Henry Bourchier, 1st Earl of Essex

Henry Bourchier
5th Baron Bourchier
1st Viscount Bourchier
Earl of Essex

Canting arms of Bourchier: Argent, a cross engrailed gules between four water bougets sable
Spouse(s) Isabel of York


William Bourchier, Viscount Bourchier
Henry Bourchier
Humphrey Bourchier, 1st Baron Cromwell
John Bourchier
Edward Bourchier
Thomas Bourchier
Florence Bourchier
Fulk Bourchier
Hugh Bourchier
Isabella Bourchier
Laura, Countess of Devon
Noble family Bourchier
Father William Bourchier, Count of Eu
Mother Anne of Gloucester
Born 1404-1406
Died April 4, 1483
Garter stall plate of Henry Bourchier, 1st Earl of Essex, 2nd Count of Eu (1404-1483), nominated as a Knight of the Garter in 1452. St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. Inscribed below: "Mons. Henry Bourcheher le Count de Essex". Arms: Quarterly 1st & 4th: Bourchier; 2nd & 3rd: Gules billety or a fess of the last (sometimes a fess argent[1]) (Louvain, feudal barons of Little Easton, Essex, for the mother of the 1st Count of Eu, Eleanor de Louvain (d.1397)). Crest: A man's (Moor's) head in profile proper ducally crowned or with a pointed cap gules[2] The Bourchier bougets appear on the mantling
Arms of Sir Henry Bourchier, 5th Baron Bourchier, at the time of his installation into the Most Noble Order of the Garter: Quarterly 1st & 4th: Argent, a cross engrailed gules between four water bougets sable (Bourchier); 2nd & 3rd: Gules billety or, a fess of the last (Louvain of Little Easton) the whole surrounded by the Garter

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, another descendant of 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.

On his death she did not remarry and died more than a year later.


  1. See garter plate of his grandson the 2nd Earl
  2. Vivian, Heralds' Visitations of Devon, 1895, p.106
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Family: A Complete Genealogy (London, U.K.: The Bodley Head, 1999), page 111.


External links


Political offices
Preceded by
James Butler
Lord High Treasurer
Succeeded by
John Talbot
Preceded by
James Butler
Lord High Treasurer
Succeeded by
John Tiptoft
Preceded by
John Tiptoft
Lord High Treasurer
Succeeded by
John Wood
Peerage of England
New creation Earl of Essex
5th creation
Succeeded by
Henry Bourchier
Viscount Bourchier
Preceded by
Elizabeth Bourchier
Baron Bourchier
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