Earl of Oxford is a dormant title in the Peerage of England, first created for Edgar the Atheling and held by him from 1066 to 1068, and later offered to Aubrey III de Vere by the Empress Matilda in 1141, one of four counties he could choose if Cambridgeshire was held by the King of Scotland. On Aubrey's acceptance, his family was to hold the title for more than five and a half centuries, until the death of the 20th Earl in 1703. The de Veres were also hereditary holders of the office of Master Chamberlain of England from 1133 until the death of the 18th Earl in 1625. Their primary seat was Hedingham Castle in Essex, but they held lands in southern England and the Midlands, particularly in eastern England. The actual earldom was called 'Oxenford' until at least the end of the 17th century. Medieval sources thus refer to 'my lord of Oxenford' when speaking of the earl.
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