JOHN DE VERE 13TH EARL OF OXFORD, was second son of John, the 12th earl, a prominent Lancastrian, who, together with his eldest son Aubrey de Vere, was executed in February 1462.
John de Vere the younger was himself attainted, but two years later was restored as 13th Earl. But his loyalty was suspected, and for a short time at the end of 1468 he was in the Tower. He sided with Warwick, the king-maker, in the political movements of 1469, accompanied him in his exile next year, and assisted in the Lancastrian restoration of 1470-1471. As Constable he tried and executed John Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester, known as "the butcher of England.", who had condemned his father nine years before. At the battle of Barnet, Oxford was victorious in command of the Lancastrian right, but his men got out of hand, and before they could be rallied Warwick was defeated. Oxford escaped to France.
In 1473 he organized a Lancastrian expedition, which, after an attempted landing in Essex, sailed west and seized St Michael's Mount in Cornwall. It was only after a four months' siege that Oxford was forced to surrender in February 1474. He was sent to Hammes near Calais, whence, ten years later, in August 1484, he escaped and joined Henry Tudor in Brittany. He fought for Henry in high command at Bosworth, and was rewarded by restoration to his title, estates and hereditary office of Lord Chamberlain. At Stoke on the 16th of June 1486 he led the van of the royal army.
In 1492 he was in command in the expedition to Flanders, and in 1497 was foremost in the defeat of the Cornish rebels on Blackheath..
Bacon has preserved a story that when in the summer of 1498 Oxford entertained the king at Castle Hedingham, he assembled a great number of his retainers in livery; Henry thanked the earl for his reception, but fined him 55,000 marks for the breach of the laws. Oxford was high steward at the trial of the Earl of Warwick ( not the Kingmaker, but his grandson - the son of the Kingmaker's eldest daughter and the Duke of Clarence ) and was one of the commissioners for the trial of Sir James Tyrell (lwho when under sentence of death admitted taking part in the deaths of the "young princes") and others in May 1502. Partly through ill-health he took little part afterwards in public affairs, and died on the 10th of March 1513. He was twice married, but left no children.
Oxford is frequently mentioned in the Paston Letters, which include twenty written by him, mostly to Sir John Paston the younger.