Eleanor de Bohun

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Eleanor de Bohun
Titles and styles
The Duchess of Gloucester
The Countess of Buckingham
The Countess of Essex
The Lady Eleanor de Bohun
Born1365 or 1366[1]
Died3 October 1399 (aged 32 or 33)[1]
BuriedWestminster Abbey, London
Noble familyBohun family
SpouseThomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester
FatherHumphrey de Bohun, 7th Earl of Hereford
MotherJoan Fitzalan
Arms of Bohun: Azure, a bend argent cotised or between six lions rampant or.

Lady Eleanor de Bohun (c. 1366 – 3 October 1399) was the elder daughter and co-heiress with her sister, Mary de Bohun, of their father Humphrey de Bohun, 7th Earl of Hereford (1341–1373). Her mother was Lady Joan Fitzalan, daughter of Richard FitzAlan, 10th Earl of Arundel and his second wife Eleanor of Lancaster.


In 1376, she married Thomas of Woodstock, 1st Duke of Gloucester. Thomas was the youngest son of Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault. Following their marriage, the couple went to reside in Pleshey Castle, Essex. Eleanor and her husband had the tutelage of her younger sister, Mary, who was being instructed in religious doctrine. This was being done in the hope that she would enter a convent, thus leaving her share of the considerable Bohun inheritance to Eleanor and Thomas.[2]


Together Eleanor and Thomas had five children:

  1. Humphrey, 2nd Earl of Buckingham (c. 1381 – 2 September 1399)
  2. Anne of Gloucester (c. 1383 – 1438) married (1st) Thomas Stafford, 3rd Earl of Stafford; (2nd) Edmund Stafford, 5th Earl of Stafford; and (3rd) William Bourchier, Count of Eu. Her son by 3rd marriage, John Bourchier, 1st Baron Berners, was grandfather of Richard Neville, 2nd Baron Latimer of Snape. Richard's granddaughter, Anne Dawney,[3] was ancestress of Zachary Taylor,[4] 12th President of the USA
  3. Joan (1384 – 16 August 1400) married Gilbert Talbot, 5th Lord Talbot (1383–1419). Died in childbirth.
  4. Isabel (12 March 1385/1386 – April 1402)
  5. Philippa (c. 1388) Died young

Order of the Garter[edit]

Eleanor de Bohun was invested as a Lady Companion, Order of the Garter in 1384. She became a nun sometime after 1397 at Barking Abbey. She died on 3 October 1399 and was buried in Westminster Abbey. Her executors included the chaplain in Pleshy, Essex.[5]

In fiction[edit]

Eleanor appears briefly in Anya Seton's historical romance Katherine, based upon the life of Eleanor's sister-in-law Katherine Swynford, the third wife of John of Gaunt. She also appears in Act 1, Scene 2 of Shakespeare's Richard II, where she unsuccessfully urges John of Gaunt to avenge her murdered husband.



  1. ^ a b Aged 7 at her father's death in 1373. Cokayne, G.E. (1926). Vicary Gibbs; H.A. Doubleday; Duncan Warrand; Lord Howard de Walden (eds.). The Complete Peerage. 6 (2nd ed.). London: St Catherine Press. p. 474.
  2. ^ Jennifer C. Ward (1995). Women of the English Nobility and Gentry, 1066–1500. Manchester University Press, Manchester, UK. p.21. Google Books, retrieved 24-10-10 ISBN 0-7190-4114-7
  3. ^ http://www.tudorplace.com.ar/NEVILLE3.htm[unreliable source]
  4. ^ Descent of Zachary Taylor from Edward III
  5. ^ Plea Rolls of the Court of Common Pleas; CP 40/561; http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT2/H4/CP40no561/bCP40no561dorses/IMG_1843.htm; Peyntour, Hugh, chaplain of the free chapel within the Castle of Plessy

External links[edit]