Tudor aristocrats appear to stride larger than life from the history books, and Baron Vernon was no exception.
Sir George was nicknamed The King of the Peak during his life-time, because of his lavish life-style and tyrannical discipline. He seemed to own half of Derbyshire, at least as far as the Peak District was concerned; but also parts of Shropshire, Cheshire and Westmorland too.
Those in favor with him would find themselves in the receiving hand of his great generosity. They could be invited to huge, extravagant banquets and balls. He never stinted on ordering the best of anything, but he had the wealth to support it.
Yet those without power, nor recourse to a voice, had much reason to fear Baron Vernon. There are three separate occasions on record, where he ordered people hanged on charges amounting to mere accusation. He didn't believe in trials for the little people.
Sir George was known in royal quarters too. Henry VIII made him a baron; and he was present at the coronation of Edward VI. There he added the 'Sir' to his name, when the boy king made him a knight of the realm.
But Sir George was no friend to Catholic Mary Tudor. When she attempted to enforce a loan of £100 from all the aristocrats in England, he refused to pay the money. His seat at Haddon Hall, near Bakewell, remained resolutely Protestant, even as Queen Mary tried to return her nation back to Catholicism.
Thomas Bentham, Bishop of Coventry, and leader of the Protestant Underground during those times, called Baron Vernon, 'a great justice [in] religion as in all other things'. It all paid off, once Queen Elizabeth I took the throne. Now Sir George was considered a very loyal and noble subject in his staunch Protestantism.
Yet that unwavering, hardline stance posed a bit of a problem for his daughter. Dorothy Vernon fell in love with a Catholic.