Verner, James (1746–1822), MP, and high sheriff for Counties Armagh, Dublin, Meath, Monaghan, and Tyrone, was born 1 March 1746, eldest of two sons and three daughters of David Verner and Elizabeth Verner (née Crossle) of Churchill, Co. Armagh. James Verner was MP for the borough of Dungannon (1794–1800) in the Irish parliament. Though he approved of the new Orange Society formed after the battle of the Diamond on 21 September 1795, he never became a member. His chief claim to fame in Orange history was the part he played prior to the battle of the Diamond, when he led a party of the North Mayo militia and prevented reinforcements of the Defenders from the west of Ulster from crossing the Blackwater river and joining in the battle. His early support for the Orange Society earned him the title ‘Orange Jemmy’. On 16 December 1794 he took a sixty-year lease of a town house in Dawson St., Dublin. These were the premises in which the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland had its first official meeting on 9 April 1798, his son Thomas being the grand master. He died in 1822 and is buried in the Verner vault in the old parish churchyard in Loughgall. He married (June 1773) Jane (d. 26 August 1827), daughter of the Rev. Walter Clarke of Anasammery, Co. Armagh, rector of Killeshill, Co. Tyrone. They had five sons – Thomas, James, David and John (twins), and William – and a daughter, Elizabeth.
The eldest son, Thomas Verner (1774–1853), first grand master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, was born 25 March 1774. Thomas Verner is remembered for his contribution to the foundation, development, and growth of the Orange Institution. After the formation of the Institution in 1795, he founded a lodge (LOL 162) on the Churchill estate in 1796, his brother David being the first Worshipful Master. He also founded the first Orange lodge in the city of Dublin (LOL 176) on 4 June 1797, early meetings of which were held in Harrington's hotel in Grafton St. The membership of LOL 176, which totalled over 300, included some of the most distinguished men in Ireland at that time. Over the years he held a variety of offices within the Orange Institution. He was the first master of his private lodge, LOL 176, as well as the first grand master of the counties of Tyrone, Londonderry, and Fermanagh, a position which he relinquished when he became the first county grand master of Dublin city in 1799. Having been selected to chair the preliminary meeting of the grand lodge of Ireland on 8 March 1798, he was elected to the highest position within the Orange Institution, that of grand master of Ireland, at the adjourned meeting on 21 April 1798, held in the Verner family residence in Dawson St., Dublin. He retained this position till 1801. Thomas Verner drew up the first general rules, structure, and ritual of the Orange Institution and was a strong supporter of the act of union. Through his wise counsel and leadership as grand master, he prevented the division of opinion over the act of union from becoming divisive within the Orange Institution. He was also a JP, high sheriff of Co. Armagh 1800, lt.-col. Antrim Militia, and gentleman of the privy chamber to Queen Victoria. He resided at Churchill, Co. Armagh, Dawson St., Dublin, and Cadogan Place, London. He died in London on 13 August 1853. He married (13 December 1803) Elizabeth, second daughter of Sir Edward May. They had two sons, James (b. 26 October 1804) and William (b. 31 January 1807).
Thomas's brother William Verner (1782–1868) inherited the Churchill estate from his great-uncle Thomas in 1788. The estate was managed by his father till he was 25. He represented Co. Armagh (1832–68) in the Westminster parliament, served as lt.-col. 7th Hussars at Waterloo, and was created a baronet in 1846. He was a member of the Orange Institution, where he served as county grand master of Armagh (1821–36, 1846–85).