Richard Vernon (18 June 1726 – 16 September 1800) was a British horse breeder and trainer and a politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1754 and 1790.
The House of Commons is the elected lower house of the bicameral parliaments of the United Kingdom and Canada and historically was the name of the lower houses of the Kingdom of England, Kingdom of Great Britain, Kingdom of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Southern Ireland. Roughly equivalent bodies in other countries which were once part of the British Empire include the United States House of Representatives, the Australian House of Representatives, the New Zealand House of Representatives, and India's Lok Sabha.
Vernon was born on 18 June 1726, the eldest son of Henry Vernon MP of Hilton Park, Staffordshire. He undertook a Grand Tour through Italy and France in about 1743.
Hilton Hall is an 18th-century mansion house now in use as an Office and Business Centre at Hilton, near Wolverhampton, in Staffordshire. It is a Grade I listed building.
The Grand Tour was the 17th- and 18th-century custom of a traditional trip of Europe undertaken by upper-class young European men of sufficient means and rank when they had come of age.
He joined the army and was an ensign in the 1st Foot Guards in November 1744. In 1747, he was lieutenant and captain. By 1751 he was closely associated with the Duke of Bedford.
Duke of Bedford is a title that has been created six times in the Peerage of England. The first and second creations came in 1414 in favour of Henry IV's third son, John, who later served as regent of France. He was made Earl of Kendal at the same time and was made Earl of Richmond later the same year. The titles became extinct on his death in 1435. The third creation came in 1470 in favour of George Neville, nephew of Warwick the Kingmaker. He was deprived of the title by Act of Parliament in 1478. The fourth creation came 1478 in favour of George, the third son of Edward IV. He died the following year at the age of two. The fifth creation came in 1485 in favour of Jasper Tudor, half-brother of Henry VI and uncle of Henry VII. He had already been created Earl of Pembroke in 1452. However, as he was a Lancastrian, his title was forfeited between 1461 and 1485 during the predominance of the House of York. He regained the earldom in 1485 when his nephew Henry VII came to the throne and was elevated to the dukedom the same year. He had no legitimate children and the titles became extinct on his death in 1495.
Vernon was one of the original members of the Jockey Club. As early as 4 June 1751 the betting-book at the old White's Club records a wager between Lord March and Captain Richard Vernon, alias Fox alias Jubilee Dicky. Vernon was blackballed at the club in the following year because of his friendship with the Duke of Bedford. Horace Walpole described him as ‘a very inoffensive, good-humoured young fellow, who lives in the strongest intimacy with all the fashionable young men’ Sometime after this he moved to Newmarket, where he entered into a racing partnership with Lord March, commonly known as ‘Old Q.’ Thomas Holcroft the dramatist, worked as a stable boy in his stables for two and a half years, and called Vernon ‘a gentleman of acute notoriety on the turf’.
The Jockey Club is the largest commercial horse racing organisation in the United Kingdom. No longer responsible for the governance and regulation of British horseracing, today it owns 15 of Britain's famous racecourses, including Aintree, Cheltenham, Epsom Downs and both the Rowley Mile and July Course in Newmarket, amongst other concerns such as the National Stud, and the property and land management company, Jockey Club Estates. The registered charity Racing Welfare is also a company limited by guarantee with the Jockey Club being the sole member. As it is governed by Royal Charter, all profits it makes are reinvested back into the sport.
White's is a gentleman's club in St James's, London, regarded as one of the most exclusive of its kind.
William Douglas, 4th Duke of Queensberry KT was a Scottish nobleman. He was popularly known as Old Q, and was famous for being a great gambler.
Vernon’s political career was controlled by the Duke of Bedford and his record is a story of profitable positions and dumb votes. At the general election of 1754 Vernon was unsuccessful on the Bedford interest at Camelford, but was returned in a by-election on 10 December 1754 as Member of Parliament for Tavistock. The Duke of Bedford was lord lieutenant of Ireland and in 1757 Vernon became his second secretary.
The 1754 British general election returned members to serve in the House of Commons of the 11th Parliament of Great Britain to be summoned, after the merger of the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland in 1707. Owing to the extensive use of corruption and the Duke of Newcastle's personal influence in the pocket boroughs, the government was returned to office with a working majority.
Tavistock was the name of a parliamentary constituency in Devon between 1330 and 1974. Until 1885 it was a parliamentary borough, consisting solely of the town of Tavistock; it returned two Members of Parliament to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom until 1868, when its representation was reduced to one member. From 1885, the name was transferred to a single-member county constituency covering a much larger area.
He married Lady Evelyn Fitzpatrick, widow of John Fitzpatrick, 1st Earl of Upper Ossory and daughter of John Leveson-Gower, 1st Earl Gower on 15 February 1759 and soon after in May was given an Irish sinecure Clerk of quit rents in Ireland. He was subsequently given a pension of £500 p.a. in lieu of income of that office. Vernon was returned after a contest on the Duke’s interest at Bedford in the 1761 general election. He became clerk of the Green Cloth in April 1764 but lost the post in July 1765. Much was dependent on the Duke’s own fortunes and he was reinstated in 1768. He was re-elected at Bedford after another contest in 1768. However, in 1771 the town enfranchised a large number of freemen which outnumbered the Duke’s interest and in 1774 Vernon was moved to the safer Bedford family seat at Okehampton. He became clerk of the Green Cloth again in 1779 and held the post until March.1782 after he was returned at the 1780 general election.
John Leveson-Gower, 1st Earl Gower,, known as The Baron Gower from 1709 to 1746, was a British Tory politician from the Leveson-Gower family, one of the first Tories to enter government after the Hanoverian Succession.
Bedford is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since the 2017 general election by Mohammad Yasin of the Labour Party. The seat dates to the earliest century of regular parliaments, in 1295; its double representation was halved in 1885, then being altered by the later-termed Third Reform Act in 1918.
The 1761 British general election returned members to serve in the House of Commons of the 12th Parliament of Great Britain to be summoned, after the merger of the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland in 1707. This was the first Parliament chosen after the accession to the throne of King George III. It was also the first election after George III had lifted the conventional proscription on the employment of Tories in government. The King prevented the Prime Minister, the Duke of Newcastle, from using public money to fund the election of Whig candidates, but Newcastle instead simply used his private fortune to ensure that his ministry gained a comfortable majority.
The English Chronicle wrote of Vernon in 1781: He is ... not distinguished either for splendour or deficiency of talents, but with a perfect mediocrity of intellectual endowments enjoys his place, breeds his horses, contrives matches, which he is said to do with more skill and success than any man on the turf, and gives a silent vote to the minister. In1784 he moved from to a seat in the Gower interest at Newcastle under Lyme. He was not given any further office and retired at the 1790 general election.
Vernon bred and owned a large number of horses. He also trained and raced them, and was one of those who began the running of yearlings at Newmarket. In 1753 he won one of the two Jockey Club Plates, and in 1768 carried off the first Jockey Club Challenge Cup with his Marquis, son of the Godolphin Arabian. At the first Craven meeting, held in 1771, he won the stakes with Pantaloon against a field of thirteen; and his three-year-old Fame by that sire ran second for the first Oaks on 14 May 1779. Diomed, winner of the first Derby came from his stables. In 1787 he won the Oaks with Annette (by Eclipse). He owned Emigrant, winner of the July Stakes in 1796. He rode himself and took part in a gentleman-jockey race at Newmarket in 1758. The Jockey Club were his tenants at the old coffee-room at Newmarket. The ground lease was purchased by him in 1771, and bought by the stewards on its expiration sixty years later
By betting and breeding horses Vernon is stated to have converted ‘a slender patrimony of three thousand pounds into a fortune of a hundred thousand’ before quitting the turf as an owner.Vernon's name is also noted in the annals of horticulture as the introducer of fruit-forcing. His peaches at Newmarket were famous.
Vernon died on 16 September 1800.His daughter Henrietta married George Greville, 2nd Earl of Warwick at the home of her Uncle the Earl of Gower in Whitehall on 14 July 1776. Vernon's sporting traditions were carried on by his nephew, Henry Hilton, whose name appears in the first official list of the Jockey Club, published in 1835
John Russell, 4th Duke of Bedford, was an 18th-century British statesman. He was the fourth son of Wriothesley Russell, 2nd Duke of Bedford, by his wife, Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of John Howland of Streatham, Surrey. Known as Lord John Russell, he married in October 1731 Diana Spencer, daughter of Charles Spencer, 3rd Earl of Sunderland; became Duke of Bedford on his brother's death a year later; and having lost his first wife in 1735, married in April 1737 Lady Gertrude Leveson-Gower, daughter of John Leveson-Gower, 1st Earl Gower.
Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Marquess of Stafford, PC, known as Viscount Trentham from 1746 to 1754 and as The Earl Gower from 1754 to 1786, was a British politician from the Leveson-Gower family.
Potoooooooo or variations of Pot-8-Os was a famous 18th-century Thoroughbred racehorse who won over 30 races and bested some of the greatest racehorses of the time. He went on to be an important sire. He is now best known for the unusual spelling of his name, pronounced Potatoes.
Lieutenant-General Charles Powlett, 3rd Duke of Bolton, styled Earl of Wiltshire from 1685 until 1699, and Marquess of Winchester from 1699 until 1722, was a British Whig politician who sat in the English House of Commons from 1705 to 1708 and in the British House of Commons between 1708 and 1717 when he was raised to the peerage as Lord Powlett and sat in the House of Lords..
The Bedford Whigs were an 18th-century British political faction, led by John Russell, 4th Duke of Bedford. Other than Bedford himself, notable members included John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich; Granville Leveson-Gower, 2nd Earl Gower; Richard Rigby, who served as principal Commons manager for the group; Thomas Thynne, 3rd Viscount Weymouth; Edward Thurlow; and George Spencer, 4th Duke of Marlborough
John FitzPatrick, 2nd Earl of Upper Ossory FRS DL, styled 'Lord Gowran' from 1751 to 1758, was an Irish peer and member of parliament.
Marske was a Thoroughbred racehorse, best known as siring the great Eclipse.
Sir John Wrottesley, 8th Baronet, of Wrottesley Hall in Staffordshire, was a British army officer and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1768 to 1787.
The Hon. Richard Savage Nassau was an English Member of Parliament who served from 1747 to 1780, with a 20-year gap between 1754 and 1774.
Samuel "Sam" Chifney, also known as Sam Chifney Sr., Sam Chifney the Elder or Old Sam Chifney to distinguish him from his son, was an English jockey. He was a pioneer of professional race-riding, developing a trademark late finishing style, known as the 'Chifney rush' and was the retained jockey of the Prince of Wales. He became the leading horseman of his day, winning four runnings of the Oaks and one of the Derby, but his career ended in ignominy after a scandal around a ride on the Prince of Wales's horse, Escape. Despite inventing a bit for horses that is still in use today, he died in debtors' prison in London.
Skyscraper (1786–1807) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse. One of many notable offspring of the great Highflyer, Skyscraper is best known for winning The Derby of 1789. He competed until he was seven, when after losing two races he was retired to stud.
Squirrel (1754–1780) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse. He won seven of his nine races, including the 1400 Guineas Stakes and match races against Dapper and Jason. He was also a successful stallion, siring Craven Stakes winner Firetail. However he was more well known for producing broodmares, siring the dams of seven Classic winners including Derby winner Noble, along with the dam of champion sire Trumpator. Squirrel was owned by Jenison Shafto.
William "Bill" Clift (1762-1840), born Wentworth, South Yorkshire, was a British jockey. He won the first runnings of both the 1,000 Guineas and 2,000 Guineas and was the first jockey to win all five of the British Classics.
Captain James Octavius Machell (1837–1902) was an influential figure in British horse racing during the final decades of the 19th century. He was a respected judge of horses and an astute and highly successful gambler. During a career that lasted almost forty years he managed and trained eleven English classic winners and was himself the owner of a record three Grand National winners.
Jenison Shafto, of West Wratting Park, Cambridgeshire, was an English politician, race-horse owner, and gambler.
William Leveson Gower was a British Tory politician who sat in the House of Commons for 36 years from 1720 to 1756.
Baptist Leveson-Gower was a British Tory politician who sat in the House of Commons for 34 years from 1727 to 1761.
|Parliament of Great Britain|
| Member of Parliament for Tavistock |
With: Richard Rigby
Richard Neville Aldworth
| Member of Parliament for Bedford |
With: Francis Herne 1761-1768
Samuel Whitbread 1768-1774
Sir William Wake, 8th Baronet
Hon. Richard Fitzpatrick
| Member of Parliament for Okehampton |
With: Alexander Wedderburn 1774-1778
Humphrey Minchin 1778-1784
| Member of Parliament for Newcastle under Lyme |
With: Archibald Macdonald