MIDDLE-CLAYDON, in the hundred of Ashendon and deanery of Waddesdon, lies nearly two miles from East-Claydon, and about four miles south-west of Winslow. The manor was held under the Peverells, soon after the Norman conquest, by the family of Gresley, from whom it passed by female heirs to the Cantilupes and Zouches. Sir John Brockley, who was Lord Mayor of London in 1433, bought it of the Zouches: in 1458 it was sold by him or his representatives to Sir Ralph Verney, whose descendant of the same name was created a baronet in 1661. Sir Ralph's son was, in 1703, created an Irish viscount, by the title of Fermanagh, and, in 1742, his grandson was created Earl Verney. These titles became extinct in 1791, by the death of the second earl, whose niece, Mary Verney, was the next year created Basoness Fermanagh, and is the present proprietor of this manor.
Either Sir Ralph Verney who purchased Middle-Claydon, or his son Sir John, built a capital mansion there in the reign of Henry VII. which has ever since been the chief seat of the family, but having undergone many alterations, retains no vestige of its ancient form. The more modern part was fitted up in a very magnificent manner, and furnished, with great expence, by the late Earl Verney. The furniture was sold after his death, the state rooms not being made use of by the present owner, who resides during the greater part of the year at a villa in Kent. The saloon is forty-eight feet eight inches by thirty-two feet eight inches, and twenty-four feet three inches in height. The dining-room and drawing room are of the same length and height, but in width only twenty-seven feet six inches; these rooms still contain a few portraits, among which is a fine picture of Sir Edmund Verney, by Vandyke. The grand stair-case is inlaid with various wood, and the iron railing is very richly wrought.
In the parish church are several memorials of the Verney family, the most remarkable is the monument of Sir Edmund Verney above-mentioned, who was standard-bearer to King Charles I. and fell at the battle of Edgehill in 1642: it is ornamented with busts of himself, his son, Sir Ralph Verney, and their wives.. In the chancel, which was built by the Gyfford family in 1519, is a tomb, with brasses , of Richard Gyfford, who died in 1542, and his wife ------. Lady fermanagh is patroness of the rectory.
Sir Ralph Verney, the first baronet, who died in 1696, built an alms-house for six poor persons: it has no endowment.