(C. Oxford)

Born: ABT 1526, Belchamp St. Paul, Essex, England

Died: 2 Dec 1568

Father: John GOLDING of Belchamp St. Paul (Sir)

Mother: Elizabeth TONGE

Married 1: John De VERE (16° E. Oxford) 1 Aug 1548, Belchamp St. Paul, Essex, England


1. Mary De VERE (B. Willoughby of Eresby)

2. Edward De VERE (17° E. Oxford)

Married 2: Charles TYRRELL (Sir) (son of Sir Thomas Tyrrell of Heron Hall and Constance Blount) (d. 1570)

She was born circa 1526, in Belchamp St Paul, the third child and the first daughter to Sir John Golding and his first wife, Elizabeth Tonge, the daughter of Thomas Tonge and the widow of Reginald Hammond. From this marriage, Margery was the sister of Sir Thomas Golding; William Golding and Elizabeth Golding, who married Roger Wingfield.

Her mother died on 27 Nov 1527, and her father remarried Ursula Marston (d. 1564), the daughter of William Marston of Horton, Epsom, Surrey, leading to seven younger half-siblings. Among these were HenryMaryGeorgeEdmundFrances and  Arthur Golding, a useful translator of the late Renaissance of otherwise Latin-only Classical texts. Another sister Dorothy married Edmund Docwra and was mother of the soldier and statesman Henry Docwra, 1st Baron Docwra of Culmore.

Margery married John de Vere, 16th Earl of Oxford on 1 Aug 1548, in Belchamp St Paul. John had a child, Catherine, from his previous marriage to Dorothy Neville. Oxford clearly hoped by this second marriage to produce a male heir. Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, had betrothed his youngest son, Henry Seymour, to the sixteenth earl's nine-year-old daughter, Catherine, seeking to appropriate the Vere estate. In the summer of 1548, Somerset was at the height of his power, and De Vere took a serious risk by contracting this secret marriage against Somerset's wishes. Once the marriage was solemnized, he could not be undone, not even for Somerset, and on 12 Apr 1550, he produced the male heir in whom the sixteenth earl had hoped for him, Edward.

Later, after 1552, they had a daughter, Mary De Vere.

The execution of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, and the imprisonment of his sons which resulted in part from the 16th Earl’s support of Mary sowed seeds of animosity toward the house of Oxford on the part of Northumberland’s son, Sir Robert Dudley, later Earl of Leicester and Queen Elizabeth’s favorite.

Oxford petitioned for and performed the office of Great Chamberlain at the Coronation, 15 Jan 1558/9, of Queen Elizabeth. Margery Golding was lady in waiting to the Queen from 1559 to 1561 and entertained Queen Elizabeth at Castle Hedingham, Essex from 14 till 19 Aug 1561.

On 2 Jun 1562 Oxford signed an indenture which advanced or confirmed the interests in the 16th Earl’s lands of his wife, Margery; his heir Edward; his son’s future wife, “Lady Bulbeck”; his brothers, Aubrey, Robert and Geoffrey De Vere; and the future male heirs of the Oxford earldom. It was necessary to appoint trustees who would hold the lands to various uses, and Oxford chose for that his nephew, Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk, his brother-in-law, Sir Thomas Golding (d. 1571), and Sir Robert Dudley.

On 28 Jul 1562, just five days before his death, Oxford made a will appointing Sir Robert Dudley as supervisor. The administration was granted on 29 May 1563 to only one of the six executors named in the will, the former servant of the 16th Earl, Robert Christmas (d. 1584), who at that time entered the service of Dudley. Five of the six executors did not take part in the administration of the will and therefore Dudley's role became a very important one. It was not until 19 Apr 1570, that Edward de Vere finally joined Robert Christmas in administering the will.

A letter dated 11 Oct 1563 from Margery Golding, Countess of Oxford, to Sir William Cecil, in which she claims that Robert Christmas’ man, in Dudley’s name, had commanded the tenants not to provide her with rent corn at Michaelmas for her household provision.

After her father’s death, Catherine de Vere and her husband, Lord Windsor, tried to have Oxford marriage to Margery Golding declared bigamous on the grounds that Oxford had been betrothed to Dorothy Fosser (d. ABT 1556/7), goddaughter of Dorothy Neville, possibly, named after the Countess, and had served as her maid and as a lady-in-waiting for Catherine de Vere. The suit was unsuccessful. 

Margery married Sir Charles Tyrrell, one of the Queen’s gentleman pensioners and Margery’s reputed lover, 6th son of Sir Thomas Tyrell of Heron, in E. Horndon, Essex, by Constance, daughter of John Blount, Lord Mountjoy.

Apparently her son Edward De Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, never mentioned her in any of his surviving letters. Then again, after his father’s death, his wardship was sold and he probably did not see a great deal of her. But  Edward was on friendly terms with Tyrrell, as revealed by Tyrrell's will. Oxford had given him a black horse, and in his will Tyrrell granted him the return of his horse.

She died 2 Dec 1568, at Earls Colne, and was buried there.


Green, Nina: The Fall of the House of Oxford - Originally published in Brief Chronicles Vol. 1 (2009), pages 41–95

Nelson, Alan H. (2003). Monstrous Adversary: The Life of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford. Liverpool University Press

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