Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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MORTIMER , ROGER de ( 1256? - 1326 ), lord of Chirk ;

third son of Roger de Mortimer , sixth baron of Wigmore ( see preceding article ), and Matilda , daughter of William de Braose . His first connection with Chirkland came in 1282 , when he was granted the lands of Llywelyn Fychan (q.v.) , comprising the area around Chirk , the practical effect of the grant being to set up in his favour a new marcher lordship of Chirk . He was called upon to play a conspicuous part in the attempts to suppress the rebellion of Rhys ap Maredudd (q.v. in App.), lord of Ystrad Tywi , 1287-8 . In July 1287 he was requested to provide 400 footmen, and in Nov. 1287 and 1288 was again directed to take various measures against the rebellious lord. Towards the end of Edward I 's reign he incurred the king 's displeasure and fell into disfavour for a while. The accession of Edward II , however, witnessed a return to favour, characterised by territorial grants and elevation to high official status. In Feb. 1309/10 the castles of Blaenllyfni and Bwlch-y-ddinas in Brecknock were conferred upon him during the king 's pleasure, and, in Nov. 1310 , for life. On 15 Jan. 1307/8 he was appointed justice of the whole of Wales during the king's pleasure, a position which he seems to have held until 19 Feb. 1314/5 , when he was succeeded by John de Gray in North Wales , and William Martyn in West and South Wales . On 23 Nov. 1316 , however, he was regranted the office of justice of North Wales during the king's pleasure, and on 7 Oct. of the following year he became justice of North and South Wales for life. During this period he also held intermittently, the office of justice of the diocese of S. Davids , on most occasions in his own hands, but once in conjunction with Robert de Malleye . Between 1307 and 1320 his own strength, allied to that of his nephew Roger of Wigmore , made the family one of the strongest in the country. In 1321 , uncle and nephew sided with the earl of Hereford in his quarrel with Hugh le Despenser concerning the acquisitions of Gower . They conducted a victorious campaign in South Wales but, taking up arms against the king , were defeated at Shrewsbury , 22 Jan. 1321/2 . Roger of Chirk had been deprived of his office of justice of Wales 5 Jan. 1321/2 , and he was now confined to the Tower of London where he d. Aug. 1326 .


  • Calendar of Patent Rolls ;
  • Calendar of Fine Rolls ;
  • Calendar of Chancery Rolls—(ii) Welsh Rolls (1912) ;
  • Rotuli Parliamentorum (1771–1832) ;
  • G. P. Jones , Extent of Chirkland (1391-1393) [attributed to Robert Eggerley] (Liverpool, 1933) ;
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ;
  • The Complete Peerage (1910–40) ;
  • M. Mahler , A History of Chirk Castle and Chirkland with a chapter on Offa's Dyke (London, 1912) ;
  • Transactions of the Royal Historical Society , 1915 ;
  • W. H. Waters , Edwardian Settlement of N. Wales in its Administrative and Legal Aspects (1284-1343) (Cardiff, 1935) ;
  • J. E. Morris , The Welsh Wars of Edward I a contribution to mediaeval military history, based on original documents (Oxford, 1901) ;
  • T. F. Tout , The place of the reign of Edward II in English history ; Based upon the ford lectures delivered in the University of Oxford in 1913 (Manchester, 1914) ;
  • B. P. Evans , ‘The Mortimer Family’ (Ph.D. thesis, University of Wales, in N.L.W.).


Griffith Milwyn Griffiths, M.A., Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959