Some recent biographical information on Bosch.
I have extracted this information, which helps to give some context to Bosch's life, from various scholarly articles and books.
Hieronymus was born in 's-Hertogenbosch around or shortly before 1450 as the fourth child in a family of five children. He was named "Joen (or Jeroen) van Aken" and only later was referred to as "Hieronymus Bosch". 's-Hertogenbosch, the capital of the Duchy of Brabant, was a flourishing city in fifteenth century Brabant, in the south of the present-day Netherlands. In 1463, 4,000 houses in the town were destroyed by a catastrophic fire, which the then (approximately) 13-year-old Bosch may have witnessed.
His mother was Aleid van der Mynnen, the daughter of a prosperous tailor Bartholomeus van der Mynnen, as a result of an extra-marital affair with a woman called Margaretha, who also had other children out of wedlock by different fathers. Bartholomeus later married a wealthy woman, Agnes van Hyntham. Though Agnes was Aleid's stepmother, Bosch's mother was raised by her natural mother and was therefore brought up in a lower class family.
Bosch's paternal grandfather was Jan van Aken, a painter who moved from Nijmegen to 's-Hertogenbosch around 1425. Jan remarried in 1434 and died when he was around 73, Hieronymus being about three years old at that time. Jan van Aken had five sons, Thomas, Jan, Hubertus, Goessen and Anthonius (Bosch's father). All became painters. Jan was presumably an apprentice in Bruges where he later became a citizen in 1430. Bosch's uncle Jan and his grandfather Jan are the only ones in the family who became 'masters', an honour that Hieronymus Bosch himself apparently never received. The rules of the guild meant that Bosch could not take on apprentices as such, but only assistants.
Bosch was the fourth of five children, having an elder sister and two older brothers. The family probably lived with his grandfather Jan until 1462, when he was about twelve for then his father Anthonius, who was a painter and dealer in church furniture, bought a house on the market square in 's-Hertogenbosch named "Sint Anthonis" (which at the time of his father's death was still not fully paid for).
Bosch's education probably started at the Latin school in 's-Hertogenbosch, otherwise he could never have been a cleric (only clerics could become sworn members of the Confraternity of Our Lady). After his school years Bosch became an apprentice in his father's workshop, which Bosch continued together with his brothers Goessen and Jan after their father died (when Bosch was about 27).
Around 1475-84 Bosch married Aleid van de Meervenne, who was somewhat older than him, being born in 1453. She came from a wealthy old patrician family in Den Bosch and made it possible for him to live a life free from financial worries. When he got married Bosch moved into a house called "In den Salvatoer" on the North side of the Market Square, which belonged to his wife's family. They did not have any children. His father Anthonius died in 1478, when Hieronymus was about 28 years old.
In 1486 Bosch was admitted to the Confraternity of Our Lady as a sworn member, which made it possible for him to mingle in a society of about 60 to 80 elite members. His wife Aleid had already been a member since 1469 as had her father Goyart van de Meervenne. Bosch's father Anthonius was also a member. The succession of Goyart should have fallen to his son (also known as Goyart) but this brother-in-law of Bosch died at an early age, maybe as a student in Louvain, so his estate came to his daughter Aleid van de Meervenne, Bosch's wife. This meant that Bosch was very comfortably off and did not have to struggle to make a living. By the year 1500, before he had achieved wider fame as an artist, Bosch did not have to paint for a living and was wealthy enough to paint whatever he chose. In fact, tax records for the years 1502–3 and 1511–12 show that Bosch was in the wealthiest top 10% of citizens of ’s Hertogenbosch.
The Confraternity assembled weekly in the church of Saint John and frequently at a festive table. In 1500 one third of the members consisted of priests, and two thirds of those priests had children. This high-society brotherhood, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, had been founded in the early 1300's by the Bishop of Liege, the Archdeacon of Kempenland and the pastor of Orthen. At first, all members had been Catholic clergy, but later lay members could pay to join. In 1500 all members at the festive table were clergyman: and they had all attended the Latin school, this implies that Bosch also must have been educated at Latin school, otherwise he could never have been a cleric (only clerics could become a sworn member of the Confraternity of Our Lady). Thus Bosch's colleagues in the Confraternity were higher clergyman and rich citizens.
Bosch died in the first week of August 1516 possibly from an epidemic of plague that caused the death of many people. He would have been about 65 years old. His wife Aleid survived him by six years.