Research Spotlight – Henry de Bohun

The wealthy and important De Bohun’s came to England with William the Conqueror – they were Lords of the Honour of Trowbridge for 150 years. Henry de Bohun was the great grandson of Humphrey De Bohun I, who built Trowbridge Castle to protect his lands from unruly Saxon peasants. He was the son and heir of Humphrey III de Bohun (pre-1144-1181) of Trowbridge Castle in Wiltshire and of Caldicot Castle in south-east Wales, 5th feudal baron of Trowbridge, who served King Henry II as Lord High Constable of England. His mother was Margaret of Huntingdon, widow of Conan IV, Duke of Brittany (d.1171) and a daughter of Henry of Scotland, 3rd Earl of Northumberland, 3rd Earl of Huntingdon, son of King David I of Scotland by his wife Maud, 2nd Countess of Huntingdon. Henry’s half-sister was Constance, Duchess of Brittany.

Henry De Bohun was the Earl of Hereford and one of King John’s advisors. He established the market charter, probably so he could tax the stallholders, and rebuilt the church in its current location. Henry fell out with King John when he refused to go to court – he claimed to be ill in bed! King John was very angry and gave Trowbridge to William Longspee, Henry’s enemy. He joined the rebel Barons that opposed King John, who was demanding more and more money from them to pay for his wars. The rebel Barons forced King John to accept the new laws they set down in Magna Carta in 1215. In the civil war that followed Magna Carta, he was a supporter of King Louis VIII of France and was captured at the Battle of Lincoln in 1217. He died in June 1220 while on crusade to the Holy Land.

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Maquette of statue of Henry de Bohun



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