Robert VERRY, son of John
VERRIER and Elizabeth (PRICE/PREECE) of Much Dewchurch was
born after his father's death and christened in the Price family's
parish, Staunton-on-Wye 1670. He farmed at Upton-on-Severn and had
issue who farmed at Walford, Weston-under-Penyard and Peterstow.
A gggrandson of Robert was Thomas Robert VERRY born 1808,
Weston-under-Penyard. Thomas married Charlotte Preece TURNER in
1852. She was the widow of Thomas Turner. Thomas and Charlotte farmed
Everston Farm at Peterstow near Ross-on-Wye. He died in 1864 from
injuries received, it is said, from a violent argument about politics.
Children of Thomas and Charlotte -
Descendants of this
USA branch were researched by the late Lillian Good. Email me for a look-up if
you are connected.
- Thomas Robert
VERRY born 1852. Died 1921 Park River, North Dakota. He married
Sarah STOCK of Foy, Herefordshire, 1875.
over Everston Farm
but, possibily because of an economic depression, emigated to the USA
in 1884, purchasing a block at Minnesota where he grew asparagus,
berries and rhubarb.
- John Henry
born 1854. Died 1920 Wessington Springs, South Dakota. Married Julia
(from Poland). John emigrated to the USA in 1882. He had a
wide range of occupations - hotel manager, farmer, horseman, stock
trader. Later he bought the Willard Hotel, Wessington Springs.
VERRY born 1856, died 1931 Alpena, South Dakota. Married John
Edwin Clark COOK 1878 at Peterstow. They emigrated in
I have been unable to
resolve this branch (presuming of course it is indeed a branch of the
Much Dewchurch family) - but it seems to descend from a Thomas VERRY
who married Sarah JAMES at Kington, Herefordshire in 1763.
John VERRY, batchelor
and Alice PREECE, spinster were married at Upper Bullingham,
Herefordshire in 1806. Witnesses were Mary PREECE and George
Williams. I have not seriously researched this Preece family but
the following suggests that Alice was the daughter of William PREECE
(born 1753 Upper Bullingham) and Ann JONES who were married at
Callow in 1780. They had Alice
(born Aconbury 1783) and Thomas (born Aconbury 1786) and possibly
This connection is afforded by the will of Alice JONES, widow
dated 1828 in which she bequeaths to -
This will is alluded to in
the will of John VERRY Senior of Aconbury, dated 1842 which
- my nephew Thomas
PREECE, son of William Preece
- my sister Ann JONES
- my sister Mary
- and the remainder of
estate to John VERRY the younger, son of John and Alice
VERRY in trust to pay interest to his mother; and after her decease
the residue to him, John VERRY the younger, her executor.
"to my eldest son John VERRY, which sum was bequeathed
to him by my wife's Aunt Alice JONES which said sum was paid as
part of the aforesaid estate" (ie freehold property in Little Birch).
The will had an interesting sequel in that John VERRY Junior
was granted administration of his father's Will in 1853 (sic) having
sworn that his father died leaving no lawful will; nothwithstanding
his father's will was probated in 1842. I suspect that the problem
concerned Alice JONES' legacy which John Verry Senior used to
buy some property and that repayment had not been resolved.
William VERRY -
of the Gloucestershire Branch
Because of a chance
discovery we know that the Verrier/Verry families of
Herefordshire and the neighbouring county of Gloucester have a common
origin. In 1611 William VERRY of
Gloucestershire attested to the verbal Will of Henry ROWLES of
Churcham. He stated he was born at Much Dewchurch,
Herefordshire, was aged about 70 years and had come to Minsterworth
about 50 years previous. (To save you doing the sums he was born about
1541 and left home about 1561.) The latter date may be important as
glassmakers (assuming they were) generally kept the trade, father to
sons. This date suggests
they had abandoned it before that time and goes some little way to
Reade's assertion that Verrier's glass furnace at Dewchurch was
by a glassmaker from Lorraine in 1597. It also confirms the Verrier's
in Dewchurch - indeed Herefordshire - about the time of the
Otherwise many unaccounted co-descendants should be winking out at us
the records. But they are not.
matrimonial action against Agnes FEWTERER in 1562. Both were of
Elmore, next to Ministerworth. From the fragmentary information
surviving on just one document
the action appears to have concerned a breach of contract. The outcome
unknown.However the surname FEWTERER is rare and we can safely conclude
that it was the same Agnes who went on to marry William
COWLEY at Elmore in November 1562. And William (VERRY)
married Matilde BROOKE at Elmore in January 1563.
About that time
went farming in Minsterworth. He was soon in litigation with the
neighbouring Manor of Rodley over encroachment. In that action his
surname was written VERRIOR. But, to complicate
matters he was
will sugggest a possible reason shortly.
In 1599 Edward BARSTON,
attempted to recover dues from several orchardists in the Ministerworth
area. They were - Amicell BULLOCK, William NASH, Thomas
JAMES, John GRAINGER, William VERRY, John SMITH,
Christopher MILLARD, John LEIGHTON and Richard ORAM.
The action concerned the movement of apples and pears down the Severn
coastal ports. In 1601, Amicell BULLOCK, William VERRY
others challenged Edward BARSTON, then Deputy Collector of
Port of Gloucester. Barston had become very unpopular with local
In 1596 the Mayor and burgesses of Gloucester had alleged that Barston
other Deputy "Customers" of he Port of Gloucester were receiving
fees", concealing customs and port dues and engaging in private
Most goods required a "cocket" (certificate) of clearance which (of
course) involved a fee. Barston charged greater than the law intended.
The outcome is unclear but as subsequent collectors did nothing to
pursue it VERRY and co probably won the day.
The Gloucester Port Books (Public Record Office, London) have several
references to William VERRY.
Examples are -
of Minsterworth, 12 tons, Master PYGATE 7 March 1581, William VERRY
sent 13 wey malt to Carmarthen in Wales.
of Padstow, 10 tons, Master John ADDAMS 27 January 1584, William VERRY
sent 6 wey white peas to St Ives, Cornwall.
- and so on, wey
a weight used at that time.
In the "John" of Minsterworth, 6 tons, Master George ABADAM, William
VERRY sent 15 March 1585 6 wey of malt to Cardiff
When William VERRY died in
1614 he was
living at Dynny
in Minsterworth in a relatively comfortable "mansion" house, with
orchards and fields of corn. He gave six shillings and eight pence to
mentions his wife Johanne (his first must have
(possibly a relation of Amicell above or the
family who neighboured the Lowe Farm in Much Dewchurch), his sister's
William BADDAM, godson William WOOLES, daughter-in-law
BOYFIELD, debts to John HIET and to George BADDAM
was possibly master of the ship "John" above). His executors were his "loving
neighbours" BOSLEY and Thomas AUSTEN.
Now, recall how
William was once recorded as "alias Ascheton". Well in
the records of Minsterworth and Elmore AUSTEN was often written ASHTON,
ASTEN and so forth. Therein I believe lies the answer. Either his
mother was an Austen or (more likely) the Austen family employed him
when he arrived in the parish and, for a moment he was known as "Austen's
man", the clerks, as we know, having difficulty with the Verrier name.
But there is no point in pursuing it further for want of record.
His son, another
William, moved next door to Westbury-on-Severn
where he was soon in trouble with the "authorities" when he failed to
pay his tithes. These Verry's and their neighbours seem to have been a
litigious lot. For the year 1605 alone several defamation cases are
recorded: Mary Brewer v. Margaret ASTEN of Elmore, James
of Minsterworth v. Robert ASTEN, Alice GRANGER of
Elmore v. Edward Thrum. No
doubt some further digging would reveal others.
records I have outlined give some idea of what William and
his community was like, no comparison of his brothers and sisters
he left behind in Herefordshire is possible, sadly. Paucity of record
prevents this, Gloucestershire being better endowed with earlier
for which there is also better accessibility.
of William Verry are known down to the 19th century.
Some became quite wealthy farmers at Westbury and Frampton-on-Severn,
blacksmiths at Standish and a land surveyor, Bristol.
Please e-mail if you
have connections to this branch of the family.
- I am indebted to a fellow subscriber to the Rootsweb Gloucester
List for information from the Gloucester Port Books.
- Re the name Fewterer. It is from the Anglo-French "veutrier" (OF
"veutre") meaning "keeper of the greyhounds" (for the hunt).
- Again this is a further example of the devolution of this
family's name, Verrier (or Verrior) to Verry. I have not noted any
similar change in Verrier families elsewhere in England, who were
mainly centred in Somerset and Kent. Those families appear to have been
established in the Anglo-Norman period. The Herefordshire family was by
all accounts a more recent arrival, albeit unproven.
VERRIER family was in Much Dewchurch by circa 1541 two avenues were
available to discover more about them. These were the published lists
of Aliens (and Denizations/Naturalisation) and the Lay
In the time of
Heny VIII immigrants in England were required to
register their presence. The law however was more fully complied with
in London ahd the Home Counties. In counties far removed such as
Herefordshire, compliance was minimal.
A large number
of French registered in 1544 as England was at war
with France that year. Typical of those who registered was John
born in Normandy aged 39 years who had resided in England for 16 years
and was married with two children. Unfortunately the name Verrier does
not occur in these accounts.
Next the Lay Subsidies for Much Dewchurch
Results were equally disappointing. The Lay Subsidies (so called
because Church property was exempt) were taxes levied on moveable
personal property. The Subsidy of 1524 and later was a graduated one.
For example those whose goods were valued between one and two
pounds paid four pence per pound,
and so on. Aliens paid double these amounts, but if they were too poor
be chargeable, they paid a Poll Tax of eight pence.
earliest surviving subsidy for the Much Dewchurch
area was 1545 and Much Dewchurch is missing. That of 1550 has just four
names and that of 1584 also appears incomplete. In these fragmentary
no Verrier is recorded. This is a pity as many counties appear to be
In studying the
survival of these tax records it was noted that, for
Dorset in 1525 foreigners included 364 Normans, 43 French, a Fleming,
18 Dutch, 2 Bretons and 122 "others". Of course Dorset, being on the
channel had several ports and most of these foreigners were near the
coast and others (believed to be working at cheesemaking and the like),
further inland. A county in the hinterland such as Herefordshire
would have correspondingly fewer.
example illustrates that there were a considerable number of
foreigners in England well before the large influx of Protestant
refugees from the 1560's and that they had come for work or
business reasons. A return of aliens
in London 1573 gives 1,762 of
the Dutch, French and
Italian Churches and 2,561 "strangers who do
their coming hither was only to seek for their living". Samuel
- "Glassmaking; a Jewish Traditiion" points out that some of the
(Protestant) glassmakers who arrived in England after 1560 appear to
had Jewish origins. He wrote - "Glassmakers with Sephardic or other
of Judaic origin assumed a Huguenot facade in order to make their
in England (at a time when Jews were forbidden) and "many ruses were
Jewish glassmakers in Spain took on a Catholic disguise" . His thesis
with other researchers who concluded that the early glassmakers'
were primarily to himself, family and the trade.
I am not
implying a Jewish origin for Verrier but merely illustrating
that for glassmakers generally, the traditional theory that they were
usually Protestant refugees (in the 16th and 17th centuries) needs some
disappointing was the inability to confirm a local historian's
statement that the Verrier's occupied the Lowe Farm, Much Dewchurch as
early as 1590. As far as I know the Lowe had always been a property of
Bodenham's, Manor of Bryngwyn. The historian (Reade) may have had
access to the Bodenham papers in the 1920's. But those since deposited
contain nothing between 1495 and 1610. A whole century now appears to
be missing. They do however have an intriguing reference dated 1714 of
a mortgage by Bodenham
of glasshouses in Southwark, Surrey which at that late date probably
to glass furnaces then operating at Southwark, some 200 years after my
reputely operated his primitive furnace in the woodlands of South
last mention of the Verry family in Much Dewchurch appear
in a deed, 1726 concerning the transfer of the Mynde Estate to the
Simmons family. It refers to -
or tenements called
Verry's and Powell's and now
called the Farmes ....".
At a later date
I will put on this site some notes on other Verrier
families in England, being mainly Somerset, Wiltshire and Kent.
is a link to NOTES ON THE
PARISH OF MUCH DEWCHURCH
Here is a link to NOTES
ON THE PARISH OF
LINKS - HEREFORDSHIRE HISTORY AND GENEALOGY
HEREFORDSHIRE GENWEB SITE
HISTORY HEREFORDSHIRE - GENUKI
(Some interesting 19th century Gazetteers etc)
THE FOREST OF
OF DEAN (2)