Jan 23, 1359 – Sir John de VERE, 7th Earl of Oxford died at the Siege of Rheims. His body was brought back to England and buried atColne Abbey, Oxford, England. He was a great warrior. The 7th Earl of Oxford and 8th Great Chamberlain, became one of the most famous fighting Earls of Oxford, renowned for his bravery, gallantry and chivalry as one of Edward III's greatest generals, serving in Scotland, France, Flanders, Brittany and Gascony.
He had an active role in the wars of Edward III fighting in the Scottish campaigns of 1333 and 1335 in support of Edward Baliol. In July 1333, he was one of the guarantors of King Edward's (Edward III) terms at the surrender of Berwick, and he served again in Scotland in 1335. In November of 1339 he put to sea with three great ships in the service of the king. In March of 1340 he went overseas with the Earl of Warwick to the campaign in Flanders. In 1342, he served in Brittany and his personal retinue consisted of 40 men-at-arms (himself, 1 knight banneret, 9 knights, and 20 esquires) and 30 mounted archers.
In the fall of 1345 he was in joint command with the Earl of Northampton in the 2nd campaign in Brittany where on 30 September they defeated a much larger force under Charles of Blois. He sailed with the king on his campaign to France in July of 1346 and was one of the commanders of the first division at Crecy on August 26, 1346 with a contingent of 160 men including three bannerets and 27 knights. He also took part in the siege of Calais.
I October 1355 he returned to France joining the Black Prince in his famous raid into the Languedoc. He shared the command of the first division at Poitiers with the Earl of Warwick where he organized a crucial maneuver that saved the English archers from being downtrodden by the enemy's cavalry:
"Yet all courage had been thrown away to no purpose, had it not been seconded by the extraordinary Gallantry of the English Archers, under the Earl of Oxford, who behaved themselves that day with wonderful Constancy, Alacrity and Resolution."
He was killed during the siege of Rheims on 24th Jan 1360 during the British invasion of Burgundy. His corpse was brought back to England and interred in the family crypts at Colne Priory.
John's will, dated 1st Nov 1359, contained bequests to Colne Church and to the chapel (called the New Abbey) at Hedingham. He left instructions to his executors to pay out 400 marks sterling that had been accumulated by his ancestors in aid of the Holy Land.
John had married, in 1336, Maud de Badlesmere (b.1310), widow of Robert Fitzpayne, second sister and coheir of Giles (d.1338), Lord Badlesmere of Badlesmere in Kent. Following his marriage the title of Lord Badlesmere was added to the honorific titles used by all later Earls of Oxford. His son Thomas succeeded him.
Below are the ams of the Earls of Oxford and Hedingham Castle in Essex, the seat of the Earls of Oxford.