Book Minute

Sign Up For Book Minute
March 15, 2021

Elizabeth de Bohun

If you examine the opening page to the book of Psalms in the Bohun Book of Hours, you will see the crests of three noble families. These shields tell the story of Elizabeth Badlesmere. They represent her birth family and the two families she married into. Tragedy surrounded Elizabeth from early age. Her father was executed when she was a child, and Elizabeth lived for a time with her mother, imprisoned in the Tower of London. Elizabeth eventually married, but it led to more tragedy. Her father-in-law was executed for helping to depose a king. Then, her husband, Edmund Mortimer, died as well. Finally, Elizabeth married William de Bohun—a man who, ironically, had helped arrange her former father-in-law’s execution! The couple is known to have been enthusiastic sponsors of art, but especially of the production of illuminated devotional and biblical texts. The lavishly illuminated manuscript before you was commissioned by the Bohun family and reflects their commitment to beauty and the Bible. Elizabeth lived a life of luxury and loss. Through it all, she and her family left a legacy that includes the extravagant book before you.



Explore Other Book Minutes

Click Here