ANNE MORTIMER AND RICHARD OF CONISBURGH , A LOVE MATCH?
THE TOMB THAT IT IS BELIEVED ANNE MORTIMER SHARES WITH HER IN-LAWS, EDMUND OF LANGLEY AND ISABELLA OF CASTILE…CHURCH OF ALL SAINTS, KINGS LANGLEY
Some time during the month of May 1408 , were married Richard III’s paternal grandparents, Anne Mortimer and Richard of Conisburgh. She was just 16 and he was in his 20s, it being thought that he could have been born circa 1375 but there is some uncertainty about this and it could have been later. It must have been a love match for it was without parental consent but validated by papal dispensation two years later on the 23 May. There was certainly no material gains from the marriage for either of them as Anne and her sister, Eleanor, were both living in straitened circumstances and being described as ‘destitute’ on the death of their mother.. Conisburgh was destined to suffer on going cash flow problems being described at the time as ‘the poorest of all the earls’ and struggling to maintain the lifestyle appropriate for his rank (1) when he was promoted to Earl of Cambridge in 1414.
Sadly the marriage was short-lived, Anne dying shortly after giving birth to Richard III’s father, Richard of York on the 22 September 1411 at Conisburgh Castle. The future was to bring about the execution of Conisburgh as a result of the Southampton plot in 1415 leaving their small son an orphan.
But I digress , and returning to Anne, it is believed that she was finally reburied once again with her paternal inlaws, Edmund of Langley and Isabella of Castile in All Saints Church, Kings Langley after their original burial place, Convent Chapel, Kings Langley fell into disrepair after the Dissolution of the Monasteries. In 1877, this tomb and its contents were examined by Dr George Rolleston. In a third lead coffin was found the remains of a woman of ‘about’ 30 years old with some of her auburn hair still remaining. These are believed to have been the remains of Anne Mortimer.
Some of the remains of Kings Langley Palace, home to Edmund Langley, are thought to have been incorporated in this old farm building.
Here is a link to an interesting article on “Anne Mortimer, the forgotten Plantagenet”
1) Richard Duke of York, King by Right p35 Matthew Lewis.