VERNEY, Richard (1563-1630), of Compton, Warws.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Constituency

Dates

Family and Education

b. 1563. 1st s. of George Verney by Jane, da. of William Lucy of Charlecote. educ. G. Inn 1582. m. Margaret, da. of Sir Fulke Greville of Beauchamp Court, 4s. 4da. suc. fa. 1574. Kntd. 1603.2

Offices Held

J.p. Warws. from c.1584, sheriff 1590-1, 1604-5, commr. musters by 1597.

Biography

Verney was only 11 in 1574 when his father died. The Earl of Leicester took an interest in him, writing in July to Lord Burghley about the bad repair of his lands. The wardship passed a year later to Sir John Hibbett, probably at Leicester’s instigation. There was talk of marrying Verney to a niece of Burghley, and, although this came to nothing, he was evidently on friendly terms with the Cecils.3 As soon as he came of age Verney took the place in Warwickshire life to which his status entitled him. During his first shrievalty the escape of an important prisoner made him liable for a penalty of £1,000.4

Verney was still in his twenties when he sat for the county with his brother-in-law Fulke Greville. He is recorded as serving on only one committee (about a private estate, 22 Feb.). He did not sit again until a seat was found for him at West Looe in 1601, probably through Cecil influence. He was presumably the Mr. ‘Varney’ put on a procedural committee, 11 Nov.5

A small collection of family letters shows that in private life Verney was an affectionate family man and a good friend. He evidently spent much of his time in the usual social round of visits and entertainments, and was frequently at Beauchamp Court, the home of the Grevilles. Although his wife was her brother’s next of kin, most of the Greville property was settled upon a cousin in order to perpetuate the family name, but this does not seem to have troubled amicable relations between the families. Verney died 7 Aug. 1630 after a short illness and 1was buried in the church at Compton. In his will, made 30 July 1630, after praising God, who ‘now at length so gently and lovingly calls me to enjoy those infinite glories which I am assured to enjoy by His only merit’, he made provision for his younger children, servants and the poor. The bulk of his property had previously been settled on his eldest son.6

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: S. M. Thorpe

Notes

  • 1. The original return is missing. The name is suggested by Browne Willis and J. Kipling’s ‘Index’.
  • 2. Dugdale, Warws. i. 566-9; Vis. Warws. (Harl. Soc. xii), 25; C142/506/160.
  • 3.