Edward deVere-Vavasour

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Edward deVere-Vavasour

Also Known As: "Edward Vere"
Death: Died
Place of Burial: Bomonel
Immediate Family:

Son of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford and Anne Finch
Half brother of Elizabeth de Vere Stanley, Countess of Derby; Bridget Norris; Susan de Vere, Countess of Montgomery; Frances Cecil de Vere; Henry de Vere, 18th Earl of Oxford and 1 other

Managed by: Carole (Erickson) Pomeroy, Vol. ...
Last Updated:

About Edward deVere-Vavasour

  • VERE, Sir Edward (1581-1629), of The Hague, United Provinces.
  • b. 21 Mar. 1581, illegit. s. of Edward de Vere (d.1604), 17th earl of Oxford, and Anne, da. of Henry Vavasour of Copmanthorpe, Yorks.1 educ ?Leiden Univ. 1595;2 unm. kntd. 15 or 16 Apr. 1607.3 d. c.12 Aug. 1629.4 sig. Edwarde Vere.
  • Offices Held
    • Capt.-lt. Neths. by 1601-5, capt. 1605, sgt.-maj. 1605-14, lt.-col. 1614-d.5
  • Vere was the illegitimate son of the 17th earl of Oxford and Anne Vavasour, one of Elizabeth’s gentlewomen of the bedchamber.6 Born in the ‘maidens’ chamber’, probably in Whitehall Palace, his mother was committed to the Tower the day after his birth, where she was joined by Oxford, who had tried to flee the country.7 Anne was soon released and by 1590 she was the mistress of Sir Henry Lee†.8 Vere was probably brought up in Lee’s household, as in adult life he certainly stayed with Lee and was on familiar terms with him.9 He may have been the 15-year old ‘Everardus Veer’ who matriculated at Leiden University on 18 Feb. 1595, although Everardus is more usually the Latin rendering of Everard rather than Edward.
  • If Vere was at Leiden he was probably not there long, as he soon joined the English forces fighting the Spanish in the Netherlands under his cousin, Sir Francis Vere†. Sir John Holles* subsequently took credit for being ‘the first that put a pike’ into his young hands.10 It was presumably poverty that forced Vere into a military career, for as the illegitimate son of a notoriously extravagant peer he undoubtedly inherited little. Once when in England he was so hard up that he accepted £30 from Sir Henry Lee, although his pride would not allow him to take the money as a gift and he sent Lee the equivalent value in linen and wine from Holland.11 Vere remained with the English forces in the Netherlands after 1604, when they were transferred to Dutch service. At the end of 1605 he was appointed sergeant-major in the regiment of Sir Francis Vere’s brother, Sir Horace.12 When not on campaign he seems to have been based at The Hague, though he frequently visited England. On one such occasion he carried letters for the deputy governor of Flushing, and was knighted at Newmarket by James in 1607.13
  • It is possible that Vere had political ambitions. In 1618 he was recommended by Sir Horace Vere and his uncle, Sir Thomas Vavasour*, to secretary of state (Sir) Robert Naunton*, although nothing came of this overture except a single letter to Naunton celebrating the fall of Oldenbarneveldt.14 Between 1620 and 1623 Vere commanded Sir Horace’s regiment while the latter led the ill-fated English expeditionary force to the Palatinate. In July 1622 Vere quarrelled with Sir Edward Cecil*, with whom the Veres were permanently feuding, partly because Vere’s father had been married to Cecil’s aunt at the time of his affair with Anne Vavasour. Cecil, as the senior English colonel, claimed the right to lead the English contingent in the march to s’Hertogenbosch, whereas Vere argued that as commander of Sir Horace Vere’s regiment he should lead. Cecil objected to Vere’s language, and a duel was only prevented by the Prince of Orange, who had both men arrested.15 By 1624 Vere had also fallen out with Carleton, causing Sir Horace Vere to apologize for his behaviour.16
  • Vere was a scholar as well as a soldier. Indeed, after his death John Hampden* said he spent ‘all summer in the field, all winter in the study’.17 A thick folio volume consisting of his translations from the classical historian Polybius testifies to the truth of this claim,18 and he also wrote about alchemy.19 However, he seems to have been willing to appropriate the books and coins collected by a junior officer.20 In religious matters Vere was hostile to the Dutch Arminians. He wrote approvingly of the fall of Oldenbarneveldt, declaring that ‘God hath given a great deliverance to his church, the truth whereof these men, even with the subtleties of the devils, have sought to undermine and overthrow’.21 He was also connected with puritan ministers in the Netherland such as Sir Horace Vere’s chaplain, Obadiah Sedgwick, and John Davenport.22
  • It is unclear whether Vere sought election to Parliament in 1624. There is no evidence that he was at Newcastle-under-Lyme when he was returned there on 19 Jan. 1624, or indeed in England, as he was still in the Netherlands on 10 Dec. 1623.23 It has been suggested that he was nominated for the seat by the duchy of Lancaster.24 Vere had several connections with the duchy interest at Newcastle-under-Lyme, but it is not clear which of these, if any, was deployed on his behalf. His half-sister Susan was married to Philip Herbert*, 1st earl of Montgomery, the brother of William Herbert, earl of Pembroke, steward of the manor of Newcastle-under-Lyme for the duchy.25 In addition, his half-brother Henry de Vere, 18th earl of Oxford, with whom he corresponded in 1622,26 was the grandson of Thomas Trentham† of Rocester Priory in Staffordshire, who had married the sister of Ralph Sneyd of Keele in Staffordshire. In 1624 Ralph’s son and heir held the farm of the duchy manor of Newcastle-under-Lyme.27 Another strong possibility is that Vere’s candidacy was supported by Staffordshire’s lord lieutenant, the 3rd earl of Essex, who had served with both Sir Horace Vere and the earl of Oxford in the Palatinate in the early 1620s.28 Whatever the truth of the matter, Vere proved a controversial candidate. Although he was first named in the indenture, ten of the 26 capital burgesses failed to support him. His return was subsequently challenged by the unsuccessful candidate, John Keeling*, and his election was nullified by the House on 9 April.29
  • By July 1624 Vere was back in the Netherlands, assuming that he had ever left, where he again served as Sir Horace Vere’s deputy.30 Present at the siege of s’Hertogenbosch in 1629, he was shot in the back of the head on 9 Aug., shortly after giving the Prince of Orange a tour of the siege works. He died about three days later and was buried at Bomonel.31 There is no evidence that he left a will. A portrait of Vere, with his arm in a sling, is in the possession of the Townshend family, descendants of Sir Horace Vere, at Raynham, Norfolk.32
  • From: http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1604-1629/member/vere-sir-edward-1581-1629


  • Edward de Vere1
  • M, #341958
  • Last Edited=13 Mar 2009
  • Edward de Vere was the son of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford and Ann Vavasour.1 He died, young.1
  • Citations
  • [S3409] Caroline Maubois, "re: Penancoet Family," e-mail message to Darryl Roger Lundy, 2 December 2008. Hereinafter cited as "re: Penancoet Family."
  • From: http://www.thepeerage.com/p34196.htm#i341958


  • Anne Vavasour (c.1560 – c.1650) was a Maid of Honour (1580–81)[1] to Queen Elizabeth I of England, and the mistress of two aristocratic men. Her first lover was Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, by whom she had an illegitimate son – Edward. For that offence, both she and the earl were sent to the Tower of London by the orders of the Queen. She later became the mistress of Sir Henry Lee of Ditchley, by whom she had another illegitimate son.
  • By 1590, she had married a sea captain by the name of John Finch. She later married John Richardson, while her first husband was still alive; and as a consequence, she was brought up before the High Commission on a charge of bigamy, for which she had to pay a fine of £2000; however, she was spared having to perform a public penance.
  • She was the inspiration, protagonist, and possibly the actual author, of the poem, Anne Vavasour's Echo, though her lover the Earl of Oxford is more commonly identified as its author.
  • Anne was born circa 1560, the daughter of Henry Vavasour of Tadcaster, Copmanthorpe, Yorkshire, and Margaret Knyvet.[2] Anne's maternal uncle was Sir Thomas Knyvet, 1st Baron Knyvet. It was this family connection which likely secured her a place at court as one of Queen Elizabeth's Ladies of the Bedchamber.[3] Her younger sister, Frances (1568 – c.1606), was also at court as a Maid of Honour to the Queen (1590–91), and who in 1591, secretly married Sir Thomas Shirley.[4] Her younger brother, Thomas, also made a career at court and became embroiled in her scandals, at one point challenging the Earl of Oxford to a duel but which does not appear to have taken place.[5]
  • Shortly after her arrival at court, she became the mistress of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford,[2] who was married to Anne Cecil, the daughter of William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, the Queen's most trusted advisor. Oxford had separated from his wife in 1576.
  • On 23 March 1581, Anne gave birth to Oxford's illegitimate son, Edward,[4][6] which resulted in their imprisonment in the Tower of London by the command of Queen Elizabeth.[2] Oxford was released several months later, but was banished from court until June 1583. He had reconciled with his wife, Anne Cecil in January 1582.
  • Their love affair also led to open skirmishes and duels in the streets of London, between Oxford and Anne's uncle, Thomas Knyvet, which on one occasion led to the wounding of both men, and the death of one of Oxford's men.
  • Though her child, baptised Edward Vere, would survive to manhood, Oxford took no responsibility for his upbringing or education though did settle lands on him and gave £2000 to Anne. The boy was raised by Anne. In later years her son became a protégé of Oxford's cousin, Sir Francis Vere.
  • Sometime before 1590, Anne married a sea captain by the name of John Finch.[6] Around this time, she took another lover, Sir Henry Lee, Master of the Royal Armouries, by whom she had another illegitimate son, Thomas.[4] They lived openly together at his manor of Ditchley.[2] The Queen apparently approved of their liaison, as the couple entertained her at Ditchley House in September 1592.[7] In 1605, Lee pensioned off Finch, and left Anne an income of £700 per year in his will, some property, and instructions for their joint burial in the tomb he had had erected for them in Quarrendon, Buckinghamshire. He had written an epitaph for the tomb which described her as having been: "a fair and worthy Dame".[3] They remained together until his death in 1611.[6] Anne outlived Sir Henry, but was forced to engage in a series of legal battles with Sir Henry's son over the property he had left her.
  • By 1618, she had married a second time to John Richardson. At this point John Finch reappeared and[6] she was brought up before the High Commission on 8 August 1618 and charged with bigamy. On 1 February 1622, she was ordered to pay a fine of £2000, however she was spared the ordeal of performing a public penance.[2]
  • She died in about 1650 at the advanced age of 90, and was buried at Quarrendon, near Aylesbury, in a chapel of which only a remnant of the outer wall now remains. Sir Henry's monument showed him lying down in armour with an effigy of Anne kneeling at his feet.[7]
  • .... etc.
  • From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Vavasour


  • Edward De VERE (17° E. Oxford)
  • Born: 12 Apr 1550, Castle Hedingham, Essex, England
  • Acceded: 1562
  • Died: 24 Jun 1604, King's Hold, Hackney, Middlesex, England
  • Buried: 6 Jul 1604, Hackney, Middlesex, England
  • Notes: See his Biography.
  • Father: John De VERE (16° E. Oxford)
  • Mother: Margery GOLDING (C. Oxford)
  • Married: Anne CECIL (C. Oxford) 19 Dec 1571, Westminster Abbey
  • Children:
    • 1. Elizabeth De VERE (C. Derby)
    • 2. Son De VERE (B. Bolebec)
    • 3. Bridget De VERE (B. Norreys of Rycote)
    • 4. Susan De VERE (C. Pembroke)
    • 5. Frances De VERE
  • Married 2: Elizabeth TRENTHAM (C. Oxford) 1591
  • Children:
    • 6. Henry De VERE (18° E. Oxford)
  • Associated with: Anne VAVASOUR
  • Children:
    • 7. Edward De VERE (Sir)
  • From: http://www.tudorplace.com.ar/VERE.htm#Edward De VERE (17° E. Oxford)
  • .... etc.
  • Oxford was retained under house arrest for a short time and, following the birth to Anne Vavasour of an illegitimate child fathered by him on 21 Mar 1581 (Sir Edward Vere), was briefly in the Tower of London.
  • He had seduced the beautiful Anne Vavasour, and "on Tuesday at night Anne Vavasour was brought to bed of a son in the maidens' chamber. The E. of Oxeford is avowed to be the father" (Letter of Walsingham, 23 Mar 1580/1, Hist. MSS. Com., Hastings MSS, vol. ii, p. 29). The Earl was under restraint for some weeks and not admitted to Court until Jun 1583. Oxford and his followers reaped the fruits of this scandal in a duel, and a series of frequent and fatal brawls lasting over several years.
  • The birth of this child led to a long-running feud with Sir Thomas Knyvett, uncle of Anne Vavasour, which resulted in the deaths of three followers of De Vere and Knyvett as well as injury to both men. The infant son was buried on 9 May 1583. During the early 1580s it is likely that the Earl lived mainly at one of his Essex country houses, Wivenhoe, but this was sold in 1584. After this it is probable that he followed the court again and passed some time in his one remaining London house.

(Note - the illegitimate son Edward was born 21 Mar 1581 did not die in 1583, Anne Cecil & Edward Vere's only son was born & died 6 May 1583, bur. on the 9th.


  • Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford (12 April 1550 – 24 June 1604), was an English peer and courtier of the Elizabethan era. Oxford was heir to the second oldest earldom in the kingdom, a court favourite for a time, a sought-after patron of the arts, and noted by his contemporaries as a lyric poet and court playwright, but his reckless and volatile temperament precluded him from attaining any courtly or governmental responsibility and contributed to the dissipation of his estate.[1] Since the 1920s he has been the most popular alternative candidate proposed for the authorship of Shakespeare's works.
  • Oxford was the only son of John de Vere, 16th Earl of Oxford, and Margery Golding. After the death of his father in 1562, he became a ward of Queen Elizabeth and was sent to live in the household of her principal advisor, Sir William Cecil. He married Cecil's daughter, Anne, with whom he had five children.[2] Oxford was estranged from her for five years after he refused to acknowledge her first child as his.
  • .... Cecil was displeased with the arrangement, given his daughter's age compared to Oxford's, and had entertained the idea of marrying her to the Earl of Rutland instead.[40] The wedding was deferred until Anne was fifteen and finally took place at the Palace of Whitehall on 16 December 1571, together with that of Lady Elizabeth Hastings and Lord Herbert, with the Queen in attendance. The tying of two young English noblemen of great fortune into Protestant families was not lost on Elizabeth's Catholic enemies.[41][clarification needed] Burghley gave Oxford a marriage settlement of land worth £800, and a cash settlement of £3,000. This amount was equal to Oxford's livery fees and was probably intended to be used as such, but the money vanished without a trace.[42] .... etc.
  • .... Oxford left England in the first week of February, and a month later was presented to the King and Queen of France. News that Anne was pregnant had reached him in Paris, and he sent her many extravagant presents in the coming months. But somewhere along the way his mind was poisoned against Anne and the Cecils, and he became convinced that the expected child was not his. The elder Cecils loudly voiced their outrage at the rumours, which probably worsened the situation.[51] In mid-March he travelled to Strasbourg, and then made his way to Venice, via Milan.[52] Although his daughter, Elizabeth, was born at the beginning of July, for unexplained reasons Oxford did not learn of her birth until late September.[53]
  • .... etc.
  • On his return he refused to live with his wife and took rooms at Charing Cross. Aside from the unspoken suspicion that Elizabeth was not his child, Burghley's papers reveal a flood of bitter complaints by Oxford against the Cecil family.[59] Upon the Queen's request, Oxford allowed his wife to attend the Queen at court, but only when Oxford was not present and that she not attempt to speak to him. He also stipulated that Burghley must make no further appeals to him on Anne's behalf.[60] He was estranged from Anne for five years.
  • .... etc.
  • .... On 23 March 1581 Sir Francis Walsingham advised the Earl of Huntingdon that two days earlier Anne Vavasour, one of the Queen's maids of honour, had given birth to a son, and that "the Earl of Oxford is avowed to be the father, who hath withdrawn himself with intent, as it is thought, to pass the seas". Oxford was captured and imprisoned in the Tower, as was Anne and her infant, who would later be known as Sir Edward Vere.[93] Burghley interceded for him, and he was released from the Tower on 8 June, but he remained under house arrest until sometime in July.[94]
  • .... etc.
  • .... At Christmas 1581 Oxford reconciled with his wife, Anne,[98] but his affair with Anne Vavasour continued to have repercussions. .... etc.
  • On 6 May 1583, eighteen months after their reconciliation, Edward and Anne's only son was born, and died the same day. The infant was buried at Castle Hedingham three days later.[105]
  • .... etc.
  • On 6 April 1584, Oxford's daughter, Bridget, was born,[111] and two works were dedicated to him, Robert Greene's Gwydonius; The Card of Fancy, and John Southern's Pandora. .... etc.
  • .... etc.
  • Another daughter, Susan, was born on 26 May 1587. On 12 September, another daughter, Frances, is recorded to be buried at Edmonton. Her birthdate is unknown; presumably she was between one and three years of age.[119]
  • .... etc.
  • .... The arrangement was stated to be for the benefit of Francis' sister, Elizabeth Trentham, one of the Queen's Maids of Honour, whom Oxford married later that year. On 24 February 1593 she gave birth to Oxford's only surviving son and heir, Henry de Vere, at Stoke Newington.[139]
  • .... etc.
  • On 18 June 1604 Oxford granted the custody of the Forest of Essex to his son-in-law, Lord Norris, and his cousin, Sir Francis Vere.[171] He died six days later, of unknown causes, at King's Place, Hackney, and was buried on 6 July in the parish church of St. Augustine.[172] In spite of his bouts of ill health, he left no will.[173] Elizabeth's will requested that she be buried with her husband at Hackney.[174] Although this document and the parish registers confirm Oxford's burial there, his cousin Percival Golding later claimed that his body was interred at Westminster.[175]
  • .... etc.
  • From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_de_Vere,_17th_Earl_of_Oxford



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Edward deVere-Vavasour's Timeline

March 21, 1581
August 12, 1629
Age 48
Age 47