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’ antiquity.

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 seen".

Vero Nihil Verius (nothing truer than truth) is the family motto granted by Queen Elizabeth I. The family crest was already the Blue Boar.

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 (1857).

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"

(Extract from ’Vicissitudes of Families’, page 424 line 12 and page 426 para 2 line 12)


G. E. Cokaynes Complete Peerage Volume X

Page 208


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. (g) 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.




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 Priory.................



..........................which are witnessed both by Robert and by his brother Ralph, his name precedes Robert’s (Idem, nos. 36, 41, 85).

(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.



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 DRAGON.

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’ was situated.

See Source Profile.


Vere Princedom

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 quite unique.

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 right.

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.

And again,

’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 Kings’

by 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 Imperial Prince.




The Descent of the ’Imperial and Royal’ House of Vere of Anjou

700 -2000 a.d.

Ex libello 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

  • His son:

    • Gallus/Guillaume (Guy Blanc Barbe) de Vere: Earl of Genny (GHISNES - GUISNES) married Gerbrudis daughter to the Lord Cleremont. (Gallus - Guillaume went with Aubri and the King to England). Descent to Godfroi de Bouillon and the Counts of Boulogne.

  • Manasses de Vere: Earl of Genny married Petronilla daughter of the Earl of Boleine.

  • Their son:

    • 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 Lordships saying:

"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 God"

That the Vere were Earls of Guisnes before 1066 is recognised by British law.

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;

Patent extracts:

"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.

  • 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;

    secondly: daughter (api ) to Lucia, daughter and heir of William de Abrincis
    ( by his wife, daughter and heir of William de Archis), by whom he had sons.

    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’.



Descent 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 rendered..........................................

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 Edition.

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 century.

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)

Argent, on a fess Azure, three mollets of the first


(As Oxford)

Upon a chapeau Gules furred Ermine

a boar standant Azure armed Or.


(As Oxford)

’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:

a)   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 heirs.

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 in Europe.


Source Profiles

  • ’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 1849-1855.

    "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 University.

  • ’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 ’Wuthering Heights’.

  • ’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 1908.

  • ’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 August 1873.

    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 below.

    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 ...[8], LXXXVI, [4], 432, [4] p. (8o) Holding Library: Durham

  • ’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



Primary Sources

  • Family Archives of the House of Vere of Fermanagh and Clare.

  • Colne Priory MSS, Kelso Abbey MSS, Paisley Abbey MSS, Arbroath Abbey MSS.

  • Charter ’De Decimus Episcopatus’, Moray.

  • ’The Plantagenet Chronicles’ Thomas de Loche (1130) and Jean de Mortimer (1164-1173).

  • 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.