VERNON, Henry (by 1523-69), of Sudbury, Derbys.
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Family and Education
b. by 1523, s. of Sir John Vernon of Sudbury by Helen, da. and coh. of Sir John Montgomery of Cubley. m. 3 May 1547, Margaret, da. and coh. of Humphrey Swynnerton of Swynnerton and Hilton, Staffs., 2s. 3da. suc. fa. 4 Feb. 1545.2
J.p.q. Derbys. 1558/59-?d., Staffs. 1564.3
Born into a cadet branch of the celebrated family of Haddon, Henry Vernon inherited considerable lands in Derbyshire, including the manor and lordship of Sudbury, and in Staffordshire, where his wife added the manor of Hilton on her father’s death in 1562.4
It was presumably to his own and his father’s marriage connexions that Vernon owed his election for Lichfield to Mary’s second Parliament. Patronage at Lichfield lay with William, Lord Paget, whose favour Vernon could have secured through his father-in-law, himself returned to that Parliament for Stafford, or his uncle Sir Thomas Giffard, knight of the shire in the previous one. For the knighthood of his own shire in the next Parliament Vernon need have looked no further than his cousin (Sir) George Vernon, the ‘King of the Peak’, who had probably been brought up with him at Sudbury. Both Vernon and his fellow-knight Sir Peter Frescheville quitted this Parliament without leave before its dissolution, as did the two Members for Derby. Prosecuted in the King’s bench in the following Easter term, Vernon and Frescheville shared the experience of being repeatedly distrained for non-appearance until they both made appearance in Hilary term 1557 and were given days in the following term to answer. A year later they were each fined £4. Vernon was also in trouble in 1555 for his excessive apparel and his escort of liveried retainers at the assizes and sessions of the peace. In 1556 he took part in the trial of Joan Waste for heresy.5
The only mentions of Vernon in connexion with the wars of his time appear to be his receipt of money for men sent to France in 1544 and his summons to lead 200 men to Scotland early in 1560. By then he had been put on the Derbyshire bench but he may have been removed after being judged ‘an adversary of religion’ in 1564. In his will of 1 Mar. 1568 he bequeathed to his younger son Henry, for whom his wife was to hold it until Henry became 18, the lease of Hazlebadge in the Peak granted to his father by Sir George Vernon, although a servant later accused Margaret Vernon of substituting Henry’s name for his elder brother John’s at this point in the will as well as of similarly defrauding the eldest daughter of a bequest of 500 marks. Vernon divided his library equally between the sons. He died on 29 Sept. 1569. There is no trace of the monument which he charged his executors, his wife, Sir Humphrey Bradbourne and Serjeant Richard Harpur, to erect in the chancel of Sudbury church.6