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Sir Francis Vere and Horace Vere

Sir Francis Vere (1560-1609) and his brother Horace (1565-1635) are buried in the chapel of St John the Evangelist in Westminster Abbey.

Francis has a large monument of alabaster and black marble showing him lying on a carved rush mattress in civilian dress under a slab on which is laid out his suit of armour. The slab is supported on the shoulders of four life-sized knights in armour who kneel at each corner. The monument seems to have been inspired by that of Count Engelbert II of Nassau-Dillenburg in the church at Breda. It has been attributed to the sculptor Maximilian Colt or Isaac James.

The Latin inscription can be translated:

To Francis Vere, Knight, son of Geoffrey and nephew of John earl of Oxford, governor of Brill and Portsmouth, chief leader of the English forces in Belgium, died 28 August 1609, in the 54th year of his age. Elizabeth, his wife, in great sadness and sobbing with tears, placed this supreme monument to conjugal faith and love.

His age, according to the inscription, is not the same as given in books. Geoffrey (a brother of John de Vere, 16th Earl of Oxford) had four sons, John, Francis, Robert and Horace, by Elizabeth Hardkyn of Essex. Francis was one of the greatest soldiers serving under Elizabeth I and distinguished himself at the Battle of Nieuport (1600) and during the defence of Ostend against the Spanish. He married Elizabeth, daughter of John Dent of London.

Horace Vere

Horace was created Baron Vere of Tilbury for his excellent military services to the country. He married in 1607 Mary, daughter of Sir William Tracy, and had five daughters but no male heir so the title became extinct. Horace has no memorial in the Abbey.

Further reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004 for Sir Francis and Horace

"The Fighting Veres" by Sir Clements Markham, 1888

"The Complete Peerage" for the Earls of Oxford

Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery

History of Parliament online

Died

18th August 1609

Field

Soldier

Location

St John the Evangelist

Memorial Type

Tomb

Material Type

Marble; alabaster

Sir Francis Vere and Horace Vere
Sir Frances Vere tomb

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2019 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

Sir Francis Vere and Horace Vere
Sir Francis Vere monument

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2019 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

Sir Francis Vere and Horace Vere
Sir Frances Vere monument

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2019 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

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