wigmore castle and other properties in Herefordshire; numerous places in Shropshire[231]. Florence of Worcester records that "Beornardus de Novo Mercatu, Rogerius de Laceio…Rawlfus de Mortuo Mari…cum hominibus comitis Rogeri de Scrobbesbyria" threatened Worcester with an army of Normans and Welsh, dated to [1088][232]. Orderic Vitalis records that “Rodbertus Aucensium comes et Gauterius Gifardus et Radulfus de Mortuomari” and nearly all the seigneurs who lived “trans Sequanam usque ad mare” joined King William II against his brother Robert Duke of Normandy and received considerable sums to fortify their castles, dated to [1089/90][233]. "Stephen count of Aumâle" donated property to the abbey of Saint-Martin-des-Champs, Paris with the consent of "Hauisa his wife and her father Ralf de Mortuomari" for the souls of "…Milesenda his wife deceased" by charter dated to [1100][234]. Orderic Vitalis named "…Radulfus de Mortuomari" among the supporters of King Henry I in 1104[235]. A manuscript narrating the foundation of Wigmore Abbey records that it was founded by “Radulpho de Mortuomari”, adding in a later passage that he died “pridie Non Aug 1100”[236]. The year is incorrect, as shown by Orderic Vitalis´s record of Ralph in 1104. The Lindsey Survey, dated to [1115/18], records "Ralph de Mortimer" holding land in Wootton[237]. It is possible that Ralph survived much later than this date, although no later record has been found which names him. This possibility appears to be corroborated by the manuscript narrating the foundation of Wigmore Abbey which records that “Radulpho de Mortuomari…filium juniorem…Willielmum” was installed by his father as “dominum de Netherleye”[238]. This passage, assuming that it is accurate, shows that Ralph must have survived at least until William was of the age to have been granted this property. If Ralph [I] did survive after 1104, it would extend the possible range during which his son Hugh [II] could have been born, which could contribute towards resolving the chronological difficulties associated with Hugh´s life which are discussed in more detail below. Ralph was certainly dead some time before 1130, the dating of a charter under which "Giroldus abbas S. Luciani Bellovacensis" confirmed the foundation of the abbey by Ralph´s son-in-law "Stephano comiti Albæmarlensi", witnessed by his son "…Hugone de Mortuomari…"[239]. Hugues Archbishop of Rouen confirmed donations to Saint-Victor-en-Caux, including property "apud Wellas" {Veules, commune de Saint-Valéry} in "feudo Hugonis de Mortuo mari" and property "apud Sanctum Victorem ex dono Radulfi de Mortuo mari et filii eius Hugonis", by charter dated 1137[240].

m firstly MELISENDE, daughter of --- (-before 30 Mar 1088). "Stephen count of Aumâle" donated property to the abbey of Saint-Martin-des-Champs, Paris with the consent of "Hauisa his wife and her father Ralf de Mortuomari" for the souls of "…Milesenda his wife deceased" by charter dated to [1100][241].

m secondly (before 30 Mar 1088) MABEL, daughter of ---. She is named as Ralph's wife in her attestation of a charter for the abbey of Jumièges 30 Mar 1088 for Ralph FitzAnsered, also attested by her husband[242].

[m thirdly ---. The chronology of the life of Hugh [II] de Mortimer, died in [1180/81] suggests that he must have been born late in the last decade of the 11th century at the earliest or more probably early in the 12th century. This is several years after Mabel was recorded as wife of Ralph [I] de Mortimer. One possibility is that Hugh and his brothers were born from an otherwise unrecorded third marriage of their father. It should be noted that no primary source has been found which names Hugh´s mother.]

Ralph [I] & his first wife had one child:

1. HAWISE (before 1088[243]-). "Stephen count of Aumâle" donated property to the abbey of Saint-Martin-des-Champs, Paris with the consent of "Hauisa his wife and her father Ralf de Mortuomari" for the souls of "…Milesenda his wife deceased" by charter dated to [1100][244]. m (before [1100]) ETIENNE Comte d'Aumâle, son of EUDES de Troyes Comte d´Aumâle [Blois-Champagne] & his wife Adelais de Normandie Ctss d'Aumâle (before 1070-before 1130, maybe [1127]). Ralph [I] & his [second/third] wife had [four] children:

2. HUGH [II] de Mortimer (-Cleobury [26 Feb] [1180/81], bur Wigmore). A manuscript narrating the foundation of Wigmore Abbey names “Radulpho de Mortuomari…filium suum Hugonem”[245]. - see below.

3. WILLIAM . A manuscript narrating the foundation of Wigmore Abbey names “Radulpho de Mortuomari…filium juniorem…Willielmum”, later installed by his father as “dominum de Netherleye”[246]. "…Vuillelmum fratrem meum…" witnessed the undated charter under which "Hugo de Mortuo mari" confirmed the donations to Saint-Victor-en-Caux by "patre meo Radulfo…ab avo meo Rogerio"[247].

4. ROGER [II] de Mortimer (-before 1175). The Complete Peerage suggests that Roger de Mortimer was the son of Hugh [II] de Mortimer, adding that he died "in 1153 when his brother Hugh had succeeded him"[248]. However, if we assume, as shown in the present document that there was only one Hugh [II] de Mortimer, the following entries would all be consistent with Roger having been his brother. The date of his supposed death in 1153 appears only to be based on the assumption, which is made in the Complete Peerage, that Hugh [II] died before that date. That assumption is incorrect as shown by the passage in William of Newburgh which is quoted below under the paragraph which deals with Hugh [II]. William of Malmesbury names "Roger de Mortimer" as commander of King Stephen's forces at Malmesbury, dated to 1139[249]. "…Rogero de Mortuo Mari…" witnessed a charter dated 1150 under which King Stephen confirmed property of Christ Church, Hampshire, confirmed by a charter dated 27 Nov 1313[250]. “H. de Mortuomari” donated property to Kington St Michael, for the soul of “Rogeri fratris mei”, by undated charter[251]. Rotrou Archbishop of Rouen confirmed past donations to Saint-Victor-en-Caux, including the donations by "Hugonis de Mortuo Mari" for the souls of "patris sui Radulfi…et…fratris sui Rogeri", by charter dated 1175[252].

5. [--- . The parent of William may have been either William or Roger who are named above, or another otherwise unidentified son or daughter of Ralph [I] de Mortimer. m ---] One child:

a) WILLIAM (-after 1179). "H. de Mortuomari" donated the church of Vatterville to Saint-Victor-en-Caux by charter dated to after 1179, witnessed by "Hugone filio meo, Rogero filio meo…Willelmo fratre meo, Willelmo nepote meo…Reginaldo de Vassunvilla…"[253]. It is unlikely that "nepote" in this passage should be interpreted as grandson as Hugh [II] de Mortimer was unlikely in 1179 to have had grandsons who were old enough to have witnessed charters. It is assumed therefore that William was the son of one of Hugh´s siblings.


Ranulph de Mortimer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ranulph I de Mortimer (Ralf, Ralph, Raoul de Mortemer) (bef. 1070 to c. 1104) was a Marcher Lord from the Montgomery lands in the Welsh Marches (border lands between Wales and England). In England, he was Lord of Wigmore in Herefordshire. In Normandy, he was the Seigneur of St. Victor-en-Caux. Ranulph was the founder of the English House of Mortimer of Wigmore. He acquired Wigmore Castle after William Fitz Osbern's son Roger de Breteuil joined the Revolt of the Earls of 1075. His lands and holdings in Herefordshire and Shropshire [1] were granted to him by William the Conqueror before 1086.[2]

Allegiance to England

After William the Conqueror's death, the Kingdom of England and the Duchy of Normandy were divided. Ranulph of Mortemer joined the ranks of the Rebellion of 1088 against the new King of England, William Rufus. Together with Norman, English and Welsh Marcher Lords, they invaded and conquered the lands of Hereford, Gloucester and Worcestershire. A year later, the revolt failed and the marches of Normandy, from Maine to the Evrecin, were in disorder. King Rufus took advantage of this opportunity to align with the barons of Upper Normandy by bribing them.[3] Of these barons, Ranulph maintained his land by accepting a bribe from the King in which he had to give his support to England. He did this by garrisoning his castle and sacking surrounding enemy territories as an attack against the new Duke of Normandy, Robert Curthose. The Norman baron allegiance set the stage for a race between the heirs of William I, where the Duke of Normandy and the King of England sought to gain as much support from powerful and influential houses as possible against each other.[4]

Allegiance to Normandy

Throughout the power struggle between Normandy and England in the early 1090s, Ranulph ended up switching sides and submitting to the Duke of Normandy.[5] At the Welsh Marches in 1093, Ranulph joined Norman forces,[6] leading with Earl Roger of Shrewsbury, Ralph Tosny of Clifford Castle and Philip de Braose of Radnor. They invaded the ancient Welsh county of Radnorshire, which is now Powys, and sacked the kingdom of Cynllibiwg. This territory was known as Rhwng Gwy a Hafren, located between the Rivers Wye and Severn.[7] They founded the castles of Dinieithon, near present Llandrindod Wells, and Cymaron in Maelienydd, located between Llanbister and Llangunllo.[8] A century later, after the collapse of Norman authority, the descendants of Mortemer were eventually expelled from this territory by the Cynllibiwg rebellion of 1148.[7]


Ranulph de Mortemer was born in Normandy before 1070 and died soon after 4 August 1137. He was the son of the Norman baron Roger filius Episcopi and Hawise. His father assumed the name Mortemer after taking possession of the castle and village of Mortemer in the Pays de Bray, called sometimes Morte-mer sur Eaulne or en Brai. However, Roger lost the land in the Battle of Mortemer of 1054 against William the Conqueror. Decades later, the property was granted back to the Mortemer family, namely by Ranulph, who acquired it. They are related to William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey, and descendents of a sister of Gunnor, the wife of Richard I of Normandy.

Ranulph married Millicent, whose parentage is currently unknown. Their daughter Hawise de Mortemer (d. 1127), married Earl Stephen of Aumale before 1100.[9] Ranulph supported the cause to have his son-in-law replace Henry I of England, however, Henry had control of both England and Normandy until 1135.

Ranulph's son, Hugh I de Mortemer, rebuilt Cymaron Castle in 1144. Wigmore Castle remained the Mortimer dynasty's family home. His grandson Hugh II married Maud (Matilda) de Meschines.


  • Remfry, P.M., Wigmore Castle, 1066 to 1181 (ISBN 1-899376-14-3)
  • Tout, T.F.. "Ralph (I) de Mortimer". Dictionary of National Biography 39. pp. 130–131.
  • Weis, Frederick Lewis Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonist Who Came To America Before 1700 (8th ed.), line 136-24


  1. Ranulph de Mortimer on The National Library of Wales :: Dictionary of Welsh Biography
  2. Wigmore Castle
  3. Barlow, F. William Rufus, (1983), p. 273-4
  4. Hollister & Frost. Henry I, 2001, p. 69, 70
  5. Barlow, p. 324
  6. Davies, N.The Isles: A History (ISBN 0195134427), 1999, p. 281
  7. British Archaeology, no 34, May 1998 (ISSN 1357-4442): Paul Remfry. Discovering the lost kingdom of Radnor
  9. Barlow, note p. 278.


Ralph de Mortimer - was born before 1082, lived in Wigmore, Herefordshire, England.

Ralph married Milisent Ferrers. Milisent was born before 1086, lived in Wigmore, Herefordshire, England.

Ralph - - The Mortimers took their name from Mortimer-en-Brai, a lordship in Normandy, and they became established in England by Ralph, who, if he was not at (the Battle of) Hastings, certainly followed William (the Conqueror) across the Channel soon afterwards. The latter bestowed upon the family their role as Marcher Lords, and the township and Wigmore Castle, in north Herefordshire, was adopted by them as their seat.

Their span of influence lasted for the next four centuries. Their line ended with Edmund Mortimer, the fifth Earl of March, who died without issue. However, Edward IV was the grandson of Anne, Edmund's sister, so it could be said that a Mortimer did eventually become King of England.

While there were a couple of occasions when Mortimer power ebbed and all the house's lordships were confiscated by the crown, its story is generally one of looking for the "main chance" to expand their authority and territory. They did this by force, by expedient marriage arrangements and settlements, or by mixture of both.

Children: (Quick Family Chart)

i. Hugh de Mortimer was born in 1108, lived in Wigmore, Herefordshire, England and died in 1185 .


  • Ralph De Mortimer Lord of Wigamore

born Normandie

died aft 1104


  • Roger De Mortimer


  • Hawisa (De Valois)




  • Milisent wife of Roger De Mortimer

(end of information)


  • Hugh De Mortimer born 1108 Of, Wigmore, Herefordshire, England died 1189

William De Mortimer

  • Robert De Mortimer born about 1100 Wigmore, Herefordshire, England

Hawise De Mortimer

biographical and/or anecdotal:

Accompanying the Duke of Normandy in his expedition against England, he was one of his principal commanders at the decisive battle of Hastings; and shortly after, as the most puissant of the victor's captains, was sent into the marches of Wales to encounter Edric, Earl of Shrewsbury, who still resisted the Norman yoke. This nobleman, after much difficulty, and a long siege in his castle of Wigmore, Mortimer subdued, and delivered into the king's hands. When, as a reward for his good service, he obtained a grant of all Edric's estates, and seated himself thenceforward at Wigmore. Independently of these great Welsh territorial possessions, Ralph Mortimer enjoyed by the bounty of his royal master sundry lordships and manors in other parts of the realm, which he held at the time of the General Survey. In the beginning of Rufus's reign, Mortimer took part with Curthose, but he subsequently changed sides, and being constituted general of the forces sent to oppose that prince in Normandy, by King Henry I., he totally routed the enemy, and brought Curthose prisoner to the king.

notes or source:

LDS --------------------,_seigneur_de_Mortimer -------------------- Ranulf de Mortimer was Lord of Wigmore, Herefordshire, England and Seigneur of St. Victor-en-Caux in Normandy. He was the founder of the English House of Mortimer of Wigmore in the Welsh Marches, in what is today the county of Herefordshire.

Ranulf was also called Ralf de Mortemer-en-Bray, and also Ralph de Mortimer of Wigmore.

Ranulph was a Marcher Lord and was granted his lands in the Welsh Marches by William the Conqueror. He had holdings in Herefordshire and Shropshire. Most notably, he acquired Wigmore Castle after William Fitz Osbern's son Roger de Breteuil joined the Revolt of the Earls of 1075. Before 1086 he had been granted Wigmore.

Like many of the Marcher Lords, Ranulph took part in the Rebellion of 1088 against William Rufus (King William II). In 1089 he took money from William Rufus for support against Robert Curthose. He had presumably submitted to the King when the 1088 revolt failed, for he did not lose his lands. In 1090 he was backing William with his castles in Normandy. A few years later, wavering, he did give support to Robert.

In the 1090s he was instrumental in conquering the Welsh district of Rhwng Gwy a Hafren and founding the castles of Dinieithon (near present Llandrindod Wells, not lasting out the twelfth century, and Cymaron (1093, between Llanbister and Llangunllo) in Maelienydd (old Radnorshire, now in Powys).

He rebelled against the Crown twice again under Henry I of England, trying to replace him by his son-in-law Stephen.

Ranulf died before 1104.

See for more information.

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Ralph de Mortimer's Timeline

Seine-Inferieure, Normandy, France
Age 23
Wigmore, Herefordshire, England
Age 35
Wayland, Norfolk, , England
Age 45
County of Herefordshire, United Kingdom
Age 52
Of Wigmore, Herefordshire, England
August 5, 1137
Age 82
Wigmore, Ludlow, Hertfordshire, England
May 1, 1992
Age 82
September 15, 1992
Age 82