Mary de Bohun
|Mary de Bohun|
|Countess of Northampton
Countess of Derby (by courtesy)
Psalter celebrating Mary's marriage
|Died||4 June 1394
Peterborough Castle, Northamptonshire
|Burial||The Collegiate Church of the Annunciation of Our Lady of The Newarke, Leicester|
|Issue||Henry V of England
Thomas of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Clarence
John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford
Humphrey, 1st Duke of Gloucester
Blanche, Electress Palatine
Philippa, Queen of Denmark, Norway and Sweden
|Father||Humphrey de Bohun, 7th Earl of Hereford|
Mary was the daughter of Humphrey de Bohun, 7th Earl of Hereford, and Joan FitzAlan (1347/48–1419), the daughter of Richard FitzAlan, 10th Earl of Arundel, and Eleanor of Lancaster. Through her mother, Mary was descended from Llywelyn the Great.
Mary and her elder sister, Eleanor de Bohun, were the heiresses of their father's substantial possessions. Eleanor became the wife of Thomas of Woodstock, 1st Duke of Gloucester, the youngest child of Edward III. In an effort to keep the inheritance for himself and his wife, Thomas of Woodstock pressured the child Mary into becoming a nun. In a plot with John of Gaunt, Mary's aunt took her from Thomas' castle at Pleshey back to Arundel whereupon she was married to Henry Bolingbroke, the future Henry IV.
John of Gaunt had planned for the marriage between Mary and Henry to remain unconsummated until Mary was sixteen but the couple disobeyed. Consequently, Mary became pregnant at fourteen; the firstborn child lived only a few days.
Marriage and children
Mary married Henry—then known as Bolingbroke—on 27 July 1380, at Arundel Castle. At the time of her marriage, Mary was perhaps little more than twelve years old.
It was at Monmouth Castle, one of her husband's possessions, that Mary gave birth to her first two children, both boys. Henry, the surviving son, was later to become Prince of Wales when his father seized the throne from Richard II in 1399. On the death of his father in 1413, he became King of England as Henry V.
Her children were:
- Henry V, King of England (1386–1422)
- Thomas of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Clarence (1387–1421)
- John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford (1389–1435)
- Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester (1390–1447)
- Blanche of England (1392–1409) married in 1402 Louis III, Elector Palatine
- Philippa of England (1394–1430) married in 1406 Eric of Pomerania, King of Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
Mary de Bohun died at Peterborough Castle, giving birth to her last child, a daughter, Philippa of England. She was buried in the collegiate Church of the Annunciation of Our Lady of the Newarke, Leicester.
|Ancestors of Mary de Bohun|
- Women of the English Nobility and Gentry, 1066-1500, transl. & ed. Jennifer C. Ward, (Manchester University Press, 1995), 21.
- Anthony Goodman, John of Gaunt: The Exercise of Princely Power in Fourteenth-Century Europe, (Routledge, 2013), 276.
- Jennifer Ward, Women in England in the Middle Ages, (Hambledon Continuum, 2006), 49.
- Charles J. Billson, Mediaeval Leicester, (Leicester, 1920)