This Day in History: 1411-09-22

On 22nd September 1411, Anne Mortimer (mother of Richard Plantagenet later Duke of York and lord of Sandal Castle) died, the day after she gave birth to her son. At almost four years old, Richard became an orphan on the execution of his father, the Earl of Cambridge, for treason. With two childless uncles – Edmund Mortimer, 5th Earl of March (died 1425), and Edward of Norwich, 2nd Duke of York (killed 1415) – Richard Plantagenet inherited Mortimer’s property and claim to the throne. Richard’s guardianship and wardship were under Sir Robert Waterton, Ralph Neville (Earl of Westmorland who paid 3,000 marks -£2.7 million today- for this wardship) and on the latter’s death, his widow, Joan Beaufort, youngest daughter of John of Gaunt and half-sister of the dead King Henry IV. Richard’s marriage to Ralph Neville’s youngest daughter, Cecily, by 1429 completed the first phase of the Yorkist dynastic ramifications on the later Wars of the Roses.