History of the Room

The Verneys

What we know of the Verney family takes us back to the thirteenth century, when Ralph de Verney (d. 1223) bought land at Middle Claydon in Buckinghamshire, where this branch of the family still live.

The Verney family began acquiring lands in the area of Compton Murdak (as our village was then called) and the surrounding villages in the 1430s, before purchasing the whole estate. By about 1500, the manor had become so closely associated with the family that it began to be known as ‘Compton Verney’.

The hereditary title of Baron Willoughby de Broke had been created in 1491 for Sir Robert Willoughby, 9th Baron Latimer. But in 1668 his descendant, William Verney, the 10th Baron Willoughby de Broke, died aged only 15, without an heir. The title was subsequently claimed by William’s great-uncle, Richard Verney (1563-1630, pictured left). It was Richard’s son George (1659-1728), the 12th Baron Willoughby de Broke, who rebuilt the house in a Baroque idiom and re-landscaped the gardens in the formal, French manner later swept away by ‘Capability’ Brown.

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