Roger I DE MORTIMER, Lord of Wigmore, Seigneur de Mortemer-sur-Eaulne
(-By 1086)
Ralph I DE MORTIMER, Lord of Wigmore
Hugh II DE MORTIMER, Lord of Wigmore


Family Links

Matilda (Maud) DE RUMILLY

Hugh II DE MORTIMER, Lord of Wigmore

  • Married: Before 1156
  • Died: Abt 26 Feb 1181, Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire, England
  • Buried: Wigmore, Herefordshire, England

  Orthographic variation: DE MORTUO MARI

  General Notes:

Compiler's 23/28 x great-grandfather

  Research Notes:

A manuscript narrating the foundation of Wigmore Abbey names “Radulpho de Mortuomari…filium suum Hugonem”. Debate surrounding Hugh [II] de Mortimer has focussed on whether there was one individual named Hugh Mortimer or two, father and son, during the 12th century. The difficulty is that Hugh [II]´s career would have been unusually long if there had been only one person named Hugh. Eyton proceeds on the assumption that there was only one Hugh [II] de Mortimer, who was the father of Roger de Mortimer (who died in 1214). He bases this on the manuscript narrating the foundation of Wigmore Abbey, ...although he does suggest that the document is unreliable. More recently, Paul Remfry has also suggested that there was only one Hugh [II] de Mortimer. All the sources which are quoted below suggest a continuous career of one individual, there being no hint about a succession from father to son during the period in question. The Complete Peerage, on the other hand, suggests that it "would seem a chronological impossibility" if there had been only one Hugh de Mortimer, considering that Ralph [I] de Mortimer was already married to his second wife in 1088 and that his supposed grandson Roger de Mortimer died in 1214. It is true that, if we assume that Hugh [II] was born in the last years of the 11th century, he must have been in his late eighties or early nineties if he died in [1180/81]. However, this assumes that (1) Ralph [I]´s second wife was the mother of Hugh [II], and (2) that Ralph [II] died at the beginning of the 12th century. Neither of these assumptions would be correct if Hugh [II] was born from an otherwise unrecorded third marriage of Ralph [I], and if Ralph [I] survived some years after his last appearance in the sources in 1104.... Another apparent indication that there must have been two persons named Hugh de Mortimer is the dating of Hugh´s known marriage. This marriage with Matilda, widow of Philip de Belmeis, could not have taken place much before 1150 (her first husband was living in 1145). At that time, Hugh [II] would have been in his fifties if he had been born at the turn of the century. The chronology is thus difficult, but certainly not an "impossibility". Two other facts point to Hugh [II] having a long career. Firstly, William of Newburgh refers to Hugh as "nobilem annis jam plurimis" in 1155. Secondly, the Anglo-Norman history of the foundation of Wigmore abbey records that "Hugh de Mortimer" died "at a good old age".

Hugh´s first documented appearance in the sources dates to before 1130: "…Hugone de Mortuomari…" witnessed the charter under which "Giroldus abbas S. Luciani Bellovacensis" confirmed the foundation of the abbey by "Stephano comiti Albæmarlensi". Although the document is undated, its wording suggests that Etienne Comte d´Aumâle was still alive at the time, therefore dating it to before 1130. Hugues Archbishop of Rouen confirmed donations to Saint-Victor-en-Caux by charter dated 1137, including property "apud Wellas" {Veules, commune de Saint-Valéry} in "feudo Hugonis de Mortuo mari" and property "apud Sanctum Victorem" donated by "Radulfi de Mortuo mari et filii eius Hugonis", the property described in an earlier part of the same document as "de feudo Hugonis de Mortuo mari". "Hugo de Mortuo mari" confirmed the donations made "tam a patre meo Radulfo, quam ab avo meo Rogerio" to Saint-Victor-en-Caux, and other past donations including all donations of property in England "antequam duxissem uxorem", by undated charter issued "in communi expeditione Domini Normannie", witnessed by "Hugonem et Vuillelmum filios meos…Ricardum de Altifago…Renaldum de Vassumvilla…Brianim de Jai et Heliam patrem eius…Vuillelmum fratrem meum…".

In 1144, he initiated the reconquest of the Marches conquered by the Welsh after the death of King Henry I, capturing Rhys ap Howel in 1145, killing Meredith ap Madog in 1146, and blinding the former in 1148. The Annales Cambriæ record that "Hugo de Mortuo Mari" captured "Resum filium Hoeli" in 1145, killed "Maredut filium Madauc filium Ithuert" in 1146, and blinded "Resum filium Hoeli" in prison in 1148. William of Newburgh records that "Hugonem de Mortuomari virum fortem et nobilem annis jam plurimis".... Hugh [I]) refused to surrender "castro de Brigia" to King Henry II, dated to 1155. Robert de Torigny records that "Hugo de Mortuo Mari, vir arrogantissimus et de se præsumens" fortified "castella sua" against the king, who captured and destroyed "Bruge, Wigemore, Cleoberei", in 1155, but adding in a later passage in the same year that "Non Jul…Hugo de Mortuo Mari" made peace with the king and "castellis Bruge et Wigemore" were returned. The Complete Peerage says that Hugh [II] "seems to have died in the period [1148/50]". However, the passage from William of Newburgh, quoted above, indicates that Hugh [II] survived into the reign of King Henry II. “H. de Mortuomari” donated property to Kington St Michael, for the soul of “Rogeri fratris mei”, by undated charter.

"Hugo de Mortuo Mari" founded Wigmore abbey by charter witnessed by "the Lord Hugh de Lacy, the Lord Robert Corbet, the Lord Robert Rowles…" (undated, but the names of the witnesses suggest dating to the 1170s), the charter quoted in a charter of King Henry VIII dated 1509. The Red Book of the Exchequer records enfeoffments in the duchy of Normandy in [1172], "Hugo de Mortuo Mari" with 5 knights and 13 knights and one half in his own service. "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…".

A manuscript narrating the foundation of Wigmore Abbey records that Hugh died “26 Feb 1185”. The Annals of Worcester record the death in 1185 of “Hugo de Mortuo Mari, fundator abbathiæ de Wiggemore” and his burial “ad ostium capituli Wigorniæ”. An Anglo-Norman history of the foundation of Wigmore abbey records that "Hugh de Mortimer" died "at Cleobury at a good old age and full of good works" ("en bone veleste et pleine de bones eovres"), was buried at Wigmore, and succeeded by his son Roger who "was held in the king´s keeping for the death of one named Cadwallan". 1


HUGH DE MORTIMER, brother and heir [of Roger]. When Henry, Duke of Normandy (Henry II), made promises of great grants to Ranulph, Earl of Chester, in 1153, the fees of Hugh de Mortimer (and those of others) in Staffordshire were excepted. On succeeding to the throne in December 1154 Henry required from Mortimer Bridgnorth Castle, which had been in his hands for many years; he refused to surrender it, whereupon the King proceeded in person first to Cleobury, which he took and destrioyed, 17 June 1155, and then to Bridgnorth, which was taken after several days' vigorous assault on 7 July. Some time before 1161 he or his father conceded to Foucarmont gifts made by Hugh and William de St. Germain. In 1167 he was fined £100 in Hants because he refused at the King's command to give up to one of his own knights certain animals taken in distraint when security was offered. He figures in the returns of knights' fees in Normandy of 1172 as owing service of 5 knights and holding himself 13 1/2 knights' fees. The foundation of Wigmore Abbey was completed before Hugh's death. He was also a benefactor to the Templars in Lincolnshire.

He married Maud, widow of Philip DE BELMEIS, daughter and coh. of William MESCHIN, of Skipton-in-Craven (brother of Ranulph I, Earl of Chester), by Cecily, daughter and heir of Robert DE ROMILLY. He died between Michaelmas 1180 and Michaelmas 1181. His widow was living in Richard I's reign. 2


Hugh de Mortimer, being a person of a proud and turbulent spirit, opposed strenuously the accession of King Henry II upon the demise of Stephen, and induced Roger, Earl of Hereford, to fortify his castles of Gloucester and Hereford against the new monarch, himself doing the same with his castles of Cleobury, Wigmore, and Brugges (commonly called Bridgenorth). Whereupon Gilbert Foliot, at that time Bishop of Hereford, addressing himself to the Earl of Hereford, his kinsman, by fair persuasions soon brought him to peaceable submission. But Mortimer continuing obstinate, the king was forced to raise an army and, at the point of the sword, to being him to obedience. Between this rude baron and Joceas de Dynant, at that time Lord of Ludlow, existed a feud, carried to so fierce a pitch that Dynant could not pass safely out of his castle for fear of being taken by Mortimer's men, but it so happened that Mortimer, setting his spies to take all advantages of Dynant, was surprised himself and carried prisoner to Ludlow where he was detained until he paid a ransom of 3,000 marks of silver. He was oftentimes engaged against the Welsh and he erected some strong castles in Wales. He likewise finished the foundation of the abbey of Wigmore, begun by his father, and in his old age became a canon of that house. He m. and had issue, Roger, his successor; Hugh, who m. Felicia de Sancto Sydonio, and had, by her, by gift of his father, the manors of Sudbury and Chelmers; Ralph; and William. He d. in 1188 and was s. by his eldest son, Roger de Mortimer, Lord of Wigmore. 3

  Marriage Information:

Hugh married Matilda (Maud) DE RUMILLY, daughter of William "le Meschin" FITZ RANULF of Skipton-in-Craven and Cecily DE RUMILLY, before 1156. (Matilda DE RUMILLY was born in Skipton-in-Craven, Yorkshire, England and died after 1189.)


1 Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, Medlands: Hugh [II] de Mortimer.

2 Complete Peerage..., IX:270-2, XIV:488.

3 Dormant, Abeyant, Forfeited and Extinct Peerages, Sir Bernard Burke, London, England, 1883, p. 383, Mortimer, Barons Mortimer, of Wigmore, Earls of March.

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