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Mary de Bohun

Mary de Bohun Wife of King Henry IV of England

Wife of King Henry IV of England
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Wife of King Henry IV of England
Gender female
Birth 1 January 1369
Death 4 June 1394 (Peterborough Castle)
Mother: Joan de BohunCountess of Hereford
Father: Humphrey de Bohun7th Earl of Hereford
Spouse: Henry IV of England
Children: Henry V of EnglandThomas of Lancaster1st Duke of ClarenceJohn of Lancaster1st Duke of BedfordHumphrey of Lancaster1st Duke of GloucesterBlanche of EnglandPhilippa of England
The details

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 (1347/48–1419), 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. In a plot with John of Gaunt, Mary's aunt took her from Thomas' castle at Pleshey back to Arundel whereupon she was married to Henry Bolingbroke, the future Henry IV.

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 child lived only a few days.

Marriage and children

Mary married Henry—then known as Bolingbroke—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 husband's possessions, that Mary gave birth to her next two children, both boys. Henry, the eldest 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:

  • Edward (April 1382), died a few days after birth
  • Henry V, King of England (1386–1422)
  • Thomas of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Clarence (1387–1421)
  • John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford (1389–1435)
  • Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester (1390–1447)
  • Blanche of England (1392–1409) married in 1402 Louis III, Elector Palatine
  • Philippa of England (1394–1430) married in 1406 Eric of Pomerania, King of Denmark, Norway and Sweden.


Mary de Bohun died at Peterborough Castle, giving birth to her last child, a daughter, Philippa of England. She was buried in the collegiate Church of the Annunciation of Our Lady of the Newarke, Leicester.


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