|Edward de Vere was born on July 21, 1548 in Cheshunt, England. His mother
was Princess Elizabeth Tudor and his father was Sir Thomas Seymour.
“In King Edward's time, I was brought from my house blindfold. And so I was
returned. I saw nothing in the house while I was there, but candlelight. It was a
very fair young lady. There was a bruit of a child born and miserably
destroyed, but could not be discovered whose it was. There was muttering of
the Admiral, Lord Thomas Seymour, and this lady, who was then between
fifteen and sixteen years of age. If it were so, it was the judgment of God upon
the Admiral; and upon her, to make her ever after incapable of children.”
F.C. Chamberlin, The Private Character of Queen Elizabeth, pg. 13: From
Life of Jane Dormer, Duchess of Feria (ascribed to Henry Clifford, a
member of her household), London, 1887, p. 86.
Oxford was then secretly placed in the home of John de Vere, 16th Earl of
Oxford. John de Vere married Margery Golding, sister of William Golding,
on August 1, 1548 to provide parents and a home for the changeling infant. He
carried the name and title of his putative father, John de Vere. Golding was a
retainer in the service of William Cecil, eventually Elizabeth's most powerful
When his putative father was murdered by Robert Dudley and William Cecil,
Oxford went to live in William Cecil's home in London as a ward of the Queen.
Oxford is known to have travelled to Italy in 1575 to visit Venice, Verona,
Padua and Sicily. The description of the island in The Tempest matches that of
the island, Volcano, off the NW coast of Sicily. (See Shakespeare's Guide to
Italy for details of his tour.)
His first works were Ovid's Metamorphoses and Romeus and Juliet. His last
works, when exiled in 1604 to the Isle of Mersea near Colchester, were
Shake-speares Sonnets, The Tempest and the King James Bible.