Charles Beauclerk
Charles Beauclerk
Founder of the DVS

About The De Vere Society

The de Vere Society is dedicated to an appreciation and celebration of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford (1550–1604) as the true genius behind the literary pseudonym ‘William Shakespeare’. Founded at Oxford University in 1986 the Society organises tours, theatre trips, lectures, forums and social events; it publishes essays, articles, reviews, videos, audio recordings and books, and promotes research around the world about Edward de Vere. Anyone who enjoys the works of Shakespeare and is intrigued by the greatest of all authorship mysteries is welcome to join.

Charles Beauclerk, Earl of Burford, founded The de Vere Society at Hertford College, Oxford in 1986. Through his father, Charles is a descendant of the family of Edward de Vere and, when setting up the Society, American benefactors included Ruth and Minos Miller, who furnished the library, and William O. Hunt of Chicago, who provided financial support. Early English patrons included Verily Anderson, Olga Ironside Wood, and the 13th Duke of St. Albans. The Senior Member of the Society during its Oxford years was Professor Edmund Ford of All Souls College, while early speakers included the Regius Professor of History, Hugh Trevor-Roper (Lord Dacre) and classical scholar J. Enoch Powell. Christopher Dams then carried things forward and re-established the Society under a new constitution in 1997. Sir Derek Jacobi served as Patron. Latterly, Brian Hicks, Mike Llewellyn, Elizabeth Imlay, Kevin Gilvary and now Alexander Waugh have served as the Society's Chairman.

“Let us be true to the spirit of Hamlet’s plea to his friend Horatio and so help to heal Edward de Vere’s wounded name. For what better return can we give for the gift of his priceless works?” 

― Charles Beauclerk, Founder

Derek Jacobi Performance
Sir Derek Jacobi CBE

The de Vere Society is extremely pleased to announce that Sir Derek Jacobi has renewed his patronage of the DVS, commencing in September 2020 to coincide with the launch of our new website, social media, video channels and podcasts. As Patron of the DVS he will be fully involved in promoting our ongoing cause: uncovering the evidence to support the proposition that Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford was the true author of the works attributed to ‘Shakespeare’.

Our Patron is a long-time authorship sceptic and supporter of the Oxfordian position. He will be actively involved in our new podcast and video series, as well as special events and meetings. Before becoming an award-winning actor, Sir Derek trained as a historian and we welcome his astute ambassadorship for our ongoing research and promotion of the Oxfordian cause.

“The only evidence of ‘Shakespeare’s’ literary life was produced after he died and is open to dispute. Nothing, apart from some shaky signatures, puts a pen in his hand. Legend, hearsay and myth have created this writer.”

― Sir Derek Jacobi, Patron

For Society membership and benefits please visit the Join Us page

Honorary President

Charles Beauclerk

Board of Trustees

Trustee | Co-opted Vice Chairman
Trustee | Hon. Secretary


Website Manager & Admin : Costa Chard


Registered Charity

The de Vere Society is a registered charity no. 297855

Registered address: PO Box 1904, SOUTHAMPTON, SO15 9LQ, UK

Copies of the Society’s constitution may be obtained from: