Aubrey “Sanglier” de Vere, 1st Earl of Oxford

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About Aubrey “Sanglier” de Vere, 1st Earl of Oxford

Sanglier = wild boar

Aubrey de Vere, 1st Earl of Oxford

Wikipedia Updated 22 December 2021
Born: c. 1115
Died: 26 December 1194
Noble family: De Vere

  1. Beatrice
  2. Euphemia
  3. Agnes of Essex


  1. Aubrey de Vere, 2nd Earl of Oxford
  2. Ralph de Vere
  3. Robert de Vere, 3rd Earl of Oxford
  4. Henry de Vere
  5. Alice de Vere

Father: Aubrey de Vere
Mother: Alice de Clare

Aubrey de Vere, 1st Earl of Oxford (c. 1115 – 26 December 1194) was an English 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, Lord Great Chamberlain and Sheriff of London, 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 Guînes in the Pas de Calais. After the death of Manasses late in 1138, Aubrey travelled to Guînes, did homage to Thierry, Count of Flanders, and was made Count of Guînes 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 as Lord Great Chamberlain 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 both earls at St. Albans. Both were forced to surrender their castles to the King to regain their liberty. The Earl of Essex retaliated by rebelling against the king; it appears that Earl Aubrey 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 Guînes.[4]

In or before 1151, Earl Aubrey 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.


  1. Lambert de Ardres, The History of the Counts of Guines and Lords of Ardres, ed. L. Shopkow (University of Pennsylvania Press: 2011), 86–87
  2. Cokayne 1945, pp. 198, 200.
  3. Regesta Regum Anglo-Normannorum, III, 233–235.
  4. Cokayne 1945, pp. 200–202.
  5. Cokayne 1945, p. 202.
  6. DeAragon, R. "The Child-bride, the Pope, and the Earl: The Marital Fortunes of Agnes of Essex," Henry I and the Anglo-Norman World, (2007), pp. 200–216.
  7. Cokayne 1945, pp. 113–114.
  8. 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 another of Oxford's sons, Robert de Vere, later 3rd Earl of Oxford.
  9. Cokayne 1945, p. 204.
  10. Crouch 2004.
  11. Cokayne 1945, p. 204.
  12. Cokayne 1945, p. 204.

Marriage 1. Earl of Oxford Aubrey de Vere III & Agnes de Essex had a daughter named Alice.
Marriage 2. Earl of Oxford Aubrey de Vere III & Lucy de Abrincis Earl of Oxford

Aubrey de Vere III & Lucy de Abrincis had six children:

  1. Aubrey
  2. Robert
  3. Henry
  4. William
  5. Adeliza
  6. Sarah

General Notes
Sir Aubrey or Alberic III, eldest son, was born before 1140, 3rd Baron by tenure of Kensington, Count of Ghines. For his fidelity to the Empress Maud (daughter of Henry I and mother of Henry II), he was confirmed by her in his inheritance of the Lord Chamberlainship and all his father's possessions. He was also given choice of several earldoms and selected that of Oxford. He died 1194. He married Lucia, daughter of William, 3rd Baron d'Abrancis.
(Kin of Mellcene Thurman Smith, page 994)

Aubrey de Vere III (c. 1115-Dec. 1194) was created Earl of Oxford by the empress Matilda in July 1141. He inherited the barony of Hedingham on the death of his father Aubrey de Vere II in May 1141, when he was already Count of Guines by right of his wife Beatrice. He lost the latter title on the annulment of their marriage 1144-46. Earl Aubrey was little involved in national political affairs after this period. His attempt to divorce his third wife, Agnes of Essex, was a celebrated marriage case that Agnes appealed successfully to Pope Alexander III.


Aubrey Vere I Earl of Oxford (M)

b. circa 1110, d. 26 December 1194, #961
Relationship=24th great-grandfather of Raymond John Newcombe.

Appears on charts:

  • Pedigree for Susan Drake
  • Compressed Pedigree for Raymond John Newcombe to his 79th great-grandparents Adam and EveAubrey Vere I Earl of Oxford was born circa 1110. He married Agnes Essex circa 1162. Aubrey Vere I Earl of Oxford died on 26 December 1194.

Children of Aubrey Vere I Earl of Oxford and Agnes Essex:

  1. Aubrey Vere II Earl of Oxford b. c 1163, d. c 1214
  2. Robert Vere Earl of Oxford+ b. c 1164, d. c Oct 1221

Aubrey - The principal residence of the de VERES was Castle Hedingham. The keep still stands sentry guard over the River Colne in the North of Essex, probably erected by Aubrey de Vere, who died in 1194. The Hedingham keep ranks with that of Rochester as the finest of the square keeps in England.

The next statement about Oxford Castle is in dispute. Oxford Castle may not be associated with the DeVeres family) (See email reference] Oxford Castle was the seat of the Earls de Vere. It now consists of little more than a Norman tower which stands inside the walls of a county jail. It was here that King Stephen laid siege to Matilda in 1141. She escaped by a rope ladder fashioned from bed sheets during the night and, fleeing, found refuge at Wallingford.

Oxford Castle is thought to be one of the oldest in all England. The Norman structure was built in 1071 by Robert d'Oilly. From what is left of it we can conclude that it was originally a pre-Norman motte and bailey fort. After the 1071 rebuilding, alterations were made by Henry II, between 1165 and 1173. He added the houses inside the shell keep, and also the well. He presumably built the diagonal keep on the motte, the foundations of which were discovered in the 18th Century.


  • Email from RaGena DeAragon
  • Author: RaGena DeAragon, Dec 2006

Text: "Dear webmaster to the de Vere web page: "I am a scholar who has been researching the early de Veres for over 25 years, and I am in the finishing stages of writing a book on the family to 1221. There is much incorrect information on the family in print and on-line, so it is not a simple matter to achieve accuracy on a page like yours. I noted a number of factual errors on your page, some of which I can attribute to specific sources you likely used, some rather mystifying to me.

  • Aubrey III: the Complete Peerage states that he was born circa 1110, not in 1110. My personal estimate is that he was born sometime between 1114 and 1120, probably 1114-1116.
  • Castle Hedingham, not Castle Headingham
  • Oxford Castle had nothing to do with the de Veres nor they with it. (It is also most likely not the oldest castle in England.)
  • Robert de Vere died by Oct. 25,1221, so probably within a week or so of that date.
  • Isabel de Bolebec was born probably by 1168, as her father Hugh died circa 1165. (circa means about, and historians of this period would mean within a year or two either side of that date. If she was born posthumously, she could have been born in 1168. She gave birth to her son Hugh in 1208-1210, so she was probably born later rather than earlier.) She was co-heiress of her niece, another Isabel de Bolebec.
  • Hugh was born (as above) 1208-10. His parents had married in 1207, and Isabel was nearly at the end of her childbearing years. His birthplace is anyone's guess. Since his uncle earl Aubrey (IV) was still alive, they may have been living on one of Isabel's properties when he was born.

RaGena DeAragon, Director of Women's Studies
Associate Prof. of History
AD Box 35
Gonzaga University
Spokane, WA 99258-0001"

From :
Aubrey de Vere III. was a crusader, who was known as Aubrey the Grim, perhaps because of his height and stern appearance. He married [1] Euphemia Cantilupe, daughter of William de Cantilupe, by whom he had no issue, and [2] Lucia Abrincis, a.k.a. Agnes of Essex, daughter and heiress of William de Abrincis. See W.H. Turton, The Plantagenet Ancestry, p.113, 1928.

  • ********

The Lord Great Chamberlain of England is the sixth of the Great Officers of State, ranking beneath the Lord Privy Seal and above the Lord High Constable. The Lord Great Chamberlain has charge over the Palace of Westminster, and especially of the House of Lords, and technically bears the Sword of State at state openings and closings of Parliament, though this duty is usually delegated to a Lord of Parliament who is also a Field Marshal. The Lord Great Chamberlain also has a major part to play in royal coronations, having the right to dress the monarch on coronation day and to serve the monarch water before and after the coronation banquet, and also being involved in investing the monarch with the insignia of rule.

The position is a hereditary one, held in gross. At any one time, a single person actually exercises the office of Lord Great Chamberlain. The various individuals who hold fractions of the Lord Great Chamberlainship are technically each Joint Hereditary Lord Great Chamberlain, and the right to exercise the office for a given reign rotates proportionately to the fraction of the office held. For instance, the Marquesses of Cholmondeley hold one-half of the office, and may therefore exercise the office or appoint a deputy every alternate reign. (A Deputy Lord Great Chamberlain is a person exercising the office who is not personally a co-heir to the office; historically these have been sons or husbands of co-heirs as the office has never been exercised by a female, females having been forbidden to sit in the Lords until the present reign).

The office of Lord Great Chamberlain is distinct from the non-hereditary office of Lord Chamberlain of the Household, a position in the monarch's household. This office arose, in fact, as a deputy of the Lord Great Chamberlain, to fulfill the latter's duties in the royal household, but now they are quite distinct.

The House of Lords Act 1999 removed the automatic right of hereditary peers to sit in the House of Lords, but the Act provided that a hereditary peer exercising the office of Lord Great Chamberlain (as well as the Earl Marshal) be exempt from such a rule, so that they may continue to carry out their ceremonial functions.

History of the office
The office was originally held by Robert Malet, a son of one of the leading companions of William the Conqueror. In 1133, however, King Henry I declared Malet's estates and titles forfeit, and awarded the office of Lord Great Chamberlain to Aubrey de Vere, whose son was created Earl of Oxford. Thereafter, the Earls of Oxford held the title almost continuously until 1526, with a few intermissions due to the forfeiture of some Earls for treason. In 1526, however, the fourteenth Earl of Oxford died, leaving his aunts as his female heirs. The earldom was inherited by a more distant heir-male, his second cousin. The Sovereign then declared that the office belonged to the Crown, and was not transmitted along with the earldom. The Sovereign appointed the fifteenth Earl to the office, but the appointment was deemed for life and were uninheritable. The family's association with the office was briefly interrupted in 1540, when the fifteenth earl died and Thomas Cromwell, the king's chief adviser, was appointed Lord Great Chamberlain.[1] However, after Cromwell's attainder and execution later the same year, the office passed to the sixteenth Earl of Oxford, again with an uninheritable life appointment. Later, Queen Mary I ruled that the Earls of Oxford were indeed entitled to the office of Lord Great Chamberlain on an hereditary basis.

Thus, the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth Earls of Oxford held the position on a hereditary basis until 1626, when the eighteenth Earl died, again leaving a distant relative as a male heir, but a closer one as a female heir. The House of Lords eventually ruled that the office belonged to the male heir, Robert Bertie, 14th Baron Willoughby de Eresby, who later became Earl of Lindsey. The office remained vested in the Earls of Lindsey, who later became the Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven. In 1779, however, the fourth Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven died, leaving two sisters as female heirs, and an uncle as a male heir.

The uncle became fifth Duke, but the House of Lords ruled that the two sisters were jointly Lord Great Chamberlain, and could appoint a deputy to fulfil its functions. The barony of Willoughby de Eresby went into abeyance between the two sisters, but the Sovereign terminated the abeyance and granted the title to the elder sister Priscilla. The younger sister later married the first Marquess of Cholmondeley. The office of Lord Great Chamberlain, however, was divided between Priscilla and her younger sister Georgiana. Priscilla's share was eventually split between two of her granddaughters, and has been split several more times since then. By contrast, Georgiana's share has been inherited by a single male heir each time; that individual has in each case been the Marquess of Cholmondeley, a title created for Georgiana's husband.

Lords Great Chamberlain, 1485-present
See Earl of Oxford for earlier Earls of Oxford who have served as Lord Great Chamberlain.

Years - Holder of the Lord Great Chamberlainship

  • 1485–1513 John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford 1
  • 1513–1526 John de Vere, 14th Earl of Oxford 1
  • 1526–1540 John de Vere, 15th Earl of Oxford 1
  • 1540–1562 John de Vere, 16th Earl of Oxford 1
  • 1562–1604 Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford 1
  • 1604–1625 Henry de Vere, 18th Earl of Oxford

Aubrey de Vere III (c. 1115-Dec. 1194) was created Earl of Oxford by the empress Matilda in July 1141. He had inherited the barony of Hedingham on the death of his father Aubrey de Vere II in May 1141, when he was already Count of Guînes by right of his wife Beatrice. In July 1141 he was granted an earldom by the Empress Matilda, and was confirmed as the first earl of Oxford by her son King Henry II of England. On the annulment of his first marriage, between 1144-46, he lost Guînes. Earl Aubrey was little involved in national political affairs after this period. His attempt to divorce his third wife, Agnes of Essex, was a celebrated marriage case that Agnes appealed successfully to Pope Alexander III. In 1153 he was present with King Stephen's army at the siege of Wallingford and attested at the Treaty of Wallingford, finally signed at Westminster. Two of his sons by Agnes, Aubrey IV and Robert, became earls of Oxford. Robert, the third earl, was one of the 25 rebel barons who were to hold King John to the terms of Magna Carta. He was buried at the family mausoleum founded by his grandfather, Colne Priory, Essex.

The son of Aubrey de Vere II and Adeliza of Clare, earl Aubrey married three times. His marriage to Beatrice, heiress of Guines, in 1137 made him count of Guines by her right on the death of her grandfather but their marriage was annulled 1144-46. His second wife, Eufemia, died in 1153-4, leaving the earl still childless. He and his third wife, Agnes of Essex, had five children, four sons and a daughter: Aubrey, Roger, Robert, Henry, and Alice. The earl had eight siblings, outliving all but his two youngest brothers and youngest sister.


  • William De Vere - Born
  • Henry De Vere - Born
  • Robert rd De Vere - Born ...1164 at ...
  • Alberic IV De Vere - Born ...1167 at ...
  • Ranulphus Ralph De Vere - Born ...1168 at ...


“The Style of the face is reminiscent of that of Lucy de Vere, as depicted on her bier in the thirteenth-century Obituary Roll (British Library MS Egerton 2849). Nigel Morgan comments that the style of the drawings oi the Egerton transcript is a rougher version of the London style “and may well suggest it is a provincial derivant of the Essex region in the neighbourhood of Hedingham.”[20] The somewhat obscure Benedictine nunnery of Castle Hedingham in north-eastern Essex was founded in the later twelfth century by Aubrey de Vere, 1st Earl of Oxford, and his wife, Lucy, and confirmed by their son in 1191. It was dedicated to the Virgin, Saint James, and the Holy Cross. The name of Lucy de Vere, as its first Prioress, occurs in 1198.[21]”

Source: Mackenzie, J. Lachlan and Richard Tood, eds. In Other Words: Transcultural Studies in Philology, Translation and Lexicology Presented to Hans Heinrich Meier on the Occasion of his Sixty-Fifth Birthday. Providence RI, USA: Foris Publications, 1989, p. 40.

See Pedigree Chart in: Round, John Horace. 1892. Geoffrey de Mandeville: A Study of the Anarchy. London: Unk. Orig. pub. 1892; New York: Sentry Press, p. 392.

Source: Central Committee of the Archaeological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. 1852. The Archaeological Journal: Researches into the Arts and Monuments of the Early and middle Ages, Vol. IX. London: Office of the Institute. p. 22.

Source: Turner, J. Horsfall. 1888. Yorkshire Notes and Queries, Vol. I. Bingley, England: T. Harrison. p. 69.

Source: Suffolk Institute of Archæology and Natural History: Officers, Members, Rules, and Report 1886—1887. Ipswich, England: Pawset and Hayes, 1888. p. 225.

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Aubrey “Sanglier” de Vere, 1st Earl of Oxford's Timeline

Castle Hedingham, Essex, England
Age 21
London, England
Age 40
created, Earl of, Oxford, Henry II
Hatfield Broad Oak, Essex, England
June 3, 1164
Castle Hedingham, Essex, England
Hatfield, Broad Oaks, Essex, England