Ferdinand I and Edmund de Mortimer

On this day, in the year 1065, Ferdinand I “El Magno” passed away. He was my 28th great-grandfather through his daughter Urraca of León and Castile and my 29th great-grandfather through his granddaughter Teresa of León—both daughters of Alfonso VI of León and Castile.  Ferdinand I was the first ruler of Castile to adopt the title of king. In addition, he was crowned emperor of León.

Ferdinand’s father, Sancho III of Pampona, acquired Castile and established sovereignty over the Christian states. On his death in 1035, Sancho III left Navarre to his eldest son García III. To his second son Ferdinand, who had married Sancha of León, sister and heiress of Bermudo III of León, he left Castille.

In 1037, Ferdinand’s Castilians defeated and killed his brother-in-law Bermudo III at the Battle of Tamarón. Then in 1039, Ferdinand I was crowned emperor of León.  In 1054, his troops defeated and killed his elder brother García III at Battle of Atapuerca. As a result, Ferdinand I added Navarre to his empire.  In 1062, he compelled the ruler of Tolédo to pay tribute and imposed vassalage on Saragossa and Sevilla.  In 1064,  Ferdinand I then conquered Coimbra and laid siege to Valencia; however, in the end, he failed to capture Valencia.

On his death on 27 December 1065, Ferdinand I’s kingdom was divided between his three sons. He left Castile to his eldest, Sancho II; León to his second son, Alfonso VI; and Galicia to his third son, García II. His first two sons dispossessed the third. When Sancho was murdered, Alfonso gained all the kingdoms, becoming emperor of Castile and León.


On the same day, 316 years later, in the year 1381, Edmund de Mortimer died. He was my 20th great-grandfather.

Born on 1 February 1352, Edmund was son of Roger Mortimer, 2nd Earl of March, and Philippa, daughter of William Montagu, 1st Earl of Salisbury, and Catherine Grandison.

When Edmund was only an infant, his father passed away. At that time, Edmund became a ward of the crown, which indicated his mother has already died (possibly in childbirth or soon thereafter). Edward III of England (my three-times multi-great-grandfather) placed the child in the care of William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester and Chancellor of England, and Richard FitzAlan, 10th Earl of Arundel (my 21st great-grandfather).

On 24 August 1369, at the age of 17, Edmund de Mortimer married 14-year-old Philippa, only child of the late Lionel of Antwerp, Duke of Clarence (my 21st great-grandfather), son of Edward III and Maud of Lancaster. Lionel’s late wife, Elizabeth de Burgh, was the only child of William Donn de Burgh, 3rd Earl of Ulster. Lionel had himself been created Earl of Ulster before his marriage; Edmund de Mortimer inherited the title Earl of Ulster on Lionel’s death.

In 1369, Edmund de Mortimer became Marshal of England. As such, he was employed in various diplomatic missions. In 1373, Edmund de Mortimer was a member of the committee appointed by the Peers to confer with the Commons on whether supplies should be provided for the war in France, led by John of Gaunt (my twice-over 19th great-grandfather).

In 1376, Edmund de Mortimer was a part of the Good Parliament. At that time, the royal court was perceived to be corrupt by much of the English population. This particular parliament was so nicknamed because of its sincere efforts to reform the court and the government. They imposed a new set of councilors on the king, one of whom was Edmund de Mortimer.

In 1377, on the accession of Richard II, who was still a minor, Edmund de Mortimer became a member of the standing council of government; however, as his wife Philippa was heir-presumptive to the English crown, he wisely abstained from claiming any administrative office.

In 1379, Edmund de Mortimer accepted the office of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. Although he succeeded in asserting his authority in eastern Ulster, he failed to subdue the dissenting factions farther west. On 27 December 1381, Edmund de Mortimer was killed in Cork. He was buried in Wigmore Abbey, of which he had been a benefactor and where his wife Philippa was also interred.

#englishhistory    #familyhistory     #spanishhistory

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Categories: Famous Faces and Places, On This Day, Royal Roots, Watts-Stark Line | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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