The House of Vere: References
The Duchy of Angiers
The Royal House Of Vere
Vere of Blackwood
Published comments concerning the House of Vere
Vere-de-Vere stalked into the English vernacular as a playful term
meaning the grandest, proudest, most historic, indisputably
aristocratic and absolutely creme de la creme of Anglo-’Norman’
In fiction the expression is used for characters of, or assuming,
unquestionable ancient lineage - and with good cause.
In the Middle Ages, owing to plagues and battlefield mortality, the
average noble dynasty in England lasted not more than three
generations. The de Veres, however, managed to maintain a line of
twenty earls of Oxford over 561 years*, (*our note: The senior
descents in the male line today reach back 1300 years). Lord Thomas
Macaulay, Victorian historian supreme calls this family:
"The longest and most illustrious line of nobles that England has
Vero Nihil Verius (nothing truer than truth) is the family motto
granted by Queen Elizabeth I. The family crest was already the Blue
The Falling Star of Vere
A legend lingers round the acquisition of the de Vere (star) badge.
In the version as told by Leland, Aubrey was ’at the Conquest of the
Cities of Nicque, of Antioch, and of Hierusalem’ and:
"In the year of our lord 1098, Corborant, Admiral to the Soudan of
Persia was fought with at Antioch, and discomforted the Christians.
The Night coming on in the Chace of this Bataile, and waxing dark,
the Christianes being four miles from Antioche, God, willing the
saufte of the Christianes shewed a white Starre or Molette of fyve
Pointes, which to every Manne’s Sighte did lighte and arrest upon
the standard of Albrey, then shining excessively".
The mystic star from this miracle became the de Veres’ badge, which
they wore on their shields from then onwards - quarterly gules and
or, in the first quarter a mullet argent. Later heralds argued that
it was merely ’a mullet with a difference’ as always used to
distinguish a younger son from an elder. Others said that it was not
a star at all, but the rowl spur, from the French word mollet, which
could have been held up as a pre~arranged sign to muster supporters
and was caught in a ray of sunlight. "But for the de Veres the badge
was simply God pointing out the family’s near~deity".
From Verily Anderson,
’The Veres of Castle Hedingham’.
The House of Vere
"The noblest subject in England, and Indeed, as Englishmen loved to
say, the noblest subject in Europe, was Aubrey de Vere........who
derived his title through an uninterrupted male descent, from a time
when the families of Howard and Seymour were still obscure, when the
Nevills and Percys enjoyed only a provincial celebrity, and when
even the great name of Plantagenet had not yet been heard in
England. One chief of the house of de Vere had held high command at
Hastings; another had marched, with Godfrey and Tancred, over heaps
of slaughtered Moslems, to the sepulchre of Christ. The first Earl
of Oxford had been minister of Henry Beauclerc, The third earl had
been conspicuous among the lords who extorted the great Charter from
JOHN. The seventh earl had fought bravely at Cressy and Poictiers.
The thirteenth earl had, through many vicissitudes of fortune, been
the chief of the party of the Red Rose, and had led the van on the
decisive day of Bosworth. The seventeenth earl had shone at the
court of Elizabeth I, and had won for himself an honourable place
among the early masters of English poetry.........".
Baron Thomas Babbington Macaulay, Lord Macaulay of Rothley Temple
See source profile.
Professor Vivian Greene:
" The Counts of Anjou: Princes of Anjou"
Sir Bernard Burke, Ulster King of Arms,
when speaking of the Vere called them
singularly and in plural:
"The Princely Noble"
"The Race of Vere"
’Vicissitudes of Families’,
page 424 line 12 and page 426 para 2 line 12)
G. E. Cokaynes Complete Peerage Volume X
II. 2.AUBREY (DE VERE) IV, EARL of OXFORD, hereditary Master
Chamberlain of England. 1st s. and h.
by 3rd wife, (a) b. 1163 or later. (b) While still a boy he attested
his father’s charters for Colne Priory (c) and a charter of Ranulf
de Mandeville for St. Osyth ; (d) and he witnessed 7 more of his
father’s charters for Colne (e) and joined him in attesting a number
of other charters for that priory (f) and 2 other charters.
Early in 1190 he Was with the King in Normandy. (h) He obtained the Bolebec fief with Isabel the heiress,
(i) and together they gave a
tenement in Wavendon to Woburn Abbey. (j) On 21 Feb. , 1190/I he
confirmed his father’s foundation of Castle Hedingham Priory, and at
the request of his father and rnother gave it his church at Castle
Hedingham and the wood at Gosfield; (k) but at Michaelmas in that
year he owed 100 marks for what was imposed on his men for burning
the nunnery. (l) Within the years I191-9, he witnessed a charter of
John, Count of Mortain (afterwards King), for Rouen Cathedral. (m)
In Dec. 1194 he suc. his father, and in 1195 as Aubrey de Vere
junior, he rendered account for £100 for his relief............
(a) Item in comite Alberico Alberici comitis de Ver filio, simile
naturae miraculum vidimus. Cum enim pater ejusdem, matre jam
Praegnante, filia scilicet Henrici de Essexia, ob ignominiosum
patris eventum jam ad divortium modis omni elaborasset, partu
prodeunte; quem pater in oculo casuali laesione sustinuit, eadem
parte defectus in filio parentavit (Giraldus Cambrensis, OP. cit, p
132). Albericus Comes Oxeneford. His testibus Alberico filio meo et
Herede et Roberto Henrico Filiis meis (Colne Cart., no.42).
(b) There is no proof that his parents did not cohabit between 1163
and ii or 1172; for his mother’s age cf p.206, note "e."
(c) His Testibus Alberico filio meo Radulpho de Ver. Radulpho
magistro Alberici (Colne Cart., no.38; cf Idem, no. 45) That Aubrey
had a master proves that he was a boy at the time.
III. 1214. 3. ROBERT (DE VERE), EARL OF OXFORD,
Hereditary Master Chamberlain of England, being 3rd but eldest surv.
S. of the 1st Earl, by 3rd wife.
(1) His afilliation is proved by his attestations to 4 of his
father’s charters Colne, e.g. "His testibus Albrico filio meo et
Roberto fratre ejus" (Colne Q no.46). He has always been described
as the 2nd son, but in the 3 charters for Colne
..........................which are witnessed both by Robert and by
his brother Ralph, his name precedes Robert’s (Idem, nos. 36, 41,
(a) On the assumption that Robert was the 3rd son; after 1172 if his
parents did not resume cohabitation before I 171. He seems to have
been with his brother Aubrey in Normandy in Aug. 1197 (Landon, op.
cit., pp I20~2I)
See Source Profile.
’The Royal Genealogies’
Tabular Section of the above right
Milo: Count of Anjou
( Page 450 ’The Royal Genealogies’ The Rev. Dr. James Anderson, D.D.,
M.A : Milo I de Vere was Count of Anjou, (hence eldest
son of Melusine/Melouziana de Scythes /Maelasanu: The Dragon Princess).
See Source Profile.
THE MADNESS OF KINGS
A count of Anjou came back with a new wife, a strange girl of
extraordinary beauty but she kept very much to herself. Unusually in
so religious an age she was reluctant to attend the Mass. When she
did go she always hurried from the church before the consecration of
the host. Her husband, who was puzzled by her behaviour, told four
knights to keep watch and to try to delay her departure from the
church. When she got up to go, one of them trod on the hem of her
train. As the priest raised the host to consecrate it she screamed,
wrenched herself free, and still shrieking, flew out of the window,
taking two of her children with her. In reality the countess was the
wicked fairy, Melusine, the daughter of Satan, who cannot abide the
consecration of the body of Christ in the Mass. It was from the
children that she left behind that the counts of Anjou and the
Angevin kings of England were said to be descended.
(Of the Plantagenet Branch):
So devilish an ancestry accounted for the demonic energy and
passionate ill-temper by which these princes seemed often afflicted.
’We who came from the devil’, John’s brother, Richard I, was
reported as saying caustically, ’must needs go back to the devil. Do
not deprive us of our heritage: we cannot help acting like devils.’
’De diabolo venit et ad diabolum ibid’, commented St Bernard of Clairvaux,
’From the devil he came, and to the devil he will go.’
Professor Vivian Greene
Cependant, apprenant plus tard que Geoffrey a brule l’abbaye de
Maillezais et tue son frere, le Comte maudit son epouse. Il l’acuse
publiquement d’etre "tres fausse serpent". Le secret est devoile.
Melusine doit regagner L’Autre Monde et s’envole transformee en
Christine Bonnet, Lusignan.
The Duchy of Angiers
Angiers was a Ducal principality in the Comite region of Anjou. In
the work of The Rev. Father Sabine Baring-Gould Angiers is referred
to as the country where the Princess Melusine was a native. Angiers
is now the city of Angers in northern Anjou. As a Ducal principality
its rulers constituted a regnant royal house who, in the case of the
Vere, were also the Counts of the region in which this ’city state’
See Source Profile.
Although Merovingian culture was both temperate surprisingly modern,
the monarchs who presided over it were another matter. They (The
Sorcerer Kings) were not typical even of rulers of their own age,
for the atmosphere of mystery legend, magic and the supernatural,
surrounded them, even during their lifetimes. If the customs and
economy of the Merovingian world did not differ markedly from others
of the period, the aura about the throne and royal bloodline was
Sons of the Merovingian blood were not ’created’ kings. On the
contrary they were automatically regarded as such on the advent of
their twelfth birthday. There was no public ceremony of anointment,
no coronation of any sort. Power was simply assumed, as by sacred
But while the king was supreme authority in the realm, he was not
obliged - or even expected - to sully his hands with the mundane
business of governing. He was essentially a ritualised figure, a
priest-king, and his role was not necessarily to do anything, simply
to be. The king ruled in short, but did not govern.
Even after their conversion to Christianity the Merovingian rulers,
like the Patriarchs of the Old Testament, were polygamous. On
occasion they enjoyed harems of oriental proportions. Even when the
aristocracy, under pressure from the Church, became rigorously
monogamous, the monarchy remained exempt. And the Church, curiously
enough, seems to have accepted this prerogative without any
inordinate protest. According to one modern commentator: Why was it
[polygamy] tacitly approved by the Franks themselves?
We may here be in the presence of ancient usage of polygamy in a
royal family - a family of such rank that its blood could not be
ennobled by any match, however advantageous, nor degraded by the
blood of slaves ... It was a matter of indifference whether a queen
were taken from a royal dynasty or from among courtesans...
The fortune of the dynasty rested in its blood and was shared by all
who were of that blood.
’it is Just possible that, in the Merovingians, we may have a
dynasty of Germanic Heerkonige* derived from an ancient kingly
family of the migration period’.
Extracted and expanded upon by Henry Lincoln, from
’The Long Haired
J. M. Wallace-Hadrill; Fellow of Merton College Oxford.
* Fritz Kern, Gottesgnadentum und Widerstandrecht (1954).
The House of Vere are descended in various lines from the dynasty of
Meroveus and consequently share this Germanic Royal Blood Tradition.
Prince Milo de Vere - married to Charlemagne’s sister - and as Head
of the Imperial House and Chief of the Imperial Army, was himself an
The Descent of the ’Imperial and Royal’ House of Vere of Anjou
700 -2000 a.d.
Genealogiae Comitum Oxoniensium
Official de Vere family records
Repetit genus á Noe. Deinde á Tideo Graeco. Insuper á Vero nobilis
Romano Postremo á Milone comite de Genny, alias Gisney (GUISNES).
760+ AD Milo de Ver: Duke of Aungiers and Duke Leader of Great King
Charles house and army (son of Rainfroi: de Ver) - Milo married
Bertbelle, sister of Great King Charles Charlemagne.
800+ AD Rouland de Ver (son of Milo and Bertbelle): Held the titles
of the "Earl of Palatine", "Earl of Maunce and Bleuys", "Governor of
the Marches of Brittany" however, he was killed by warring Pagans at
Rumcidevale. 800+ AD Baldwine de Ver: became "Duke of Maunce" after
his brother Rouland’s death.
800+ AD Milo de Ver II (ii) (son of Milo [i]) Held title of the
"Earl of Genney or Gisney or GHISNES" given to him by Charlemagne,
he married Avelina the daughter to the "Earl of Nauntes" and they
had two sons, Nicasius and Milo(iii).
800+ AD Nicasius de Vere : married Agathe daughter to the "Earl of
Champaign" and gave issue to Otho "de Vere" who later became the
"Earl of Genney".
[ Nicasius de Ver Erle of Genney sonne to yong Milo
Erle of Genney.
This Nicasius had to wyfe Agathe the dowghtar of the
Erle of Champain.
Of Nicasius cam Otho de Vere Erle of Genney, maried to
Constance dowghtar to the Lord of Charters ]
Excerpt from Stow MSS, British Library, London
800+ AD Otho de Vere: married Constance daughter to the "Lord of the
Charters" and gave issue to Amelius de Ver.
Amelius("Aldolphus") de Vere: Earl of Genny (GHISNES or GUISNES)
married Helena daughter of Earl Bloys
Manasses de Vere: Earl of Genny married Petronilla daughter of the
Earl of Boleine.
Alphonsus (Alberic) I de Vere: Earl of Genney, Count of Ghesnes (Genny,
alias Gisney or GHISNES or GUISNES) married Katarine daughter to
Arnalde Earl of Flaunders. And was a "Counsellor (earl of the Witan)
to Edward the Confessor".
The Vere Earls of Guisnes
In the matter of the succession of Robert de Vere to the earldom of
Oxford in the reign of Charles I, the title was contested for by
Lord Willoughby de Eresby. Several Judges of the day were appointed
to guide the Lords in legal matters regarding this succession.
Leading them was the Lord Chief Justice of England, Sir Randolph
Crew. Robert de Vere won the case and the Crown vouchsafed the
earldom of Oxford to him.
The summing up speech delivered by the Lord Chief Justice before the
House of Peers (The House of Lords) was recorded as part of the
judicial process (Sir Bernard Burke) and its comments are therefore
part of English Law.
On Saturday 1st April 1626 Sir Randolph Crew addressed their
"This great and weighty cause, incomparable to any other that hath
happened at any time, requires great deliberation, and solid and
mature judgement to determine it, and I wish that all the judges of
England had heard it - it being a fit case for all - to the end we
all might have given our humble advice to your Lordships herein.
Here is represented to your Lordships certamen honoris, and, as I
may well say, illustris honoris, illustrious honour. I heard a great
peer of this realm, and a learned, say, when he lived there was no
king in Christendom had such a subject as Oxford.
He came in with the Conqueror, Earl of Guynes; shortly after the
Conquest, made Great Chamberlain of England above five hundred years
ago, by Henry I., the Conqueror’s son, brother to Rufus; by Maud,
the Empress, Earl of Oxford; confirmed and approved by Henry II., Alberico comiti, so Earl before.
This great honour, this high and noble dignity hath continued ever
since in the remarkable surname of De Vere, by so many ages,
descents and generations, as no other kingdom can produce such a
peer in one and the self-same name and title.................And yet
let the name and dignity of De Vere stand for so long as it pleaseth
That the Vere were Earls of Guisnes before 1066 is recognised by
With thanks to Miss C. Shelton; the House of Lords Archivist, for
the primary sources consulted.
1000+ Albery II de Vere: Earl of Genney wed - Beatrice Sister to
King William the Conqueror. Alberic went with the King to England.
He used the motto,"Albri Comes" which some say is "Albery of truth
cometh", de -of ; Ver- true. Albery is also Aubri, Albury, Alberic
(in Latin); Alphonsus (in Greek). He built "Hedingham Castle". At
the time of the general survey, Alberic de Ver was already noted as
a person of ancient and noble descent (Domesday Book). Leland,
stated or deduced that the pedigree of this family was from "Noah",
Meleager, who slew the Caledonian boar, and Diomedes, who was at the
seige of Troy. - N.B. Caesar and Charlemagne.
Alberic held a number of lordships in several countries in England
and particularly 14 in Essex; where Hedingham was his castle, chief
seat , and head of his barony. His wife was Beatrix, daughter of
Henry Castellan, of Baurbough but others say King William sister, by
Sibilla, daughter, and heir Manasses Count of Ghisnes (GUISNES); by
whom he had a daughter Rohesia, married, first, to Pagen Beauchamp;
and after; to Geffery de Mandeville, earl of Essex; and five sons,
Geffery, Roger, Robert an William.
This Alberic, styled Aberico senior, took the habit of a monk; and
was buried in the church of Colne priory, which he had founded.
Albericus, Junior, was successor to his father; and became so much
in favor with Henry I that the said King made him great "Chamberlain
of England", in fee;
"H Rex Anglrorum, &c. Sciatis universi quoniam dedi & concssi
Alberico de Ver & hereib, ’ suis post eum de me & meis tenend’ magistram camerarim ,eamtotius Anglie in feode & hereditate quare
volo & firmiter precipio quod ipse & heredes sui eam jure
hereditario teneant cim omnibus dignaitatibus & libertatib’& honorisicentitis ad eam pertinentibus, ita bene &libere & honorisice
sicat Robertus Malet vel aliquis alius ante vel pst cum inquam
melius & nonorisicntius tenuit, cum liberartionibus & hospiciis
curie mee que ad ministerium cameratieae pertinent" Test. &c.
........to hold the same, with all the liberties and privileges
thereto belonging, as fully and honourably, as Robert Malet (Robert
de Vere or Veer who had been banished and disinherited), had holden
that said office.
This Alberic was also justice of all England in that king’s reign,
but about the 5th of king Stephen, was killed in a popular turmult
at London; leaving by Adeline his wife, daughter of Gilbert de
Clare, or, according to Collins, in his Extinct Peerage, daughter to
Roger de Ivery, three sons; viz. Alberic,
n.n canon of St. Osyth, in Essex;
Robert lord of Twiwell, in the county of Narthampton; Geffery, who,
the 12th Henry II, certified his knight’s fee to be nine deveteri
seossamento and three de novo, and then resided in Shropshire; and
William; (constituted "chancellor of England", by Maud the empress),
and Juliana, Hugeot Bigot, earl of Northfolk. Alberic the third,
succeeded his father, and was so considerable a person, that Maud,
the empress, in order to engage him to her interest, confirmed to
him the office of great chamberlain, and all his father’s estates,
with diver other inheritances, likewise the earldom of Cambridge, if
the earldoms of Oxford, Berkshire, Wiltshire, or Doreseshire. all
which grants, Maud’s son, Henry II, confirmed, and constitutes him
Earl of Oxford, with the grant of the third penny of the pleas of
the county; a perquisite then belonging to the earls of this
kingdom. He died the 6th Richard I. having been twice married:
First, to Eusamia, daughter of Sir William de Cantilupe, by whom he
had no issue;
daughter (api ) to Lucia, daughter and heir of William de Abrincis
( by his wife, daughter and heir of William de Archis), by whom he
From ’The Itinerary’ of the Reverend John Leland 1503 - 1552.
Dictionary of National Biography.
See Source Profile.
Aubrey (Alberic or Oberon) III de Vere
Had several issue including:
Robert de Vere. The historical claimant to the earldom of Cambridge
and Huntingdon, heritor of the lands of FitzOoth or Hood. Robert, ’a
Templar’, was outlawed by King John and lost all his lands and
castles. Robert was the historical Robin Hood, Robin Goodfellow or
Puck, (see Shakespeare [Edward de Vere]: A Midsummer Night’s Dream,
commentary; Robin’s father Oberon or Alberic the Elf King descended
[ via Melusine ] from Morgan la Fey and Julius Caesar ).
Aubrey’s eldest surviving son:
Ralph de Vere.
Ralph de Vere, founder of the Veres of Scotland
The first Aubrey de Vere on record (in Britain) came to England with
William the Conqueror. ................ He is usually held to be a
Norman, though he may have been a Breton; he certainly had strong
Connections with Brittany. Before the Conquest he was described as
one of the barons of Conan, Count of Brittany, and after the Battle
of Hastings he or his son (a second Aubrey) was allotted lands in
Essex by the overlord there, who was Alan of Brittany, now called
Alan, Count of Richmond in Yorkshire.
Like all civil wars, the conflict between the Empress Maud and King
Stephen was a very troubling one. It was really a fight between
Normans and Flemings for the English throne; and since Stephen’s
wife was the Flemish Matilda, Countess of Boulogne, those Flemings
already in England naturally flocked to her side. For reasons best
known to himself Aubrey III de Vere sided with the Normans; he got
his reward when the Empress Maud created him Earl of Oxford.
It has been said, I think correctly, that before a man could be
given an earldom he had to have another honour.
Among those who supported Stephen and Matilda against the Normans
was Alan Earl of Richmond, and Aubrey III’s second son, named Ralf,
went against his father and fought for Stephen in the army of his
own overlord. The first officially recorded de Vere in Scotland was
a Radulfus (or Ralf) who was holding estates in Lanarkshire during
the reign of Alexander II. In 1160 Conan, Earl of Richmond, had
married Margaret, sister of the King of Scotland, and it seems
likely that this may have been the time when his follower, Ralf, was
awarded his lands there. We may note that when Aubrey III died, he
was succeeded as Earl of Oxford by his first son, Aubrey IV; but
when that son died childless the earldom passed to a third son,
missing out the second son, Ralf.
With thanks to Mrs Beryl Platts, author of ’The Scottish Hazard’.
of Scots Family’
The Scottish descent of the Senior line of the Vere of Oxford.
The Scottish name Weir is derived from the Norman-French de Vere.....
Alberic de Vere... accompanied the Conqueror. Ralph or Radalphus de
Ver was the first of the name on record in Scotland. As Ralph de Ver
he was taken prisoner at Ainwick in July 1174. As Radulphus de Weir,
he witnessed a Charter of King William, between 1174 and 1184. and
as Radulph de Veir he gave a bovate of land in Sprowston, Roxburgh,
to Kelso Abbey. As Radalphus de Vere he witnessed another Charter by
King William to the Abbey of Lindores. He also witnessed another
undated Charter of King William’s to William de Hala, Herd (Errol.)
The same, or perhaps a succeeding Radulph de Ver, or de Uer
witnessed about 1204 a grant to the Abbey of Arbroath, and before
1214 another Charter by William the Lion. The Weirs of Lanarkshire
claimed to be descended from this Radulph.
...................Richard Wer, Lanark, rendered homage to Edward I
in 1296. Between 1398 and 1400 Rothald de Were, Baille of Lesmahagow,
had a Charter from Patrick, Abbot of Kelso, of the lands of
Blackwood, Mossiygning and. Durgundreston. and in 1497 Abbot Robert
granted Rogerhill and Brownhill to Robert Weyr for services
The English ’Weirs’ (however) are descended from a progenitor who
dwelt at a weir or fishing dam.
The Scottish Weir crest is (was in 1700’s) a demi-horse in armour
proper, bridled and saddled
gules. The motto is Nihil Verius.
From Dr. George Black.
The senior descent of the Scottish Branch of Vere
of Oxford continued
Source - ’The Surnames of Scotland’, New York Public Library
Primary sources in italic.
WEIR............As Ralph de Vere he was taken prisoner at Alnwick
along with William the Lion in 1174 (Bain, I, p. 174).He witnessed a
charter by King William ’de decimis episcopatus’ of Moray between
1174-84 (REM., 2), and as Radulph de Veir or Veyre, within the same
period, he gave a bovate of land in Sprowestun, Roxburgh, to the
Abbey of Kelso, his brother Robert being one of the witnesses
(Kelso, p. 177). The same or perhaps a succeeding Radulph de Ver or
de Uer witnessed a little before 1204 a grant to the Abbey of
Arbroath (RAA., I, 11) and before 1214 another charter by King
William (Panmure II, 126)
Tartan: Weir (also Hope-Vere)
Motto: Vero Nihil Verius (Latin: Nothing Truer than Truth)
......Ralph de Ver, from whom the Weirs of Blackwood, Lanarkshire,
claim descent, was captured, with King William I (the Lion), in 1174
whilst besieging the castle of Alnwick in Northumberland. Others of
the name held land in Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire, in the fifteenth
Major Thomas Weir (1599 - 1670) born at Kirkton House, Carluke, was
burned at the stake in Edinburgh for .....witchcraft. His sister was
hanged the next day for her part in some of his activities.
’Scotland and her Tartans’ Alexander Fulton.
(Major Thomas Weir was the grandson of William of Stonebyres and
Elizabeth Hamilton. His father Thomas married the witch, Lady Jane
Somerville. Major Weir was posted to Ulster in 1641 and, by family
tradition, had some connection with the Tyrone descent. For
Somerville see below).
’Of The Fesse’ Chapter X. From the Archives of:
The Lyon King of Arms of Scotland.
The Scottish Clan and Family Encyclopedia
’(The Armigerous Clans and Families of Scotland)’
Arms (of Blackwood LR 4/94)1
Argent, on a fess Azure, three mollets of the first
Upon a chapeau Gules furred Ermine
a boar standant Azure armed Or.
’Vero Nihil Verius’
(Nothing Truer than)
1. Lyon Roll of Arms.
Ralph de Ver was captured along with William the Lion at Alnwick in
Northumberland in 1174. He witnessed a charter of his king of lands
in the bishopric of Moray sometime between 1174 and 1184. He also
donated land to the Abbey of Kelso, and his brother Robert was a
witness. The Weirs of Blackwood in Lanarkshire, who were to become
the principal family, claim descent from Ralph de Vere.
(The claim is upheld in the Lyon Rolls as evidenced above).
Senior descent of the Veres of Scotland and Eire
’Baltredus’ (Ralph/Ralfredus) de Vere
Who opposed his father in the Flemish war, was disinherited and fled
to Scotland with his Liege Lord Conan of Brittany in approx 1165.
Conan married the sister of the king and Ralph was given his lands
in Lanark. He was a witness to a charter of King William, The Lion
of Scotland 1165 - 1214. Ralph and William were captured after
beseiging the Castle of Alnwick in Northumbria in 1174.
Had a son:
Walter Rory de Vere
Who had a son:
Ralph (Rudolphus) de Vere
Confirmed his father’s donation to Kelso Monastery. Died at the end
of the reign of
Alexander II of Scotland 1214 - 1249
Had a son:
Thomas de Vere
Living in 1266. Witness to a charter of a donation to Kelso
Monastery by Hemicus St Clan.
Had a son:
Richardus de Vere (de Were)
Living approx 1294. Laird (Lord or Baron) of Blackwood. Lanarkshire.
Mentioned in a donation to Kelso Monastery
Had a son:
Thomas de Were (de Vere) of Blackwood
Proprietor of the lands and Barony of Blackwood, Lanarkshire. Died
in the reign of David the Bruce; David II of Scotland 1329 - 1371
Had a son:
Brian (Buan) Were of Blackwood
Living around 1386. His 6th cousin, Robert De Vere IXth earl of
Oxford, Lord of Hedingham, was Marquess of Dublin and Duke and Vice
Regent of Ireland. Robert was effectively the Sovereign of Ireland
during his lifetime and was permitted by King Richard to mint coins
with his own likeness. Brian died in the beginning of the reign of
King Robert III of Scotland 1390-1406
Had a son:
Rotaldus Were of Blackwood
Received a charter from Patrick, Abbot of Kelso Monastery; dated
1404. He was Baillie of Lesmahagow from 1398 - 1400. Died in the
reign of King James II of Scotland 1437 -1460 Had a son:
Thomas Were (de Vere) of Blackwood
Had a son:
Robert Veyr of Blackwood
Died soon after receiving a charter of confirmation from Robert, the
Abbot of the Monastery of Kelso dated 1474.
Had a son:
Thomas Weir of Vere of Blackwood
Married Aegidia, daughter of John, 3rd Lord Somerville (of the
Dragon) in 1483. Acquired vast holdings of land and was patron of
St. Mary’s Church in Lesmahagow. Died in the beginning of the reign
of Queen Mary of Scots in 1542.
Had a son:
James Weir of Vere, Lord of Blackwood
Married Euphemia Hamilton, sister of the Duke of Chatelherault,
Marquess of Hamilton. The Hamiltons were the Heirs Presumptive to
the Throne of Scotland during this period. James lived to a great
age. He died in 1595. Had sons:
1. James Weir
Married Marriotte Ramsay, daughter of George, Lord Dalhousie, an
ancestor of the Hope-Veres of Craig Hall. George Ramsay was created
Earl of Melrose in 1618 and changed this to the earldom of Dalhousie
in 1619. The 9th earl was Governor of Canada, Nova Scotia and New
Brunswick. His son was Governor General of India.
They had issue:
George Weir who married Margaret Vere of Stonebyres with whom he
had one daughter.
Marriotte Weir who married =
1. Major James Bannatyne (a sept of the
Stewarts of Bute).
2. William Lowry by whom she had a Son George who became
Sir George Weir Bt. (descent to Hope-Vere of Blackwood).
The Hope-Veres died out in 1974.
b) Robert Weir of Craighead sold or assigned his estate in 1610 and
moved to Monaghan House in Co.Fermanagh, now renamed Hallcraig
House. Robert married the sister of the alchemist Sir David Lindsay.
From Robert various branches descend.
Robert had sons, the eldest surviving son was:
Alexander who married Anne, Daughter of Sir John Dunbar (Graham
descent) of Derrygonnelly, Co. Fermanagh.
Their eldest son:
Alexander married Sarah, daughter of Captain Goodwin and secondly,
Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Paul Gore Bt.
Their eldest son:
Robert Weir of Hallcraig married Anne, daughter of Captain Carleton
of Tullymargy Castle.
They had a son Captain Alexander Weir of Hallcraig
(from whom the senior branch of the House of Vere descends to
Nicholas de Vere’s ducal kinsman - The Mac An Mhaoir - who is of
matrilinear Stoughton-Collison descent)
and a daughter from whence Captain Noble Weir of Hallcraig who
married Catharine Graham (descent from the Grahams of Scotland 1600)
and had issue:
(’Burke’s Irish Landed Gentry’ 1891-1915; ’Burke’s Landed gentry’
1974; ’Burke’s Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage’ 1957; Burke’s
Dormant and Extinct Peerages).
Vere of Tyrone
Robert, who by Rachael Stewart had their eldest son,
Robert Weir of Desertcreat, Tyrone who married Sarah Graham,
and by her had their eldest son:
John who moved back to Scotland where he married Mary Logan of Logan
in Galloway. The Logan families have held their lands in the
Stranraer Peninsula since the 1100’s, whilst others of that name
held Restalrig. Two Logan Knights, Sir Walter and Sir Robert Logan,
were killed in Spain whilst taking the heart of Robert the Bruce to
the Holy Land for burial with Sir James Douglas.
Their eldest son:
Thomas Logan Weir married a Gael, Anne Grant Macdonnell of
Inverness. They had male issue, the eldest of which died without
The second eldest and surviving son:
James Weir of Vere of Lewes who married Natalie Hopgood, daughter of
George Collison Hopgood, Esquire and Julia Harding of Godalming,
grand daughter of Captain George Butcher of the 11th Light Dragoons,
of Windsor Castle and Osbourne House; Tapetiere to Queen Victoria.
They had an only son:
Nicholas Thomas Logan Weir of Vere (Nicholas de Vere)
The relationship between the Head of the House of Vere and Nicholas
de Vere; who is Head of the Tyrone Branch, is 3rd and 6th cousins.
Found in only 3% and 6% of the clinical samples tested, both share
two sets of rare genes each and Nicholas de Vere has an extra set of
these genes from the matrilinear descent which supports the Collison
descent from Norfolk in his own line and echoes the selective and
exclusive royal and noble marital alliances which have continued
throughout the history of the House of Vere.
Parish Records for Ulster 1820 - 1845, United Kingdom Government
Registers for Births, Marriages and Deaths 1845-1997.
The House of Vere are latterly of Flemish extraction and the former
senior, Scottish Branch; Hope-Vere of Blackwood, traditionally
observed the Flemish law of Noblesse Uterine, and matrilinear and
family inheritance in accordance with Scottish Law, which
historically supports blood descent.
The Titles of Princeps Draconis and Prince de Vere, currently held
by Nicholas de Vere, are acknowledged by the British Government’s
Department of Internal Affairs: ’The Home Office’ and are registered
with them as ’Official Observations’. The House of Vere in the
senior line acknowledges these titles accordingly.
Nicholas de Vere, though recognising both, does not claim to be
either a member of the historical British royal bloodline or of its
peerage in any sense: and does not claim any status or rank
suggestive of such or appertaining thereunto. The Vere princedoms
are not modern, socially derived titles; either assumed or bestowed,
for or by, political expediency.
The princedom of Vere is a genetic quality carried in the historical
blood royal. Established in Angiers as a Royal House arising from
sacral-regal origins rooted in antiquity, The House of Vere is
recorded in a single name and in an unbroken line for over 1300
years, and consequently is one of the oldest surviving royal houses
’Histories of England’ - Baron Thomas Babington Macaulay, Lord
Macaulay of Rothley Temple, (1800 - 1859). Politician and historian.
Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge he became one of the
acknowledged intellectual pundits of his age. He entered the Supreme
Council for India in 1834 where his famous ’Minutes on Law and
Education’ had a decisive influence on the development of the
sub-continent. He was Secretary-At-War 1839-41 and went on to write
his acclaimed, best-selling ’Histories of England’ between
"He used a wide range of manuscript sources with great skill, and
modern historians neglect his reconstruction of events at their
peril", Margaret Drabble CBE, Morley College.
’The Dictionary of National Biography’ - designed and published by
George Smith (1824-1901) The Dictionary was first published in 1882
with Sir Leslie Stephen
(1832-1904) as editor. The DNB in its original form included
biographies of all the national notabilities from the earliest time
to 1900. The work has been continued by the publishing of decennial
supplements. Stephen was succeeded as editor by Sir Sydney Lee and
their names appear jointly on the title pages of volumes XXII to
XXVI (1890). In 1917 the Dictionary was transferred to Oxford
’Myths of the Middle Ages’ - Reverend Father Sabine Baring Gould,
Lord of Lew Trenchard, Devon, (1834-1924). Baring-Gould travelled
the Continent extensively and was educated at Clare College,
Cambridge. An Antiquarian and folklorist, Baring-Gould; a prolific
writer, was the author of numerous works including ’Mehalah’, which Swinburne compared to
’Burke’s Peerage’ - properly ’A Genealogical and Heraldic history of
the Peerage and Baronetage of the United Kingdom’ 1826 -1947, first
compiled by John Burke in 1826 and published anually after 1947.
’The Itinerary’ - Reverend John Leland, (1503-1552). "The earliest
of modern antiquaries" Leland was educated at St. Paul’s School and
Christ’s College, Cambridge. He studied in Paris, took holy orders
and by 1530 was involved with the Royal Libraries. From 1533 he
appears to have received a commission to search the monastic and
collegiate libraries for old authors. He made a tour through England
between 1535 and 1543 intending his researches to be the basis of an
opus magna on the ’Histories and Antiquities of the Nation’. His
notes were first published at Oxford University by the historian
Thomas Hearne (1678-1735) as ’The Itinerary’ in nine volumes in
1710-12. Lucy Toulmin Smith produced an edition of ’The Itinerary’
in 1906-10 in which she noted that the descent of Vere was included
as an extract from Folio 42 of the original work which was preserved
in Stow’s original collection.
’Stow MSS’ - John Stow (1525-1605). A collection of manuscripts
first collated in 1564. Stow transcribed manuscripts and was the
first person to compose historical works based on a systematic study
of Public Records. He assisted Parker with editing historical texts
and his chief publications were ’The workes of Geoffrey Chaucer’
(1561); ’Summary of English Chronicles’ (1565); ’The Chronicles of
England’ (1580) and a ’Survey of London’. An edition of the
collection was published by Strype in 1720 and the fullest edition
of the original work was C.L. Kingsford’s, which was published in
’Complete peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and
the United Kingdom, extant, extinct or dormant’ - George Edward Cokayne MA, born in Russell Square, London in 1825; the son of Dr.
William Adams LLD and The Hon. Mary Anne Cokayne, neice and
co-heiress of Borlase, 6th Viscount Cullen. Complying with his
mother’s wishes Cokayne changed his name by royal license on 15th
Cokayne was educated at Exeter College, Oxford. Barrister; Lincoln’s
Inn (1853); Rouge Dragon Pursuivant-of-Arms (1859-1870), Lancaster
Herald (1870-1882); Norroy King-of-Arms (1882-1894) Clarenceux King
of Arms from 1894. His ’Complete Peerage of the United Kingdom...’
in 8 volumes was compiled between 1887-98 and published by George
Bell. Holding Library: Trinity College Dublin.
’Royal Genealogies’ or ’The genealogical tables of emperors, kings
and princes from Adam to these times’ by Dr. James Anderson DD.,
MA., (1680-1739). Anderson was born in Aberdeen where he was also
later educated and took his degrees. He was appointed Presbyterian
Minister for Swallow Street and Lisle Street, Leicester Fields in
London between 1710 and 1734.
Described as "a learned man" Anderson; who was a Freemason, was
assigned the task, in 1721, of compiling an authoritative digest of
the ’Constitutions’ of the fraternity (see: Entick’s edition of
1747; page 194 et seq). As Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge in London
he presented his work to the Order in 1723. It has appeared in
numerous subequent editions and has been long recognised by English
Freemasons as the standard code on its subject.
Editions were translated into German and also appeared in America in
1855, as facsimiles of the earlier English Version. The work by
which Anderson is chiefly remembered; ’The Royal Genealogies’, was
first published in 2 volumes in London in 1732. Anderson based this
work on the earlier ’Genealogische Tabellen’ of Johann Hubner. See
The relatively later tables of the ’Genealogies’ were considered by
Sir Stephen Leslie (Dictionary of National Biography) "to be of use
(i.e. a valid historical source work) in relation to the genealogies
of continental dynasties and houses", (Re: Vere). ’Royal
Genealogies’: Holding Library; Cambridge University.
Genealogische Tabellen’ - Johann Hubner. Properly: ’Der
Genealogische Tabellen zur erlauterung der politische historie vom
anfange biss auf diesen tag continuiret’, published in one volume,
Leipzig 1719. Holding library: Glasgow.
’The Collections’ - Sir James Dalrymple. ’Collections concerning the
Scottish history, preceeding the death of King David the First, in
the year 1153. Wherein the soveraignity of the crown and
independency of the church are cleared; and account given of the
antiquity and purity of the Scottish-British church, and the novelty
of popery in this kingdom. With an appendix containing the copies of
charters of foundation of some churches; with genealogical accounts
of the donors and witnesses’. First Published in Edinburgh in 1705
by the heirs and successors of Andrew Anderson sold by John Vallange
and Mrs. Ogstoun ..., LXXXVI, , 432,  p. (8o) Holding
’The surnames of Scotland, their origin, meaning, and history’ : by
Dr. George Fraser Black. Published in New York in 1946 : The New
York Public Library. Holding Libraries: Cambridge ; Edinburgh ;
Leeds ; Liverpool ; Nottingham ; SAS ; Sheffield
Family Archives of the House of Vere of Fermanagh and Clare.
Colne Priory MSS, Kelso Abbey MSS, Paisley Abbey MSS, Arbroath Abbey
Charter ’De Decimus Episcopatus’, Moray.
’The Plantagenet Chronicles’ Thomas de Loche (1130) and Jean de
Sir Randolph Crew’s summary - House of Lords Archives.
Roll of Arms of the Lord Lyon King of Arms of Scotland (a Government
Office), Lyon Court, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Arden, St. George and Glover Rolls of Arms, ref: College of Arms (a
Government Office), London, England.
Parish Records and Census Returns for County Tyrone - Public Records
Office, Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Parish Records and Census Returns for Wigtonshire - Scottish Records
Office, New Register House, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Registry for Births, Marriages and Deaths for Cumbria, Kent, East
Sussex, Hertfordshire and West Sussex - St. Catharine’s House
Records, Preston, Lancashire, England.
Home Office Policy Review Committee, Whitehall, London, England.