Susan de Vere, Countess of Montgomery

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Susan Herbert
Countess of Montgomery
Baroness Herbert of Shurland
Susan de Vere.jpg
Effigy of Lady Susan de Vere on her tomb in Westminster Abbey
BuriedWestminster Abbey, London
Noble familyde Vere
Spouse(s)Philip Herbert, 4th Earl of Pembroke, 1st Earl of Montgomery, Knight of the Garter
Lady Anna Sophia Herbert
Sir Charles Herbert
Philip Herbert, 5th Earl of Pembroke
Hon. James Herbert
FatherEdward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford
MotherAnne Cecil

Susan de Vere, Countess of Montgomery (26 May 1587 – 1628/29), was an English court office holder. She served as lady-in-waiting to the queen consort of England, Anne of Denmark. She was the youngest daughter of Elizabethan courtier, poet, and playwright Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford.

Family and early years[edit]

Lady Susan was born on 26 May 1587, the youngest daughter of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford and Anne Cecil, the daughter of statesman William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, Queen Elizabeth's chief advisor and leading member of her Privy Council. She had two older sisters, Lady Elizabeth and Lady Bridget. She also had an illegitimate half-brother, Edward, born out of wedlock to Anne Vavasour, who had an intimate relationship with the earl.

Following the death of Anne Cecil on 5 June 1588, a year after her birth, Susan and her sisters remained in the household of their maternal grandfather William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, owner of the Burghley estate, where they received an excellent education. In 1591 Susan's father married for the second time to Elizabeth Trentham. The second Lady Oxford gave birth to a son, Henry de Vere, later the 18th Earl of Oxford.


Shortly after the death of her father, on 24 June 1604, Susan married Philip Herbert, Knight of the Garter (1584–1649). Herbert was an English courtier and politician active during the reigns of James I and Charles I; he was the son of Mary Sidney. A year after their marriage King James created him Baron Herbert of Shurland and 1st Earl of Montgomery; in 1630, after Susan's death, he would succeed his older brother as 4th Earl of Pembroke. Philip Herbert and his older brother William Herbert, 3rd Earl of Pembroke were the "incomparable pair of brethren" to whom the First Folio of Shakespeare's collected works was dedicated in 1623.

At court, she played the part of "Malacia" in The Masque of Blackness on 5 January 1605, and on 5 June 1610 she danced at Whitehall Palace as the "Nymph of Severn" in the masque Tethys' Festival.[1]


Lady Anne Sophia Herbert, daughter of the Earl of Pembroke. Anne was married to Robert Dormer, 1st Earl of Carnarvon.


She died in 1628 or 1629, and was interred at Westminster Abbey, London.


  1. ^ John Nichols, The Progresses, Processions, and Magnificent Festivities, of King James the First, vol. 2 (London, 1828), pp. 348-9.
  2. ^ "Lady Anna Sophia Herbert, Countess of Carnarvon (d.1695)". National Trust Collections. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  3. ^ George Edward Cokayne, editor, The Complete Baronetage, 5 volumes (no date (c. 1900); reprint, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 1983), volume IV, page 65.