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The Life and Death of the Earl of Oxford

On 10 March 1513, John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford died at nine in the evening at his ancestral home of Castle Hedingham at the age of 71. He was buried at Colne Priory on 24 April. Oxford was one of the principal Lancastrian commanders during the Wars of the Roses, as well as during the reign of Henry VII. He had joined Henry and Jasper Tudor after he himself escaped prison at Hammes Castle near Calais and the Tudors were in exile in France in the 1480’s. John’s support which eventually led to Henry’s

victory at Bosworth was of great significance.

One of the earliest representations of the battle of Bosworth, from the Castle at Hedingham and showing John, 13th earl of Oxford riding at Henry VII’s left shoulder , now found above the fireplace in the dining hall at Stoke College

Hedingham Castle, home of the Earls of Oxford

John was the second son of another John de Vere, 12th Earl of Oxford, and Elizabeth Howard. He married firstly, Margaret Neville, the daughter of Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury, and Alice, the daughter of Thomas Montagu, 4th Earl of Salisbury. Oxford's first wife was the sister of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, ‘’the Kingmaker’’. Margaret Neville died between 20 November 1506 and 14 January 1507, and Oxford married secondly Elizabeth Scrope, the widow of his colleague William, 2nd Viscount Beaumont, and daughter and coheir of Sir Richard Scrope, the second son of Henry, 4th Baron by Eleanor, the daughter of Norman Washbourne. He is said to have had an illegitimate daughter, Katherine de Vere (d. after 20-06-1504) whose husband Sir Robert Broughton appointed the 13th Earl as his executor. Apart from this possible illegitimate daughter there were no children from these marriages. John de Vere was succeeded by his nephew, (the 2nd and only surviving son of his younger brother Sir George de Vere) another John de Vere, as 14th Earl of Oxford.

Below you can see a video about Colne Priory, where the Earls of Oxford were buried.

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