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Hugh de Vere, Earl of Oxford

On the wall of the north aisle of the nave of Westminster Abbey there is a painted shield for Hugh de Vere, 4th Earl of Oxford. Only the inscription "VERE;OXON" can now be made out. The arms are "quarterly gules and or, with a molet argent in the first quarter".The earlier carved shields in the choir aisles and the later painted ones in the nave are traditionally those of individuals or families who were benefactors to the building of Henry III's Gothic Abbey (from 1245-1272). Although the Abbey nave is much later in date than the east end the builders continued the theme of 13th century coats of arms there.

He was Hereditary Master Chamberlain of England and was knighted in 1233. As well as the Abbey he was a benefactor to various other religious institutions. His wife was Hawise de Quincy and he died in 1263, being buried at Earls Colne.

Further information on Hugh

The Complete Peerage


Philanthropist; statesman



Hugh de Vere, Earl of Oxford
Hugh de Vere, Earl of Oxford shield

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2018 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

I’ve worked here for over thirty years and have seen many of the major services - it’s strange to realise that you are in a small way part of history.


Pamela - Rector's Secretary

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