"The Earl of Oxford was a writer, we can be sure of that"

Earl of Oxford Coat of Arms, 1574
Public DomainEarl of Oxford Coat of Arms, 1574 - Credit: George Baker
The title of Earl of Oxford, now dormant, was held for more than five and a half centuries by the de Vere family from 1141 until the death of the 20th Earl in 1703. The Earls of Oxford were also hereditary holders of the office of Lord Great Chamberlain from 1133 until 1625. Their primary seat was Castle Hedingham in Essex, but they owned land across England. 

Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl, has been identified as a possible author of the works of Shakespeare.  He was a ward and later son-in-law of Lord Burghley, Queen Elizabeth I’s Secretary of State.  He was noted in his time as a playwright, lyric poet and patron of the arts.