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Vol II File 19: The Paternal Ancestry of Homer Beers James

29. Mortimer Line

The family of Mortemer derives its name from Mortemer (Mortuo-Mari) in Pays-de-Caux at the source of the Eaulne River. The castle of St. Victor-en-Caux was the chief barony of the family, which is said to have sprung from a marriage of Walter de St. Martin and a niece of the Duchess Gonnor. It was possessed by Roger de Mortemer in 1054, on which date he was one of the commanders of Duke William's forces at the battle of Mortemer. He sheltered in his castle, after the battle, his father-in-law, Raoul III. the Great, Comte de Valois and d'Amiens, by Oderic Vital called de Montdidier, one of the French commanders, until he was able to conduct him safely to his own territories three days later. For this reason Roger was banished by Duke William and his estates confiscated. He was later pardoned and his possessions returned with the exception of the castle of Mortemer, which the Duke had given to Roger's brother, William de Warren I. He contributed sixty vassals to the fleet of Duke William and it is generally conceded that he was too old to have been present at Senlac, although he made a donation to the abbey of St. Ouen in 1074 and died prior to the compilation of the General Survey. Wace mentions "Hue de Mortemer" as having taken part in the battle. Many commentators believe this to be an error, contending that Wace should have chronicled Roger or his son, Ralph, or both, because the only recorded Hugh was the son of Ralph and therefore too young to have participated in this event. There is no proof, however, that if not of this branch of the family, a Hugh could not have sprung from another. Eyton says, "There is evidence that Roger had two sons in addition to Ralph, namely, Hugh and William." Nevertheless, Ralph was certainly Roger's heir, and if the son of Hawisa, the only known wife of Roger, he must have been young at the time he attended the Conquest. He possessed at the compilation of Domesday 123 manors, in addition to the castle of Wigmore, in Herefordshire, which was the chief seat of his barony. In 1088 Ralph was opposed to William Rufus in favor of Robert Curthose (Courteheuse), but two years later, being pardoned, he accompanied Robert, Count of Eu, and Walter Giffard to Normandy, where they arrayed themselves against Duke Robert. In 1100 he founded the priory of Wigmore, at which time it was stated that Roger de Mortemer, descended from his family. Ralph, by his wife Millicent, had issue, Hugh, who succeeded him, William, to whom his brother gave Chelmarsh and who was ancestor of the Mortimers of Attleborough and Hawise, who married Stephen, Comte of Aumale. From this family descended the Lords of Wigmore, Earls of March, Lords Mortimer of Richard's Castle, etc. (Reference: Crispin & Macary, "Falaise Rolls").

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The following descent is not directly related, only half-relations.

From the marriage of Mortimer and Elizabeth there was an only surviving son, Roger Mortimer, successor to Edmund at his death shortly before January 21, 1331.

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