Humphrey Bourchier, Sir

Is your surname Bourchier?

Research the Bourchier family

Humphrey Bourchier, Sir's Geni Profile

Records for Humphrey Bourchier

136,643 Records

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Humphrey Bourchier, Sir

Birthdate: (36)
Birthplace: Halstead, Essex, England
Death: Died in Battle of Barnet, Hertfordshire, England
Cause of death: Killed in Battle of Barnet (War of Roses)
Place of Burial: London, Greater London, England
Immediate Family:

Son of John Bourchier, 1st Baron Berners and Marjorie Bourchier Berners
Husband of Elizabeth Tilney, Countess of Surrey
Father of John Bourchier, 2nd Baron Berners; Margaret Bryan, Lady Bryan and Anne Bourchier
Brother of Joan Bourchier; Sir Thomas Bouchier, and Elizabeth Bouchier

Occupation: died at battle of Barnet, he was a Yorkist
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Humphrey Bourchier, Sir

Sir Humphrey Bourchier , son of Sir John Bourchier and Lady Margery Berners, was born about 1440 in Halstad, Essex, England. In Devenshire, England, about 1465, he married Lady Elizabeth Tilney (born about 1450 in Ashwellthrope, Norflok, England, died April 4, 1497), daughter of Frederick Tilney and Elizabeth Cheney . Frederick Tilney was born about 1416, the son of Philip Tilney (born about 1385) and Isabel Thorpe. Children of Sir Humphrey Bourchier and Lady Elizabeth Tilney were:

-Sir John Bourchier , (Baron Berners, born ca 1467 in Bourchier, Devonshire, England, died April 4, 1497)

-Lady Anne Bourchier (born 1470 in Benningborough, Yorkshire, England)

-Lady Margaret Bourchier

The Battle of Barnet (War of the Roses)– the Death of Humphrey Bourchier

In 1470, the Duke of Warwick drove King Edward IV out of England. In March, 1471, Edward IV returned with a fleet of ships and a small army, landing at Yorkshire. His army included 300 Flemmish mercenaries armed with muskets (“handguns”). They marched south, gathering forces along the way, and entered London unopposed. Edward continued south to meet the Duke of Warwick at Barnet. In the fog (“a great myste”) on Easter morning, April 14, 1471, King Edward attacked the Duke of Warwick’s forces. At first, troops led by the Earl of Oxford defeated some of Edward’s troops and pursued them from the field. Returning from the pursuit in the fog, they mistakenly attacked others of Warwick’s troops, so Edward achieved a complete victory. Among Edward’s troops who were killed was Sir Humphrey Bourchier. After Sir Humphrey’s death, Lady Elizabeth Tilney married Sir Thomas Howard, who became Earl of Surrey, and, later, Duke of Norfolk.


  • Sir Humphrey Bourchier1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11
  • M, #47710, b. circa 1444, d. 14 April 1471
  • Father Sir John Bourchier, 1st Lord Berners, Constable of Windsor Castle12,13,14,15 b. c 1415, d. 16 May 1474 or 21 May 1474
  • Mother Margery Berners12,13,14,15 b. 30 Nov 1408, d. 18 Dec 1475
  • Sir Humphrey Bourchier was born circa 1444 at of West Horsley, Surrey, England.12 A settlement for the marriage Sir Humphrey Bourchier and Elizabeth Tilney was made on 11 April 1451; They had 1 son (Sir John, 2nd Lord Berners) and 2 daughters (Anne, wife of Sir Thomas Fiennes, 8th Lord Dacre; & Margaret, wife of John Sandys, of Sir Thomas Bryan, & of David Zouche).2,16,4,6,9,10,11 Sir Humphrey Bourchier died on 14 April 1471 at Battle of Barnet, Barnet, Middlesex, England; d.v.p. Buried in the chapel of St. Edmund & St. Thomas the Martyr at Westminster Abbey, London.1,2,4,9,10
  • Family Elizabeth Tilney b. c 1445, d. 4 Apr 1497
  • Children
    • Anne Bourchier17,2 d. a 29 Sep 1530
    • Margaret Bourchier+18,3,4,5,7,8,9 b. c 1465
    • Sir John Bourchier, Chancellor of the Exchequer, 2nd Lord Berners, Deputy of Calais+12,18,4,9 b. c 1467, d. 19 Mar 1533
  • Citations
  • 1.[S11568] The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain, and the United Kingdom, by George Edward Cokayne, Vol. II, p. 153-154.
  • 2.[S5] Douglas Richardson, Plantagenet Ancestry, p. 141.
  • 3.[S16] Douglas Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry, 2nd Edition, Vol. I, p. 194.
  • 4.[S16] Douglas Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry, 2nd Edition, Vol. I, p. 284-285.
  • 5.[S16] Douglas Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry, 2nd Edition, Vol. III, p. 263-264.
  • 6.[S16] Douglas Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry, 2nd Edition, Vol. IV, p. 131.
  • 7.[S6] Douglas Richardson, Plantagenet Ancestry: 2nd Edition, Vol. I, p. 228.
  • 8.[S4] Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry, Vol. I, p. 359.
  • 9.[S4] Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry, Vol. I, p. 484-485.
  • 10.[S4] Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry, Vol. III, p. 335-336.
  • 11.[S4] Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry, Vol. V, p. 72.
  • 12.[S11568] The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain, and the United Kingdom, by George Edward Cokayne, Vol. II, p. 153.
  • 13.[S5] Douglas Richardson, Plantagenet Ancestry, p. 140-141.
  • 14.[S16] Douglas Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry, 2nd Edition, Vol. I, p. 283-284.
  • 15.[S4] Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry, Vol. I, p. 483-484.
  • 16.[S5] Douglas Richardson, Plantagenet Ancestry, p. 236-237.
  • 17.[S11568] The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain, and the United Kingdom, by George Edward Cokayne, Vol. V, p. 10.
  • 18.[S5] Douglas Richardson, Plantagenet Ancestry, p. 141-142.
  • From:


  • Sir Humphrey Bourchier1
  • M, #28721, d. 14 April 1471
  • Last Edited=2 Feb 2011
  • Sir Humphrey Bourchier was the son of Sir John Bourchier, 1st Lord Berners and Marjorie Berners.1 He married Elizabeth Tylney, daughter of Sir Frederick Tylney and Elizabeth Cheney.1 He died on 14 April 1471, killed in action.1
  • He fought in the Battle of Barnet on 14 April 1471, fighting on the Yorkist side.1
  • Children of Sir Humphrey Bourchier and Elizabeth Tylney
    • 1.Anne Bourchier+2
    • 2.Margaret Bourchier3 d. 1551/52
    • 3.John Bourchier, 2nd Lord Berners+4 b. c 1467, d. 19 Mar 1532/33
  • Citations
  • 1.[S6] G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume II, page 153. Hereinafter cited as The Complete Peerage.
  • 2.[S37] BP2003 volume 1, page 356. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S37]
  • 3.[S6] Cokayne, and others, The Complete Peerage, volume II, page 363.
  • 4.[S6] Cokayne, and others, The Complete Peerage, volume II, page 154.
  • From:


  • Humphrey BOURCHIER (Sir Knight)
  • Born: 1440 / 1444, Halstead, Essex, England
  • Died: 14 Apr 1471, Battle of Barnet, Hertfordshire, England
  • Buried: Westminster Abbey
  • Father: John BOURCHIER (1° B. Berners)
  • Mother: Margery (Margaret) BERNERS (B. Berners)
  • Married: Elizabeth TILNEY (C. Surrey) (d. 4 Apr 1497) (dau. of Sir Frederick Tilney of Ashwellthorpe and Elizabeth Cheney - m.2 Thomas Howard, 2° E. Norfolk)
  • Children:
    • 1. Margaret BOURCHIER
    • 2. John BOURCHIER (2° B. Berners)
    • 3. Anne BOURCHIER (B. Dacre of the South)
  • From: BOURCHIER (Sir Knight)1


  • Elizabeth Tilney, Countess of Surrey (before 1445 – 4 April 1497) was an English heiress and lady-in-waiting to two queens. She became the first wife of Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey.
  • She served as a lady-in-waiting to Queen consort Elizabeth Woodville, and later as Lady of the Bedchamber to the Queen's daughter, Elizabeth of York, consort of King Henry VII of England. She stood as joint godmother to Princess Margaret Tudor at her baptism.
  • She was the mother of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk. Through her daughter Elizabeth she was the maternal grandmother of Anne Boleyn, and through another son, Edmund, the paternal grandmother of Catherine Howard, both queens consort of King Henry VIII. Elizabeth's great-granddaughter was Queen Elizabeth I of England.
  • Elizabeth was commemorated as the "Countess of Surrey" in John Skelton's poem, The Garlande of Laurell, following his visit to the Howard residence of Sheriff Hutton Castle.
  • Elizabeth Tilney was born at Ashwellthorpe Hall sometime before 1445, the only child of Sir Frederick Tilney, of Ashwellthorpe, Norfolk, and Boston, Lincolnshire, and Elizabeth Cheney (1422–1473) of Fen Ditton, Cambridgeshire. Sir Frederick Tilney died before 1447, and before 1449 Elizabeth's mother married as her second husband Sir John Say of Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, Speaker of the House of Commons, by whom she had three sons, Sir William, Sir Thomas and Leonard, and four daughters, Anne (wife of Sir Henry Wentworth of Nettlestead, Suffolk), Elizabeth (wife of Thomas Sampson), Katherine (wife of Thomas Bassingbourne), and Mary (wife of Sir Philip Calthorpe).[1] A fifth daughter died as a young child. Henry VIII's third queen consort, Jane Seymour, was the granddaughter of Henry Wentworth and Anne Say,[2] and thus a second cousin to Henry VIII's second and fifth queens consort, Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard.[3]
  • Elizabeth's paternal grandparents were Sir Philip Tilney and Isabel Thorpe, and her maternal grandparents were Sir Laurence Cheney of Fen Ditton and Elizabeth Cockayne, widow of Sir Philip Butler. Elizabeth Cockayne was the daughter of Sir John Cockayne, Chief Baron of the Exchequer and Ida de Grey. Ida was a daughter of Welsh Marcher Lord Reginald Grey, 2nd Baron Grey de Ruthyn and Eleanor Le Strange of Blackmere.[4] Through her mother, Ida was a direct descendant of Welsh Prince Gruffydd II ap Madog, Lord of Dinas Bran and his wife Emma de Audley.
  • Elizabeth was co-heiress to the manors of Fisherwick and Shelfield in Walsall, Staffordshire by right of her descent from Roger Hillary, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas (d.1356).[5]
  • Elizabeth married her first husband, Sir Humphrey Bourchier, the son and heir of John Bourchier, 1st Baron Berners, and his wife Margery, in about 1466. The marriage produced a son, John Bourchier, 2nd Baron Berners and two daughters. Following her marriage, Elizabeth went to court where she served as lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth Woodville, whose train she had carried at the latter's coronation in May 1465 at Westminster Abbey. Elizabeth accompanied the Queen and her children into sanctuary at Westminster Abbey when King Edward IV had been ousted from the throne, and was present at the birth of the future King Edward V. She remained with the Queen until Edward IV was restored to power.
  • Sir Humphrey was killed at the Battle of Barnet on 14 April 1471 fighting on the Yorkist side.[6] On 30 April 1472 Elizabeth married Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey,[7] a marriage arranged by the King.[8] In 1475, Elizabeth inherited her father's property of Ashwellthorpe Manor.[9] Her second husband was a close friend and companion of Richard, Duke of Gloucester who was crowned king in 1483. Elizabeth was one of Queen Anne Neville's attendants at Richard's coronation, while her husband bore the Sword of State.[10] On 22 August 1485 Thomas's father John Howard, 1st Duke of Norfolk was killed at the Battle of Bosworth while fighting for Richard III; like his son, John was also one of King Richard's dearest friends.[11] Thomas Howard was wounded at Bosworth and imprisoned in the Tower for several years, and the dukedom of Norfolk was forfeited. Elizabeth was fortunate that Thomas' attainder stipulated that she would not lose her own inheritance. On 3 October 1485, she wrote to John Paston, who was married to her cousin. The letter, which she had written from the Isle of Sheppey, mentioned how she had wished to send her children to Thorpe, pointing out that Paston had pledged to send her horses as a means of transporting them there. She continued to complain that Lord FitzWalter, an adherent of the new king Henry VII, had dismissed all of her servants; however, because of the stipulations in her husband's attainder, FitzWalter was unable to appropriate her manor of Askwell.[12] In December 1485 she was living in London, near St Katharine's by the Tower, which placed her in the vicinity of her incarcerated husband.[13]
  • After Thomas was released from prison and his earldom and estates were restored to him, he entered the service of Henry VII. In November 1487, Thomas and Elizabeth attended the coronation of Henry's consort Elizabeth of York, who appointed Elizabeth a Lady of the Bedchamber. Elizabeth was further honoured by being asked to stand as joint godmother to the Princess Margaret Tudor at her baptism in late 1489.
  • Her second marriage produced nine children, including Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, Elizabeth Howard, mother of Queen Anne Boleyn, and Lord Edmund Howard, father of Queen Katherine Howard.
  • Elizabeth Tilney died on 4 April 1497 and was buried in the nun's choir of the Convent of the Minoresses outside Aldgate.[14] In her will, she left money to be distributed to the poor of Whitechapel and Hackney.[15] By licence dated 8 November 1497 Thomas Howard married as his second wife her cousin, Agnes Tilney, by whom he had six more children.[16]
  • Elizabeth's granddaughters included not only Queen Katherine Howard and Queen Anne Boleyn, but also three of Henry VIII's mistresses, Elizabeth Carew, Mary Boleyn and, allegedly, Mary Howard, Duchess of Richmond.[17] During the reign of Henry VIII the Howards, led by Elizabeth's eldest son, Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, became the premier family of England.
  • Elizabeth Tilney has been identified as the "Countess of Surrey" commemorated in John Skelton's The Garlande of Laurell, written by the poet laureate while he was a guest of the Howards in 1495 at Sheriff Hutton Castle. Three of Elizabeth's daughters, Anne, Elizabeth and Muriel are also addressed in the poem, which celebrates the occasion when Elizabeth, her daughters, and gentlewomen of her household placed a garland of laurel worked in silks, gold and pearls upon Skelton's head as a sign of homage to the poet.[18]
  • Elizabeth's likeness is depicted in a stained glass window at Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford, Suffolk. She is shown facing Elizabeth Talbot, Duchess of Norfolk, and both figures are surmounted by the Mowbray family's coat of arms.
  • A highly romanticized fictional account of Elizabeth Tilney's life was written by Juliet Dymoke in The Sun in Splendour which depicts Elizabeth, known as "Bess", at the court of King Edward IV.
  • Issue
  • By Sir Humphrey Bourchier:
    • John Bourchier, 2nd Baron Berners (1467–1533), married Katherine (d. 12 March 1536), the daughter of John Howard, 1st Duke of Norfolk, by whom he had a son, Thomas, and three daughters, Joan, Margaret and Mary; by a mistress allegedly named Elizabeth Bacon he had three illegitimate sons, Sir James, Humphrey and George, and one daughter, Ursula (wife of Sir William Sherington)[19]
    • Margaret Bourchier (1468–1552), Lady Governess to Princess Mary and Princess Elizabeth; married firstly, by agreement dated 11 November 1478, John Sandys, son and heir apparent of William Sandys of the Vyne, by whom she had no issue; secondly, Sir Thomas Bryan, by whom she had three children, including Sir Francis Bryan.[20]
    • Anne Bourchier (1470- 29 September 1530), married Thomas Fiennes, 8th Baron Dacre,[21] by whom she had three children.
  • By Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk:
    • Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk[22]
    • Sir Edward Howard[23]
    • Lord Edmund Howard, father of Henry VIII's fifth Queen, Katherine Howard[24]
    • Sir John Howard[25]
    • Lord Henry Howard[26]
    • Lord Charles Howard[27]
    • Lord Henry Howard (the younger)[28]
    • Lord Richard Howard[29]
    • Lady Elizabeth Howard, married Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire, and was mother of Queen Anne Boleyn, and grandmother of Queen Elizabeth[30]
    • Muriel Howard (d.1512), married firstly John Grey, 2nd Viscount Lisle (d.1504), and secondly Sir Thomas Knyvet[31]
    • daughter (died young)[32]
  • From:


The Battle of Barnet was fought on the morning of Easter Day 14 April 1471. It was an important battle in the Wars of the Roses between Edward VI and the Earl of Warwick (called the king maker). The Wars of the Roses was a series of civil wars fought between two aristocratic families, the House of York and the House of Lancaster. King Edward IV and Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, had been allies during the wars and their success had led to the overthrow of Henry VI (of Lancaster) and the crowning of Edward (of York) as king. Warwick expected that his friends and favourites would be rewarded in the new court with prestigious positions. But Edward decided to favour the friends and relatives of his wife, Queen Elizabeth, instead. After much conflict Warwick drove Edward into exile, and placed Henry VI back on the throne. Edward, who returned in March 1471 with an army of Burgundianmercenaries, marched on London and took Henry prisoner.

The armies of Edward and Warwick met for the last time at Barnet at a place called Gladmore Heath. No one is sure where Gladmore Heath was, as the name has long ceased to be used. Many believe that the battle was in and around Hadley. Early in the morning of the battle there was a thick fog. The armies engaged and one of Warwick's commanders succeeded in routing one of the flanks of Edward's army, and pursued them back to Barnet. But while they were away, the push of battle swung the armies around, and on returning they mistook the badge of another of Warwick’s commanders (a star with streams of light) for the badge of their enemy Edward (a sun with rays). They attacked their own side, which panicked and fled. Warwick lost the battle and was killed.



view all

Humphrey Bourchier, Sir's Timeline

Halstead, Essex, England
Age 32
June 1, 1468
Age 33
Benningborough, Yorkshire, England
Age 35
Benningborough, Yorkshire, England
April 14, 1471
Age 36
Battle of Barnet, Hertfordshire, England
Age 36
London, Greater London, England
died in battle