MEVERELL, Francis (1514/15-64), of Throwley, Staffs.
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Family and Education
b. 1514/15, 1st s. of George Meverell of Throwley by Jane, da. of Thomas Babington of Dethick, Derbys. educ. I. Temple, adm. 5 Feb. 1535. m. by 20 Oct. 1544, Anne, da. and coh. of Sir John Denham of Kirklington, Notts., 5s. 2da.; 1s. illegit. suc. fa. 25 Dec. 1526.1
J.p. Staffs. 1543-54; sheriff 1547-8; commr. relief 1550; forester, High Peak, Derbys. by 1562.2
In 1523 Francis Meverell’s wardship and marriage were sold by his father to Humphrey Bowland with a view to his marrying whichever of Bowland’s daughters he should choose, but in the event he married the daughter of a neighbour of one of his Babington cousins.3
Meverell was on the verge of his majority when he was admitted to the Inner Temple, having perhaps spent some time at one of the universities. It was probably his uncle (Sir) Anthony Babington, a governor of the inn, who two years earlier had obtained Cromwell’s support for Meverell’s application to lease Musden Grange, a request which was nevertheless turned down by its landlord the abbot of Croxden. Meverell’s career at the Inner Temple was as insignificant as his uncle’s had been outstanding, for even if it was he, and not a younger namesake, who appears in its records from 1556 the entries in question relate solely to his persistent avoidance of the office of marshal. He was evidently more willing to accept his responsibilities as a country gentleman, including election as knight of the shire. His fellow-knight Brian Fowler, a man of similar standing, probably owed his return to the support of the 1st Viscount Hereford, and Meverell may have secured that of the 1st Baron Stafford through his relative Sir George Griffith. Nothing is known of his role in the House and the only indication of his religious sympathies is his removal from the bench under Elizabeth; this suggests that he differed from his kinsman Sampson Meverell, after whom he had named his heir, if it was indeed this kinsman who fled abroad after being implicated in the Dudley conspiracy.