William de Bohun, 1st Earl of Northampton

William de Bohun, 1st Earl of Northampton

William de Bohun, 1st Earl of Northampton (ca. 1312-1360) was an English nobleman and military commander.


He was the fifth son of Humphrey de Bohun, 4th Earl of Hereford and Elizabeth of Rhuddlan. He had a twin brother, Edward.

His maternal grandparents were Edward I of England and his first Queen consort Eleanor of Castile.

Many Lands & Titles

In 1332 he received many new properties: Hinton and Spaine in Berkshire; Hasley, Ascot, Dedington, Pyrton and Kirklington in Oxfordshire; Wincomb in Buckinghamshire; Longbenington in Lincolnshire; Kneesol in Nottinghamshire; Newnsham in Gloucestershire, Wix in Essex, and Bosham in Sussex.

He was created Earl of Northampton in 1337, one of the six earls created by Edward III to renew the ranks of the higher nobility. Since de Bohun was a younger son, and did not have an income suitable to his rank, he was given an annuity until suitable estates could be found.

Campaigns in Flanders, Brittany, Scotland, Victor at Sluys & Crecy

In 1339 he accompanied the King to Flanders. He served variously in Brittany and in Scotland, and was present at the great English victories at Sluys and was a commander at Crécy.

Renowned Diplomat

In addition to being a warrior, William was also a renowned diplomat. He negotiated two treaties with France, one in 1343 and one in 1350. He was also charged with negotiating in Scotland for the freedom of David Bruce, prisoner of the English.


De Bohun was succeeded by his son Humphrey, who also succeeded his uncle and became 7th Earl of Hereford.

His daughter Elizabeth de Bohun was married to Richard FitzAlan, 11th Earl of Arundel.

De Bohun's wife and the mother of his children was Elizabeth de Badlesmere, daughter of Bartolomew De Badlesmere, 1st Baron Badlesmere, and Margaret de Clare


*cite book| last=Le Melletier| first=Jean| title=Les Seigneurs de Bohun| date=1978| pages=6, 17, 43-44
*cite book| last=Easles| first=Richard| coauthors=Shaun Tyas, eds.| title=Family and Dynasty in Late Medieval England| publisher=Shaun Tyas, Donington| date=2003| pages=152

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