Aubrey de Vere II

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Aubrey de Vere (c. 1085 – May 1141) — also known as "Alberic[us] de Ver" and "Albericus regis camerarius" (the king's chamberlain)— was the second of that name in England after the Norman Conquest, being the eldest surviving son of Aubrey de Vere and his wife Beatrice.

Aubrey II served as one of the king's chamberlains and as a justiciar under kings Henry I and Stephen.[1] Henry I also appointed him as sheriff of London and Essex and co-sheriff with Richard Basset of eleven counties. In June 1133, that king awarded the office of master chamberlain to Aubrey and his heirs. A frequent witness of royal charters for Henry I and Stephen, he appears to have accompanied Henry to Normandy only once. The chronicler William of Malmesbury reports that in 1139, Aubrey was King Stephen's spokesman to the church council at Winchester, when the king had been summoned to answer for the seizure of castles held by Roger, Bishop of Salisbury and his nephews, the bishops of Ely and Lincoln.[2] In May 1141, during the English civil war, Aubrey was killed by a London mob and was buried in the family mausoleum at Colne Priory, Essex.

The stone tower at Hedingham, in Essex, was most likely begun by Aubrey and completed by his son and heir, Aubrey de Vere, 1st Earl of Oxford. In addition to his patronage of Colne Priory, the new master chamberlain either founded a cell of the Benedictine abbey St. Melanie in Rennes, Brittany, at Hatfield Broadoak or Hatfield Regis, Essex, or took on the primary patronage of that community soon after it was founded.

His eldest son, another Aubrey de Vere, was later created Earl of Oxford, and his descendants held that title and the office that in later centuries was known as Lord Great Chamberlain until the extinction of the Vere male line in 1703.[3]

His wife Adeliza, daughter of Gilbert fitz Richard of Clare, survived her husband for twenty-two years. For most of that time she was a corrodian at St. Osyth's Priory, Chich, Essex.[4]

Their known children are:

Aubrey de Vere, 1st Earl of Oxford (married 1. Beatrice, countess of Guisnes, 2. Eufemia, 3. Agnes of Essex)
Rohese de Vere, Countess of Essex (married 1. Geoffrey de Mandeville, 1st Earl of Essex, 2. Payn de Beauchamp)
Robert (married 1. Matilda de Furnell, 2. Margaret daughter of Baldwin Wake)
Alice "of Essex" (married 1. Robert of Essex, 2. Roger fitz Richard)
Geoffrey (married 1. widow of Warin fitz Gerold, 2. Isabel de Say)
Juliana Countess of Norfolk (married 1. Hugh Bigod, 1st Earl of Norfolk, 2. Walkelin Maminot)
William de Vere, Bishop of Hereford (1186-1198)
Gilbert, prior of the Knights Hospitaller in England (1195-1197)
a daughter (name unknown) who married Roger de Ramis.


  1. Davis, et al.: "Regesta Regum Anglo-Normannorum" (Oxford University Press, 1913–68), v. 2
  2. William of Malmesbury, Historiæ novellæ libri tres, ed. William Stubbs (London: 1889), 551-552.
  3. Cokayne, George: "The Complete Peerage", v. 10. St. Catherine Press, 1910–58.
  4. R. De Aragon, "Aubrey de Vere II", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography" vol. 56 (Oxford: 2004), 278-9.
Preceded by Lord Great Chamberlain
Succeeded by
Aubrey de Vere, 1st Earl of Oxford