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Historical Information

Robert Bourchier, 1st Lord Bourchier 1306-1349

Born: 1306


Died: 18 May 1349, died of the plague

Buried: Halstead, Essex

Parents: John Bourchier (b about 1278, d 1329) and Helen Colchester (b about 1281 Halstead)

Siblings: John Bourchier (b about 1308, d after 1370)


Spouse: Margaret Prayer (b about 1307, Sible Headingham) daughter of Sir Thomas Prayer of Prayers, Sible Headingham, Essex married Anne de Essex

Offspring: John Bourchier (b 12 March 1329, Tolleshunt, Essex, d 21 May 1400) married (about 1365 Stansted, Essex) Elizabeth Coggeshall

William (b 1330, d 1375) married (1359) Eleanor de Louvaine (b 25 March 1345 Little Easton, Essex, d about 1400, probably buried in the abbey church at Beeleigh, Essex, the wall monument being removed to Little Easton after the Dissolution)

Heraldic Coat of Arms: Argent a cross engrailed gules between 4 water bougets sable

In the early 1330's Robert was a justice of Oyer Et Terminer and serverd as a knight of the shire for Essex in the Parliaments of 1329, 1330, 1332 and 1339. Robert was summoned for military service in 1324 and fought at Cadzand in 1337, probably with Hugh Audley, the earl of Gloucester, who retained his service with the sum of £100. Robert was appointed the first lay Chancellor of England on 14 Decelmber 1340, but due to is unpopularity and being unwilling to bow to parliamentary pressure he was replaced 10 months later. Robert fought in the years 1342-3 in Britanny and was at Crecy in 1346 and following this the siege of Calais. On 20 November 1348 and March 1349 Robert was summoned to parliament by personal writ becoming Lord Bourchier. In 1347 and again in 1349 Robert treated with France for peace. Robert married Margaret Prayer an heiress which brought hime a number of properties throughout the country.

On 2nd April 1342 Edward III granted Robert Bourchier a license to found a chapelry of Seculars in Halstead and endow them with land and the advowson of the church of Sible Headingham.


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