Katherine Mortimer, Countess of Warwick

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Katherine Mortimer
Countess of Warwick
Thomas de Beauchamp, Katherine Mortimer, Earl Warwick.jpg
Tomb effigies of Katherine Mortimer and Thomas de Beauchamp, 11th Earl of Warwick, St. Mary's Church, Warwick
Spouse(s) Thomas de Beauchamp, 11th Earl of Warwick KG
Guy de Beauchamp
Thomas de Beauchamp, 12th Earl of Warwick
Reinbrun de Beauchamp
William de Beauchamp, 1st Baron Bergavenny
Roger de Beauchamp
Maud de Beauchamp
Philippa de Beauchamp
Alice de Beauchamp
Joan de Beauchamp
Isabella de Beauchamp
Margaret de Beauchamp
Elizabeth de Beauchamp
Anne de Beauchamp
Juliana de Beauchamp
Katherine de Beauchamp
Noble family Mortimer
Father Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March
Mother Joan de Geneville, Baroness Geneville
Born 1314
Ludlow Castle, Shropshire, England
Died 4 August 1369 (aged 55)

Katherine Mortimer, Countess of Warwick (1314 – 4 August 1369) was the wife of Thomas de Beauchamp, 11th Earl of Warwick KG, an English peer, and military commander during the Hundred Years War. She was a daughter and co-heiress of Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March and Joan de Geneville, Baroness Geneville.

Sometime before 1355, she became an important figure at the royal court of King Edward III.

Family and lineage[edit]

Katherine Mortimer was born at Ludlow Castle, Shropshire, England, in 1314, one of the twelve children and a co-heiress of Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March and Joan de Geneville, Baroness Geneville. Her paternal grandparents were Edmund Mortimer, 2nd Baron Mortimer and Margaret de Fiennes, and her maternal grandparents were Sir Piers de Geneville, of Trim Castle and Ludlow, and Jeanne of Lusignan.

Her father was de facto ruler of England together with his mistress Isabella of France, Queen consort of King Edward II, until his eventual capture and execution by the orders of King Edward III, eldest son of Isabella and King Edward II. The latter had been deposed in November 1326, and afterwards cruelly murdered by assassins acting under the orders of Mortimer and Queen Isabella. Katherine was sixteen years old when her father was hanged, Tyburn, London on 29 November 1330. Roger Mortimer was NOT Hanged drawn and quartered as stated but only hanged and his body was left until monks from Greyfriars in London took it down.


On 19 April 1319, when she was about five years old, Katherine married Thomas de Beauchamp, 11th Earl of Warwick, eldest son of Guy de Beauchamp, 10th Earl of Warwick and Alice de Toeni.[1] Their marriage required a Papal dispensation as they were related within the prohibited third and fourth degrees. Beauchamp had succeeded to the earldom at the age of two, therefore Katherine was styled Countess of Warwick from the time of her marriage until her death. The marriage had been arranged in July 1318 in order to settle a quarrel between the two families over the lordship of Elfael, which was thus given to Katherine as her marriage portion.[2] For the term of his minority, Beauchamp's custody had been granted to Katherine's father, Roger Mortimer.[3]

Katherine later became an important personage at the court of King Edward III. As a sign of royal favour she was chosen to stand as one of the godmothers, along with Queen Philippa of Hainault, to the latter's granddaughter, Philippa, Countess of Ulster in 1355. This honour bestowed on Katherine is described by 19th century author Agnes Strickland according to the Friar's Genealogy: "Her [Philippa, Countess of Ulster] godmother also was of Warwick Countess, a lady likewise of great worthiness".[4]


Katherine and Beauchamp together had fifteen children:[5]

Death and effigy[edit]

Katherine Mortimer died on 4 August 1369 at the age of about fifty-five. Two years before her death, in 1367, Katherine was a legatee in the will of her sister Agnes de Hastings, Countess of Pembroke.[8] Katherine was buried in St. Mary's Church, Warwick, Warwickshire. She lies alongside her husband, who died three months after her of the Black Death. Their tomb with well-preserved, alabaster effigies can be seen in the centre of the quire. Katherine is depicted wearing a frilled veil with a honeycomb pattern and she is holding hands with Beauchamp. The sides of the tomb chest are decorated with figures of mourners, both male and female.



  1. ^ Charles Cawley"Medieval Lands Earls of March 1328-1425 (Mortimer)
  2. ^ G. Holmes. Estates of the Higher Nobility in Fourteenth Century England.p13
  3. ^ Thomas B. Costain,The Three Edwards, page 231
  4. ^ Strickland, Agnes (2009). Lives of the Queens of England from the Norman Conquest: With Anecdotes of the Courts: First Published From Official Records and Other Authentic Documents, Private as Well as Public. Volume II. p.295. Google Books. Retrieved 6-11-10
  5. ^ Douglas Richardson, Kimball G. Everingham, Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, p.56
  6. ^ Cawley, Medieval Lands, Earls of Warwick 1263-1449 (Beauchamp)
  7. ^ the Perage.com
  8. ^ Douglas Richardson, Kimball G. Everingham, Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families,p.56
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h Mortimer 2003, p. 338.
  10. ^ a b c d e Mortimer 2003, p. 339.
  11. ^ a b c d Mortimer 2003, p. 340.
  12. ^ a b c d e Mortimer 2003, p. 341.
Works cited
  • Mortimer, Ian (2003). The Greatest Traitor: The Life of Sir Roger Mortimer, Ruler of England 1327–1330. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-34941-6.