Braose, Annora de (d. 1241)

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Braose, Annora de (d. 1241)

English noblewoman and recluse. Died in 1241; daughter of William and Maud de Braose (d. 1211); married Hugh de Mortimer (a wealthy baron).

Annora de Braose was a noblewoman born to William and Maud de Braose , powerful nobles of west England. When she was a young woman, Annora married the wealthy baron Hugh de Mortimer. Some time later, King John confiscated her parents' property for suspected treason, forcing them to flee England. Her father made it to France, but her mother was captured and put in prison, where she died. The lands held by Annora's sister Loretta de Braose were also confiscated.

Annora was also imprisoned for possibly conspiring against the king with her family, though the facts of the case remain obscure. After some time, she was released through the intervention of the papal legate. Several years later, her husband died, leaving her a childless widow.

Probably tired of the world of politics and danger, and without a wish to remarry, Annora sought permission to become a recluse. In medieval times, a recluse had a very specific meaning: she was a woman of exceptional character who received special permission to enclose herself in a one- or two-room suite, never to leave it. The local bishop was obligated to arrange a recluse's support while the recluse spent her days counseling those who came to ask her advice. Annora received the necessary permission and enclosed herself at Iffley about 1231. There, she received annual payments from King Henry III, a great supporter of recluses, until her death ten years later.

Laura York , Anza, California