Name: Robert De Vere
Suffix: 3rd Earl of Oxford
Birth: 1164 in Hatfield, Essex, England
Death: 25 OCT 1221 in Colne, Essex
Burial: Benedictine priory, Hatfield Broadoak, Essex
MEM: Hatfield parish church, Essex: effigy, shown with crossed legs. 1
FILE: /Ged Pics mstr/Vere, Robert, d 1221.jpg
Title: Vere, Robert, d 1221
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Change Date: 5 JAN 2009
Robert de Vere, 3rd Earl of Oxford and Lord Chamberlain of England (c.1170 - October 25, 1221) also took part as a crusader in the holy wars. Robert had already reached middle age when the death of his childless elder brother Aubrey in 1214, made him third earl and hereditary great chamberlain of England. Robert pursued a different course than his brother, Aubrey. He was one of the celebrated 25 barons who took up arms against the King and operating "in the defense of England" forced King John to sign the Magna Carta (in the 15th year of his reign). Robert and the others were appointed as Sureties to enforce the observance of the Magna Carta (for which he and the others were excommunicated by the Pope.)
The Barons offered the crown of England to Louis, son of the French King, and a French force landed and established themselves at Colchester Castle. The invaders were soon attacked by King John and forced to surrender. John then turned his wrath on Castle Hedingham, which he put under siege in 1216. It was only after a long fierce resistance, that the rebel forces surrendered and John took the castle. The Dauphin and his soldiers returned in 1217 and laid siege to Hedingham. After a long fight it was re-taken. On the death of King John, the new King Henry III made peace with the Barons, and Robert de Vere was returned to favor. Hedingham and all of his estates were returned.
In the beginning of the reign of King Henry III the third Earl of Oxford appears to have been one of the judges in the Court of King's Bench (as evidenced from a fine levied before him and others). This Earl of Oxford has, by some, been described as a judge of the royal court, on the strength of this single record of fines levied before him in 1220. Also, as a younger son, he might very well have been brought up to study the law. But Robert may have only been presiding, as peers often did, over a body of itinerant justices. In fact, he is recorded as acting in that capacity in Hertfordshire later that same year. He was also one of the party to the covenant which assigned to the barons the custody of the city and tower of London.
Robert obtained livery of his lands (through payment of a thousand marks fee) and purchased the wardship of the heir of William FitzOates to marry to his own niece.
In 1208 Oxford bought a license to marry Isabel Bolebec (c. 1176- Feb. 3, 1245) , daughter and co-heir of Hugh de Bolebec, and sister and heir of Walter de Bolebec, by whom he had the following issue:
1. Hugh de Vere (c. 1210-1263), his successor, 4th Earl of Oxford,
2. Henry de Vere, of Great Addington, co. Northampton, whose son,
Robert, was father of Richard de Vere, who married Isabel Greene.
Bountiful additions to the family estates were obtained through the marriage of Robert de Vere to the heiress of the Bolebecs, whose ancestor, Hugh, had obtained large estates in Buckinghamshire at the Conquest. It is through this match that the Earls of Oxford later assumed the title of Viscount Bolebec.
The third earl died October 25, 1221, and was buried in the Benedictine priory of Hatfield, Broadoak, near Bishop's Stortford in Essex, priory at Hatfield Broadoak (Regis), which had been founded by his grandfather as a cell of St. Melaine at Rennes. In the year of Oxford's death his widow gave a site in the city of Oxford to the Dominicans (the black friars) who had recently come into England. Robert was succeeded by his eldest son, Hugh.
In some accounts, Robert de Vere has been credited as the 'primus fundator' [first founder] of the priory. His effigy, shown with crossed legs, remains in the local Hatfield parish church, where it was placed after removal from the old priory church. Curiously, Robert's heraldic arms as seen on his effigy bear a unique difference from other representations of the de Vere arms. On his shield the silver star in the first quarter was displayed, not as by all other Veres upon a red background (a field gules), but upon one of "France ancient."
Father: Aubrey De Vere b: ABT 1120 in Essex
Mother: Lucia De Abrincis b: ABT 1125 in Essex
Isabel De Bolbec
- Eleanor De Vere
- Hugh De Vere b: ABT 1210
- Alice de Vere
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