Aubrey de Vere, 2nd Earl of Oxford

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Aubrey de Vere, 2nd Earl of Oxford
Snowykeepsm.jpg
Hedingham Castle, Essex, seat of the Earls of Oxford
Spouse(s) Isabel de Bolebec
Alice

Issue

Roger de Vere (illegitimate)
Noble family De Vere
Father Aubrey de Vere, 1st Earl of Oxford
Mother Agnes of Essex
Born c. 1163
Died 1214
burial in Colne Priory

Aubrey de Vere, 2nd Earl of Oxford (c.1163 – 1214), hereditary Master Chamberlain of England,[1] was the eldest son and heir of Aubrey de Vere, 1st Earl of Oxford, by his third wife, Agnes of Essex. He served in military campaigns under King Richard and King John. He was succeeded in the earldom by his brother, Robert de Vere, 3rd Earl of Oxford.

Aubrey de Vere, the eldest son and heir of Aubrey de Vere, 1st Earl of Oxford, by his third wife, Agnes of Essex, the daughter of Henry de Essex, Lord of Rayleigh, was born in 1163 or later.[1] He had three brothers, Ralph, Robert and Henry, and a sister, Alice. His brother Ralph predeceased him, and his brother Robert succeeded him as 3rd Earl.[2] The first notice of de Vere is as a young boy witnessing his father's charters for Colne Priory.[1]

In 1194 de Vere was with King Richard I in France, and later that year succeeded to the earldom at the death of his father on 26 December 1194.[1] In 1195 he was assessed 500 marks towards the ransom of King Richard, who was being held captive by the Holy Roman Emperor, Henry VI.[3]

In 1197 Oxford was again with the King in Normandy[3] when a dispute was litigated between Abbot Samson of Bury St Edmunds and 50 tenants of the Abbey, including the earl of Oxford. Ultimately most of the tenants came to the King's court in London and acknowledged the Abbey's right to certain feudal aids. Oxford, the last to hold out, was forced to comply when the Abbot seized and sold his plough-beasts.[4]

In 1204 Oxford paid 200 marks for the third penny of Oxfordshire and 'that he might be Earl of Oxford',[3] a confirmation of the title which had been granted to his father in July 1141 by the Empress Matilda during a time of civil war.[5] The title had already confirmed to his father by Matilda's son, King Henry II and Aubrey III had been acknowledged earl of Oxford by Richard I and John. This payment five years after John took the throne is thus unusual and suggests unknown political circumstances requiring the earl to purchase the king's goodwill.

In March 1208 Pope Innocent III placed England under an interdict as a result of King John's refusal to accept Stephen Langton as Archbishop of Canterbury.[6] At the time of the interdict Oxford is said to have been regarded as one of the King's 'evil counsellors'.[3] In the summer of 1209 he was among the courtiers who met the Pope's agents in Dover to try to prevent King John's excommunication.[citation needed] Their mission failed; Pope Innocent excommunicated the King in November of that year.[7]

In what may have been his last military service, the earl of Oxford was with King John's forces during a nine-week campaign in Ireland from June to August 1210.[8]

Among other appointments, Oxford was Keeper of the manor of Havering in 1208, sheriff of Essex and Hertfordshire from 1208 to 1213, and steward of the Forest of Essex in 1213. On 20 June 1213 he had the King's greyhounds in his charge.[3]

Oxford died in 1214, in or before the month of October, and was buried at Colne Priory.[3] He was succeeded by his younger brother, Robert de Vere, 3rd Earl of Oxford, one of the guarantors of Magna Carta.[9]

Marriages and issue[edit]

Oxford married twice. His first wife was Isabel de Bolebec,[10] whose wardship his father had purchased in 1184.[11] She died in 1206 or 1207.[12]

His second wife, Alice, is said to have been a daughter of Roger Bigod, 2nd Earl of Norfolk and thus his first cousin.[12] After Oxford's death his brother and successor, Robert de Vere, 3rd Earl of Oxford, established Alice's dower by lot, drawing two knights' fees for every one drawn by Alice.[12] She never remarried, and outlived her husband by at least 29 years.[citation needed]

Oxford had no legitimate issue by either of his wives, but left an illegitimate son, Roger de Vere, who died in 1221 at Damietta.[12]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Cokayne 1945, p. 208.
  2. ^ Cokayne 1945, pp. 113-114; Crouch 2004.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Cokayne 1945, p. 209.
  4. ^ Cokayne 1945, p. 209; Clarke 1903.
  5. ^ Cokayne 1945, pp. 200-201; Crouch 2004.
  6. ^ Gillingham 2010.
  7. ^ Gillingham 2010.
  8. ^ Cokayne 1945, p. 209; Gillingham 2010.
  9. ^ Richardson IV 2011, p. 261.
  10. ^ Not to be confused with her aunt, Isabel de Bolebec, widow of Henry de Nonant and daughter of Hugh de Bolebec of Whitchurch, who married Oxford's brother, Robert de Vere, later 3rd Earl of Oxford.
  11. ^ Cokayne 1945, pp. 204, 209; Crouch 2004.
  12. ^ a b c d Cokayne 1945, p. 210.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

For Oxford's dispute with the Abbot of Bury St. Edmunds see the chronicle of Jocelin de Brakelond, at [1]

Peerage of England
Preceded by
Aubrey de Vere III
Earl of Oxford
1194–1214
Succeeded by
Robert de Vere