Anciently written De Mareni, and sometimes De Marinis; a name probably derived from the fief of Marreiny in Normandy (mentioned in the Exchequer Rolls, about 1180). This family held Layer Marney, in Essex, from the time of Henry II. to that of Henry VIII. The first mentioned is "William de Marney, who about the year 1166 held a knight's fee under Henry de Essex of the Honour of Hagnet. Werry de Marinis was excused by a writ of King Richard I. from paying scutage for that King's ransom. In 1263, William de Marny obtained leave from Henry III. to impark his Wood of Lire within the precincts of the Forest of Essex."—Morant. The principal man of the family was Sir Henry Marney, "a person of great wisdom, gravity, and of singular fidelity to that prudent prince, King Henry VII., and one of his privy Council." He had both courage and abilities, and pushed his fortunes at Court with Unvarying success in two different reigns. He commanded for Henry VII. at the battle of Stoke against the Earl of Lincoln, and afterwards fought the Cornish rebels under Lord Audley at Blackheath. Under Henry VIII. he was again a Privy Councillor, a Knight of the Garter, Captain of the King's Guard, Keeper of the Privy Seal, and finally—the year before he died—a peer of the Realm. He had received a large share of the forfeited estates of Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, and commenced building "a great and capacious house" at Layer Marney, of which the quadrangle was intended to be one hundred feet square. But the gate-house alone is now standing, and is probably the only part of his great work that was ever completed. It is eight stories high, commanding "a beautiful and extensive prospect out a great way to sea and all round, though this is a flat country."—Morant. His barony was Of the very briefest duration. He was created Lord Marney of Layer Marney in 1522, and was succeeded in 1523 by his son, with whom it expired in 1525. This second Lord Marney, who has been one of the Esquires of the Body to the King, and Constable of Rochester, was the last of his race. Two daughters were his co-heirs, Catherine, first married to George Ratcliffe, and afterwards to Thomas Lord Poynings, and Elizabeth, wife of Lord Thomas Howard, a son of the third Duke of Norfolk, who was created Viscount Howard of Bindon in 1559.

-- Cleveland

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