On this day, 27 December 1381, Edmund de Mortimer passed away. He was my 20th great-grandfather.
Born on 1 February 1352, Edmund was the 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 died. At that time, Edmund became a ward of the crown, which indicated that his mother had already died (possibly in childbirth or soon thereafter). Edward III (my 21st great-grandfather through his son Thomas of Woodstock, my 22nd great-grandfather through his son Lionel of Antwerp of Clarence, my three-times 19th and three-times 20th great-grandfather through his son John of Gaunt, and my 20th great-grandfather through his son Edmund of Langley) placed baby Edmund 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 through his granddaughter Alianore Holland and my 20th great-grandfather through his granddaughter Margaret Holland).
On 24 August 1369, at the age of 17, Edmund de Mortimer married 14-year-old Philippa of Clarence, the 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 de Burgh, 3rd Earl of Ulster. Lionel had himself been created Earl of Ulster before his marriage. Philippa was Countess of Ulster in her own right, bringing to the marriage extensive lands in Ireland. With their marriage, Edmund de Mortimer became Earl of Ulster.
In 1369, Edmund de Mortimer became Marshal of England. As such, he undertook various diplomatic missions.
On 12 February 1371, Edmund de Mortimer and his wife Philippa of Clarence were residing in Usk Castle, Monmouthshire, Wales when they welcomed their first child, a daughter named Elizabeth.
In 1373, Edmund de Mortimer was a member of a 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 two-times 19th great-grandfather).
On 11 April 1374, son Roger de Mortimer (my 19th great-grandfather) was born in Usk Castle, Monmouthshire, Wales.
In 1375, a second daughter arrived and was named Philippa after her mother.
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.
Meanwhile, back on the home front, the couple’s final child, son Edmund, was born on 10 December 1376, in Ludlow Castle, located in Shropshire, England.
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 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, Edmund de Mortimer failed to suppress the dissenting factions in western Ulster.
On 27 December 1381, en route to subdue an uprising of the southern chieftains, Edmund de Mortimer was killed in Cork, Ireland and was taken home to Herefordshire, England to be interred in Wigmore Abbey.