John Bourchier, 2nd Earl of Bath

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Canting arms of Bourchier: Argent, a cross engrailed gules between four water bougets sable

Sir John Bourchier, 2nd Earl of Bath, PC (1499 in Devon – 10 February 1560/61) was an Earl in the peerage of England. He also succeeded to the titles of 4th Baron FitzWarin, Baron Daubeney and 4th Count of Eu.

Origins[edit]

He was the son of John Bourchier, 1st Earl of Bath and Cecily Daubeny. Bourchier was himself descended from royalty. His father was the 3rd great grandson of Thomas of Woodstock, youngest son of Edward III.[1] A more contemporary relation was his cousin, Anne Stanhope. She was the daughter of the 1st Earl of Bath's sister, Elizabeth Bourchier. Upon her marriage to Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, she became the sister-in-law to Queen Jane Seymour and therefore the Aunt of King Edward VI. After the death of Henry VIII, his widow, Catherine Parr, married Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley. This made Anne the sister-in-law to two English queens. She was Bourchier's first cousin.

Career[edit]

In 1519 he was appointed Sheriff of Somerset and Sheriff of Dorset and was knighted in 1523. On the death of King Edward VI (1547–1553), he was one of the first to declare Queen Mary his rightful heir. He was invested as a Privy Counsellor in 1533, and served as a Commissioner at the coronation of Queen Mary. Bourchier was also a commissioner at the trial of Lady Jane Grey.[2]

Other offices held by him included: Lord-Lieutenant of Cornwall, Lord-Lieutenant of Devon, Lord-Lieutenant of Dorset and Governor of Beaumaris Castle.[3]

Landholdings[edit]

In 1539 he was granted by King Henry VIII the manors of Hackpen, Sheldon, Bolham and Saint Hill, having already inherited the feudal barony of Okehampton from his grandmother, Elizabeth Dynham.

Marriages[edit]

Arms of Bourchier impaling Manners, sculpted above door to south chancel aisle, built by the 2nd Earl, Tawstock Church. Representing arms of John Bourchier, 2nd Earl of Bath (1499-1560/61) (with 10 quarterings) impaling Manners (with 4 quarterings), for his 2nd wife Eleanor Manners, daughter of George Manners, 11th Baron de Ros (c.1470-1513)
Pair of escutcheons à bouche above SE door of Tawstock Church, Devon: left: showing a falcon atop a Bourchier knot, Representing John Bourchier, 2nd Earl of Bath (1499-1560/61); right: showing a peacock in its pride, the crest of Manners, the family of his 2nd wife Eleanor Manners, daughter of George Manners, 11th Baron de Ros
Arms of Donnington: Argent, three pallets azure on a chief gules three bezants[4]

John Bourchier married thrice:[5]

  • Firstly to Elizabeth (or Isabel) Hungerford, daughter of Sir Walter Hungerford (d.1516), of Farleigh, younger son of Robert Hungerford, 3rd Baron Hungerford (1428–1464).[6] By Elizabeth he had one daughter:[7]
    • Elizabeth Bourchier
  • Secondly (before 25 May 1524) to Eleanor Manners, daughter of George Manners, 11th Baron de Ros by his wife Anne St. Leger. By Eleanor he had progeny including:
    • John Bourchier, Lord FitzWarin, who predeceased his father. He married his step-sister Frances Kitson (d.1586), the daughter of his father's 3rd wife from her 1st marriage to Sir Thomas Kitson (d.1540) (see below). Her monument with recumbent effigy exists in Tawstock Church and is covered by the earliest six-columned canopy in Devon.[8] His son by Frances Kitson was William Bourchier, 3rd Earl of Bath.
  • Thirdly, on 4 Dec 1548, to Margaret Donnington[9][10] (d.1562) daughter and sole heiress of John Donnington (d.1544) of Stoke Newington, a member of the Worshipful Company of Salters,[11][12] by his wife Elizabeth Pye.[13] Margaret Donnington was the widow successively of Sir Thomas Kitson (d.1540), the builder of Hengrave Hall in Suffolk, and next of Sir Richard Long (d.1546) of Wiltshire, Great Saxham and Shingay, Cambridgeshire, Gentleman of the Privy Chamber to King Henry VIII. Margaret Donnington was a strong-minded lady who insisted that at the same time as her marriage to Bourchier, his son and heir should marry her own daughter Frances Kitson. The double marriage took place at Hengrave on 11 December 1548.[14] Thus the 2nd Earl's eldest son from his 2nd marriage to Eleanor Manners,[15] John Bourchier, Lord FitzWarin (who predeceased his father), married his own step-sister, Francesca Kitson, and was by her the father of William Bourchier, 3rd Earl of Bath. Margaret Donnington and Bourchier made Hengrave their home[16] and Bourchier was buried at Hengrave.[17] Stained glass in the cloister of Hengrave Hall survives memorialising the Bourchier residency, showing ten quarterings of Bourchier (Bourchier, Louvaine, FitzWarin, Audley, Cogan, Hankford, Brewer,[18] Martin, Dinham, Arches) impaling Donnington (Argent, three pallets azure on a chief gules three bezants)[19]

Progeny & succession[edit]

His eldest son by his second marriage John Bourchier, 5th Baron FitzWarin (1529–1557) predeceased his father, having married (on 11 December 1548 at Hengrave[20]) his step-sister Frances Kitson, daughter of Sir Thomas Kitson of Hengrave Hall by Margaret Donnington.[21] Their son William Bourchier, 3rd Earl of Bath (1557–1623), therefore succeeded his grandfather in the earldom, aged under 1 year old. A daughter Elizabeth by his first marriage to Isabel Hungerford married Thomas Chace (or Chase) of Chesham Bois.

Death & burial[edit]

He died on 10 February 1560/61 and was buried on 10March at Hengrave, Suffolk.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Anthony Martienssen, Queen Katherine Parr (McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1973), p.125.
  2. ^ G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden (Eds.), The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new edn., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume II, page 16.
  3. ^ Sir Bernard Burke (Ed.), Burke's genealogical and heraldic history of the landed gentry of Ireland, 3rd edn. (London, U.K.: Burkes Peerage Ltd, 1912), p. 560.
  4. ^ Rokewood, John Gage, History and Antiquities of Suffolk: Thingoe Hundred, 1838, pp.218-9 [1]
  5. ^ Vivian, Lt.Col. J.L., (Ed.) The Visitation of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, p.107, pedigree of Bourchier
  6. ^ http://www.thepeerage.com/p11719.htm#i117184; Vivian, p.107, Robert incorrectly identified as Comes Hungerford ("Earl Hungerford")
  7. ^ Vivian, p.107
  8. ^ Pevsner, Nikolaus & Cherry, Bridget, The Buildings of England: Devon, London, 2004, p.790
  9. ^ Peter W. Hammond (Ed.), The Complete Peerage or a History of the House of Lords and All its Members From the Earliest Times, Volume XIV: Addenda & Corrigenda (Stroud, Gloucestershire, U.K.: Sutton Publishing, 1998), page 71
  10. ^ Vivian, p.107 "Dodington"
  11. ^ Rowe, Joy, biog of Kitson family (per. c.1520–c.1660), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography [www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/73910]
  12. ^ 'Stoke Newington: Other estates', A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 8: Islington and Stoke Newington parishes (1985), pp. 178-184 Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  13. ^ Welch, Charles, biog. of Kitson, Sir Thomas (1485–1540), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography [2]
  14. ^ Lauder, Rosemary, Devon Families, Tiverton, 2002, pp.152-3
  15. ^ Vivian, Lt.Col. J.L., (Ed.) The Visitation of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, p.107, Bourchier
  16. ^ Lauder, Rosemary, Devon Families, Tiverton, 2002, p.152
  17. ^ Lauder, Rosemary, Devon Families, Tiverton, 2002, p.152; thepeerage.com
  18. ^ Per Rokewood, p.219: "Gules, two bendlets wavy or. In this 7th position are shown elsewhere the arms of Stapledon (of Annery, Monkleigh): Argent, two bars wavy sable, e.g. on monument of Lady Frances Bourchier (d.1612) in the Earl of Bedford's Chenies Chapel, Bucks. (www.middlesex-heraldry.org.uk) & sculpted on gatehouse of Tawstock Court, Devon)
  19. ^ Rokewood, John Gage, History and Antiquities of Suffolk: Thingoe Hundred, 1838, pp.218-9 [3]
  20. ^ Lauder, Rosemary, Devon Families, Tiverton, 2002, pp.152-3
  21. ^ Vivian, (ed.), Heralds' Visitation of Devon, 1895, p.107
Political offices
Preceded by
The 1st Earl of Bedford
Lord Lieutenant of Devon
1556–1561
Vacant
Title next held by
The 2nd Earl of Bedford
Lord Lieutenant of Dorset
1556–1558
Succeeded by
The Lord Mountjoy
Peerage of England
Preceded by
John Bourchier
Earl of Bath
1539–1561
Succeeded by
William Bourchier