Sir Aubrey de Vere, III, Knight, 1st Earl of Oxford

Male 1115 - 1194  (~ 79 years)

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  • Name Aubrey de Vere 
    Title Sir 
    Suffix III, Knight, 1st Earl of Oxford 
    Birth ~ 1115  [1
    Gender Male 
    Death 26 Dec 1194  [1, 2
    Person ID I48146  The Hennessee Family
    Last Modified 23 Mar 2017 

    Father Sir Aubrey de Vere, II,   b. ~ 1085, (Normandy, France) Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 0May 1141, (Thrapston, Northamptonshire, England) Find all individuals with events at this location (Age ~ 56 years) 
    Mother Adeliza de Clare,   b. ~1093, Risbridge, Suffolk, England Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 1 Nov 1163, St Osyth Priory, Essex, England Find all individuals with events at this location (Age ~ 70 years) 
    Marriage ~ 1105  Suffolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 3, 4, 5
    Family ID F17737  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Agnes of Essex, Countess of Oxford,   b. ~ 1150   d. Aft 1212 (Age ~ 63 years) 
    Marriage 1162-1163  [2, 6
    Residence (Family) Castle Hedingham, Essex, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
     1. Sir Robert de Vere, Knight, 3rd Earl of Oxford,   b. Aft 1165   d. Bef 25 Oct 1221 (Age ~ 55 years)
    Family ID F17750  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 30 Apr 2023 

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsResidence (Family) - - Castle Hedingham, Essex, England Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Notes 
    • Aubrey de Vere, 1st Earl of Oxford (c. 1115 – 26 December 1194) was a noble involved in the succession conflict between King Stephen and Empress Matilda in the mid-twelfth century.

      He was the son of Aubrey de Vere, master chamberlain, and Alice (died c. 1163), a daughter of Gilbert de Clare.

      In 1136 or 1137 Aubrey de Vere married Beatrice, the daughter of Henry, Constable of Bourbourg, and the granddaughter and heiress of Manasses, Count of Guăines in the Pas de Calais. After the death of Manasses late in 1138, Aubrey travelled to Guăines, did homage to Thierry, Count of Flanders, and was made Count of Guăines by right of his wife.[1] The marriage, however, may not have been consummated, due to the poor health of Beatrice.

      Aubrey de Vere succeeded on 15 May 1141, after his father had been slain by a mob in London[2] at a time of civil war between King Stephen and the Empress Matilda over the succession to the crown. King Stephen had been captured at the Battle of Lincoln in February 1141, so Aubrey did homage to the Empress. His brother-in-law, the Earl of Essex, appears to have negotiated the grant of an earldom to Aubrey in July 1141, which grant was confirmed by Henry fitz Empress in Normandy. The latter charter provided that Aubrey de Vere would be Earl of Cambridgeshire, with the third penny, unless that county were held by the King of Scots, in which case he was to have a choice of four other titles. In the event, de Vere took the title of Earl of Oxford.[3] Earl Geoffrey made his peace with King Stephen when the king regained his freedom late in 1141 and most likely Aubrey de Vere did as well.

      In 1143, however, the King arrested Essex and Oxford at St. Albans. Both were forced to surrender their castles to the King in order to regain their liberty. The earl of Essex retaliated by rebelling against the king; it appears that Oxford did not actively or openly support his brother-in-law.

      At some time between 1144 and 1146 the Constable of Bourbourg, arranged a divorce for his daughter Countess Beatrice with Earl Aubrey's consent, after which Oxford ceased to be Count of Guăines.[4] In or before 1151 Oxford married Euphemia. King Stephen and his wife, Queen Maud, gave the manor of Ickleton, Cambridgeshire, as Euphemia's marriage portion. The marriage was short-lived; Euphemia was dead by 1154, leaving no known issue. She was buried at Colne Priory.

      On 3 May 1152 Queen Maud died at Oxford's seat of Castle Hedingham, [5] and in the winter of 1152-3 Oxford was with the King at the siege of Wallingford, attesting important charters in 1153 as "earl Aubrey."

      In 1162 or 1163 Earl Aubrey took as his third wife Agnes, the daughter of Henry of Essex, lord of Rayleigh. At the time of the marriage Agnes was probably aged twelve. Soon after their marriage, Aubrey's father-in-law was accused of treason and fought (and lost) a judicial duel. By 1165 he attempted to have the marriage annulled, allegedly because Agnes had been betrothed to his brother, Geoffrey de Vere, but probably in reality because her father had been disgraced and ruined. Oxford reportedly 'kept his wife shut up and did not allow her to attend church or go out, and refused to cohabit with her', according to the letter the bishop of London wrote to the Pope about the case when the young countess appealed to the Roman Curia. The pope sided with Agnes and declared the marriage valid, but the earl continued to refuse to take her back as his wife. Agnes's friends appealed to the Bishop of London, and ultimately to Pope Alexander III, who in 1171 or 1172 directed the bishop to order Oxford to restore her to her conjugal rights or to suffer interdiction and excommunication.[6] By Agnes Oxford eventually had four sons, Aubrey de Vere, 2nd Earl of Oxford, Ralph, Robert de Vere, 3rd Earl of Oxford, and Henry, and a daughter, Alice.[7]

      In 1184 Oxford obtained the wardship of the person of Isabel de Bolebec, daughter of Walter de Bolebec,[8] but not the custody of her lands. In 1190 he paid 500 marks for the right to marry her to his eldest son and heir, Aubrey de Vere, later 2nd Earl of Oxford.[9]

      Oxford served during the civil war of 1173–4, helping to repel a force under Robert de Beaumont, 3rd Earl of Leicester, which landed in Suffolk on 29 September 1173.[10] He was present on 3 September 1189 at the coronation of King Richard I.[11]

      Oxford died 26 December 1194, and was buried at Colne Priory. His third wife survived him, and later was buried by his side.[12]

      Oxford was a benefactor to several religious houses, including Colne Priory, and Hatfield Regis Priory. He and his wife founded a small nunnery at Castle Hedingham in Essex.

      end [2]

  • Sources 
    1. [S10727] "Aubrey de Vere II" biography, was found, retrieved, uploaded and published March 23rd, 2017 by David A. Hennessee, info.

    2. [S10733] "Aubrey de Vere, 1st Earl of Oxford" biography, was found, retrieved, uploaded and published March 23rd, 2017 by David A.

    3. [S10721] "Hugh Bigod, 1st Earl of Norfolk" biography, which was abstracted, downloaded and published Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017.

    4. [S10731] "Gilbert Fitz Richard" biography, was found, retrieved, uploaded and published March 23rd, 2017 by David A. Hennessee, i.

    5. [S13297] "Joan (FitzPiers) de Verdun (1183 - 1205)", Pedigree, Registry & Biography,, a.

    6. [S10734] "Agnes of Essex, Countess of Oxford" biography, was found, retrieved, uploaded and published March 23rd, 2017 by David A.