Henry Bourchier, 5th Earl of Bath
Henry Bourchier, 5th Earl of Bath (1587–1654) was an English Peer of the Realm, Lord Privy Seal, and landowner in counties Limerick, Armagh, Devon and Somerset
Sir Henry Bourchier was probably born and was certainly brought up in Ireland. He was the fifth son of the Sir George Bourchier (d.1605) an English soldier who settled in Ireland, and Martha (c. 1555–1598), daughter of William, 1st Lord Howard of Effingham. Hence the Lord High Admiral Charles Lord Howard of Effingham was an uncle.
Henry entered Trinity College Dublin, which his father had helped found, in c. 1597. (BA in 1605; Fellow in 1606; MA in 1610). The 21st fellow of the college, he was one of only eight in the first thirty years of the college's life who remained a layman.
Henry's three of his four elder brothers died young and the fourth one, Sir John Bourchier, Kt, (knighted 24 March 1610/11), of the manor of Clare, co. Armagh, died 25 March 1614 having been MP for county Armagh, 1613–14. By 1614, therefore, Henry had inherited in Ireland from both his father and brother over 18,000 acres (73 km2), and then when he became 5th Earl of Bath, on the death of his first cousin once removed Edward Bourchier, 4th Earl of Bath (d.1636) aged 47 in March 1636/37, he could add Tawstock and 36 manors in Devon and Somerset to his name.
Henry was knighted 9 November 1621. He joined the Privy Council on 8 August 1641, and in 1643 he was put in the Tower of London. He was released, appointed Commissioner for the Defense of Oxford, 1644, and in the same year, 22 January, (Royalist) Lord Privy Seal in the Oxford Parliament. He remained Lord Privy Seal, his maternal grandfather (Lord Howard of Effingham) had held the post 1572–73, until his death at Tawstock, on 16 August 1654. He was buried there the next day.
Henry lived at Bath House, 53/54 Lincoln's Inn Fields (from 1640); otherwise at Tawstock, North Devon; Clare Castle, near Tandragee, co. Armagh; at Bourchier Castle, Lough Gur, near Bruff, Limerick. Bourchier Castle was a tower house, originally built by the Desmonds (FitzGeralds). It still stands, though Clare Castle, 'a stoney house or castle of lime', a 100 by 80-foot (24 m) fortified house, is a ruin.
On 13 December 1638 Henry, by now the Earl of Bath, married Rachael (1612/13-1680), fifth daughter of Francis Fane, 1st Earl of Westmorland and his wife Mary. They married in the Mildmay family church, St. Bartholomew the Great, Smithfield, and at the time of the marriage she was aged 25 and he c50.
The county Limerick estate was of 12,800 acres (51.8 km2) (English acres) featuring the manors of Lough Gur and Glenogra, in the Barony of the Small County in County Limerick, Munster, had been granted by letters patent or grant of Elizabeth I (E.I. 30) on 2 November 1589 to his father Sir George. (The property spilled over into county Tipperary).
In c. 1718 this consisted of: The manor of Loughguyre & Glenogre, 5 castles, 300 Messuages, 1500 cottages, 400 Tofts, 8 Mills, 1600 Gardens, 2,500 acres (10.1 km2) of land, 1,300 acres (5.3 km2) of Meadow, 3,600 acres (14.6 km2) of Pasture, 500 acres (2.0 km2) of Wood & underwood, 300 acres (1.2 km2) of Furze & Heath & 200 acres (0.81 km2) other.
Most of the estate in Armagh, at least 6,000 acres (24 km2), lying between Tandragee and Portadown, was granted to Bath's elder brother John (died 1614) by a patent of James I (J.I.8) on 30 November 1610. Bath acquired more land in county Armagh from Sir Francis Cook on 23 July 1646. Part of the Armagh estate, Brackagh Bog, under two miles (3 km) south of Portadown, is today a Nature and Moss Reserve. Other lands in both Limerick and Armagh were sold to them or once belonged to Sir William Leger (1586–1642) as shown by a Deep Poll, dated 17 July 1619.
On Bath's death the Irish estates passed to his widow, and from her to her nephew Sir Henry Fane, KB, (1650-1705/6), then to his son Charles, who, on the strength of this inheritance, was created Viscount Fane and Baron Loughguyre, both in the peerage of Ireland, in 1718, and thence by descent to c.1979. The lesser entailed English estate in Devon, centred around Tawstock, passed elsewhere, to the Wrey family, as a result of their descent from the daughter of the 3rd Earl of Bath.
At the time of its partition between the heirs of the last Viscount Fane; Peter de Salis and Lord Sandwich in 1805 the Bourchier/Fane Irish estate comprised 6,620 acres (26.79 km2) in county Limerick (with gross annual rental value of £4,189), and 6,908 acres (27.956 km2) in county Armagh (worth £2,671 pa). In 1883 the de Salis part of the divided Bourchier estate in Ireland was listed in Bateman's Great Landowners, Return of Owners of Land (taken from the Return of Owners of Land, 1873), as consisting of 3,663 acres (14.824 km2), (worth £5,392 per annum), in County Armagh and 4,026 acres (16.293 km2), (worth £3,349 per annum), in County Limerick.
Todd Gray's transcription of the Bath account books reveals some of the Countess of Bath's orders:
- (Devon Household Accounts 1627–59 Part II, Devon and Cornwall Record Society, 1996):
- June 1640 paid Mr Gelthrope [George Geldorp, c. 1595–1665] for the Lady Peterbrough's picture 12 0 0 (Gray, p. 174), [she was Lord Bath's cousin];
- between 29 May and 4 June 1641 to Sir Anthony Vandick in part for my picture 20 0 0 (Gray, p. 238);
- between 4 and 14 June 1641 to Sir Anthony Vandick for my picture 10 0 0; for the frame 4 0 0; to his man 1 0 0 (Gray, p. 238), [Van Dyck died 9 December 1641];
- November 1641 paid Lewis [Peter Lely, 1618–1680, who arrived in England April 1641] the 6th of Novem. for a copy of my own Dick to the ... [illegible] 18s (Gray, p. 241);
- cJanuary 1642/43 To Lewie [Lely] the painter in further part of his bill of £15 5s 0 (Gray p. 116);
- cMarch to Lewie the painter in further part of his bill 5 0 0 (Gray, p. 116);
- May [?] 1646 Lewis the painter is to have £8 for 2 pieces & 18s for one frame & £5 for a copy drawn by him of my picture (Gray, p. 190);
- September – March 1646/47 to Mr Gildropp by bill 01 18 00 (Gray, p. 131).
The vicar of Shiplake the Rev. James Granger (1723–1776) in his A Biographical History of England, from Egbert the Great to the Revolution (1769) describes, (on page 78 of volume 4 of the fifth edition, 1824), the Lombart engraving of the Van Dyck portrait of ' RACHAEL MIDDLESEXIAE comitissa ':
- 'Rachel, daughter of Francis Fane, the first earl of Westmoreland. She was first married to Henry Bourchier, earl of Bath; secondly, to Lionel Cranfield, the third earl of Middlesex, who succeeded his brother James in 1651. Lionel died without issue by her, 26 Oct 1674. I have seen her picture at Basilden, in Berkshire [near Granger's Shiplake], among the ancestors of the late Lord Viscount Fane. She is said to have left a very large sum to build a private chapel; but the money was never applied to the use for which it was intended. Lord Fane used to speak of her as a very good woman. Her portrait was painted by Vandyck, in the reign of Charles I. The print should have been inscribed, " Lady Rachel Fane, or Rachel Countess of Bath." Anachronisms of this kind are too common upon portraits.'
Oswald Barron, writing in 1905 and 1906, described her: 'She was a great lady and a busybody, and her cloud of kinsfolk held her in fear as their patroness and suzerain', '... a masterful woman, she lived feared and respected by her numerous kindred whom she advanced by her interest at court' .
Portraits or artefacts associated with Bath or his wife
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|This article does not cite any references or sources. (March 2011)|
- This article uses information from R. de Salis, R : B : M, Centre for Salis Studies, London, 2009.[verification needed]
- William Urwick, The Early History of Trinity College Dublin, 1591–1660, London & Dublin, 1892.
- McDowell & Webb, Trinity College Dublin, Cambridge University Press, 1982.
- G. E. Cokayne, Vicary Gibbs, The Complete Peerage, volume II, page 19, The St. Catherine Press, London, 1912 (the series was published: 1910–1959).
- Todd Gray (ed), Devon Household Accounts 1627–59 Part II, Devon and Cornwall Record Society, 1996.
- Fane de Salis MSS.
- John Bateman, Great Landowners, 1883.
- Rev. James Graves & John G. Augustus Prim, The History, Architecture, and Antiquities of the Cathedral Church of St. Canice, Kilkenny, Dublin, 1857.
- A Biographical History of England, from Egbert the Great to the Revolution: consisting of characters disposed in different classes, and adapted to a methodical catalogue of engraved British Heads: intended as an essay towards reducing our biography to system, and to a help to the knowledge of portraits: interspersed with a variety of anecdotes, and memoirs of a great number of persons, not to be found in any other biographical work. With a preface, shewing the utility of a collection of engraved portraits to supply the defect, and answer the various purposes, of medals, by the Rev. James Granger (1723–1776), vicar of Shiplake in Oxfordshire. Fifth edition, volume IV out of VI, London, 1824. (First edition was 1769). (Page 78, a description of the Countess of Bath's portrait by Van Dyck).
- Oswald Barron, The Fanes, in Ancestor, January 1905, xii, 9–10.
- Oswald Barron, FSA (ed), Northamptonshire Families, (VCH), Archibald Constable, London, 1906.
|Lord Privy Seal
John, 2nd Lord Robartes
|Peerage of England|
Edward Bourchier, 4th Earl of Bath
|Earl of Bath