Humphrey VI de Bohun
(-Abt 1265)
Eleanor de Braose
(Abt 1228-1251)
Ingelram II de Fiennes
(Abt 1210-1265)
Isabel de Conde
(Abt 1214-)
Humphrey VII de Bohun 3rd Earl of Hereford & 2nd Earl of Essex
(Abt 1249-1298)
Maud de Fiennes
(Between 1236/1259-Bef 1298)

Humphrey VIII de Bohun 4th Earl of Hereford & 3rd Earl of Essex
(Abt 1276-1322)


Family Links

1. Elizabeth of Rhuddlan, Princess of England

Humphrey VIII de Bohun 4th Earl of Hereford & 3rd Earl of Essex 1 2

  • Born: Abt 1276, Pleshey Castle, Essex, England
  • Marriage (1): Elizabeth of Rhuddlan, Princess of England on 14 Nov 1302 in Westminster Palace, London, England
  • Died: 16 Mar 1322, Boroughbridge, Yorkshire, England about age 46

   Another name for Humphrey was Humphrey VIII de Bohun 4th Earl of Hereford.

  Research Notes:

Ancestral Roots, Line 97-31 has b. abt 1276, slain at Boroughbridge, 16 Mar 1321/2, 4th Earl of Hereford and Essex, Lord High Constable of England.
From Wikipedia - Humphrey de Bohun, 4th Earl of Hereford

Humphrey VIII de Bohun, 4th Earl of Hereford (1276 - March 16 , 1321 /1322 ) was a member of an important Anglo-Norman family of the Welsh Marches and was one of the Ordainers who opposed Edward II 's excesses.

Family Background
Humphrey de Bohun's birth year is uncertain although several contemporary sources indicate that it was 1276. His father was Humphrey de Bohun, 3rd Earl of Hereford and his mother was Maud de Fiennes , daughter of Enguerrand II de Fiennes . He was born at Pleshey Castle located in Essex , England.

Humphrey de Bohun VIII succeeded his father as Earl of Hereford and Earl of Essex , and Constable of England (later called Lord High Constable ). Humphrey held the title of Bearer of the Swan Badge, a heraldic device passed down in the de Bohun family. This device did not appear on their coat of arms, (az, a bend ar cotised or, between 6 lioncels or) nor their crest (gu, doubled erm, a lion gardant crowned), but it does appear on his personal seal.

Humphrey was one of several earls and barons under Edward I who laid siege to Caerlaverock Castle in Scotland in 1300 and later took part in many campaigns in Scotland. He also loved tourneying and gained a reputation as an "elegant" fop. In one of the campaigns in Scotland Humphrey evidently grew bored and departed England for a tournament along with Piers Gaveston and other young barons and knights. On return all of them fell under Edward I's wrath for desertion, but were forgiven. It is probable that Gaveston's friend, Edward (the future Edward II) had given them permission to depart.

Later Humphrey became one of Gaveston's and Edward II's bitterest opponents. He would also have been associating with young Robert Bruce during the early campaigns in Scotland, since Bruce, like many other Scots and Border men, moved back and forth from English allegiance to Scottish. (NOTE: Robert Bruce, King Robert I of Scotland, is closely connected to de Bohun. Between the time that he swore his last fealty to Edward I in 1302 and his defection four years later, Bruce stayed for the most part in Annandale , rebuilding his castle of Lochmaben in stone, making use of its natural moat. Rebelling and taking the crown of Scotland in February, 1306, Bruce was forced to fight a war against England which went poorly for him at first, while Edward I still lived. After nearly all his family were killed or captured he had to flee to the isle of Rathlin , Ireland. His properties in England and Scotland were confiscated.)

Humphrey de Bohun received many of Robert Bruce's forfeited properties. It is unknown whether Humphrey was a long-time friend or enemy of Robert Bruce, but they were nearly the same age and the lands of the two families in Essex and Middlesex lay very close to each other. After Bruce's self-exile, de Bohun took Lochmaben and Edward I awarded him Annandale and the castle. During this period of chaos Bruce's queen, Elizabeth de Burgh , daughter of the Earl of Ulster, was captured by Edward I and taken prisoner, and Hereford and his wife Elizabeth later became her custodians. She was exchanged for Humphrey after Bannockburn in 1314. Lochmaben was from time to time retaken by the Scots but remained in the de Bohun family for many years, in the hands of Humphrey's son William, Earl of Northampton , who held and defended it until his death in 1360...

Like his father, grandfather, and great-great-grandfather, this Humphrey de Bohun was careful to insist that the king obey Magna Carta , Habeas Corpus , and the other baronially-established safeguards against monarchic tyranny. He was a leader of the reform movements that promulgated the Ordinances of 1311 and fought to insure their execution.
The subsequent revival of royal authority and the ascendancy of the Despensers (Hugh the elder and younger ) led de Bohun and other barons to rebel against the king again in 1322. De Bohun had special reason for opposing the Despensers, for he had lost some of his estates in the Welsh Marches to their rapacity.

Death at Boroughbridge
The rebel forces were halted by loyalist troops at the wooden bridge at Boroughbridge , Yorkshire, where Humphrey de Bohun, leading an attempt to storm the bridge, met his death on March 16, 1322.

Although the details have been called into question by a few historians, his death may have been particularly gory. As recounted in The Greatest Traitor by Ian Mortimer, page 124:

"[The 4th Earl of] Hereford led the fight on the bridge, but he and his men were caught in the arrow fire. Then one of de Harclay's pikemen, concealed beneath the bridge, thrust upwards between the planks and skewered the Earl of Hereford through the anus, twisting the head of the iron pike into his intestines. His dying screams turned the advance into a panic."'

Humphrey de Bohun may have contributed to the failure of the reformers' aims. There is evidence that he suffered for some years, especially after his countess's death in 1316, from clinical depression. [1]

Marriage and children
His marriage to Elizabeth of Rhuddlan (Elizabeth Plantagenet), daughter of King Edward I of England and his first Queen consort Eleanor of Castile , on November 14 , 1302 , at Westminster gained him the lands of Berkshire.
Elizabeth had an unknown number of children, probably ten, by Humphrey de Bohun.

Until the earl's death the boys of the family, possibly the girls, were given a classical education under the tutelage of a Sicilian Greek, Master "Digines" (Diogenes), who may have been Humphrey de Bohun's boyhood tutor. He was evidently well-educated, a book collector and scholar, interests his son Humphrey and daughter Margaret (Courtenay) inherited.
Mary or Margaret (the first-born Margaret) and the first-born Humphrey were lost in infancy and are buried in the same sarcophagus in Westminster Abbey. Since fraternal twins were known in the Castilian royal family of Elizabeth Bohun, who gave birth to a pair who lived to manhood, Mary (Margaret?) and Humphrey, see next names, may have been twins, but that is uncertain. The name of a possible lost third child, if any, is unknown--and unlikely.

Hugh de Bohun? This name appears only in one Medieval source which gives Bohun names (see Flores Historiarum) and was a probably a copyist error for "Humphrey". It was never used by the main branch of the Bohuns in England. (Le Melletier, q.v., 16-17, 38-45, 138, in his comprehensive research into this family, cites no one named Hugh Bohun.) Date unknown, but after 1302 since she and Humphrey did not marry until late in 1302.
Humphrey de Bohun (birth and death dates unknown. Buried in Westminster Abbey with Mary or Margaret) Infant.
Mary or Margaret de Bohun (birth and death dates unknown. Buried in Westminster Abbey with Humphrey) Infant.

John de Bohun, 5th Earl of Hereford (About 1307 - 1336 )
Humphrey de Bohun, 6th Earl of Hereford (About 1309 to 1311 - 1361 ).
Margaret de Bohun (About 1308-1310 - 1391), married Hugh Courtenay, 2nd Earl of Devon Gave birth to about 16 to 18 children (including an Archbishop, a sea commander and pirate, and more than one Knight of the Garter) and died in her eighties.
William de Bohun, 1st Earl of Northampton (About 1310-1312 -1360 ). Twin of Edward.
Edward de Bohun (About 1310-1312 -1334 ). Twin of William. Married Margaret, daughter of William de Ros, 2nd Baron de Ros , but they had no children. He served in his ailing elder brother's stead as Constable of England. He was close friend of young Edward III, and died a heroic death attempting to rescue a drowning man-at-arms from a Scottish river while on campaign.
Eleanor de Bohun (birth date unknown, could have been as late as 1314 or 15 - 1363 ) [2], married James Butler, 1st Earl of Ormonde and Thomas Dagworth , 1st Baron Dagworth.
Eneas de Bohun, (Birth date unknown, died after 1322, when he's mentioned in his father's will). Nothing known of him. Name may reflect his father's classical education or the Earl's Welsh connections; could be either.
Isabel de Bohun (b. May ? , 1316 ). Elizabeth died in childbirth, and this child died on that day or very soon after. Buried with her mother in Waltham Abbey, Essex.

  Death Notes:

At the Battle of Boroughbridge, murdered in an ambush by the Welsh.

Humphrey married Elizabeth of Rhuddlan, Princess of England, daughter of King Edward I of England and Eleanor of Castile, Countess of Ponthieu, on 14 Nov 1302 in Westminster Palace, London, England. (Elizabeth of Rhuddlan, Princess of England was born on 7 Aug 1282 in Rhuddlan Castle, Rhuddlan, Denbighshire, Wales, died on 5 May 1316 in Quendon, Essex, England and was buried in Waltham Abbey, Essex, England.)


1 Weis, Frederick Lewis and Walter Lee Sheppard, Jr; William R. Beall and Kaleen E. Beall, eds, Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America before 1700 (8th ed. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2008.), Line 97-31.

2, Humphrey de Bohun, 4th Earl of Hereford.

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