Mary de Bohun

Mary de Bohun
Mary de Bohun

Psalter celebrating Mary's marriage
Born c. 1368
Died 4 June 1394(1394-06-04)
Peterborough Castle, Northamptonshire
Spouse Henry Bolingbroke
Children 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
Parents Humphrey de Bohun, 7th Earl of Hereford
Joan Fitzalan

Mary de Bohun (c. 1368 – 4 June 1394) was the first wife of King Henry IV of England and the mother of King Henry V. Mary was never queen, as she died before her husband came to the throne.


Early life

Mary was the daughter of Humphrey de Bohun, 7th Earl of Hereford, and Joan Fitzalan (1347/1348-1419), 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. However, Woodstock's older brother John of Gaunt (Mary's future father-in-law) abducted her from the convent to be married to his son—the future Henry IV. This event did not help the relationship between the two brothers.

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, a son, lived only a few days.

Marriage and children

Mary married Henry—then known as Bolingbroke and at the time not in direct line of succession to the throne—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 father'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:


Mary de Bohun died at Peterborough Castle, giving birth to her last child, a daughter, Philippa of England. She was buried at the Church of St Mary de Castro in Leicester.


External links and references

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