John Verney (judge)

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Sir
John Verney
KC PC
Attorney General to the Queen Consort
In office
May 1729 – 20 November 1737
Chief Justice of Cheshire
In office
1732–1738
Preceded by John Willes
Succeeded by Matthew Skinner
Master of the Rolls
In office
9 October 1738 – 1741
Preceded by Sir Joseph Jekyll
Succeeded by Sir John Strange
Personal details
Born 23 October 1699
Brasted, Kent
Died 5 August 1741
Nationality British
Political party Tories
Relations George Verney, 12th Baron Willoughby de Broke
Children John, 14th Baron Willoughby de Broke
Profession Barrister, Judge, Politician

Sir John Verney, KC, PC (23 October 1699 – 5 August 1741) was a British barrister, judge and politician. He was born in Brasted, Kent on 23 October 1699 to George Verney, 12th Baron Willoughby de Broke.[1] In 1714 he matriculated to New College, Oxford, and became a student of the Middle Temple the following year. He was called to the Bar in 1721, and in an attempt to gain contacts for his work as a barrister he became a Member of Parliament (MP) for Downton with the help of his brother-in-law, Anthony Duncombe in 1722.[2] On 16 September 1724 he married Abigail, the daughter of Sir Edward Harley,[2] the younger brother of Queen Anne's Tory minister, Robert Harley, created Earl of Oxford.

Verney sat in Parliament as a Tory, speaking out against the Whig Prime Minister Robert Walpole. In 1726 he switched sides, however, and Walpole made him a judge in Wales as a reward. In 1727 he became a King's Counsel, and in 1728 a Bencher at Lincoln's Inn, having switched Inns some time earlier.[2] In the 1727 election he campaigned in Radnor, but lost and was again returned for Downton.

In May 1729 he was made Attorney General to the Queen Consort, Queen Caroline.[1] He resigned from his Welsh post in 1732 due to ill-health, but in 1732 accepted an appointment as Chief Justice of Cheshire. After the death of Sir Joseph Jekyll on 19 August 1738, Verney applied to succeed him as Master of the Rolls, and was accepted after the position was turned down by Sir John Strange.[2] He took office on 9 October 1738, and was sworn in on 12 October. After a few years, his ill-health made it impossible to continue as Master of the Rolls, and he offered his resignation to the Lord Chancellor in early 1741.[2]

In May 1741 he was again elected for Downton, but he died on 5 August. As his older brother had no children, Verney's eldest son, John, succeeded him as Baron Willoughby de Broke.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Foss (1870) p.693
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Oxford DNB article: Verney, Sir John (subscription needed)". Oxford University Press. 2004. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Foss, Edward (1870). A Biographical Dictionary of the Justices of England (1066 - 1870). Spottiswoode and Company. 
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Charles Longueville
Member of Parliament for Downton
1722-1734
With: Anthony Duncombe
Succeeded by
Anthony Duncombe
Joseph Windham-Ashe
Preceded by
Joseph Windham-Ashe
Member of Parliament for Downton
1741
With: Giles Eyre
Succeeded by
Anthony Duncombe
Joseph Windham-Ashe
Legal offices
Preceded by
John Willes
Chief Justice of Cheshire
1732–1738
Succeeded by
Matthew Skinner
Preceded by
Sir John Trevor
Master of the Rolls
1738–1741
Succeeded by
William Fortescue