VERNON, Henry II (1686-1719), of Sudbury, Derbys.
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Family and Education
b. Apr. 1686, o. surv. s. of George Vernon I* by his 3rd w. m. (1) bef. 1710, Anne (d. 1714), da. and h. of Thomas Pigot of Chetwynd, Salop, niece and h. of Peter Venables of Kinderton, Cheshire, 1s. 1da.; (2) Matilda, da. of Thomas Wright of Longstone, Derbys., s.p. suc. fa. 1702.1
?Keeper of Barton ward and Sharlott park in Needwood forest 1704–?.2
Vernon’s seat at Sudbury lay in south-west Derbyshire, close to the border with Staffordshire. According to one contemporary observer its ‘convenience of gardens, water, wood and site, as well as magnificence is exceeded by few in the county’. Little is known of Vernon’s life before he entered Parliament and identification is made difficult by the longevity of his uncle Henry Vernon of Hilton and his cousin Henry Vernon I*. From a petition of January 1703 it appears that he was keen to emulate his father in the acquisition of offices in Needwood forest, although it is unclear whether he became the keeper of Barton ward and Sharlott park due to a grant to the Cavendish family.3
He may well have been the ‘Mr Vernon’ much talked of as a partner for John Curzon* in a challenge to the long-serving knight of the shire for Derbyshire, Thomas Coke*, in the election of 1710. His parliamentary ambitions were answered with his unopposed return as knight of the shire for Staffordshire in 1713. Although a ‘Mr Vernon’ was a teller on three occasions in the 1714 Parliament this was probably his uncle by marriage, Thomas Vernon, a lord of Trade. However, his political affiliations were clear to contemporaries for he was classed as a Tory on the Worsley list and on two comparisons of the 1715 Parliament with its predecessor. An unknown adviser of Lord Chancellor Cowper (William*) suggested that a Henry Vernon be omitted from the commission of the peace as an ‘enemy to the Protestant succession’, while the lord lieutenant, Lord Uxbridge (Hon. Henry Paget*), also felt that his omission before the 1715 election would prevent him using his office for electioneering purposes. Rather strangely, in view of these recommendations, he kept his seat on the bench and was re-elected to the Commons for Newcastle-under-Lyme. He was unseated on petition in June 1715, dying four years later on 25 Feb. 1719 at the age of 32. His son, George Venables Vernon†, was given a peerage in 1762.4