Robert FitzSuein of Essex
Gunnor Bigod
Henry of Essex, Lord of Rayleigh and Haughley
Agnes of Essex
(Abt 1151-Abt 1206)


Family Links

1. Aubrey III de Vere 1st Earl of Oxford and Count of Guīnes

Agnes of Essex

  • Born: Abt 1151
  • Marriage (1): Aubrey III de Vere 1st Earl of Oxford and Count of Guīnes 1162 or 1163
  • Died: Abt 1206 about age 55

  Research Notes:

3rd wife of Aubrey de Vere, 1st Earl of Oxford.

From Wikipedia - Aubrey de Vere III

[Earl Aubrey's] attempt to divorce his third wife, Agnes of Essex , was a celebrated marriage case that Agnes appealed successfully to Pope Alexander III . In 1153 he was present with King Stephen 's army at the siege of Wallingford and attested at the Treaty of Wallingford , finally signed at Westminster . Two of his sons by Agnes, Aubrey IV and Robert, became earls of Oxford. Robert, the third earl, was one of the 25 rebel barons who were to hold King John to the terms of Magna Carta .
From Wikipedia - Agnes of Essex :

Agnes of Essex, countess of Oxford (c. 1151 - c. 1206 ) was the daughter of Henry of Essex and his second wife. She was betrothed at age three to Geoffrey de Vere, brother of the first earl of Oxford . Raised by the Veres, she later rejected the match with Geoffrey and by 1163 had married his brother Aubrey de Vere III , the earl, as his third wife. After her father's disgrace and forfeiture of lands and offices in that year, the earl sought to have his marriage annulled. Agnes fought the action. On May 9 , 1166 , she appealed her case from the court of the bishop of London to the pope (the archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket , being in exile at the time). While the case was pending in Rome, the earl kept Agnes confined, for which the bishop of London reprimanded Aubrey. Pope Alexander III ruled in her favor, thus establishing the right and requirement of consent by females in betrothal and the sacrament of marriage. The couple may have co-operated in the founding of a Benedictine nunnery near their castle at Hedingham, Essex . Having survived her husband, Countess Agnes paid the crown for the right to remain unmarried and died sometime in or after 1206.

Many have followed the mistake of antiquarians in believing the third wife of earl Aubrey to have been named Lucia. A woman of this name was prioress of the nunnery at Castle Hedingham . On Lucia's death, a mortuary or roll was carried to many religious houses in the region requesting prayers, and in the preface of that document Lucia is called the foundress of the priory. As the countess presumably cooperated with her husband in the founding of the house, the erroneous assumption was made that the prioress was in fact the earl's widow.

Agnes bore her husband four sons and a daughter, including two future earls of Oxford: Aubrey IV and Robert I . Her daughter Alice married 1) Ernulf de Kemesech, 2) John, constable of Chester.

Agnes married Aubrey III de Vere 1st Earl of Oxford and Count of Guīnes, son of Aubrey II de Vere of Great Addington & Drayton and Adeliza de Clare, 1162 or 1163. (Aubrey III de Vere 1st Earl of Oxford and Count of Guīnes was born about 1115 and died on 26 Dec 1194.)

  Marriage Notes:

Source: Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America before 1700 by Frederick Lewis Weis and Walter Lee Sheppard, Jr, ed. by William R. Beall & Kaleen E. Beall (Baltimore, 2008), line 246-26

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