CHERNELEY (CHARNEY), George (c.1509-53), of Derby.
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Family and Education
Coroner, Derby in Oct. 1543, in June 1544, town clerk in 1545.2
The solitary glimpse obtained of George Cherneley is of his part in a controversy over enclosures in Derby. On 29 Dec. 1545 Cherneley testified on the bill brought in the Star Chamber by William Allestry (q.v.) against John Sharpe and his confederates. Cherneley’s statement agreed with the substance of the bill, but he disclaimed, as did the majority of the other witnesses, any knowledge of the threats which Allestry claimed had been made against the burgesses and himself. It appeared that after the bailiffs and burgesses had chosen several of their number to confer with Sharpe these were won over to his cause, whereupon Sharpe summoned Cherneley to receive his oath in the matter. This Cherneley refused to do on the ground that as Sharpe was not a freeman he had no right to give an oath. When the confederates assembled next day in the common hall Cherneley at first stuck to his point, saying that ‘he knew not what oath to give them, for they were not sworn before Mr. Recorder or the bailiffs’, but when they told him that these officers had conceded their right to take the oath he gave in. He allowed them to choose their own form, which was that ‘every one of them should keep others’ counsel and do nothing but for the weal of the ... town’; he then left the hall and apparently took no further part in the dispute.3
Cherneley was presumably still town clerk when he was returned to the first Marian Parliament: his fellow-Member was the recorder, Thomas Sutton. All that is known of their part in the proceedings is that neither was among the Members who ‘stood for the true religion’, that is, for Protestantism.