PEOPLE in Trowbridge are being urged to remember the 801st anniversary of one of the town’s most illustrious residents after celebrations were cancelled last year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

On this date in 1220, Henry de Bohun, the 1st Earl of Hereford and Hereditary Lord High Constable of England, died in Palestine while on the 5th crusade to the Holy Land.

But by the time of his death, he had already left his mark on Trowbridge – a legacy that still exists to the present day.

Earl Henry was a notable figure in the development of modern Trowbridge, as it was he who in 1200 secured from King John the grant of a market and annual fair there.

From this privilege flowed the laying out of the marketplace along the curved line of the castle ditch, the removal of the church from the castle’s inner bailey and the construction of the present church of St James in the heart of the town.

Local historian Andy Milroy, who has written a book about the baron and was flying the de Bohun flag today, said: “The flag of de Bohun family is being flown today to mark the 801st anniversary of the death of Trowbridge’s Magna Carta Baron, Henry de Bohun in Palestine.

“Amazingly the imprint of Henry’s effort to develop his caput or headquarters of Trowbridge economically can still be seen on the town today.”

The Anglo-Norman nobleman was one of the 25 barons chosen by their peers to enforce the terms of the Magna Carta signed by King John in 1215.

He was the son and heir of Humphrey III de Bohun (pre-1144-1181) of Trowbridge Castle and of Caldicot Castle in south-east Wales.

In the civil war that followed Magna Carta, he was a supporter of King Louis VIII of France and was captured at the Battle of Lincoln in 1217.