Wednesday, 17 February 2021

The Verner Baronetcy


This family was of long standing in County Armagh and had been, for a long time, settled at Church Hill.

HENRY VERNER, of Gullivenagh, County Antrim, married Isabella _________, and had issue,
Mary; Sarah.
He died ca 1683, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

HENRY VERNER, who married Anne Kerr, and had issue,
Mary; Anne.
The eldest surviving son,

DAVID VERNER (1718-54), wedded Anna Crossle, of Anahoe, and had issue,
JAMES, his heir;
Thomas, an Army officer, killed at the battle of Bunker's Hill;
Elizabeth; Sarah; Margaret; Jane.
The elder son, 

JAMES VERNER (1746-1822), MP for Dungannon, 1794-1800, High Sheriff for counties Armagh, Meath, Monaghan, Dublin and Tyrone, married Jane, daughter of  the Rev Henry Clarke, of Summer Island, County Armagh, and had issue,
Thomas (1774-1853);
David (1780-1826);
John (1780-1814), twin with David;
WILLIAM, his heir;
Mr Verner was succeeded by his youngest son,

SIR WILLIAM VERNER KCH JP DL (1782-1871), of Church Hill, County Armagh, Lieutenant-Colonel, 7th Hussars, MP for County Armagh, 1832-68, High Sheriff of County Monaghan, 1820, Armagh, 1822, Tyrone, 1823, who wedded, in 1819, Harriet, only daughter of Colonel the Hon Edward Wingfield, of Corke Abbey, Bray, County Wicklow, son of Richard, 3rd Viscount Powerscourt, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
Edward Wingfield, 4th Baronet;
Emilia; Frances Elizabeth; Frederica;
Harriet Jane Isabella Cecilia; Henrietta Constantia Frances.
He was created a baronet in 1846, designated of Verner's Bridge, County Armagh.

Lieutenant-Colonel Sir William Verner, 1st Baronet, KCH, by Martin Cregan

Sir William was succeeded by his elder son,

SIR WILLIAM VERNER, 2nd Baronet (1822-73), of Corke Abbey, MP for County Armagh, 1868-73, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1848, who espoused, in 1850, Mary, daughter of Lieutenant-General the Hon Sir Hercules Robert Pakenham, and had issue,
Alice Emily; Edith.
Sir William was succeeded by his only son,

SIR WILLIAM EDWARD HERCULES VERNER, 3rd Baronet (1856-86), of Corke Abbey, who married, in 1877, Annie, daughter of John Wilson, of Melbourne, Australia, though died without issue, when the title reverted to his cousin,

SIR EDWARD WINGFIELD VERNER, 4th Baronet (1830-99), JP, of Corke Abbey (second son of the 1st Baronet), High Sheriff of County Dublin, 1866, MP for Lisburn, 1863-73, County Armagh, 1883-90, who wedded, in 1864, Selina Florence, daughter of Thomas Vesey Nugent, and had issue,
EDWARD WINGFIELD, his successor;
Hubert Henry Wingfield;
Florence Winifred Wingfield; Sybil; Isabel Dorothy Wingfield.
Sir Edward was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR EDWARD WINGFIELD VERNER, 5th Baronet (1865-1936), Captain, the Norfolk Regiment, who wedded, in 1901, Agnes Dorothy, daughter of Henry Laming, and had issue,
John Wingfield (1910-43), killed in action;
Ruth Wingfield; Betty Dorothea Wingfield; Monica Wingfield.
Sir Edward was succeeded by his elder son,

SIR EDWARD DERRICK WINGFIELD VERNER, 6th Baronet (1907-75), of Corke Abbey, Lieutenant, the Rifle Brigade, who wedded, in 1948, Angèle, daughter of Louis Becco, though died without issue.

The baronetcy expired on the 6th Baronet's decease in 1975.

CHURCH HILL (or Churchill House), near Moy, County Armagh, was a three-storey mansion over a basement, built about 1830.

The masonic hall in Markethill is said to include the portico of the old mansion-house.

The former estate is now Peatlands Park.


The 1st Baronet was at Eaton Square for his birthday, and died there in 1871, aged 88.

His body was brought by ship and train to Armagh, and he was buried at Loughgall.

The cortège left Armagh at 11.00am with over 140 carriages of various sorts following the hearse. The pallbearers were:-
Lord Lurgan, Sir Capel Molyneux Bt., J Y Burges DL., Col. Pakenham, Maxwell Close DL., Lt-Col Cross JP., Parker Synott JP., Sir James Stronge Bt. MP., Sir John Stewart Bt., the Hon Col. Knox MP., A H Pakenham JP., John Irwin JP., Joseph Atkinson DL., Col. Simpson JP., and Major Burleigh Stuart. 

The number of people following was estimated at 10,000.

Sir William Verner, 2nd Baronet, lived with his family at Churchill and London from the early 1860s, the 1st Baronet and his wife having removed to Corke Abbey at this time.

The 3rd Baronet, also William, was born in 1856, so he must have known his aunts, his uncle Edward Wingfield, and his illustrious grandfather, the first Sir William.

William and his mother were to reside at Eaton Square and for a reasonable time each year at Churchill.

He was to inherit all the estates on becoming 21, or marrying before that.

Sir William and his wife Annie had no children.

They divided the time between Eaton Square and Churchill, and entertained on a lavish scale.

In 1880, the 3rd Baronet made his will, leaving the estates and Eaton Square to his wife, and then to "the boy who with my consent has assumed the name of Verner and is living under my charge".

Sir William Edward Hercules Verner died of cirrhosis of the liver in 1886, at London, and was buried at Loughgall, in the same tomb as his father.

His widow died two years later and was interred in the same tomb.

This was, in effect, the end of the Verners at Churchill; though Harry Felix Verner, presumably a kinsman, was High Sheriff of County Armagh in 1898.


Churchill House was put up for sale in 1898, but was not sold.

The following year it could have been bought for £12,000, but much of the best timber had been sold.

In 1900, the Irish Peat Development Company bought 548 acres of bog land. The most valuable furniture was sold in 1902.

More and more bog-land was sold to the Irish Peat Development Company.

Churchill, vacant since 1918, was known to have wood-rot in 1926.

The house and remaining lands were sold in 1927, and the house was dismantled by the end of 1928.

Today there is no sign of the Churchill estate, but a few things can still be seen: Verner's Inn, at Vernersbridge, has been restored.

A row of Irish yew trees remain, which were near the house.

At Maghery, the railings and gates at the old chapel were once at the Southern entrance to Churchill.

The entrance to the Masonic Hall at Markethill is adorned by the former portico of the main entrance.

The Loughgall graves in the old churchyard are of interest:

The vault where the 2nd Baronet and the 3rd Baronet and his wife were interred could be entered until 1962, when, as it was no longer weatherproof it was sealed up.

A full length portrait of Sir William Verner, 1st Baronet, in the uniform of a Colonel of the 7th Hussars, is in the Armagh museum.

The marble mantelpiece from Churchill's entrance hall is said to be in Derryadd Orange Hall. 
"There was a huge grave stone in the family cemetery that covered the remains of Sir William's beloved charger which he brought home after Waterloo – she was known locally as The Waterloo Mare.
Would-be thieves tried to remove the stone in – I'm guessing – 1982, but I discovered their handiwork and the stone is now mounted in a wall in the local Orange Hall.
The cottage, Yew Cottage (named, not after the avenue of yews on the estate, but after a 2,000 year-old yew in the cottage's garden), is still, I believe, the longest thatched cottage in Ireland.
My parents lived in the only other surviving house on the Verner estate and coincidently, my father was also Deputy Lieutenant of Tyrone – and also High Sheriff of Tyrone".
London residence ~ 86 Eaton Square.

I acknowledge the article by John Kerr - Churchill, Home of the Verners - and Craigavon Historical Society as a source of information.

First Published in July, 2011.


Anonymous said...

Tim, this is very interesting. Well done. Harry 'Verne' - the heir to the 3rd bart. - obviously adopted, one wonders where he came from.


brunosean said...

I believe my great Grandfather Henry Brown was a gamekeeper on the estate.

Alex. R. Campbell said...

My Great-Grandmother was Jane Verner who was born in Co Armagh around 1823 and was later married to Robert Hayes. The Verner name then appears several times as a middle name in subsequent generations of my family.

I am wondering if Jane Verner was one of the many daughters of Sir William Verner and Harriet Winfield who were married in 1819but have been unable to find definite proof of this.

Unknown said...


Edward Derrick Wingfield Verner, 6th Bart, was my great-uncle and his sister Betty was my adored grandmother. My mother is the eldest child of the succeeding generation: had she been male, the baronetcy would have continued, but there we are.

Mark Irving

Unknown said...

My great-uncle was Edward Derrick Wingfield Verner, 6th Bart, who had no issue. My mother is the eldest child of the succeeding generation, none of which were male, so she would have been the 7th Bart had she been a boy!
Mark Irving

Anonymous said...

My ggrandfather was Rev. William Verner (1843-1921) (county Tyrone) whose father was Thomas and his father was John Verner, from Fermannagh. Their diaries refer to Church Hill and my grandfather (Edwin Earnest George Hamilton Verner (Lisnacloon, 1886-1965) had the 3 boars head crest in his house. Anyone with Verner history please contact me at: Thanks, David Leen, Seattle, WA

Anonymous said...

I am Amy Dyan Verner
Daughter of Henry James Verner from County Tyrone
I'm in Canada and am named after the Dyan #1
I'd love to find more relations
Please contact me at

Anonymous said...

Amy if you can confirm your date of birth and that of your father we can begin an enquiry.

Unknown said...

Greating! From my research I am descended from Thomas Verner who left Belfast/Dublin area with his wife Priscilla Jacques and his brother William and settled in Schuylkill, PA involved in coal mining and banking. It is clear both Thomas and William are sons of Thomas Verner Jr. Last mayor of Belfast, whose father was lt col.Thomas Verner Elder brother of Sir William Verner. Very little is available about Thomas Verner Jr, who his wife was and his children. He was also involved in mining in Ireland. For years I have been trying to find information but not being in Ireland, I have yet to uncover much. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Margaret Verner

Unknown said...

I wanted to clarify, too, that Sir William Verner was the youngest son (not the oldest) of James Verner the nephew of Thomas Verner of Churchill, who has no children and left his fortune and Churchill to his youngest great nephew, William. I can only speculated why a great uncle would chose to leave his inheritance to the youngest child of his nephew, but so be it. I have seen it written in many publications that William was assumed to be the oldest child. That has also created confusion about how members of the family were related.
Margaret Verner

Anonymous said...

My 2xgreat-grandfather, Samuel Dunwoody, was baliff in Monaghan for the 3rd Bart

Andrea Verner said...

I am a Verner descended from a Thomas father of John father of Thomas, father of William. It’s difficult to connect the dots. I do have Gedmatch dna# and would love to one to one compare with anyone who for certain is connected to the Verner’s of Churchill.

Unknown said...

Have just discovered my 4 x great grandfather Joseph Hodge and his brother John worked at this estate until they emigrated to Australia in 1848. They did well in Oz. They became owners of their own large estates.