Robert DeVere, 9th Earl of Oxford

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Robert DeVere wearing his ducal coronet as Duke of Ireland
Robert DeVere, 9th Earl of Oxford (1362–1392) was the favourite, and possibly lover, of King Richard II.

In 1385 Richard made him Marquess of Dublin, and the next year Duke of Ireland. Both titles were novel: DeVere was the first ever Marquess, and it was almost unheard of for anyone but a close relative of the King to be made a Duke; also both were life peerages which was unusual at that time. He became very unpopular with the other peers, and in 1388 he was sentenced to death in his absence and stripped of his titles.

He died in or near Louvain in 1392. Three years later, on the anniversary of his death, 22 November 1395, Richard II had his embalmed body brought back to England for burial. It was recorded by the chronicler Thomas Walsingham that many magnates did not attend the re-burial ceremony because they "had not yet digested their hatred" of him. The king had the coffin opened to kiss his lost friend's hand and to gaze on his face one last time.[1]

References

  1. Nigel Saul (1997). Richard II. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-07003-9. page 461