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With the death of the childless Edmund Mortimer, 5th Earl of March, his nephew, Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York became the heir-general of King Edward III of England.

Richard Plantagenet’s mother was Anne Mortimer (born on December 27, 1388) the eldest of the four children of Roger Mortimer, 4th Earl of March (1374–1398), and Eleanor Holland (1370–1405).

Anne’s father was a grandson of Lionel, Duke of Clarence, second surviving son of King Edward III of England, an ancestry which made her father Roger Mortimer a potential heir to the throne during the reign of the childless King Richard II.

Upon Roger Mortimer’s death in 1398, his claim to the throne passed to his son and heir, Anne’s brother, Edmund, 5th Earl of March. In 1399, Richard II was deposed by Henry IV of the House of Lancaster, making Edmund Mortimer a dynastic threat to the new king, Henry IV, who in turn placed both Edmund and his brother Roger under royal custody. All of this was dealt with in my previous entry.

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. 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.


Around early 1408 (probably after January 8), Anne married Richard of Conisburgh, 3rd Earl of Cambridge (1385–1415), the second son of Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York (fourth son of King Edward III) and his first wife, Isabella of Castile. Edmund of Langley the founder of the House of York.

On his father’s side, the Earl of Cambridge was the grandson of King Edward III and Philippa of Hainault, and on his mother’s side, he was the grandson of Pedro the Cruel, King of Castile and León, and his favourite mistress, María de Padilla (died 1361). His godfather was King Richard II.

The marriage between Anne Mortimer and Richard, 3rd Earl of Cambridge, was undertaken secretly and probably with haste, without the knowledge of her nearest relatives, and was validated on May 23, 1408 by papal dispensation from Pope Gregory XII.

This marriage would merge the Mortimer claim with the Yorkist claim to the English throne in the person of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York.

Richard of Conisburgh, 3rd Earl of Cambridge was a grandson of King Edward III through his father, Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York, while his wife, Anne Mortimer, was a great-great-granddaughter of King Edward III through Lionel of Antwerp, Duke of Clarence, the third son, but second surviving son of the English king Edward III.

What may seem like a large generational gap, it wasn’t actually; Richard was born in 1385 and Anne was only 3 years younger being born in 1388.

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

1. Isabel of York (1409 – 2 October 1484), who in 1412, at three years of age, was betrothed to Sir Thomas Grey, son and heir of Sir Thomas Grey of Heaton (1384–1415), by whom she had one son. Isabel married secondly, before April 25, 1426 (the marriage being later validated by papal dispensation by Pope Martin V), Henry Bourchier, 1st Earl of Essex, by whom she had issue.

2. Henry of York (died young)

3. Richard of York, 3rd Duke of York (22 September 1411 – 30 December 1460), Yorkist claimant to the English throne, and father of kings Edward IV and Richard III

Anne Mortimer died soon after the birth of her son Richard on September 22, 1411. She was buried at Kings Langley, Hertfordshire, once the site of Kings Langley Palace, which also housed the tombs of her husband’s parents Edmund of Langley and Isabella of Castile.

After the dissolution of the monasteries, all three were reburied at the Church of All Saints’, Kings Langley.