VERNON, Thomas (by 1532-56).
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Family and Education
b. by 1532, 2nd s. of Thomas Vernon of Stokesay, Salop by Anne, da. and coh. of Sir John Ludlow of Stokesay. m. Dorothy, da. of Sir Francis Lovell of Barton Bendish and East Harling, Norf. 2s.1
As a grandson of Henry Vernon of Haddon, who married a daughter of the 5th Earl of Shrewsbury, Thomas Vernon was first cousin to George Vernon and Henry Vernon. When returned to the Parliament of March 1553 he was styled ‘junior’ to distinguish him from his father and namesake, who was three times sheriff of Shropshire and who was to outlive the son. Vernon’s return on that occasion is probably to be attributed to the council in the marches. If he was a lawyer by training—and both his own family and the one into which he married were represented at various inns of court—he could have been the man of his name who acted as attorney to John Dudley, Earl of Warwick, in 1548 during Warwick’s presidency of the council, and thus have been Dudley’s nominee; he also had a family connexion with the council through his uncle Sir John Vernon and his home was near Ludlow. However sponsored, Vernon may have had a personal interest in a seat in the Commons at this time. Following the death in 1551 of Edward, last Baron Grey of Powis, Vernon and (another) cousin George claimed the barony as sons of the coheirs of Sir John Ludlow by his wife Anne, whose mother Elizabeth, they claimed, had been a daughter of Sir Richard Grey, the last Baron Powis’s great-grandfather. The claim was disputed by Edward Kynaston and also involved the Vernons in litigation with John Herbert, whose Membership of the Parliaments of March 1553 and 1555—and perhaps even Francis Kynaston’s of that of April 1554—may have been connected with the affair. Despite an unfavourable decision in Chancery in 1554, the Vernon claim was to be pursued by Thomas Vernon’s son Henry under Elizabeth and was to be revived for the last time in 1800.2
There survives an inquisition post mortem of a Thomas Vernon of Shropshire who died on 4 June 1556. He left a son named Henry, aged seven, and the probability that he was the Member is increased by his having