Anne de Mortimer

Anne Mortimer (27 December 1388 – c. 22 September 1411) was a medieval English noblewoman who became an ancestress to the royal House of York, one of the parties in the fifteenth-century dynastic Wars of the Roses. It was her line of descent which gave the Yorkist dynasty its claim to the throne. Anne was the mother of Richard, Duke of York, and thus grandmother of kings Edward IV and Richard III.

Anne Mortimer
Coat of arms of Anne Mortimer[1]
Born27 December 1388
Diedc. 22 September 1411 (aged 22)
Kings Langley, Hertfordshire
SpouseRichard of Conisburgh (m. 1408)
FatherRoger Mortimer, 4th Earl of March
MotherEleanor Holland

Early life

Born on 27 December 1388,[2][3][4] Anne Mortimer was the eldest of the four children of Roger Mortimer, 4th Earl of March (1374–1398), and Eleanor Holland (1370–1405).[3] She had two brothers, Edmund, 5th Earl of March (1391–1425), and Roger (1393–1413?), as well as a sister, Eleanor.[3]

Anne's father was a descendant of Lionel, Duke of Clarence, second surviving son of King Edward III of England, an ancestry which made Mortimer a potential heir to the throne during the reign of the childless King Richard II. Upon Roger Mortimer's death in 1398, this claim passed to his son and heir, Anne's brother Edmund, Earl of March.[5] In 1399, Richard II was deposed by Henry IV, of the House of Lancaster, making Edmund Mortimer a dynastic threat to the new king, who in turn placed both Edmund and his brother Roger under royal custody.

Anne and her sister Eleanor remained in the care of their mother, Countess Eleanor, who, not long after her first husband's death, married Lord Edward Charleton of Powys.[5] Following their mother's death in 1405, the sisters fared less well than their brothers and were described as "destitute", needing £100 per annum for themselves and their servants.[6]

Marriage and issue

Around early 1408 (probably after 8 January),[7] Anne married Richard of Conisburgh (1385–1415), the second son of Edmund, Duke of York (fourth son of King Edward III). The marriage was undertaken secretly and probably with haste, without the knowledge of her nearest relatives, and was validated on 23 May 1408 by papal dispensation.[8]

Anne Mortimer and Richard of Conisburgh had two sons and a daughter:[9]

Anne Mortimer died soon after the birth of her son Richard on 22 September 1411.[13] She was probably buried at Kings Langley, Hertfordshire, once the site of Kings Langley Palace,[14] perhaps in the conventual church that houses the tombs of her husband's parents Edmund of Langley and Isabella of Castile.



  1. Pinches, John Harvey; Pinches, Rosemary (1974), The Royal Heraldry of England, Heraldry Today, Slough, Buckinghamshire: Hollen Street Press, ISBN 0-900455-25-X
  2. Gransden 1992, p. 296.
  3. Tout 1894, p. 146.
  4. Dugdale, p. 355.
  5. Griffiths 2004.
  6. Griffiths 2004; CPR 1907, pp. 173, 392
  7. CPR 1907, p. 392.
  8. Pugh 1988, p. 94; Harriss 2012
  9. Richardson IV 2011, pp. 400–11.
  10. Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, 106th Edition, Charles Mosley Editor-in-Chief, 1999, Page: 15, 1222
  11. Richardson IV 2011, p. 402.
  12. Kirby 1995, entries 469, 472.
  13. Harriss 2012.
  14. Richardson IV 2011, p. 400.


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