Roger Mortimer, Second Earl Of March

Roger Mortimer was born at Ludlow on 11 November 1328. At that time the Mortimer family, headed by his grandfather, Roger Mortimer, first earl of March, was the most powerful in England. But, by the time Roger was three, the family’s fortunes had reversed and its future looked bleak.

When the first earl was executed by Edward III in November 1330 his lands and titles were forfeit. With the death of Roger’s father, Edmund, in December 1331 there was nobody to fight for their return. It was from this position that Roger managed to reclaim his family’s reputation and fortune by the time of his death in 1360.

His first gains came through the influence of powerful family friends. Roger’s stepfather, William de Bohun, secured for him the estates of Radnor in 1341. The family seat at Wigmore and others in the Welsh marches were to follow in 1342 and 1344.

But family connections would have only taken Roger so far. The rest of his inheritance was returned as the result of a distinguished military career. At the age of 15 he took part in a tournament at Hereford alongside many great earls. Two years layer, in 1346, Roger joined the English armies in France and was knighted by Edward, the Black Prince, on 12 July. His participation at Crécy on 26 August that year was rewarded with the return of all the old Mortimer lands in Herefordshire and the Welsh marches.

Roger Mortimer of Wigmore was summoned to attend parliament in 1348 and became a founding member of the Order of the Garter. In 1354 parliament rehabilitated Roger’s executed grandfather, the first earl. The remaining Mortimer estates were returned and Roger took the title of second earl of March.

Meanwhile, his military career continued. In the 1350s, raising forces from his growing estates, Roger fought with Edward III’s armies in Scotland and France. When the English invaded France in 1359, Roger led one of the three columns that marched to the siege of Rheims.

But this was to be his last campaign. Roger Mortimer, second earl of March, died on 26 February 1360 at Rouvray, France with his family’s reputation and lands fully restored. His body was returned to England and buried at Wigmore.

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