Sir John Bourchier, 2nd Baron Berners, was born 1467 in England, United Kingdom to Humphrey Bourchier (1440-1471) and Elizabeth Tilney, Countess of Surrey (bef1445-1497) and died 19 March 1533 Calais, France of unspecified causes. He married Katherine Howard (-1536) 13 May 1490 JL . Alfred the Great (849-899)/s, Charlemagne (747-814)/s, Henry II of England (1133-1189)/s, Hugh Capet (c940-996)/s, William I of England (1027-1087)/s, Rollo of Normandy (860-932)/s.

Family Heritage

John Bourchier, born about 1467, was the only son of Sir Humphrey Bourchier (d.1471) and Elizabeth Tilney (d.1497), the daughter and sole heir of Sir Frederick Tilney of Boston, Lincolnshire. Through his father, Bourchier was descended from King Edward III; his great-grandmother, Anne of Gloucester, was the daughter of Thomas of Woodstock, King Edward's youngest son.

By his mother's first marriage, Bourchier had two sisters, Anne, who married Thomas Fiennes, 8th Baron Dacre of Gilsland, and Margaret, who married firstly, John Sandys, secondly, Sir Thomas Bryan, and thirdly, David Zouche.

After the death of Sir Humphrey Bourchier, his widow, Elizabeth, married Thomas Howard, then Earl of Surrey, and later 2nd Duke of Norfolk. By his mother's second marriage Bourchier had ten siblings of the half blood, Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, Lord Edward Howard, Lord Edmund Howard, Sir John Howard, Henry Howard, Charles Howard, Henry Howard (again), Richard Howard, Elizabeth Howard, and Muriel Howard.


After his father was slain fighting on the Yorkist side at the Battle of Barnet in 1471, Bourchier became a ward of John Howard, 1st Duke of Norfolk. As noted above, Bourchier's mother, Elizabeth, had married as her second husband Thomas Howard, the eldest son and heir of Bourchier's guardian by his first wife, Katherine Moleyns. In 1474 Bourchier's grandfather, John Bourchier, 1st Baron Berners, died, and Bourchier inherited the title at the age of seven.

He was educated at Oxford University.

Bourchier held various offices of state, including Lieutenant of Calais from 28 November 1520 and Chancellor of the Exchequer from 14 July 1524 that of to King Henry VIII.

He translated, at the King's desire, Froissart's Chronicles (1523–1525), in such a manner as to make a distinct advance in English historical writing, and the Golden Book of Marcus Aurelius (1534), as well as The History of Arthur of Lytell Brytaine (Brittany), and the romance of Huon of Bordeaux.

Bourchier died at Calais in 1533.

Marriage to Kathrine Howard

Before 13 May 1490 Bourchier married his step-father's half-sister, Katherine Howard, the daughter of John Howard, 1st Duke of Norfolk, by his second wife, Margaret Chedworth, daughter of Sir John Chedworth, and by her had a son and three daughters:

  1. Thomas Bourchier, who predeceased his father.
  2. Joan Bourchier (1490-1561) - married Sir Edmund Knyvet (d. 1 May 1539), sergeant porter to King Henry VIII, and was her father's heir.
  3. Margaret Bourchier, who predeceased her father.
  4. Mary Bourchier, who married Alexander Unton of Wadley, but died without issue, predeceasing her father.

Illegitimate Children

By a mistress Bourchier had three illegitimate sons and an illegitimate daughter:

  1. Humphrey Bourchier (d.1540), esquire, who married Elizabeth Bacon, but had no issue. After Humphrey Bourchier's death his widow married George Ferrers, esquire.
  2. James Bourchier (d.1554), who married Mary Bannaster, daughter of Sir Humphrey Bannaster.
  3. George Bourchier
  4. Ursula Bourchier, who married Sir William Sharington


Offspring of Sir John Bourchier and Katherine Howard (-1536)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Thomas Bourchier
Joan Bourchier (1490-1561) 1493 Little Eaton, Essex, England 17 February 1561 England Edmund Knyvet (1493-1527)
Margaret Bourchier
Mary Bourchier

Offspring of Sir John Bourchier and Elizabeth Bacon (bef1533-)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Humphrey Bourchier (-1540)
James Bourchier (-1554)
George Bourchier
Ursula Bourchier


Offspring of Humphrey Bourchier (1440-1471) and Elizabeth Tilney, Countess of Surrey (bef1445-1497)
Name Birth Death Joined with
John Bourchier (1467-1533) 1467 England, United Kingdom 19 March 1533 Calais, France Katherine Howard (-1536)
Elizabeth Bacon (bef1533-)
Margaret Bourchier (c1468-c1551)
Anne Bourchier (1470-1530) 1470 England 29 September 1530 Thomas Fiennes, 8th Baron Dacre (1472-1534)



Footnotes (including sources)

‡ General
¶ Death
  • 1532/3-03-19 (Julian)