(Brit. Mus. Grenville, with autograph letter of Sir F. Vere inserted). The ‘Commentaries’ have been reprinted in the seventh volume of Arber's ‘English Garner’ (1883). Between 1605 and his death Vere made generous donations in money and books to the library which his old friend Bodley was founding at Oxford.
Vere lived to see the coronation of his life's work by the truce of April 1609 recognising the independence of the Dutch republic. He died in London somewhat suddenly, and at the early age of forty-nine, on 28 Aug. 1609. He left no issue. He was buried next day, with a soldier's funeral, in Westminster Abbey, where a splendid monument in black marble (modelled upon the tomb of Engelbert of Nassau at Breda) was erected to his memory by his young widow. She married, as her second husband, in August 1613, Sir Patrick Murray. The only portrait of Vere is a half-length profile, now at Welbeck Abbey; this was engraved by Faithorne to illustrate the ‘Commentaries,’ and is reproduced in Mr. Fairfax Murray's ‘Welbeck Catalogue,’ 1894, p. 132. It depicts a young man with aquiline features and an alert and resolute cast of expression. In October 1609 a ‘Funerall Poeme’ commemorating Vere came from the pen of the dramatist Cyril Tourneur [q. v.]
Vere came to the front in an age of great commanders like Drake and Ralegh, Norris and Williams, and, trained as he was in the school of Parma (the greatest general of the day when in the maturity of his powers), he was rivalled by few, if indeed by any, of his contemporaries in soldierly accomplishment. For Vere was not only a strategist and a leader and organiser of men in the field, but he was also quite at home on shipboard; a capable artilleryman and scoutmaster, and an expert engineer. He was, moreover, a diplomatist who combined tact with modesty, and was thus able to maintain an exceptionally difficult position with such economy and success that he was singled out more than once for delicate diplomatic missions. It is true that, unlike some of his greatest contemporaries, he did not excel as a courtier. Comparatively young as he was at the close of his active service, he was regarded as the Nestor of his profession, and as a transmitter of the best military tradition of his day he is entitled to rank almost with Spinola, who held him in the highest admiration. Among Vere's pupils in the military art, in addition to his brother Horace, were Sir Thomas Fairfax, Sir Ferdinando Gorges, Francis and Gervase Markham, Edward Wingfield, Miles Standish, and many other notable soldiers both in the old country and in New England.
[The memoirs of Vere in the Biographia Britannica, and in Gleig's Lives of the Most Eminent British Military Commanders, 1831, i. 124–98, have been superseded at all points by The Fighting Veres, 1888, being lives of Sir Francis and Sir Horace Vere by (Sir) Clements R. Markham, a definitive biography, in which Motley's strictures upon Sir Francis Vere are refuted with care and moderation. The Fighting Veres is based upon an examination of the Hatfield Papers of the Norham and Holman manuscripts at Oxford, of Harl. MSS. 4189, 6776, and 532, of Gough's manuscript Memoirs of the Veres at Castle Hedingham, and, above all, of the volumes labelled ‘Holland’ at the Record Office. See also Harl. MS. 1344, Addit. MSS. 25247, 34218, Egerton MSS. 2714 f. 193 and 2592 f. 1, and Stowe MSS. 165–8; G. E. C[okayne]'s Complete Peerage, s.v. ‘Oxford;’ Majendie's Castle Hedingham and the De Veres, 1898; Wright's Hist. of Essex; Naunton's Fragmenta Regalia; Sidney Papers, ed. Collins. 1746; and Collins's Hist. Collections, 1752; Nichols's Progresses of James I, i. 43, 47, 262, 510, iii. 8; Birch's Mem. of Queen Elizabeth; Grimston's Siege of Ostend, 1604, and Historie of the Netherlands, 1608; Stapleton's Hist. of the Low Country Wars, 1650; Meteren's Histoire des Pays Bas, 1618; Motley's United Netherlands, 1867, passim; Leycester Correspondence, 1844, Chamberlain Letters, 1861, Cecil and Carew Correspondence, 1864 (all three in the Camden Soc.); Carleton Corresp. 1775; Winwood Memorials, 1725; Bertie's Five Generations of a Loyal House, 1845, pt. i.; Devereux's Earls of Essex, 1853, chap. xv.; Lord Herbert of Cherbury's Autobiography, ed. Lee; Neale and Brayley's Westminster Abbey, ii. 194; Macray's Annals of the Bodleian Library.]
VERE, HENRY de, eighteenth Earl of Oxford (1593–1625), born on 24 Feb. 1592-3 at Newington, Middlesex, was only son of Edward de Vere, seventeenth Earl of Oxford [q. v.], by his second wife, Elizabeth Trentham . He succeeded his father as eighteenth earl of Oxford on 24 June 1604. He is said to have been educated at Oxford. He was admitted a member of the Inner Temple in November 1604, and was created M.A. of Oxford on 30 Aug. 1605. He was made a knight of the Bath on 3 June 1610, and keeper of Havering Park on 15 Nov. 1611. According to Arthur Wilson (Life of James I) the eighteenth earl 'was of no reputation in his youth, being very debauched and riotous, and, having no means, maintained it by sordid and unworthy wayes.' His mother complained of the bad company he kept (cf. Markham, Fighting Veres, pp. 383-4). On her death, early in 1613, he inherited a share of her fortune, and set out soon afterwards on an extended foreign tour. From Brussels he