VERNEY, John, 1st Visct. Fermanagh [I] (1640-1717), of Middle Claydon, nr. Buckingham, Bucks.
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Family and Education
b. 5 Nov. 1640, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Sir Ralph Verney, 1st Bt., M.P., of Middle Claydon by Mary, da. and h. of John Blacknall of Wasing and Abingdon, Berks. educ. at Blois in France 1648-53 and schools at Barn Elms and Kensington 1653-8.1 m. (1) 27 May 1680, Elizabeth (d. 20 May 1686), da. of Ralph Palmer of Little Chelsea, Mdx., 1s. 3da.; (2) 10 July 1692, Mary (d. 24 Aug. 1694), da. of Sir Francis Lawley, 2nd Bt., M.P., of Spoonhill, Salop, 1s.; (3) 8 Apr. 1697, Elizabeth, da. of Daniel Baker of Penn House, Bucks., alderman of London, s.p. suc. fa. as 2nd Bt. 24 Sept. 1696; cr. Visct. Fermanagh and Baron Verney of Belturbet [I] 16 June 1703.
Lord Fermanagh was the grandson of Sir Edmund Verney, knight marshal and standard bearer to Charles I, who was M.P. for Buckingham, Aylesbury and Chipping Wycombe and was killed at Edgehill in 1642.2 His father represented Aylesbury in the Short and Long Parliaments until 1643 and Buckingham in three Parliaments, 1681-90. A younger son, apprenticed in 1659 to Gabriel Roberts, a Levant merchant, for twelve years he was a factor at Aleppo.3 Returning to England in 1674, he set up as a merchant on his own account until he succeeded to the baronetcy in 1696. In his seventieth year he entered Parliament for his county as a Tory, but refused for reasons of age and health to stand for it again in 1715.
My happiness [he wrote] is that I have no place to be removed out of and I am too much for the Church of England to be put into any, so I shall live quietly under my own vine and remain an honest Sacheverellian.
Signing the compromise for the county arranged by the local Whig and Tory leaders,4 he was persuaded to stand on the Drake interest at Amersham, where he was unopposed, voting against the septennial bill in 1716. He died 23 June 1717.