The Earl Of Hereford & Essex

 

  • Richest of the Rich position: 107
  • Birth/Death: 1276-1322
  • Origin of wealth: Land
  • Wealth: £30,000
  • Net National Income: £5m
  • Net National Income Percent: 0.6%
  • In Today’s Money: £6.659 billion

Humphrey Bohun was proof that a good marriage was the route to fortune in the thirteenth century. His father, the Earl of Hereford and Essex had caused trouble for Edward I on the Welsh Marches, yet Bohun made his mark at court and in 1301, married the king’s widowed daughter, Elizabeth, Countess of Holland.

Once in the royal circle, Bohun’s fortunes improved. His father’s £4,000 debt was cancelled and in 1306, Bohun was granted valuable land and castles forfeited by Robert Bruce in Scotland and Essex. He served Edward II in fighting the Scots and the Welsh, and the king rewarded him with favours and helped in bringing diplomatic pressure to bear in Holland for payment of the dowry owing to him. But in the end he took up arms in rebellion against the king and paid for this with his life when he was killed in 1322, at the Battle of Boroughbridge.

His £30,000 wealth at the time of his death would be worth around £6.6bn in today’s money.

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