Edmund Mortimer, 5th Earl of March - Rebellion Against Henry IV

Rebellion Against Henry IV

On 22 June 1402, Mortimer's uncle, Sir Edmund Mortimer, was captured by the Welsh rebel leader, Owain Glyndŵr, at the Battle of Bryn Glas. His suspicions fueled by rumours that Mortimer had fallen into captivity by his own design, Henry IV refused to ransom him, and by October 1402 began confiscating his lands, plate and jewels. Mortimer then went over to Glyndŵr's side. On 30 November 1402 he married Glyndŵr's daughter, Catrin, and on 13 December 1402 proclaimed in writing that his nephew, Edmund Mortimer, was the rightful heir to King Richard II.

Spurred on by various grievances, including the King's refusal to ransom their kinsman, Sir Edmund Mortimer, in the summer of 1403 the Percys rebelled and took up arms against the King, led by Sir Edmund Mortimer's brother-in-law, Henry 'Hotspur' Percy. According to Bean, it is clear the Percys were in collusion with Glyndŵr. Joined by his uncle, Thomas Percy, Earl of Worcester, Henry Percy marched to Shrewsbury where he intended to do battle against a force there under the command of Henry, Prince of Wales. However the army of Percy's father, the Earl of Northumberland was, for reasons never fully explained, slow to move south as well, and it was without Northumberland's assistance that Henry Percy and Worcester arrived at Shrewsbury on 21 July 1403, where they found the King with a large army. The ensuing battle was fierce, with heavy casualties on both sides, but when Henry Percy himself was slain, his forces fled. The Earl of Worcester was executed on 23 July.

The alliance of Glyndŵr and Sir Edmund Mortimer with the Percys survived the setback at Shrewsbury, and in February 1405 Glyndŵr, Mortimer and Henry Percy, 1st Earl of Northumberland entered into a tripartite indenture which proposed a threefold division of the kingdom in which Sir Edmund Mortimer was to have most of the south of England, an agreement apparently connected to a plot to free Mortimer's nephew from King Henry's custody and carry him into Wales. On 13 February 1405 the young Edmund Mortimer and his brother, Roger, were abducted from Windsor Castle, but quickly recaptured near Cheltenham. Constance of York was held responsible, and arrested, and implicated her brother, Edward of Langley, 2nd Duke of York, who was arrested and imprisoned at Pevensey Castle for seventeen weeks. As a result of the failed abduction, on 1 February 1406 Edmund Mortimer and his brother were put under stricter supervision at Pevensey Castle under Sir John Pelham (d.1429), where they remained until 1409. On 1 February 1409 Edmund and Roger were given in charge to the King's son, Henry, Prince of Wales, the future King Henry V, who was only five years older than Edmund. They remained in custody for the remainder of Henry IV's reign.

According to Griffiths, Edmund Mortimer's sisters, Anne and Eleanor, who were in the care of their mother until her death in 1405, were not well treated by Henry IV, and were described as 'destitute' after her death.

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