Ref: Wurts, pp. 127-132.
Ref: Burke, pp. 549-550.
Ref: Cokayne, Vol. X., pp 193-219.
"The noblest subject in England, and
indeed, as Englishmen loved to say, the noblest subject in Europe,
was Aubrey de Vere, twentieth and last of the old Earls of Oxford.
He derived his title through an uninterrupted male descent, from
a time when the families of Howard and Seymour were still obscure,
when the Nevills and the Percys enjoyed only a provincial celebrity,
and when even the great name of Plantaganet had not yet been heard
in England. One chief of the house of De Vere had held the high
command at Hastings; another had marched, with Godfrey and Tancred,
over heaps of slaughtered Moslems, to the sepulchre of Christ.
The first Earl of Oxford had been minister of King Henry Beauclerc.
The third earl had been conspicuous among the lords who extorted
the great charter from King John. The seventh earl had fought
bravely at Cressy and Poietiers. The thirteenth earl had, through
many vicissitudes of fortune, been the chief of the party of the
Red Rose, and had led the van on the decisive day of Bosworth.
The seventeenth earl had shone at the court of Queen Elizabeth,
and had won for himself an honorable place among the early masters
of English poetry. The nineteenth earl had fallen in arms for
the Protestant religion, and for the liberties of Europe, under
the walls of Maestricht. His son, Aubrey, in whom closed the
longest and most illustrious line of nobles that England has seen,
a man of loose morals, was lord-lieutenant of Essex and colonel
of the Blues." To these remarks, Burke in his Vicissitudes
of Families, ventured thus to refer:--
"Such is Macaulay's glowing and eloquent
eulogium on the De Veres--so eloquent, in deed, that one regrets
that the panegyric is somewhat exaggerated, and scarcely consistent
with recorded fact. The line of the Earls of Oxford was certainly
the longest, but as certainly, not the most illustrious that England
had seen. In personal achievement and historical importance the
De Veres can bear no comparison with the Talbots, the Howards,
the Nevills, the Percys, or the Scropes; in antiquity of descent,
the Courtenays, the De Bohuns, and the Beauchamps were in all
respects their equals, and in splendor of alliances, many a less
distinguished family far surpassed them. There was scarcely one
of our grand old houses of the times of the Henrys and the Edwards
that had not more royal blood. Nevertheless, I must freely admit,
although I cannot subscribe to the pre-eminence Macaulay assigns,
that this famous house, if inferior to any, was only so in the
very first, to the most historic and to the most illustrious of
our ancient nobility."
The first mention of the De Veres is in the
General Survey of England, made by William the Conqueror, wherein
the name of Alberic de Vere is stated.
Alberic assumed the cowl in his later days, and died a monk in 1088; he was buried in the church of Colne Priory, which he founded. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Alberic.
In the 5th year of Stephen, 1140, while a joint sheriff (with Richard Basset, then Justiciary of England,) of Surrey, Cambridge, Essex, and several other counties, he was slain in a popular tumult at London. He died May 15, 1141, was buried in Colne Priory, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Aubrey.
His lordship died in 1194 (being styled in his monumental inscription Earl of Ghisnes and 1st Earl of Oxford), and was succeeded by his eldest son, Aubrey.
The earl died October 25, 1221, and was buried in the priory of Hatfield, Broad Oak, in Essex, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Hugh.
He died in 1263, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Robert.
The earl died in 1296, and was succeeded by his son, Robert.
Ref: Burke, pg. 571.
By reason of treason of Ralph de Waer his earldom became forfeited.
(Burke, Pg. 571)
See the continuation of this lineage in the Bellomont Line.