John de Vere
|Earl of Oxford|
|Died||3 August 1562 (aged 45–46)|
Oxford, Oxfordshire, England
|Buried||Castle Hedingham, Essex|
|Noble family||De Vere|
|Issue||Katherine, Baroness Windsor|
Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford
Mary de Vere
|Father||John de Vere, 15th Earl of Oxford|
John de Vere, 16th Earl of Oxford (1516 – 3 August 1562) was born to John de Vere, 15th Earl of Oxford and Elizabeth Trussell, daughter of Edward Trussell. He was styled Lord Bolebec 1526 to 1540 before he succeeded to his father's title.
While never of consequence in the Tudor court,  the 16th Earl's support for Queen Mary was instrumental in her accession to the throne in 1553,  though he was given no preferment by her.  During her reign he was active as the principal magnate in Essex.  Under Mary, Essex men and women suspected of heresy against Catholicism were brought before Oxford to be charged, and thence conveyed to the Bishop of London for examination. Of his prisoners, at least sixteen were condemned and burnt, beginning with his former servant, Thomas Hawkes,  who was burnt at Coggeshall on 10 June 1555.  He was followed by Nicholas Chamberlain, William Bamford, and Thomas Ormond.   On 28 April 1556, another six men charged by the earl were burnt at Colchester.  A seventh, John Routh, was executed on 27 June.  Five more prisoners indentured by the earl that year  were released, but continued obstinate in their refusal of Catholic practices, and were re-arrested, condemned, and burnt at Colchester on 2 August 1557: William Bongeour, Helen Ewring, William Munt, his wife Alice Munt, and her daughter, Rose Allen. 
He married first Dorothy Neville, daughter of Ralph Neville, 4th Earl of Westmorland in Holywell, Shoreditch, London on 3 July 1536, and second Dorothy fled the marriage in about January 1546, citing "'the vnkynde [unkind] dealing of the earl'". In May of that year, de Vere bigamously married one of his mistresses, Joan Jockey of Earls Colne, at White Colne Church. Five men (including a knight and a lord) broke into Oxford's home while he was away and either cut Jockey's nose clean off or cut the "skin at the base of the nostrils into flaps to give her a permanently grotesque appearance", a traditional punishment for "unsocial behaviour". Though Joan Jockey survived the attack, the Earl definitively 'put her away'". In 1585, when attesting to the legitimacy of Oxford's marriage to Margery Golding, members of his household reported that "'all theise women were shaken off by the same Earle ... before the said lady Dorothie dyed'" on "about 6 January 1548, at a parsonage located a half mile from distant Salisbury.", third, Margery Golding in Belchamp St Paul on 1 August 1548.  Dorothy Neville (died c. 6 January 1548),  His two marriages produced three children. With his first wife, Dorothy, he had Katherine de Vere, who married Edward Windsor, 3rd Baron Windsor. With Margery, he had a son, Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, and a daughter, Mary de Vere. Margery died on 2 December 1568. After his death in Oxford, he was buried in Castle Hedingham, Essex, on 31 August 1562.
The Earl was known as a sportsman, and like several noblemen of his day, he retained a company of actors. The troupe, known as Oxford's Men, was retained by the Earl from 1547 until his death in 1562.   His circle included the scholar and diplomat Sir Thomas Smith and his brothers-in-law, the poets Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey and Edmund Sheffield, 1st Baron Sheffield, and the translator Arthur Golding. 
John Foxe, an English historian and martyrologist, was the author of Actes and Monuments, telling of Christian martyrs throughout Western history, but particularly the sufferings of English Protestants and proto-Protestants from the 14th century and in the reign of Mary I. The book was widely owned and read by English Puritans and helped to mould British opinion on the Catholic Church for several centuries.
Rowland Taylor was an English Protestant martyr during the Marian Persecutions.
Castle Hedingham is a village in northern Essex, England, located four miles west of Halstead and 3 miles southeast of Great Yeldham in the Colne Valley on the ancient road from Colchester, Essex, to Cambridge.
John Day was an English Protestant printer. He specialised in printing and distributing Protestant literature and pamphlets, and produced many small-format religious books, such as ABCs, sermons, and translations of psalms. He found fame, however, as the publisher of John Foxe's Actes and Monuments, also known as the Book of Martyrs, the largest and most technologically accomplished book printed in sixteenth-century England.
Sir Clement Higham, or Heigham, of Barrow, Suffolk, was an English lawyer and politician, a Speaker of the House of Commons in 1554, and Chief Baron of the Exchequer in 1558–1559. A loyal Roman Catholic, he held various offices and commissions under Queen Mary, and was knighted in 1555 by King Philip, but withdrew from politics after the succession of Queen Elizabeth I in 1558.
John de Vere, 12th Earl of Oxford, was the son of Richard de Vere, 11th Earl of Oxford, and his second wife, Alice Sergeaux (1386–1452). A Lancastrian loyalist during the latter part of his life, he was convicted of high treason and executed on Tower Hill on 26 February 1462.
John de Vere, 15th Earl of Oxford, Lord Great Chamberlain KGPC was an English peer and courtier.
Elizabeth de Vere, Countess of Oxford was an English noblewoman. As a young child she became a royal ward.
Richard Day was an English printer, Church of England clergyman, and the son of printer John Day.
George Marsh was an English Protestant martyr who died in Boughton, Chester, on 24 April 1555 as a result of the Marian Persecutions carried out against Protestant Reformers and other dissenters during the reign of Mary I of England. His death is recorded in Foxe's Book of Martyrs.
Henry Cole was an English Roman Catholic churchman and academic.
Rowland Meyrick (Merrick) (1505–1566) was a Welsh bishop of Bangor.
John Cottisford was an English churchman and academic, Rector of Lincoln College, Oxford, from 1518.
Sir George Blagge was an English courtier, politician, soldier and a minor poet. He was the Member of Parliament for Bedford from 1545 to 1547, and Westminster from 1547 to 1551, during the reign of Edward VI. His trial and condemnation for heresy in 1546 earned him a place in Protestant martyrology. His family surname was frequently rendered Blage by contemporaries, while another variant was Blake.
Mary de Vere was a 16th-century English noblewoman who lived a life of extraordinary wealth and privilege. The daughter of John de Vere, 16th Earl of Oxford, and his second wife Margery Golding, she married Peregrine Bertie, 13th Baron Willoughby de Eresby. The couple lived with their six children in Grimsthorpe Castle in Lincolnshire. Following Bertie's death, Lady Willoughby married Sir Eustace Hart. She died on about 24 June 1624.
The Actes and Monuments, popularly known as Foxe's Book of Martyrs, is a work of Protestant history and martyrology by Protestant English historian John Foxe, first published in 1563 by John Day. It includes a polemical account of the sufferings of Protestants under the Catholic Church, with particular emphasis on England and Scotland. The book was highly influential in those countries and helped shape lasting popular notions of Catholicism there. The book went through four editions in Foxe's lifetime and a number of later editions and abridgements, including some that specifically reduced the text to a Book of Martyrs.
Margery Golding, Countess of Oxford was the second wife of John de Vere, 16th Earl of Oxford, the mother of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, and the half-sister of Arthur Golding, the English translator.
Dorothy Kitson later, Dorothy, Lady Pakington, was the daughter of Sir Thomas Kitson, a wealthy London merchant and the builder of Hengrave Hall in Suffolk. Her first husband was Sir Thomas Pakington, by whom she was the mother of Queen Elizabeth I's favourite, Sir John "Lusty" Pakington. After Sir Thomas Pakington's death she married Thomas Tasburgh. She was one of the few women in Tudor England to nominate burgesses to Parliament and to make her last will while her husband, Thomas Tasburgh, was still living. Her three nieces are referred to in the poems of Edmund Spenser.
Robert Pakington was a London merchant and Member of Parliament. He was murdered with a handgun in London in 1536, likely the first such killing in the city. His murder was later interpreted as martyrdom, and recounted in John Foxe's Acts and Monuments. He was the grandfather of Queen Elizabeth I's favourite, Sir John "Lusty" Pakington.