CHERNOCK (CHARNOCK), Sir Villiers, 2nd Bt. (c.1641-94), of Holcot, Beds.
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Family and Education
b. c.1641, 3rd but o. surv. s. of Sir St. John Chernock, 1st Bt., of Holcot by 1st w. Audrey, da. of Sir William Villiers, 1st Bt., of Brokesby, Leics. educ. Winchester 1656; Queens’, Camb. 1661. m. by 1667, Anne (bur. 19 Sept. 1684), da. and coh. of John Pynsent, protonotary of c.p., of Carleton Curlieu, Leics. and Combe, Croydon, Surr., 5s. (2 d.v.p.) 6da. suc. fa. 1681.1
Commr. for assessment, Beds. 1667-80, 1689-90, j.p. 1670-Feb. 1688, Oct. 1688-d., commr. for recusants 1675, sheriff 1680-1, dep. lt. 1685-Feb. 1688, 1689-d.
Chernock came from a cadet branch of a Lancashire family which twice sat for Newton in early Stuart Parliaments. His own ancestors had held Holcot since 1541. Despite kinship with the St. Johns of Bletso, his father seems to have avoided commitment during the Civil War, but held local office throughout the Interregnum. Though he was created a baronet in 1661, he was not a j.p. after the Restoration. Chernock’s own career was undistinguished. He was returned for the county as a Tory on the Bruce interest in a contested election in 1685, but left no trace on the records of James II’s Parliament. His cousin Robert became notorious as the King’s Roman Catholic nominee for the presidency of Magdalen College, but Chernock himself followed the example of Sir Anthony Chester in refusing to assent to the first two questions on the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws and was removed from local office. He is not known to have stood again. He was buried at Holcot on 27 Oct. 1694, aged 53. His heir, who married a daughter of William Boteler, twice represented the county between 1705 and 1715.2