Anne de Vere, Countess of Oxford

Is your surname de Vere?

Research the de Vere family

Anne de Vere, Countess of Oxford's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Anne de Vere (Cecil), Countess of Oxford

Also Known As: "Countess of Oxford"
Birthdate: (31)
Birthplace: Westminister, Salisbury, England
Death: June 5, 1588 (31)
Queen's Court, Greenwich, Kent, England
Place of Burial: London, Middlesex, England
Immediate Family:

Daughter of William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley and Mildred Cecil, Baroness Burghley
Wife of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford
Mother of Elizabeth de Vere Stanley, Countess of Derby; Bridget Norris; Susan de Vere, Countess of Montgomery and Frances Cecil de Vere
Sister of Frances Fransica Cecil; Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury and Elizabeth Wentworth
Half sister of Thomas Cecil, 1st Earl of Exeter; Marguerite Cissell; <private> Cecil; <private> Cecil and <private> Cecil

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Anne de Vere, Countess of Oxford

Lots of fun royalty in this family listed here:

Anne Cecil1

F, #11737, b. 1556, d. 1589

Last Edited=6 May 2008

    Anne Cecil was born in 1556. She was the daughter of William Cecil, 1st Baron of Burghley and Mildred Cooke.1 She married Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, son of John de Vere, 16th Earl of Oxford and Margery Golding, on 19 December 1571.1 She died in 1589.
    Her married name became de Vere.

Children of Anne Cecil and Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford

Lady Elizabeth de Vere+ d. 10 Mar 1626/27

Lady Susan de Vere+ d. c Jan 1628/29

Lady Bridget de Vere+ b. 6 Apr 1584, d. bt Dec 1630 - Mar 1631


[S37] Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 3, page 4153. Hereinafter cited as Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition.

Birth: 1556 Death: Jun. 5, 1588

Anne was the daughter of William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley and Mildred Cooke. She married Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford on Dec. 19, 1571. The marriage was an unhappy one, producing three surviving daughters; Susan, Elizabeth, and Bridget.

Burial: Westminster Abbey Westminster Greater London, England

Created by: KRW Record added: Aug 02, 2006 Find A Grave Memorial# 15116603

From Wikipedia: Anne Cecil, Countess of Oxford (5 December 1556 – 5 June 1588) was the daughter of statesman William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, the chief advisor of Queen Elizabeth I of England, and the translator Mildred Cooke. In 1571, after her father had been raised to the peerage to effect the marriage, she became the first wife of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford. Anne wrote many poems and sonnets, and was allegedly the author of the four sonnets and two quatrains in John Southern's Pandora, published in 1584.[1][2] She served as a Maid of Honour to Queen Elizabeth before her marriage Family and childhood

Anne was born on 5 December 1556, the eldest and favourite daughter of William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, the leading member of Queen Elizabeth's Privy Council, by his second wife, Mildred Cooke, a woman noted for her learning and Greek translations. Anne was an intelligent, well-educated child, tutored alongside her brothers by William Lewin. She knew French, Latin, and possibly Italian.[3]

Her father affectionately called her Tannakin.[4] [edit] Marriage to the Earl of Oxford

In 1569, Anne was engaged to marry Sir Philip Sidney. When marriage negotiations failed, she married instead Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford on 19 December 1571 at London's Westminster Abbey in the presence of Queen Elizabeth. The wedding was celebrated with great pomp.[5] According to some accounts, Anne genuinely loved the Earl, who as her father's ward, had partly grown up in the Burghley household, his reasons for marrying Anne were entirely mercenary as he had hoped Baron Burghley would pay his many outstanding debts and spare his cousin, Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk from execution.[6]

Following their marriage, Anne continued to live at Theobalds House with her parents. When she gave birth to her first child, Elizabeth on 2 July 1575, Oxford was abroad touring the Continent. Upon his return, goaded by his cousin Lord Henry Howard, he accused Anne of adultery and declared the baby to have been fathered by another man.[7] In April 1576 he separated from Anne, after rumours of her infidelity, and refused to sleep with her, recognise her or countenance her presence at court, despite Burghley's threats, and public admonitions from Anne's mother.[8]

Nine months prior to the baby Elizabeth's birth, in October 1574, Anne and her husband had both attended the Queen at Hampton Court Palace. As he was due to depart for the Continent the following February, Oxford, in front of the entire company assembled in the Presence Chamber, loudly announced to the Queen that "if Anne becomes pregnant, the child would not be his".[9]

During his separation from Anne, Oxford began an affair with the Queen's Lady of the Bedchamber, Anne Vavasour. When the latter gave birth to his illegitimate son Edward in March 1581, both he and his mistress were sent to the Tower of London by the Queen's command. He was soon released, and in December 1581 Anne began a correspondence with him; and by January 1582, he was reconciled with Anne, acknowledging paternity of his daughter, Elizabeth. He continued his affair with Anne Vavasour, which led to open skirmishes in the streets of London between Oxford and Anne Vavasour's uncle Sir Thomas Knyvet, 1st Baron Knyvet. [edit] Issue

Together Oxford and Anne Cecil had a total of five children:

   * Lady Elizabeth de Vere, Countess of Derby, Lord of Mann (2 July 1575- 10 March 1627), married William Stanley, 6th Earl of Derby, by whom she had issue.
   * Lord Bulbecke (died May 1583 in early infancy)
   * Lady Bridget de Vere (6 April 1584- December 1630/March 1631), married Francis Norris, 1st Earl of Berkshire, by whom she had one daughter.
   * Lady Frances de Vere (died as an infant on 12 September 1587)
   * Lady Susan de Vere (24 May 1587- January 1629), married Philip Herbert, 4th Earl of Pembroke, by whom she had issue.

[edit] Poet

Like her husband Anne was a poet, and was possibly the author of six elegiac poems that consisted of four sonnets and two quartains, published in John Southern's book, Pandora in 1584. She allegedly wrote the sonnet, Four Epytaphs, which was dedicated to her infant son, Lord Bulbecke after his premature death as an infant in May 1583.

Anne may have been the first Englishwoman to have composed the first sonnet sequence in English,[10]although Lady Mary Wroth has been accredited with that distinction.

Both traditional Shakespearean scholars[11] and Oxfordians[12] have often identified Anne as the original of Ophelia in Hamlet. [edit] Death

Anne died 5 June 1588 at the age of 31 of unknown causes. She was buried in Westminster Abbey in a tomb which she shares with her mother, who died in 1589, and upon which is Anne's effigy. Her daughters were also later buried in the tomb. Her father was so stricken with grief at her death that he was unable to carry out his ministerial duties in the Privy Council. Her three young daughters, remained in her father's household where they received excellent educations and eventually married into the peerage.

Her husband remarried in 1591, Elizabeth Trentham, by whom he had his heir, Henry de Vere, 18th Earl of Oxford.

view all

Anne de Vere, Countess of Oxford's Timeline

December 5, 1556
Westminister, Salisbury, England
July 2, 1575
Age 18
Hertfordshire, England
April 6, 1584
Age 27
May 26, 1587
Age 30
Oxford, Oxfordshire, England
September 12, 1587
Age 30
Edmondton, London, Middlesex, England
June 5, 1588
Age 31
Queen's Court, Greenwich, Kent, England
June 25, 1588
Age 31
London, Middlesex, England