“It was a couple of years ago that I first heard about the existence of an old roll of parchment containing the coats of arms of people connected with Ludlow Castle. It was owned by a dealer in the Portobello Road in London who had had it for several years. Heraldic rolls like this are highly collectable, but this one had not sold, probably because it is not in perfect condition. At some point in its history it has been attacked by rodents, though it has subsequently been expertly repaired. As a trustee of the Mortimer History Society and a Ludlow resident, I was much more interested in the historical significance of the roll than its condition. Happily, when I had the chance to inspect it, I found that, though damaged and faded in places, much of it was still in remarkably good condition. It was immediately clear that this important document must be purchased for Ludlow.”
Thus Hugh Wood of the Mortimer History Society introduces his article about the above roll, which is of enormous importance to both the Mortimer History Society and those of us who follow events of the 15th century. Ludlow figures greatly in theatre of the Wars of the Roses and the early Tudors; Richard III resided there for a while as a boy.
I sincerely hope the roll goes home to Ludlow. You can read more about it here.
I’m posting this courtesy of the Mortimer History Society.
“The annual re-enactment of the Battle of Mortimer’s Cross (February 1460/1) will take place on Saturday & Sunday 10th & 11th September at Croft Castle, near Yarpole, Herefordshire. Croft Castle is owned by the National Trust. Normal NT charges apply but there is no extra charge for seeing the re-enactment.
“As the organisers say…..’Join us for a living history weekend full of gunpowder, battles, archery and swordfights, bringing to life one of the most significant battles of the Wars of the Roses’.”
It sounds an excellent and exciting weekend!
The following is taken from an item in one of the Mortimer History Society newsletters. It was by a member, Stefan Zachary, and concerns a sword of state in the British Museum.
Mortimer Heraldry on a Sword of State
This sword is dated c1460-70 and it is said to be a ceremonial sword of the Prince of Wales. On one side of the hilt is the English Royal coat of arms and also those of Wales, Cornwall and St George. On the other side are the arms of Mortimer quartered with de Burgh. This quartering was first used by Roger Mortimer, 4th Earl of March (d1398) as his mother was Philippa de Burgh, Countess of Ulster.
The title ‘Prince of Wales’ was first used by an English monarch by Edward I, who gave it to his son and heir, the future Edward II. So, given the age of the sword, it is possible that it was made for Edward, Lancastrian son and heir of Henry VI. Or, that the Yorkist Edward IV gave this sword of state to his son Edward (later Edward V) in 1470. In 1472 King Edward IV set up a council to advise and assist his young son in performing his duties and this council blossomed into the Council of Wales and the Marches, based in Ludlow, that survived until 1689.
The other possible recipient of this fine sword was yet another Edward, the son of Richard III, created Prince of Wales in 1483. Only he and Edward V, among these heirs, were of Mortimer descent.
Thank you to the Mortimer History Society for an excellent article about the parhelion of Mortimer’s Cross in 1461….and a repeat of it in Ludlow of 2015.