Earl Edward de Vere
(1550-1604)

poet and 17th Earl of Oxford (from 1562)

Died aged c. 54

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 volatile temperament precluded him from attaining any courtly or governmental responsibility and contributed to the dissipation of his estate. Since the 1920s, he has been among the most prominent alternative candidates 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. Oxford was estranged from her for five years after he refused to acknowledge her first child as his. A champion jouster, Oxford travelled widely throughout France and the many states of Italy. He was among the first to compose love poetry at the Elizabethan court, and was praised as a playwright, though none of the plays known as his survive. A stream of dedications praised Oxford for his generous patronage of literary, religious, musical, and medical works, and he patronised both adult and boy acting companies, as well as musicians, tumblers, acrobats and performing animals. He fell out of favour with the Queen in the early 1580s and was exiled from court after impregnating one of her maids of honour, Anne Vavasour, which instigated violent street brawls between Oxford’s retainers and Anne’s uncles. He was reconciled to the Queen in 1583, but all opportunities for advancement had been lost. In 1586, the Queen granted Oxford a £1,000 annuity to relieve his financial distress, caused by his extravagance and selling off his income-producing lands for ready money. After the death of his first wife, Anne Cecil, Oxford married Elizabeth Trentham, one of the Queen's maids of honour, with whom he had an heir, Henry de Vere. Oxford died in 1604, having spent the entirety of his inherited estates.

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Commemorated on 2 plaques

Spudgun67 on Wikimedia Commons
Spudgun67 on Wikimedia Commons

On this site stood a medieval mansion, sometime home of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford. Built c. 14th century, demolished c. 1710. Sisters' Place built c. 1714.

173 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16, London, United Kingdom where they was

On this site stood Brooke House (King's Place) Owned by Henry VIII 1535-47 William Herbert Earl of Pembroke Edward de Vere poet & playwright 1597-1609

BSix Sixth Form College, Kenninghall Road, Lower Clapton, Hackney, London, United Kingdom where they was