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Henry Bourchier, 2nd Earl of Essex

Henry Bourchier, 2nd Earl of Essex, after 1825 watercolour portrait by Sarah Bazett (d.1838) ("Sarah, Countess of Essex"), published in "Memoirs of the Court of Queen Elizabeth", by Lucy Aikin, 1825 edition[1]
Henry Bourchier, 2nd Earl of Essex, KG, in a procession of Garter Knights, detail from Black Book of the Garter c.1535. On his mantle he displays the arms quarterly: 1st: Bourchier; 2nd: de Bohun;[2] 3rd: Wydeville, Earl of Rivers; 4th: Louvain
Garter stall plate of Henry Bourchier, 2nd Earl of Essex, 3rd Count of Eu (1468-1540), 6th Baron Bourchier KG, nominated as a Knight of the Garter in 1499. St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. Inscribed above: "Le Conte Henri de Esex et de Ew". Arms: Quarterly 1st & 4th: Argent, a cross engrailed gules between four water bougets sable (Bourchier); 2nd: Gules billety or a fess argent (Louvain, feudal barons of Little Easton, Essex (for the maternal grandfather of the 1st Count of Eu, Sir John de Louvain (d.1347)); 3rd: argent a fess and canton gules ((Wydville, Earl of Rivers)). Crest: A man's (Moor's) head in profile proper ducally crowned or with a pointed cap gules;[3]
Arms of Sir Henry Bourchier, 2nd Earl of Essex, KG

Henry Bourchier, 2nd Earl of Essex, 6th Baron Bourchier, 3rd Count of Eu and 2nd Viscount Bourchier KG KB PC (died 13 March 1540) was an English soldier, peer and courtier at the courts of Henry VII and Henry VIII. He married Mary Say, by whom he had one daughter, Anne, who became his heir.


Bourchier was the son of William Bourchier, Viscount Bourchier and Anne Woodville. Through his mother, he was the nephew of Elizabeth Woodville, queen consort to Edward IV. He inherited the titles of 2nd Earl of Essex, 6th Baron Bourchier, 3rd Count of Eu and 2nd Viscount Bourchier from his grandfather Henry Bourchier, 1st Earl of Essex on his death in 1483. He married twice, about 1512 to Mary Say(e) (1474-1535), then about 1536 to Mary Blount (1498-1555).


Bourchier was a member of Henry VII's privy council and was present at the Siege of Boulogne in 1492. Five years later he led a detachment against the rebels at Blackheath. When Henry VIII became king, he was made captain of the new bodyguard. In 1513 he commanded the cavalry vanguard at the Battle of the Spurs, where he ordered the charge which routed the French gendarmes. The following year he was appointed Chief Captain of the King's forces. He was one of the judges at the trial of Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham when the latter was tried on a charge of treason, and received the manor of Bedminster as his share of the Duke's forfeited estates.

In March 1540, he broke his neck after falling from his horse and died from his injury[4]. Without male issue, his earldom and his countship became extinct. His barony was inherited by his daughter, who was separated from her husband, William Parr, Baron Parr of Kendal, brother of Queen Katherine Parr, who was later created Earl of Essex in 1543 and Marquess of Northampton in 1547.[5]


  • "Bourchier, Henry (d.1539)" . Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
  1. ^ per Bridgman Art Library
  2. ^ For Eleanor de Bohun (d.1399), daughter and co-heiress of Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford, Essex and Northamptonshire (d.1373), mother-in-law of William Bourchier, 1st Count of Eu
  3. ^ Vivian, Heralds' Visitations of Devon, 1895, p.106
  4. ^ Clark, Benjamin. "Memorial of the parishes of Greensted-Budworth". Netgems.
  5. ^
Political offices
New office Captain of the Gentlemen Pensioners
Succeeded by
Sir Anthony Browne
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Henry Bourchier
Earl of Essex, Viscount Bourchier
5th & only creation
Baron Bourchier
Succeeded by
Anne Bourchier