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Henry Bourchier, 1st Earl of Essex

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Noble family  Bourchier
Mother  Anne of Gloucester
Name  Henry 1st

Henry Bourchier, 1st Earl of Essex
Father  William Bourchier, Count of Eu
Died  April 4, 1483, Little Easton, United Kingdom
Spouse  Isabel of Cambridge, Countess of Essex
Children  John Bourchier, 6th Baron Ferrers of Groby, William Bourchier, Viscount Bourchier
Parents  Anne of Gloucester, William Bourchier, 1st Count of Eu
Siblings  John Bourchier, 1st Baron Berners, Thomas Bourchier, Humphrey Stafford, 1st Duke of Buckingham, Lady Anne Stafford
Similar People  Thomas of Woodstock - 1st Duke, Richard of York - 3rd Duke of Y, Eleanor de Bohun, Richard of Conisburgh - 3rd Earl o, Arthur Capell - 1st Baron Ca

Henry Bourchier, 5th Baron Bourchier, 2nd Count of Eu, 1st Viscount Bourchier, 1st Earl of Essex, KG (c. 1404/c. 1406 – 4 April 1483), was the eldest son of William Bourchier, 1st Count of Eu and Anne of Gloucester. On his mother's side, he was a great-grandson of Edward III of England.



He inherited the title of 5th Baron Bourchier from his cousin Elizabeth Bourchier, 4th Baroness Bourchier on her death in 1433. He became the 1st Viscount Bourchier in 1446, a Knight of the Order of the Garter in 1452, and was created 1st Earl of Essex in 1461.


He saw considerable military action in France and for his services was created Viscount Bourchier during the parliament of 1445–6 and elected Knight of the Garter on his third nomination in 1452. He later saw action in 1461 as a Yorkist supporter at the Second Battle of St Albans and the Battle of Towton, soon after which Edward IV created him Earl of Essex.

He held the post of Lord High Treasurer from 29 May 1455 - 5 October 1456, 28 July 1460 - 14 April 1462, and 22 April 1471 - 4 April 1483. He also became Justice in Eyre south of the Trent in 1461, holding that title until his death.

He died on 4 April 1483 and was buried at Beeleigh Abbey, although his tomb was subsequently moved to Little Easton church.

Marriage and issue

Prior to 1426, he married Isabel of Cambridge, a great-granddaughter Edward III. She was the elder sister of Richard Plantagenet, which made her the aunt of Richard's two sons, the future Edward IV and Richard III.

Henry and Isabel were parents to at least eleven children.

  • William Bourchier, Viscount Bourchier (d. 1480). Married Anne Woodville, daughter of Richard Woodville, 1st Earl Rivers and Jacquetta of Luxembourg. They were parents of Henry Bourchier, 2nd Earl of Essex and Cicely Bourchier, wife of John Devereux, 8th Baron Ferrers of Chartley.
  • Henry Bourchier (d. 1462). Married Elizabeth de Scales, Baroness Scales. No known children.
  • Humphrey Bourchier, 1st and last Lord Bourchier of Cromwell (d. 14 April 1471). Killed in the Battle of Barnet.
  • John Bourchier (d. 1495). Married first Elizabeth Ferrers and secondly Elizabeth Chichele. No known children.
  • Edward Bourchier (d. 30 December 1460). Killed in the Battle of Wakefield.
  • Thomas Bourchier (d. 1492). Married Isabella Barre. No known children.
  • Florence Bourchier (d. 1525).
  • Fulk Bourchier. Considered to have died young.
  • Hugh Bourchier. Considered to have died young.
  • Isabella Bourchier. Considered to have died young.
  • Laura Bourchier (1440- ) married John Courtenay (killed at Tewkesbury, 1471)
  • On his death she did not remarry and died more than a year later.


  • Clark, Linda. "Bourchier, Henry". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/2987.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  • References

    Henry Bourchier, 1st Earl of Essex Wikipedia

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