The Vernons of Hanbury, Worcestershire

The Rise and Fall of a Landed Family
by Andrew Harris

The Vernons first came to England with William the Conqueror, and this book starts with the story of the early Vernons, including many aristocratic families. Rev Richard Vernon came from a branch in Staffordshire, and was appointed rector of Hanbury in 1580. His son Edward was able to buy the manor and advowson of Hanbury, but suffered in the Civil War when there appeared to be family divisions. His grandson Thomas, a successful chancery lawyer, substantially increased the family estates.
Thomas’s heir was his cousin Bowater, who seems to have been somewhat bowled over by his inheritance, but it was Bowater’s grand-daughter Emma who created the first family scandal by eloping with the local curate. This book publishes, for the first time, fascinating extracts from newly discovered letters written by her cuckolded husband Henry from his hideout in Shropshire.
The family re-established themselves in the nineteenth century, but in the early twentieth century, hit by the agricultural depression, they endured hard times again. The last of the line and 2nd baronet, Sir George Vernon, struggling to keep his family property together, again indulged in wayward behaviour, and in 1940 his life ended in tragedy.
This book, based on original research in the extensive family archives and elsewhere, tells for the first time the full story of these events, and with 218 pages contains over 300 illustrations, family trees, maps and charts.
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Rev. Richard Vernon (1549-1628), the first Vernon to come to Hanbury and founder of the family


Cllr Thomas Vernon, eminent lawyer who built Hanbury Hall and much enlarged the family estates with the profits of his profession


Emma Vernon (1775-1818) who inherited the estates, married Henry Cecil, and later eloped with the curate, Rev William Sneyd


Harry Vernon (1834-1920) who owned the estates from 1859 to 1920, became a Liberal MP, and was creeated 1st baronet by Gladstone in 1885, just when the agricultural depression was badly affecting the estates.


Sir George Vernon, 2nd baronet, whose lived through the depression of the 1930s and whose life ended in tragedy.