Aubrey (Albericus) de Vere (died circa 1112) was a tenant-in-chief of William the Conqueror
in 1086 and also vassal to Geoffrey de Montbray
, bishop of Coutances and to Count Alan, lord of Richmond. A much later source named his father as Alphonsus. The common use of the name Albericus by the Veres in medieval England makes it impossible to say for certain if the Aubrey de Vere named in Domesday Book
in 1086 holding estates in six counties is the same Aubrey de Vere who around 1111 founded Colne Priory, Essex
, but it is probable.
His origins are obscure and various regions have been proposed for his birthplace. The only certainty is his landholding recorded in Domesday Book, where he and his unnamed wife also stand accused of some unauthorized land seizures. As his spouse's name is recorded as Beatrice in 1104, she may have been his wife in 1086 and the mother of his five known sons. Aubrey's estates held of the king were valued at approximately £300, putting him in roughly the middle ranks of the post-conquest barons in terms of landed wealth.
More difficult to sort out are contemporary references to "Aubrey the chamberlain" and "Aubrey of Berkshire." An Aubrey was chamberlain to Queen Matilda, but it is unlikely that this was Aubrey de Vere. Aubrey of Berkshire was a sheriff in the early reign of Henry I; it cannot be ruled out that this was the Domesday landholder. Aubrey de Vere I may also have served that king as a royal chamberlain, as his son and namesake Aubrey de Vere II did.
Before 1104, Aubrey's eldest son Geoffrey fell ill and was tended at Abingdon Abbey by the royal physician, Abbot Faritius. The youth recovered but suffered a relapse and was buried at the abbey. His parents founded a cell of Abingdon on land they donated: Colne Priory, Essex. Within a few years, Aubrey and his son William joined that community. Aubrey died soon after taking the Benedictine habit, William passing away not long after his father. Both were buried at the priory, establishing it as the Vere family mausoleum. His heir was Aubrey de Vere II.
The principle estates held by Aubrey de Vere in 1086:
Beauchamp [Walter], Great Bentley
, Great Canfield, Castle Hedingham
, Earls Colne
, [White] Colne, Dovercourt
, and Stevington, Essex; Aldham
, and Waldingfield
, Suffolk; Castle Camps
, Hildersham, Silverley, and Wilbraham, Cambridgeshire. He possessed houses and acreage in Colchester
As tenant of the bishop of Coutances, he held Kensington
, Middlesex; Scaldwell
, Northamptonshire. Of the barony of Count Alan his manors were Beauchamp Roding
, Canfield, and West Wickham
, Essex. His wife held at Aldham, Essex
, in her own right of Odo bishop of Bayeux. She was accused by Domesday jurors of expansion into Little Maplestead, Essex. Aubrey's seizures or questionable right of possession to estates included Manuden, Essex; Great Hemingford, Huntingdonshire; and Swaffham
, Cambridgeshire. (Counties given are those of Domesday Book.)
Besides Geoffrey, Aubrey II, and William mentioned above, his sons included Roger and Robert.