Chronology

  • 1550, April 12 – Edward de Vere born at Castle Hedingham, as recorded in Burghley’s Diary.

  • 1554-62 - Tutored by Sir Thomas Smith.

  • 1558 – Edward de Vere matriculates at Queens’ College Cambridge

  • 1559 – Elizabeth crowned Queen with 16th Earl of Oxford coming out of retirement to escort the Queen from Hatfield to London

  • 1561, August - Queen Elizabeth visits the family estate Castle Hedingham.

  • 1562, July - De Vere, 12, contracted to marry into the Hastings family. While negotiations fall through, Mary Hastings is the person on whom Maria in Love's Labours Lost is based (Mary Hastings will herself turn down a marriage offer by the envoy of the czar of Muscovy). August – The 16th Earl of Oxford dies. The use of his properties is conveyed in trust to the duke of Norfolk, a 26 year old nephew, and Robert Dudley. Dudley will eventually acquire much of the land belonging to de Vere's father. September 3 – Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, rides into London in procession on his way to take up residence as a Royal Ward of Court at the London home of Sir William Cecil, later Lord Burghley who, as Secretary of State, is the head of Queen Elizabeth’s Privy Council. Although a minor, his full title from now on is Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxenford, Lorde Greate Chamberleyne of Englande, Viscount Bulbecke, and Lorde of Badlesmere and Scales. He often signed his letters, “Edward Oxenford”, with the additional flourish of a pictogram of an Earl’s coronet.

  • 1563 – Edward de Vere’s title as Earl of Oxford is challenged by the husband of his half sister Katherine de Vere. The challenge meets with no success. August 19 – Edward de Vere tutored by Anglo-Saxonist Laurence Nowell; addresses a letter to William Cecil in French.

  • 1564 – While on a Royal progress to Cambridge University, Edward de Vere is awarded an honorary degree of MA. Participating in the celebrations, Queen Elizabeth violates her own edict of 1561 stating no woman is to reside overnight at a university [cf. LLL]. Arthur Golding dedicated his translation of Justin's Abridgement of the Histories of Trogus Pompeius to his nephew Edward de Vere.

  • 1566 – While on a Royal progress to Oxford University, Edward de Vere is awarded an honorary degree of MA.

  • 1567 – His uncle, Arthur Golding publishes his translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Edward de Vere admitted to Gray’s Inn to study Law. Edward de Vere accidentally kills William Cecil’s undercook while practicing his fencing – he is acquitted and goes unpunished. With the tacit approval of the Privy Council, Edward de Vere sends his retainer, the poet and soldier-of-fortune Thomas Churchyard, on a mission to the Netherlands.

  • 1569 – Thomas Underdowne dedicates his translation of An Aethiopian Historie by Heliodorus to Edward de Vere. Edward de Vere’s mother Margery née Golding dies; it appears the two were not close. Suffering from an unknown malady, Edward de Vere convalesces a number of months in Windsor [cf. MWofW]. Here he begins a correspondence with John Dee.

  • 1570 – Edward de Vere, having sought leave of the Queen for some military service, enlists with the Earl of Sussex for the Scottish campaign. A movement was afoot to have de Vere's cousin the Duke of Norfolk, marry Mary, Queen of Scots. de Vere likely visits York, Kimbolton Castle, and the forest of Galtres [cf. H8, 1H4, 3H6] Dedication to Edward de Vere in Edmund Elviden’s Peisistratus and Catanea.

  • 1571 – Edward de Vere is victorious in a Royal tournament at Westminster and is widely seen as one of the up-and-coming stars of Elizabeth’s court. December – Edward de Vere marries Anne, just turned 16, daughter of Sir William Cecil, who, shortly before the marriage, is ennobled as Lord Burghley and takes up the position of Lord Treasurer. Dedication to Edward de Vere, with a preface by him, published in Thomas Bedingfield’s translation of Cardanus Comfort. Dedication to Edward de Vere in Arthur Golding’s translation of Calvin’s version of The Psalms of David.

  • 1572 – Edward de Vere writes the preface in Latin to Batholomew Clerke’s translation into English of Castiglione’s Il Cortegiano (The Courtier). Edward de Vere takes part in a Royal entertainment at Warwick Castle. Despite efforts to save his cousin, the Duke of Norfolk is executed for treason. September – Edward de Vere writes to Burghley wishing to be considered for some military service: “If there were any service to be done abroad, I had rather serve there than at home, where yet some honour were to be got; if there be any setting forth to sea, to which service I bear most affection, I shall desire your Lordship to give me and get me that favour and credit that I might make one.” de Vere and his wife Anne Cecil visit de Vere's Essex estate of Wivenhoe, where the servant Rowland Yorke reportedly barred Anne from her husband's chambers. 

 

  • 1573 – Dedication to Edward de Vere in the translation of The Breviary of Britain by Thomas Twyne. In a letter to Burghley, Edward de Vere’s servants are accused of waylaying travelers on the Gravesend-Rochester road. It is an event remarkably similar to Act II, Scene 2 in Henry IVth Part 1 in which Falstaff and three of Price Hal’s companions rob travelers, carrying the King’s taxes, on the same road. One of de Vere's servants is executed for a crime of passion [cf. Timon]. It is reported that Queen Elizabeth is delighted by de Vere's personage, dancing, and valour; de Vere's wife Anne is jealous but her father Burghley does not intervene.

  • 1574 – Dedication to Edward de Vere in George Baker’s translation of Oleum Magistrale. Edward de Vere, desirous of some foreign adventure, heads for the continent without permission. Burghley and Walsingham send a friend of his to bring him back and they conclude that his trip was not suspicious in any way. In fact, his obvious desire for foreign adventure is noted with approval. De Vere signs over the family estate Battails Hall to musician and organist of the Chapel Royal, William Byrd.

  • 1575 – A Schedule of Debts is drawn up prior to Edward de Vere leaving for his Grand Tour of the Continent. March 17-18 - In a letter to Burghley from Paris, Edward de Vere begins by thanking him for the information about his wife Anne being pregnant. ” I thank god therfore, withe yowre Lordship that it hathe pleased him to make me a father wher yowre Lordship is a grandfather. and if it be a boy I shall lekwise be the partaker withe yow in a greater contentation.” Further on, he notes his travel plans as he departs Paris: “For feare of the inquisition I dare not pas by Milan, the Bishop wherof exersisethe such tyranie. wherfore I take the way of Germanie, where I mean to aquaint my self withe Sturmius, [a German scholar] withe home after I have passed my jornie which now I have in hand I meane to pas sum time. I have found here this curtesie, the Kinge hathe given me his letters of recommendation to his embassadour in the Turks court, lekwise the Venetian embassadour that is here knowinge my desire to see those parties hathe given me his letters to the Duke, and divers of his kinsmen in Venice, to procur me ther furtherances to my jornie which I am not yet assured too howld for if the Turkes cum as they be loked for upon the coste of Italy or els where, if I may I will see the service, if he commethe not then perhapes I will bestowe twoo or thre monthes to se Constantinople, and sum part of Grece.” April – Edward de Vere travels to Strasburg where he meets Sturmius. July 2 – Anne (Cecil) Countess of Oxford delivered of a daughter, Elizabeth. Date noted by her father Burghley in chronology written 3rd Jan 1576. Summer – de Vere in Venice, where tensions between Jews and Venetians is high. A letter from Edward de Vere to Burghley includes, “I have sent one of my servants into England, withe sume new disposition of my thinges there, wherfore I will not troble yowre Lordship in thes letters with the same. if this siknes had not happend unto me whiche hathe taken away this chifest time of travell, at this present I wowld not have written for further leave, but to supply the whiche, I dought not her Magestie will not denie me so small a favour.” And then as an afterthought, “…thus thankinge yowre Lordship for yowre good newes of my wives deliverie, I recommend my self unto yowre favoure…”  de Vere may have visited Ragusa, a 2 day sail from Venice; between 1575 and 1609 the King of Bohemia held a 35 mile stretch of coastline in Illyria. After visiting Genoa, returns to Venice where he likely meets with Titian. In Titian's studio is a painting of Venus and Adonis showing Adonis rejecting Venus and wearing a black cap [cf. Venus & Adonis]. Sept 24 – The same date also noted by Burghley (written when he was preoccupied in proving the legitimacy of his daughter Anne’s child): “The letter of the Earl by which he gives thanks for his wife’s delivery. Mark well this letter.” Nov 27 – A letter from Edward de Vere to Burghley from Padua is endorsed: “The Erle of Oxenford to my lord from Padoua the sale of his landes not to be stayed.” de Vere likely traveled from Venice to Padua by ferry along the river Brenta; Portia's Belmont is the villa Foscari by Paduan architect Palladio. A day's journey from Padua is Mantua, where de Vere may have visited Castiglione's grave, atop whose tomb is a sculpture of his wife by Giulio Romano [cf. WT]. Aristocratic guests to Mantua stayed with the city's Duke, Guglielmo Gonzaga, whose palace Appartamento di Troi is decorated with frescoes of the Trojan War by Romano [cf. The Rape of Lucrece]. December - de Vere visits Florence and Rome where Catholic pilgrims are amassing for Jubilee Year [cf. AWTEW].

  • 1576 Jan 3 – A letter from Edward de Vere to Burghley from Siena, opens: “My lord I am sorie too here how hard my fortune is in England as I perceive by yowre Lordshipes letters, but knowinge how vaine a thinge it is to linger a necessarie mischief, (to know the worst of my self & to let yowre Lordship understand wherin I wowld use yowre honorable friendship) in short I have thus determined, that whearas I understand the greatnes of my dett and gredines of my crediters growes soo dishonorable to me and troblesume unto yowre Lordshipe, that that land of mine which in Cornwale I have appointed too bee sould accordinge too that first order for myn expences in this travell be goone throught withall.” Burghley is increasingly worried that his son-in-law Edward de Vere will not accept paternity of his daughter Anne’s child. So today he draws up a memorandum identifying key dates in the Earl and Countess’ chronology. Jan 5 (12th Night) - Siena stages The Deceived by Piccolomini's Academy, the plot of which mirrors Twelfth Night. de Vere returns to Venice where it's Carnival season. Travels through Spanish controlled Milan on his return to England. En route, de Vere likely visits Count Roussillion in or near Tournon-Sur-Rhône. March – Edward de Vere arrives in Paris where he is advised by his man, Rowland Yorke, of all the latest court gossip including doubts regarding paternity. April 4 – A letter from Edward de Vere to Burghley from Paris expressing his “misliking” of the situation with Anne Cecil; Burghley does not keep this letter but refers to it. April – Crossing from France to England, Edward de Vere’s boat is attacked by Dutch pirates who loot most of his possessions. This so outrages Queen Elizabeth that she sends a special envoy to the Prince of Orange to demand satisfaction at this “disgrace upon her realm”. April 27 – Now back in England, Edward de Vere writes again to Burghley saying he has no intention of meeting his wife. “I must let you understand this much: that is, until I can better satisfy or advertise myself of some mislikes, I am not determined, as touching my wife, to accompany her.” The start of a five year estrangement with Anne. July 13 – A letter from Edward de Vere to Burghley from London, in full: “My verie good lord, yesterday, at yowre Lordships ernest request I had sume conference with yow abought yowre doughter, wherin for that her Magestie had so often moved me, and for that yow delt so ernestly withe me, to content as muche as I could, I dyd agre that yow myght bringe her to the court withe condition that she showld not come when I was present nor at any time to have speche withe mee, and further that yowre Lordship showld not urge farther in her cause. But now I understand that yowr Lordship means this day to bringe her to the court and that yow mean afterward to prosecute the cause withe further hope. Now if yowre Lordship shall doo so, then shall yow take more in hand then I have or can promes yow. for alwayes I have and will still prefer myne owne content before others. and observinge that wherin I may temper or moderate, for yowre sake I will doo most willingely. Wherfore I shall desire yowre Lordship not to take advantage of my promes till yow have given me sum honorable assurance by letter or word of yowre performance of the condition which, beinge observed, I caud yeld as it is my dutie to her Magesties request, and beare withe yowre fatherly desire towards her. Otherwise, all that is done can stand to non effect. From my loginge at Charinge crosse this morninge. Yowre Lordships to emploi. (signed) Edward Oxenford.” de Vere is living with Edward Yorke, brother of Roland; Edward works for the Duke of Leicester, lifelong enemy of de Vere and Cecil.

  • 1577 – Dedication to Edward de Vere in John Brooke’s The Staff of Christian Faith. Edward de Vere invests a fortune in Frobisher’s voyage to seek out a Northwest passage. A Historie of Errors is performed before the Queen by the Children of St. Paul's [early version of CofE].

  • 1578 – Edward de Vere invests £3,000 through Michael Lok for Frobisher’s disasterous second voyage seeking a Northwest passage. Edward de Vere is eulogised before the royal Court during the Queen’s summer progress by aspiring Cambridge scholar Gabriel Harvey who praises him as a prolific poet and as one whose “countenance shakes speares”. His eulogy, in Latin, is published. Edward de Vere is recognised as the leading light of the Euphuist literary movement. Aug 14 – in a letter, the Spanish Ambassador Bernardino de Mendoza reports on the reception at court for the Duke of Alençon’s envoys in pursuit of marriage proposals for the Queen’s hand. “The next day the Queen sent twice to tell the earl of Oxford, who is a very gallant lad, to dance before the ambassadors, whereupon he replied that he hoped her Majesty would not order him to do so as he did not want to entertain Frenchmen. When the Lord Steward took him the message the second time, he replied that he would not give pleasure to Frenchmen, nor listen to such a message, and with that he left the room. He is a lad who has a great following in the country, and has requested permission to go and serve his Highness, which the Queen refused, and asked him why he did not go and serve the Archduke Mathias; to which he replied that he would not serve another sovereign than his own, unless it were a very great one, such as the king of Spain.” Dec - The Lord Chamberlain's Men, a theater group under de Vere's mentor the Earl of Sussex, performed at Richmond Palace a play entitled An History of the Cruelties of a Stepmother [possibly an early version of Cymbeline].

  • 1579 – Dedication to Edward de Vere in Geoffrey Gates’ The Defence of Militarie Profession. de Vere, the Duke of Surrey and others perform A Moor's Masque at court [possibly an early version of Othello]. Dedication to Edward de Vere in John Lyly’s Euphues and his England. Lyly becomes Edward de Vere’s secretary and stage manager. The Lord Chamberlain's Men perform The History of the Rape of the Second Helen [possibly an early version of AWTEW]. De Vere and Philip Sidney quarreled over a tennis game [cf. H5]. Sidney and de Vere planned to resolve the dispute through a duel, but Queen Elizabeth ordered de Vere to not leave his quarters. de Vere began a relationship with Anne Vavasour, a tall, dark-haired nineteen year old known for her beauty and wit.

  • 1580 - De Vere sets up a literary salon at Fisher's Folly, a luxurious house near Bishopsgate across from the Bedlam insane asylum and 1/3 mile south of London's commercial theaters, the Curtain and the Theater. de Vere takes over the theater troupe the Earl of Warwick's Men. June 21 – A letter from Dr John Hatcher, of Cambridge University, to Lord Burghley is endorsed: “Reasons why the Heads of the University object to the Earl of Oxford’s players shewing their cunninge in certayne playes already practiced by them before the Queen’s Majesty the like having been denyed to the Earl of Leicester’s servants.” de Vere's secretary John Lyly dedicates Euphues and his England to de Vere.  Dedication to Edward de Vere in John Hester’s A Short Discourse upon Surgery. Edward de Vere caricatured as “Italianate Englishman” in Gabriel Harvey’s Speculum Tuscanismi, and praised as “peerless in England” as a “discourser for tongue”. Having flirted with Catholicism, Edward de Vere now denounces his cousin Henry Howard, brother of the executed 4th Duke of Norfolk, and his associate the Earl of Arundel as enemies of the state in a series of depositions.

  • 1581 – Edward de Vere wins prize in a tournament at Whitehall – his tournament speech is later published in Edmund Spenser’s Axiochus. 23 March – The unmarried Anne Vavasour, one of the Gentlewomen of the Queen’s Bedchamber, is delivered of a son named Edward Vere (later knighted for his military service). Edward de Vere, who was known to be the child’s father, fled London, but was soon captured and sent to the Tower. This is the date of a Walsingham letter summarising the details of the birth: “On twesdaye at nyght Anne Vavysor was browght to bed of a sonne in the maydens chambre. The Earl of Oxeforde is avowed to be the father whoo hathe withdrawen him selfe with intent as yt is thought to passe the seas. The ports are layd for him and therfor yf he have any sooche determynation yt is not lykely yat he wyll escape. The gentlewoman the selfe same nyght she was delyvered was conveyed owt of the howse & the next daye commytted to the towar. Others that have ben fownde any wayes partyes to the cause have ben also commytted. Her majestye is greatly greeved with the accydent, and therfor I hope there wyll be some sooche order taken as the lyke inconvenyence wyll be avoyded.” June 9 – Edward de Vere’s release from the Tower and placed under house arrest in Greenwich. July – Almanac of events for 1581, in Burghley’s hand: “About this tyme the Er. of Oxf sett to full liberty by Mr. Walysyngham.” July 12 – Letter from Walsingham to Burghley and touching, in part, on the Vavasour/Edward de Vere imbroglio. Mentions that, “Her majesty is resolved (uppon some perwacyon used) not to restore the Earl of Oxeford to his full liberty before he hath been dealt withall for his wife.” July 13 – Letter from Edward de Vere to Burghley, includes “My lord, Robine Christmas dyd yesterday, tell me, how honorably yow had delt withe her magestie as touchinge my Lybertye, and that as this day she had made promes to yowre lordship that it showld bee." Letter from Burghley to Walsingham, “Yet, yesterdaie, beeing advertised of your good & honorable dealing with her majestie, in the case of my dawghter of Oxford, I could not suffer my thanckes to growe above one daye olde, and therefore in these fewe lynes, I doo presentlie thanck you, and doo pray you in anye proceeding therin, not to have the Earle dealt withall straynably, but only by waye of advise, as good for him self: for otherwise, hee maye suspecte, that I regard my self, more for my dawghter, then hee is regarded for his libertie.” Dec 7 – Anne (Cecil) Countess of Oxford begins correspondence with Edward de Vere hoping that it will lead to a reconciliation. All Anne’s letter are preserved, though none of Edward’s replies were preserved in the Cecil archive. Charles Arundell, Francis Southwell, and de Vere's Catholic cousin Henry Howard  respond to de Vere's allegations of treason by accusing de Vere of being a liar, murderer, atheist, pederast, alcoholic, etc. de Vere is banished from court. Henry Howard and Charles Arundell would later be implicated in another plot against Queen Elizabeth in 1583, and would write another set of libels to extricate themselves from trouble; Edward de Vere would sit on the tribunal at this treason trial of his cousin. 

  • 1582 Jan – Reconciliation between Anne (Cecil) Countess of Oxford and Edward de Vere. March – There is a “fray” between Edward de Vere and Sir Thomas Knyvett, uncle of Anne Vavasour, over the latter’s honour thus beginning a long running feud. Edward de Vere is injured – which grieves him on and off for the rest of his life [cf. Sonnets 37 & 89]. June 18 – There is a violent skirmish at Blackfriars Thames landing stage between Edward de Vere’s men and Sir Thomas Knyvett’s men [cf. R&J]. June 22, 24 – There is an enquiry into the Blackfriars skirmish in which witnesses give their depositions [cf. "tilting under friaries", Thomas Edwards]. Edward de Vere’s brother in law, Peregrine Bertie, Lord Willoughby, returns from the first of many visits as Ambassador to the Danish court at Elsinore. There he met Tycho Brahe who recorded the supernova of 1572 [cf. Hamlet].

  • 1583 – the newly born son of Edward de Vere and his wife Anne is buried. Edward de Vere acquires the sub-lease on the Blackfriars Theatre and appoints his secretary Lyly as manager. June 10 - Queen visits Oxford where a Latin play Dido is staged. Along with Giordano Bruno, The Polish Prince General Laski is in attendance [cf. Aneneas' tale acted once and "caviary to the general" in Hamlet].

  • 1584 – Daughter Bridget born to Edward de Vere and Anne. Dedication to Edward de Vere in Robert Greene’s Card of Fancy.  Edward de Vere again wins a prize at a Royal tournament, held to celebrate the anniversary of the coronation. Dec The History of Agamemnon and Ulysses performed at court by Edward de Vere’s troupe of boy actors.

  • 1586 June 25 – A letter from Edward de Vere to Burghley, opens: “My very good lord as I have bene behowldinge unto yow divers tymes & of late, by my brother R. Cecill, wherby I have bene the better able to follow my sute, wherin I have sume comfort at this tyme from Mr Secretarie Wallsingham, so am I now bowld, to crave yowre lordships help at this present for beinge now almost at a point to tast that good whiche her Magestie shall determine yet I on that hathe longe besieged a fort and not able to compas the end or reap the frut of his travel, beinge forst to levie his sige for want of munition. Beinge therfore thus disfurnished and unprovided to follow her Magestie as I perceyve she will loke for, I most ernestly desyre yowre lordship yat yow will lend me 200 pounds tyll her Magestie performethe her promes.” June 26 – Privy Seal Warrant from Queen granting Oxford £1000 per annum.  Dedication to Edward de Vere in Angel Daye’s The English Secretary. Edward de Vere described by William Webbe as “most excellent” among court poets. Oct – Edward de Vere is third in precedence at the trial of Mary Queen of Scots at Fotheringay. His future father in law, Thomas Trentham, had been appointed, as one of the “principal gentlemen in Staffordshire”, to accompany the Scottish Queen from her Staffordshire exile to Fotheringay.

  • 1587 May – Daughter Susan born to Edward de Vere and Anne. Sept – Daughter Frances dies in infancy.

  • 1588 June – Edward de Vere’s wife Anne née Cecil dies and is buried in Westminster Abbey. According to letters by Thomas Cecil and others, Lord Burghley is so incapacitated by grief over the death of “my ladie of Oxenford” that he is incapable of conducting Privy Council business. Edward de Vere fits out his ship the Edward Bonaventure against the Spanish Armada and in 1599 is described in a poem as having stood ‘like warlike Mars upon the hatches’. Dedication to Edward de Vere in Anthony Munday’s Palmerin d’Oliva. Dec - de Vere sells Fisher's Folly.

  • Negotiations for Elizabeth de Vere's marriage to Henry Wriothesley, the 3rd Earl of Southampton, are underway.

  • 1589 The Arte of English Poesie, by George Puttenham is published. Contains: “And in her Majesties time that now is are sprong up an other crew of Courtly makers Noble men and Gentlemen of her Majesties owne servantes, who have written excellently well as it would appeare if their doings could be found out and made publicke with the rest, of which number is first that noble Gentleman Edward Earle of Oxford.” This gives us the clearest insight into how unthinkable it would have been for any Elizabethan nobleman to have have been identified by name as an author.

  • 1591 – Edward de Vere marries another one of Queen Elizabeth’s Maids of Honour, Elizabeth Trentham, daughter of the wealthy Staffordshire landowner the late Thomas Trentham of Rocester Abbey. Elizabeth’s brother Francis Trentham takes over the management of Edward de Vere’s near bankrupt estate and gradually returns it to profitability. Dec – Edward de Vere sells the manor of Castle Hedingham – the de Vere family seat from the time of William the Conqueror – to Burghley in trust for his three daughters Elizabeth, Bridget and Susan. de Vere becomes landless [cf. Lear]. Dedication to Edward de Vere in Plainsong Diverse & Sundry by the noted Elizabethan madrigalist John Farmer. Edward and his wife Elizabteh move into their new home in London. 

  • 1593 Feb 24 – Henry de Vere, son and heir of Edward de Vere and Elizabeth née Trentham born. Thomas Nashe refers to de Vere as Will Monox, gentle M. William, Apis Lapis, and "the most copious Carminist of our time" - in one breath, a reference to the banished Ovid and de Vere as the most prolific of writers. First public use of the name "William Shakespeare" in print, V&A. The poem Willobie His Avisa is printed anonymously.

  • 1594 July 7 – In a letter to Burghley, Edward de Vere seeks his favour in a matter involving what he describes as “in mine office” and that this office is beholden to the Queen. “My very good Lord, if it please you to remember that about half a year or thereabout past I was a suitor to your Lordship for your favour that, whereas I found sundry abuses whereby both her Majesty & myself were, in mine office, greatly hindered, that it would please your Lordship that I might find such favour from you that I might have the same redressed. At which time I found so good forwardness in your Lordship that I thought myself greatly beholding for the same.” 

  • 1595 Jan – Edward de Vere’s daughter Elizabeth marries William Stanley the 6th Earl of Derby who maintains his own company of players. It is widely believed by scholars that, at the fabulous wedding feast in the presence of the whole court, the festivities are concluded with a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.’ De Vere visits Bath, a city known for its mineral springs [cf. Sonnets 153 & 154].

  • 1596 – Dedicatory Verse to Edward de Vere in Spenser’s Fairie Queene.

  • 1597 September 2 – Elizabeth, Countess of Oxford, and her brother Francis Trentham purchase the large manor house of King’s Place in Hackney. On this day, the Queen grants the licence to purchase the manor of King’s Place and one can detect the Queen’s personal tone in the salutation, “…to our well beloved cousin Elizabeth, Countess of Oxenford, wife of Edward, Earl of Oxenford, and to our beloved ffrancis Trentham, esquire, Ralph Sneyd, esquire, & Giles Young, gentleman”. King’s Place was a substantial country manor house with a celebrated Great Hall, a classic Tudor Long Gallery, a chapel and “a proper lybrayre to laye bokes in”; the land comprised orchards and fine gardens and around 270 acres of farmland. It was here that Edward and Elizabeth brought their three year old son Henry, who had been born on 24 February 1593, and it would remain their principal London home until Edward’s death in 1604, the Countess finally moving in 1609 after selling it to the poet ffulke Greville.

  • 1598 – Edward de Vere is named as “best for comedy” in Francis Meres’ Palladis Tamia.

  • 1599 – Dedication to Edward de Vere in John Farmer’s Set of English Madrigals. Robert Armin, comedian of The Lord Chamberlain's Men, visits de Vere at his home.

  • 1601 – Edward de Vere serves on the tribunal trying those caught up in the rebellion by the Earl of Essex who is executed, while the Earl of Southampton is committed to the Tower for life which is commuted upon King James’ accession.

  • 1602 – Edward de Vere’s acting company and that of Worcester combine forces and take up residence at the Boar’s Head.

  • 1603 Mar 24 – Queen Elizabeth dies and is succeeded by James I (James VI of Scotland), son of Mary Stuart, thus uniting the English and Scottish thrones for the first time.

  • 1603 – Edward de Vere’s crown annuity is renewed by King James.

  • 1604 – King James grants Edward de Vere custody of the forest of Essex and the Keepership of Havering, and he is reappointed to the Privy Council. June 24 – Edward de Vere dies. July 6 – Edward de Vere buried at St John’s Church, Hackney. Dec - Susan De Vere, the youngest daughter of Edward and Anne (Cecil) de Vere, marries Sir Philip Herbert,later the Earl of Montgomery. The Herberts at the time are the premier literary family in England, William and Philip being the two "incomparable bretheren" who produced the First Folio.