VERNEY, Francis (1531/34-59), of Salden in Mursley, Bucks. and London.
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Family and Education
Sewer, the chamber by 1547-d.; member, household of Princess Elizabeth in 1554.2
Francis Verney received under his father’s will of 1543 lands worth £10 a year for life, and his education and welfare by good marriage or ‘other promotion’ were entrusted to his father’s uncle Robert Verney and to his mother’s kinsmen Urian Brereton and Reginald Bray.3
In 1547 Verney attended the funeral of Henry VIII. Four years later he joined his eldest brother Edmund and their uncle the 2nd Lord Bray in the entourage accompanying the Marquess of Northampton to France. The brothers could have owed their return to the Parliament of March 1553, in which Edmund sat as knight of the shire for Buckinghamshire, to a more distant kinsman, the Duke of Northumberland. (It is just possible that the Member for Buckingham was not the young courtier but his uncle and namesake, an esquire of the body.) The younger Francis Verney is not known to have followed the lead of his elder brother and their uncle Bray in supporting Northumberland during the summer of 1553. Less than 12 months later, however, after Verney had joined the household of Princess Elizabeth, Sir Henry Bedingfield informed the Council of a meeting at Woodstock, Oxfordshire, between Verney and a servant of the late Duke of Suffolk and cited Sir Leonard Chamberlain’s judgment that ‘if there be any practice of ill within all England, this Verney is privy to it’. Later in 1554 Verney was employed to carry the princess’s letters to the Council and (although this was not disclosed until 1556) was supposedly privy to a plot to kill Mary and Philip.4
Verney was indicted of treason after the Dudley conspiracy, and, unlike his brother, he was brought to trial, convicted and sentenced to death. He was reprieved and eventually pardoned on 10 Apr. 1557. He survived to attend the coronation of Elizabeth and was probably the gentleman buried at St. Andrew’s, Holborn on 6 Feb. 1559, for from the following July new leases were made of lands at Salden ‘late of Francis Verney, deceased and attainted of treason’. He and his brother Edmund were perhaps victims of the prevailing epidemic.5
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: M. K. Dale
- 1. Date of birth estimated from eldest brother’s and from election as knight of the shire. Verney Pprs. (Cam. Soc. lvi), 53-54, 78; Fac. Off. Reg. 1534-49 ed. Chambers, 310; G. Anstruther, Vaux of Harrowden, 2, 489.
- 2. LC2/2, f. 75, 4/3, p. 108.
- 3. Verney Pprs. 12-57.
- 4. Lit. Rems. Edw. VI, 582; LC2/2, f. 62v; Norf. Arch. iv. 177, 194, 196; F. A. Mumby, The Girlhood of Elizabeth, 168, 175, 177; D. M. Loades, Two Tudor Conspiracies, 143.
- 5. Guildford mus. Loseley 1331/2; Verney Pprs. 72; CPR, 1555-7, pp. 539-40; 1557-8, pp. 81-82; APC, vi. 74; City of London RO, Guildhall 6673/1(68); CPR, 1558-60, pp. 113, 276, 393.