VERNON, William (c.1545-1605), of Maldon and Little Beeleigh, Essex.

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



Family and Education

b. c.1545, 2nd s. of John or Robert Vernon of Notts. m. Alice, da. of one Scriven, 1s. 2da.

Offices Held

Coroner, Essex 1567-80; alderman, Maldon 1566-1605, coroner 1571, frequently bailiff and j.p.


Vernon was descended from the Vernons of the Peak in Derbyshire. In 1566 and 1569 he obtained land in St. Peter’s parish, Maldon, and at Little Beeleigh, and he soon became a leading figure in Maldon. He served as one of the two town bailiffs at least seven times between 1572 and 1598, and held the position of j.p. for Maldon, an annual appointment, on ten occasions between 1568 and 1590. In 1588 the bailiffs and aldermen decided, ‘for some necessary causes for the good of our poor town’, to elect ‘some fit person of the inhabitants within the said borough’ as one of their Members for the forthcoming Parliament, and returned Vernon, together with his son’s father-in-law, John Butler II. It is doubtful whether he took his seat in the Commons, as the session began on 4 Feb. and on the 14th of that month Edward Lewknor was chosen at a by-election in his place, on account of his illness. He continued to be active in Maldon, however, until his death on 2 Aug. 1605. In his will, dated 6 Apr. 1604 and proved on 28 Oct. 1605, he left most of his property to his heir and executor William, then aged about 30. He bequeathed £40 to his daughter Dorothy, a £10 annuity to his younger daughter Susan, and left a small legacy to 20 of the poor of St. Peter’s parish, Maldon. He appointed as overseer William Wiseman, to one of whose daughters he was godfather. Vernon asked to be buried in the choir in All Saints church there.

Vis Essex (Harl. Soc. xiii), 307; Morant, Essex, i. 335; Essex RO, Assize File and sessions bk. D/B passim; D’Ewes, 429; C142/287/96; C219/284/20; PCC 70 Hayes.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: J.H.


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.