- AUBREY DE VERE
Chamberlain of England, d 1141
Aubrey de Vere, great chamberlain, was son and successor of Aubrey (Albericus) de Vere 'senior,' by Beatrice his wife. He is found in 1125 acting as joint-sheriff of London (Geoffrey de Mandeville, p. 309); and in 1180 he appears, in conjunction with Richard Basset, as holding the shrievalty of eleven counties 'ut custodes' for the crown (ib. pp. 297-8). But he was then indebted for an enormous sum to the crown for having allowed a prisoner to escape, and for permission to resign the shrievalty of Essex and Hertfordshire (Rot. Pip. 31 Hen. I, p. 53). In September 1131 he was among the magnates attending the council of Northampton (Sarum Charters, 6); and in 1133, on the king leaving England for the last time, Aubrey was given at Fernham the office of great chamberlain for himself and his heirs (Madox, Baronia Anglica, p. 158). He is found at Stephen's court as chamberlain early in 1136 (Geoffrey de Mandeville, pp.262-3), and was with him at Clarendon not long afterwards (ib. p. 378). When, in 1139, Stephen was called upon to defend before a council his arrest of the bishops, he selected as his advocate Aubrey, whom William of Malmesbury describes as 'causidicus' and as practised in (legal) cases (pp. 552-4). He was slain on 9 May 1141 (not, as stated, 1140) in a London riot (Matt. Paris, Chron. Major, ii. 174; Geoffrey Mandeville, p. 81).
The statement that he was 'chief justiciar of England,' for which Foss could find no authority (Judges of England, pp. 89, 188-9), rests on the assertion to that effect by his son William in a tract 'De miraculis S. Osythae' (Geoffrey de Mandeville, p. 390).
There has been much confusion as to Aubrey's marriage and children. By his wife Alice, daughter of Gilbert (Fitz Richard) de Clare -- who survived him twenty-two years, retiring as a widow to St. Osyth's Priory -- he left, besides Aubrey, his successor (see below), three sons: (2) Geoffrey, who in 1142 was promised by the empress the fief of Geoffrey Talbot, and who, afterwards marrying the widow of William Fitz Alan, held a Gloucestershire fief in her right, besides a Shropshire one in 1166 (Lib. Rub. pp. 274, 298); (3) Robert, who in 1142 was promised by the empress a 'barony' of equal value (Geoffrey de Mandeville, p. 182), and who held a small Northamptonshire fief in 1166 (Lib. Rub. p. 335; Feudal England, p. 220); (4) William, who in 1142 was promised the reversion to the chancellorship (Geoffrey de Mandeville, p. 182), and who was identical with the writer of the above tract, a canon of St. Osyth's (ib. p. 389). Of Aubrey's daughters, Rohese married, first, Geoffrey, first earl of Essex [q.v.], secondly, Payne de Beauchamp of Bedford; and Alice, first, Robert of Essex, secondly, Roger Fitz Richard of Warkworth (ib. p. 392).