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The Verney Family - The History of Home Farm



Character   Played By Apeared
Charlotte Verney
Wife of Gerald
Angela Thorne 1970's
George Verney
Lord Miffield - died off-screen in 1978
Patrick Holt circa 1972-1978
Gerald Verney
nephew of George

James Kerry 1970's
Laura Verney
wife of George
Patricia Haines 1970's

The following is from a profile in the book "The Emmerdale Family Album" (by Michael Heatly and Published by Boxtree Paperback - 30 June, 1995 ):-

The Verneys

FOR THE OLDER inhabitants of Emmcrdale, Home Farm - the old manor house just outside the village - represented the traditional way of country life. It was the home of the squire who, since time immemorial, had presided benevolently over his tenant farmers from the big house. He'd contributed a
barrel of ale on village feast days and generally keet a paternal eye on the community.

The Verney family had long been top dogs of the village, and George Verney, who died in 1978, was the last of a long line. He'd married a woman rather younger than himself, and in 1973 been obliged to administer a public horsewhipping to Jack when he sought to bring a little light' into her life. It was an ironic clash of the district's two longest-standing families: only the Verneys could boast a longer traceable history than the Sugdens (and Sam Pearson, for one, would argue that point!).

On George's demise in Cannes, France, where he'd lived since the break-up of his marriage, the estate was inherited by his nephew Gerald Verney.

He was no squire-in-waiting but a small-time London businessman; the colossal death duties he faced left him and his wife Charlotte no option but to sell. Old George had on a number of occasions considered the option of selling the buildings for use as a college, but this time it was the whole estate - lock, stock and barrel.

And that had possible wide-ranging repercussions throughout the community. The freehold of Emmerdale Farm itself had been bought from the Miffield Estate which the Verneys administered, but much still remained in their hands: many shops in the village were rented from them, as was the recreation ground by the parish council. That raised the spectre, as Sam Pearson said, of 'bungalows going up on the cricket pitch', But as Annie sensibly observed, 'It's no good harking back to the good old days when the folk at the Hall felt a responsibility for Beckindale in general.'

The sale brought a territorial dispute in its wake in the shape of a 20-acre field claimed by Emmerdale Farm and the estate agents handling the sale which, it turned out, had been rented from George Verney by Jacob Sugden for a bottle of whisky a year! Jack Sugden paid rather more for the old mill at Connelton which was originally built by a member of the Verney family in the nineteenth century. (Demdyke Row was built by the Verneys for the men who worked there.) The mill was later converted into cottages.

The eventual purchasers of what had traditionally been known as 'Verney's' were NY Estates, and the changes were rung with a vengeance at the newly renamed Home Farm. The squire had traditionally turned a blind eye to a spot of poaching, but now Seth Armstrong - the neighbourhood's most notorious poacher - was appointed as gamekeeper.

An amusing postscript occurred in 1991, when Turner and Wilks read Amos Brearly's diaries and discovered that Seth Armstrong was, in fact, an illegitimate descendant of the Verney family. But any possible claims to ownership of Home Farm had been obscured by NY's purchase and subsequent disposal of the property to Frank Tate - his current boss!

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(last update 25th September 2003)


since 24th September 2003