Part 4 (B).

       Like Gunton, Bayfield is a very small parish without an associated village or hamlet and only a long-disused ruin of a church. However, the Hall there is situated in a most attractive wooded setting overlooking the small river Glaven with an excellent hilly 'prospect' of the surrounding countryside. Any arable land rented out by the Jermys to local farmers would be situated in flatter, less wooded parishes nearby - into which their Bayfield manor/estate extended. Saxlingham, for example, was just a mile to the west.

Image produced from the Ordnance Survey Get-a-map service and
reproduced with kind permission of Ordnance Survey.

       Robert Jermy and his wife Christian (who seem to have married about 1626 after Robert qualified as a Barrister) had nine children between 1628 and 1649, including three sons - John, Robert and Isaac, and 6 daughters. Eldest son the Rev John Jermy (to be), was baptised at St George Tombland, Norwich 2 Mar 1629/30 (seemingly before Robert had aquired Bayfield) and, after high school there, as the Civil war continued, entered St John's, Cambridge on 27 May 1646 where he gained his B.A. in 1648/9. He then transferred to Oxford where he became a Fellow of All Souls and was awarded his A.M. in 1651. He was clearly of a bright, academic bent. While he was also admitted to the Middle Temple in 1647, he declined this legal future and became a Priest. (His first cousin John Jermy of Gunton was born and educated at a very similar period and also went to Cambridge then - about a year or so behind this Bayfield John, but followed neither the law nor the church. How close they were seems unknown.)

       Whilst he could expect, as eldest son, to inherit the bulk of the Bayfield estate (whether free or leasehold), although seemingly not the equally large Saxlingham one next door, this first of the eventual three John Jermys of Bayfield may have felt some backup security (with a church living) was prudent - as he and his father Robert were to take opposite sides in the forthcoming hostilities. Rev John Jermy became a Royalist while his father was a fervent Parliamentarian/republican (and Commissioner during the War). Such a stance by son John was presumably difficult to maintain in East Anglia and he was fortunate to have some patronage (apparently) - from the Cornwallis family of Brome/Hoxne, Suffolk. Thus, he appears to be the Rev John Jermy who replaced Rev Philip Cornwallis at Lt Ellingham, Norfolk (c1650) where the living was in the gift of Sir Thomas Pettus, Bt, and later at Tivetshall (1661-72) where the Patron was Charles, Lord Cornwallis (with a little land there held by Francis Jermy, the barrister from Gunton), and (possibly) at Hoxne and/or Brome 1669-?88). John was thus in a position to marry - on 17 Feb 1651/52 - during the early Commonwealth period. His wife was Alice Hobart, daughter of Miles Hobart of Intwood (and later Blickling), Esq (where they married) and sister of Sir John Hobart of the latter place. They had just one surviving son, also John Jermy, baptised at Blickling in, I believe, early 1653. A later son, William, was baptised in 1657 at St Michael at Plea, but died in infancy.        The Hobarts may also have been of a Royalist/C of E persuasion. This, or his Oxford experiences, possibly decided John's political leanings. After the Restoration, he published a pamphlet entitled 'Nature Confined'(1667) in which he criticized the inadequacies of Puritanism, the basic orientation of the Parliamentarians . In May 1652, Alice's brother Sir John had agreed a £2000 joynture for her in the event her husband pre-deceased her (which he did, but not as early as did John of Gunton). This money was to be paid to her through her brother-in-law (or his heirs) - Robert Jermy the younger - he signing a receipt to that effect. This would then be used to support widowed Alice until her death. [However, it appears that she re-married - one Benjamin Cutler of The Chantrey, near Ipswich although conceivably this may have been an earlier marriage.] It seems odd for the family of the bride to put up the joynture money; this may relate to tensions between John and his father. [See NRO Indentures 14517-20]. Alice had an unmarried sister Elizabeth Hobart (daughter of Miles Hobart and his wife - later a 'Lady Cartwright') who left a Will in 1696 - describing herself as 'of Holveston, Norfolk' (an obscure parish about 5 miles south-east of Norwich) in which she refers to her 3 nephews: Capt John Hobart, Mr John Brews and... Mr John Jermy (b 1652/3) and his daughter 'Mrs Alice Jermy' (at that time unmarried young ladies of gentry status were generally so referred - ie as 'Mistress (Mrs), and young men of same as 'Master' (Mr) - before acquiring Gent or Esq status.

       Meanwhile, Rev John's father Robert Jermy, Esq was becoming gradually more infuential in Norfolk during the Civil war and Commonwealth period - becoming a Magistrate, Commissioner, Colonel (1651) and M.P. (1653 and 1658) - who oversaw much local government in the north of the county dealing with soldiers' pensions, re-building bridges, collecting taxes and much else. In 1649, he warned of an attempted revolt off Yarmouth and on 4th December 1650, wrote to Parliament regarding a planned uprising in Norwich in support of a return of Charles II:

       "In the first outbreak of this insurrection, the whole country seemed in a flame (...and would have been...) had not the Lord even in the moment appointed for...our...sure overthrow...showed that He was God, who hath saved us, and would not now foresake us. They had so many parties appointed, and in so many places, that we could apprehend no safe place...There were many of power and eminence...with them...(and it is plain to see and we justly fear that) many of the middle ranks of men were engaged in it that there would be no end (if trying) them by jury...(and we should) either...make some exemplary by a martial trial or by the High Court of Justice."

      Courts were subsequently set up in Norwich for 5 days by Christmas and 25 Royalists were found guilty and hanged, including a member of the Hobart family. At the Restoration, however, Robert felt it prudent to 'disappear' for a while - by emigrating to America around 1660 (his wife Christian having already died in the 1650s - probably worn out after bearing 9 children over 20 years) - but Robert returned within a year or so. He took up his usual duties and continued as squire of Bayfield until his death about June 1677, having been recommended for a Baronetcy which, however, was never conferred. His Will, dated 4 April 1677, was proved 30 June that year. As "Robert Jermy of Bayfield, Esq", he left lands recently purchased in Glanford and Bayfield Gate to his son second Robert Jnr (elder son Rev John presumably getting the main estate automatically). He left lesser amounts to his youngest son Isaac (who however seems to have previously received some ?copyhold lands in Saxlingham) and to daughters Alice and Christian - as well as grandchildren Eleanor, Alice, Nicholas, John and Isaac Toll, and son-in-law Thomas Toll. He does not mention eldest son Rev John Jermy at all - their antagonism seemingly continued unabated.

       After the death of his father in 1677, Rev John Jermy would have the advantage of Bayfield's income for just a few years - depending on his own date of death. This is given typically as 1679 and we see that his son - the 'middle' John Jermy, Esq did indeed hold his first Bayfield Court that same year. However, the Brome register doesn't record the burial there of 'John Jermey, Clerk and Rector of Brome, Suff until 9 May 1688' - as entered by his successor. This John 'Jermey' had himself succeeded Rev Robert Goodwin at Brome in 1669 - the latter being buried there also - on 21 July 1669. [Recall a Jermy Goodwyn.] Rev John Jermy from Bayfield appears (oddly) not to have left a Will, although an Administration (PCC) in the name of John Jermy(?) was granted - but in 1688 - to one Samuel Musson (inexplicably of a ?Leicestershire family) - presumably pertaining to the John Jermey who died at Brome that year. Certainly, a 'John Jermey' signed the Brome register (thus) on the burial there of Dame Elizabeth Cornwallis - in March 1680 ('79/80 or '80/81). As John Jermy of Bayfield would certainly know how to spell his own name, the Brome John Jermey appears, on this basis, not to have been 'our' John - of Bayfield. Indeed, the Brome man's signature is different to that given by our Rev John Jermy at his own marriage settlement in 1651 (which was rather 'embellished' with several internal loops and wiggles) and thus differs not only with regard to the different spelling.

      In 1669, Rev John Jermy was apparently given dispensation to hold both Tivetshall and Brome in plurality. Were there two Rev John 'Jermys' who held various churches (as Lt Ellingham (in ?1647 - this being rather early), Stow Bardolph (?1650), Thorpe Abbots (resigned in 1661), Tivetshall St Margaret (from 1661) and apparently Brome (from 1669) - that is, between ca 1647 and 1688 - even though the Oxbridge graduates lists show only one of this name (or similar) fitting this era ? This will clearly have to be examined further; possibly his signature in 1680 ws produuced by a deputy (his Curate?) for some reason. Tivetshall may have been presented to him by his cousin John Jermy of Gunton, Esq (1630-62) - this parish (or a large portion of it) being in that family from the 1620s, although possibly not the Manor or advowson. (A) Rev John Jermy (likely 'our' Rev John) also taught some high school pupils in that area.

       Rev John's only surviving son, the 'middle' John Jermy, Esq of Bayfield (born 12 Feb 1651/52; baptised 28 Apr 1652 - or possibly a year later - at Blickling), was in any case now of age - having married Jane Chare of Wandsworth in 1675. He too attended Cambridge (Trinity) - from 1669 and was awarded an early M.A. in 1671 (being as bright as his father apparently) and entered Lincoln's Inn that same year. He settled for a time (c1685-90) in his own small estate called 'The Chantrey'- surprisingly near Ipswich - at Sproughton, Suffolk (seemingly brought by his mother Alice (nee Hobart) who may have married firstly (or secondly?) one Benjamin Cutler of that Suffolk estate. He and Jane had two sons - the elder, yet another John Jermy - in 1676 (born in London), and a William Jermy in 1681, who died unmarried, aged just 28. Between these was born one daughter - Alice Jermy - in 1679 who would marry and have issue. For some reason, John and Jane did not return to Bayfield (which was a bit distant from the main social life of Norfolk) but settled in the more conveniently placed market town of Aylsham, although did, as mentioned, oversee a Bayfield Manor Court in 1679 - possibly shortly after his father's death (although if his father had indeed lived to 1688, this middle John may have received authority from his father to conduct Manor Court hearings. (Some of the Bayfield estate seems to have gone to Isaac Jermy.) This 'middle' John (as I have styled him) had a long and seemingly happy, if uneventful, life - not dying until 18 Dec 1735 (and his wife Jane just the year before) both of a good age. There is very little documentary evidence about him. He is buried in Aylsham church (see below) where he was a churchwarden - and where his son, the next (and third) John Jermy, Esq of Bayfield (the active Counsellor to be), would later serve similarly. But first back to Robert's younger sons:

       Robert's second son Robert Jermy Jnr was born about 1635 (I believe) - possibly at Bayfield. He married firstly Elizabeth Hobart, daughter of James and Bridget Hobart of Mendham, Suffolk (where they married) on 19 Apr 1666 (a junior branch of the Blickling Hobarts) by whom he had but one daughter Dorothy Jermy about 1672. She married Anthony Atthill of Foulsham around 1695 and had a son Jermy Atthill there about 1700. Robert married secondly Ann Thurlow, widow (nee Styleman) around 1685, his first wife dying a little before this. He wrote his Will 21 Sept 1695 and died in late August 1698 - being buried in Glanford church 1 Sept that year - as Robert Jermy of Glandford, Gent - although his Will for some reason wasn't proved until 19 Apr 1711 (at Walsingham). He left all his houses and lands both free and copyhold and as leased from the Bishop of Norwich - in Glanford, Bayfield Gate, Wiveton and Blakeney - to his only child Dorothy - immediately after the death of his wife Ann (who was to get his Glanford property as her joynture) and then to Dorothy's issue (ie one Jermy Atthill), otherwise to his own brother Isaac Jermy, Gent and the heirs male of his body, otherwise to his nephew Robert Toll and male heirs, otherwise to his nephew John Jermy of Bayfield, Gent (b 1652/3) - son of his now long deceased elder brother Rev John Jermy. This nephew hadn't yet moved to Aylsham therefore. After Robert Jermy's death, his daughter Dorothy Atthill was admitted to the Manor Court in his place - on 2 Sept 1701. Note: Blomefield shows a Robert Jermy buried in Aylsham in 1697 - the son of Robert and Frances Jermy??) After her first husband's death about 1716, Dorothy appears to have re-married - to someone of surname Cressy - around 1718 - the same year her son Jermy Atthill had a son Anthony. She died in 1729 and, on 13 Sept 1754, this grandson named his first son after his father - producing yet another Jermy Atthill in that significant year.

       Robert's third son was Isaac Jermy - born at Bayfield on 11 Apr 1647. He went up to St John's, Cambridge in 1663, aged 17, and obtained his B.A. 1667 (M.A. 3 years later). Its not known what he did subsequently (over the next 15 years) but he applied for a marriage licence in London - as 'Isaac Jermy of St Mary Woolnoth, Gent, aged about 37, a bachelor, to marry with Sarah Stockton of the same place, a girl of about 19 years, she having the consent of her mother Eleanor, her father being dead, to marry, on 7 July 1684, in St Michael Cornhill'. Sarah was the daughter of a noted evangelical Clergyman - Rev Owen Stockton (died 1680). However, no such marriage was actually performed there - although possibly elsewhere. The Rev Stockton, like Isaac himself, was of a non-conformist/presbyterian leaning (see his Will) and preached along those lines in the south-east Suffolk area. He resided at Chatisham in that county - where a 'Mrs Jarmy' later died in Sept 1708. For some reason, this entry was recorded in the register of St Mary's in Bury St Edmonds where she may have been buried - on 7 Sept that year. (A Mary Stockton was born to Rev Owen and his wife Eleanor (daughter of Roger Rant of Swaffham Prior, Cambs and his wife Eleanor nee Jermy - she the daughter of ....) on 23 Dec 1666, but died aged 5. But no Sarah was born to them there - ca 1664/5. Isaac eventually settled in Bury himself (with its many gentry) - possibly with this wife Sarah initially, but later with his unmarried niece Bridget Jermy. In any case, there was apparently no surviving issue of any such marriage - as far as can be ascertained from Isaac's very thorough Will (proved in 1736) - after a very long life which overlapped the generations of our chief concerns. See his Will details below. [Note that St Mary Woolnoth was the London parish where Seth Jermy Snr married Mary Piggott in 1692; Isaac would refer to their son Seth Jermy Jnr (b 1694/5) as his 'kinsman' in his Will; also that John Rant, a brother of Owen's wife Eleanor married a Teversham Jermy (Joan, daughter of Edward).]

       Robert Jermy Snr's eldest daughter Eleanor Jermy was born 14 Sept 1628 and baptised at St George Tombland on 23 Mar 1628/9. She married Thomas Toll Esq of King's Lynn on 23 May 1651 - at Cley (near Bayfield and Glanford) and had issue. The next daughter appears to have been the Bridget Jermy, born about 1638, who married William Buxton of Tibbenam, Esq by licence issued 19 Feb 1665 and also had issue. An Anne Jermy married at Saxlingham near Bayfield on 9 July 1672 to Rev Thomas Woolsey, Archdeacon of Northampton - also by licence, issued 6 July that year. She could be another daughter of Robert and Christian - born about 1640 - although she may have been of the Saxlingham cousin line. The next daughter was Alice - born about 1642 - who married Thomas Newman of a north Norfolk gentry family (of Baconsthorpe) as his second wife - on 17 Apr 1695 - just two years before he died. She was buried there - on 5 July 1719. Elizabeth Jermy was born about 1644 and married James Tennant of Roughton on 6 Jan 1668/9 at Saxlingham (where we recall Rev Anthony Jermy had also married - Bridget Lowde (nee Mann) only slightly earlier - in 1667. She and her first husband apparently resided there previously). Finally, two years after Isaac was born, Robert and Christian had youngest daughter Christian Jermy in 1649. She would marry William Warner of Winfarthing (like Tibbenham - in the south of the county) and did so at Bunwell in that area (owned by the Buxtons) - on 19 Nov 1685. It is possible that Christian Warner later held the advowson for a church at Hautbois Magna where the clergyman husband of Rev Anthony's daughter Alice (her niece) was given the living - around 1701.

       Some of these children of Robert Jermy are mentioned in the Will of their brother Isaac Jermy. In this, he firstly ratifies and confirms the recent* conveyance and settlement of his estate in Bayfield, Letheringsett and Saxlingham (then in the tenure/occupation of Richard Williams or his under-tenants (an eg of Jermys' rental income)) - to his (great) nephew John Jermy, Esq (the Counsellor) and his son William Jermy, Esq (b 1713) (* ie on the intermarriage of the said William with the Hon'ble Elizabeth Richardson on 26 Aug 1735). He left £50 and annuities to a (great) niece Alice Teed and to (great) nephew Robert Toll (her brother), descendents of his eldest sister Eleanor, the annuities to be raised from rental income of his estate in Rougham (asouth of Cromer - then occupied by Roger North, Esq. [Robert Toll had a daughter Eleanor Toll in 1691 and a son Isaac Jermy Toll in 1689.] He left £100 to Eleanor Marshall, another 'niece' descended from Eleanor. He left £50 to another (great) nephew - Robert Buxton, descended from his youngest sister Bridget and husband William Buxton of Tibbenham in about 1665, and lesser amounts to Robert's two sisters and their mother. He also left £200 to another Buxton (great) niece - Margaret Lloyd. To 'Jermy Atthill' of Foulsham, Norfolk, he left £200. He was the son of Dorothy (nee Jermy), the sole heir of his brother Robert Jermy Jnr, and her husband Anthony Atthill. He also left small bequests to two daughters of Jermy Atthill's sister.

      [Conveniently, Jermy Atthill (one of several nearest in blood to William - with the name Jermy already in situ (!) - died in or before 1 Feb 1753 (as recorded in the Bayfield Manor Court Book). He had been admitted to the manor on 12 Nov 1729 - when the Court Book was signed by the then Steward - one Isaac Preston, Esq ! Was this when he first became acquainted with the Jermy family? As John Jermy, Esq was then the Lord of that Manor, it appears that he couldn't also be the Manor's Steward - to oversee its proper legal proceedings. This role would probably prove usful to Isaac Preston - after John Jermy III died in 1744, leaving only William (then married to Elizabeth Richardson) as sole possessor of such a large estate - in a failing and childless marriage. Isaac Preston could thus 'help' him - eg 'make decisions' - along a certain path.]

       The foregoing bequests were thus directed to relations at quite a 'remove' from rather aged Isaac Jermy but his next one is for an even more distant relative. He left a significant £200 to his 'kinsman' Seth Jermy, Gent - of H.M. Victualling Office, London. This is a distant relation indeed - being Isaac's 6th cousin! He then leaves £200 each to two Suffolk Clergy friends and between £10, and £50 to 10 other friends and Servants, and to the poor of Bury. To other relations - as John Jermy Esq ( the elder - b 1652), William Jermy, Esq (b 1713) and the above Robert Toll, he left £10 to £30 'for mourning'. He left a Bond for £150 to his (great) niece Alice England (nee Jermy), then of London - widow of George England, Esq (former M.P. for Yarmouth). He also left £150 to buy land near Bury to raise income to pay for a Presbyterian Minister in Bury. His executor was to be his great nephew John Jermy, Esq (the younger, b 1676) who was to have any residue of his estate. He wished to be buried in St Mary's church in Bury - beside his late 'Niece (Bridget) Buxton' (ie daughter of his sister Bridget nee Jermy who had died in 1695); the younger Bridget died there in 1718 "...with a Black marble Stone erected over us and Inscriptions of our names and Arms thereon." Was he ever married therefore? Who was the 'Mrs Jarmy' died/buried in 1708 in 'Chatsam' (ie Chatisham)? Isaac died 2 Apr 1736 and was buried as requested on 6 Apr 1736 - his Will proved between the two - 4 Apr 1736. This speed may have reflected the fact that John Jermy (1676-1744) his executor wished to combine his two roles as executor and mourner on the one 'flying visit' to Bury from Norwich.

       We may now return to the senior line descended from Robert's eldest son - Rev John Jermy - via that man's only surviving son 'middle John' (described by Isaac above as 'John Jermy, Esq, the elder'). There was a second son William Jermy born in 1657 at St Michael-at-Plea who died young. Middle John's only surviving son John Jermy, Esq (the younger), was born in 1676 and appears to have been legally trained after attending Charterhouse School in Surrey (possibly through the influence of his mother's father?) and Trinity College, Cambridge from 1694, and the Inner Temple from 1695. He became a very active professional man in Norfolk - serving as a legal counsellor for many county families in their Manor Courts, as well as holding official positions in both Norwich and Gt Yarmouth - as Steward and Recorder. Again, how he came to operate in such a capacity in this coastal town - so far from the Jermy's usual centres - is uncertain. (But see later account of his sister's marriage into the gentry of that town - ie the England family.) When John Jermy from Gunton (the apprenticed brazier) first settled there, this Bayfield John (an Esq to be) was barely born and yet, in a relatively short time, he would come to occupy a most respected, learned and responsible place there, and elsewhere in Norfolk. (One may contrast their daily experiences ca 1695-99, for example).

      It's almost inexplicable when one compares this latter educated John Jermy with his namesake first cousin John Jermy, the illiterate day labourer - despite being of the same generation - with that latter John, while younger, actually being of the more senior line. One can only assume that their respective grandfathers handled the finances of their two estates quite differently. Moreover, Alice Hobart likely brought more to her partner (and thence to her son who had, in addition to Bayfield, an estate at Sproughton) than Anne Castleton (also of Suffolk) managed to bring to hers. Thus, Alice appears to have married one ?Robert Cutler of Sproughton, Suffolk.] Alice Chare too may have brought some comparable financial security. Middle John, who thus obtained such security provided his elder son John Jermy the Counsellor with a good education, had a second son William Jermy in 1681 who died 17 Mar 1709/10, aged 28, being buried (as 'Mr. William Jermy', Gentleman') in Aylsham church, apparently unmarried, 2 days later. I know nothing else about him.        Middle John's daughter Alice Jermy (born 1679) married in 1703 at Cley (near Bayfield) to George England of Yarmouth, Esq, the son of Capt Thomas England and wife Ann Bulwer (daughter of Thomas Bulwer of Buxton, Gent). George England had been to Cambridge (1695) where he likely met middle John Jermy who probably introduced him to his sister Alice and hence his own later connection with Yarmouth. He became a J.P., M.P. and Mayor of Yarmouth ca 1710-20. He was also Lord of the Manor of nearby Stokesby, where he died in 1725. He and Alice had three surviving children - George, Thomas and Anne born ca 1707-1714. George became a clergyman about 1730 and was Rector of Alby (near Gunton) when he married the oddly named Veneranda Maria Elizabetha ?Delaporte (surname uncertain, but possibly daughter of a Norwich or London goldsmith of Huguenot descent) in 1732. This union too may have been arranged by John Jermy, Esq (the lawyer) who would know which families in Norwich had suitable, well-off daughters. Rev George soon died childless in 1740, however, and she re-married a Huguenot - John Lacam of Pall Mall, London - he also of a goldsmith's family.

      These men - the Delaportes, Lacams (and a John Maule) - would no doubt know a Norwich goldsmith named James Daniells whose daughter had married even better (in 1713) - to a Lord Richardson who held considerable property in Norfolk. Their daughter in turn - Elizabeth Richardson - may well have been seen by John Jermy as a suitable match for his own son - William Jermy - not long after he had arranged the union between his nephew Rev George and Veneranda (and, conveneintly, only weeks after Elizabeth;s only brother William had died aged just 21, unmarried, he being the last (5th) Baron Cramond. The mutual backgrounds in the monied goldsmith sphere meant that Elizabeth and Veneranda were close friends. This was to be manifested later when Elizabeth left this friend a remarkable £8000 at her death in 1751. Not surprisingly, Veneranda's second husband (who would gain some control over these funds) was able to leave about £6000 in his Will in 1759, his wife having pre-deceased him. The year after Rev George died, his younger brother Thomas did likewise - as a Marine in the West Indies - also childless). The one sister Anne England also married in about 1735 - to a John Mallison and had three children who are discussed below. Anne's mother Alice England (nee Jermy) died in Stokesby - by about 1745-50, I believe.

       Alice's elder brother, the lawyer John Jermy of Bayfield/Aylsham/Norwich, Esq would himself marry three times - in each case his wife's name being Mary. From these three wives, he managed to produce but one surviving son - William Jermy - in 1713/14. His first wife was Mary Fuller, daughter of Samuel Fuller, an official of Yarmouth. They married 13 Feb 1706/7 in Yarmouth and had two children - Mary in 1707 and William a year later - both baptised in Aylsham but buried there as infants before 1711. Their mother also died in Aylsham, where they then lived - on 5 Apr 1712, aged 31. John re-married Mary Starkey, daughter of Rector William Starkey of Pulham St Mary Virgin (from whom he would gain even more property), on 2 June 1713 at St Mary-in-the-Marsh (a Chapel of Norwich Cathedral). She bore him only one child, the aforementioned son William - born 24 Feb and baptised 28 Feb 1713/14, at St Michael-at-Plea. She died later that year - 17 Aug 1714. John re-married Mary Wrench, daughter of famous Norwich doctor Sir Benjamin Wrench, MD - on 8 Feb 172 1/22 at St John Maddermarket (her parish) - by whom he had one daughter - Rebecca Jermy - on 26 Dec 1722. She was also baptised at St Michael at Plea - on 14 Jan 1722/23 - but did not survive, being buried in Aylsham churchyard later that year. [Interestingly, a William Jermy married an Ann Potter at St Michael-at-Plea in 1714 (the same year 'our' William Jermy was born/baptised there. His origins and whether he was a true Jermy (or a Jermyn back a few generations), I know not. He may have been the same man who married there also (2ndly?) - in 1717 - to one Mary Clarke.]

       William Jermy of Bayfield, Esq, presumably raised in Norwich and Aylsham, received a good education (the Inner Temple in 1725 - at just 13 (?) - and Corpus Christi, Cambridge in 1731) and had the benefit of the sound financial base left by his prudent and respected father. Mary nee Wrench would have served as his step-mother for much of his childhood. He did not, however, emulate his father in this lifestyle but seems to have led a rather carefree social life so typical of the early Georgian era - with a round of parties, girl friends and life in London, as well as the social whirl of north Norfolk, with its many grande houses. As mentioned, he then married well - in Aug 1735 - to Elizabeth Richardson, daughter of a nobleman (the title recently inherited (1720) by her brother William - on whose death (July 1735), she inherited considerable property in south and west Norfolk - just 4 weeks before marrying William Jermy). She was a prize catch indeed, as had been Elizabeth Barkham.

[We insert here some detail regarding the family from which the said Elizabeth Richardson derived. Various pedigrees provide certain inconsistencies in this family's background but the following, for now, appears to be fairly accurate. William and his only sibling Elizabeth were born ca 1713/14 and 1715, respectively, in Southacre, Norfolk (near King's Lynn) to Lord William Richardson, 3rd Baron of Cramond in Scotland (he born ca 1680s in Honingham, Norfolk) and his second wife Elizabeth Daniels, the daughter and sole heir of James Daniels of Norwich, Goldsmith. They married in Honingham (or, less likely, Hingham), Norfolk in 1713, shortly after the death in 1712 of William's 1st wife, also an Elizabeth, nee Barkham (born ca 1658) whom he had married ca 1686, the daughter and sole heir of ?Robert Barkham of Southacre, Gent (born ca 1662, died...?).

      The family of Richardson had its origins as one of moderate power, influence and property in the competence displayed by its most significant progenitor Sir Thomas Richardson (1569-1634/5) who, after legal training in Elizabethan times, became an M.P. and then Speaker of the House of Commons, and later Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas. He is shown as born in Hardwick, Suffolk to a ?Dr Thomas or William Richardson of that place and his wife Agnes. There is however no parish or village called Hardwick in Suffolk although there is one in south Norfolk close to the Suffolk border. One had thus assumed that the latter was his actual place of birth. However, there are, amazingly, two other 'hamlets' called Hardwick, within other parishes, one in Suffolk and the other in Norfolk - either of which may reasonably represent his family's place of origin. The one in Suffolk, lies within the parish of Hawstead as a non-parochieal entity (of 'Hardwick House') just below Bury St Edmonds, seems a fair possibility on the basis that 1. this is the county from which early pedigrees typically show the family derives and 2. he married firstly in 1595 Ursula, the daughter of a Suffolk gentleman Sir John Southwell, Esq of Barham Hall, Suffolk, doing so in their local church. However, Whilte's 'Suffolk' describes those holding this property in Elizabethan times (at which Elizabeth the first once slept a night) as the renown Drury family who then sold it to the Cullums, with no reference at all to any Richardsons. Also, Barham is much nearer Ipswich and not Bury. The hamlet of Hardwick in Norfolk, that is also not a proper parish, lies within the parish of North Runcton about 2 miles from King's Lynn and not far from Castle-Rising, Westacre, Southacre and East Walton, all of which will prove relevant to the Richardson family as detailed below.

       In any case, by Ursula, Sir Thomas had one son, also Sir Thomas Richardson, K.B. (1597-1644), apparently born in one or other Hardwick also. His mother died in 1624 in Holborn, London (centre of the legal profession) and his father then married 2ndly in 1626 to Elizabeth Beaumont (ca 1575-1651), she the widow of Sir .....Ashburnham of Sussex. With Sir Thomas, she had no issue. Oddly, two years later, on Dec 31 1628, this Elizabeth was created 'Baroness Cramond in Scotland' by Charles I - "for life - with the remainder to the son and heirs of her 2nd husband Sir Thomas Richardson". It is presumed that Sir Thomas wasn't raised to the Peerage himself as he was still a Chief Judge and this would have required his retirement. The Cramond Barony was likely in Charles' gift (being a Scot himself), one that was readily available to him. No Richardson of this line ever resided in Scotland however nor indeed ever voted in the Lords.

       The younger Sir Thomas married firstly, in 1626, Elizabeth Hewitt (ca 1604-1639) of Pishiobury, Herts in St Martins-in-the Fields, Westminster (about the same time his father was re-marrying, possibly there also; no, they married in St Giles-in-the-Fields). The latter man (the Chief Justice) died in London in 1634/5 (buried in Westminster Abbey), having seen his son and daughter-in-law Elizabeth produce the third Thomas Richardson - in 1627 in St Martin's. Elizabeth died in 1639 when this youngest Thomas was just 12 and his father, the younger Sir Thomas, then re-married in about 1640 to Mary Sandys, a widow of Sir....Sandys, from whom he had no other issue before dying himself in 1644, possibly buried in Honingham in Norfolk. Because his father's 2nd wife Elizabeth (the Baroness) did not die herself until 1651, this younger Sir Thomas (d 1644) did not inherit the Barony of Cramond himself (although was apprently addressed as 'Master of Cramond' during his lifetime) and so the remainder of same (and thus the title) was inherited directly by his son and heir (also Thomas) in that latter year of 1651 - he thus becoming effectively the 1st Lord (Baron) Cramond in Scotland, when he was 24. [However, it appears that later historians typically accorded him the title of 2nd Lord (Baron) Cramond - as though his step-grandmother Lady Elizabeth from whom he inherited the title directly had been a Baron rather than the Baroness she in fact was. Later holders of the title were therefore generally accorded the subsequent numberings: 3rd, 4th and 5th Barons Cramond, successively.] This Thomas had already married, in 1647 by licence, Anne Gurney of Totteridge, Herts (nr Pishiobury?) a daugter of Sir Richard Gurney, a Lord mayor of London. Interestingly, there were landed Gurneys also nr Hardwick in North Runcton. This Lord Cramond and Anne had three sons, seemingly born in Honingham, Norfolk - Henry (1650), Thomas (20 May 1652) and William (2 Aug 1654). This manor was either purchased by Lord Cramond or may have come to the family through the Gurneys. On the restoration, he became an M.P. for Norfolk (ca 1660-64) before dying in 1674 - being buried at Honingham. His wife outlived him by 22 years.

       The eldest son Henry Richardson (1650-170 1/2) thus became 3nd Lord Cramond in 1674, aged 24, shortly before marrying a widow Frances nee Napier (1660-1706) in about 1679; she had married 1stly Sir Edward Barkham of Southacre, a little west of Honingham (which Henry seems to have mortgaged about 1678 (with John Sheldrake, a Goldsmith of London), possibly to promote his marriage). Thus, in 1680, the new Vicar of Honingham was instituted by Sheldrake. Henry was appointed Lord Lieutenant for Norfolk in 1781. He and Frances (through whom he likely inherited some of the Southacre estate), had no issue before he died in Jan 170 1/2 when his youngest brother William inherited the title and estate - to become the 4rd Baron Cramond. (The middle brother Thomas had married Anne Salmon of London ca 1680s by licence, she the widow of Richard Bourne, a lawyer of Middle Temple whom she had married in 1677, but they had no issue before Thomas died (1696) before his elder brother Henry, the 3nd Baron. This Thomas, who left a Will (Prob 11/435), was buried in Didlington, Norfolk, a parish not far from Southacre and East Walton, etc.

      On Henry's death, the youngest brother William Richardson thus inherited - as the 4th Baron (Lord) Cramond - he having married (ca ?1680s) Elizabeth Barkham, daughter of Robert Barkham, of Southacre, Gent, brother of Sir Edward Barkham of Southacre, Bt. Elizabeth died herself (1712), aged 54, without issue and is buried in St Mary's church, East Walton under a marble memorial showing the Arms of Richardson and Barkham. William soon re-married - in 1713 - to another Elizabeth, the daughter of James Daniells, a Goldsmith of Norwich. They soon had one son William, and a daughter Elizabeth Richardson, born respectively in 1713/14 and 1715 in Southacre, as described earlier.

       On his father William's death on 17 March 1719/20 (also buried under a memorial at East Walton church with the same Arms plus those of Daniels), young William became the 5th and last Lord Richardson - dying unmarried on 28 July 1735, aged only 21, buried at East Walton under a memorial. (His mother Elizabeth nee Daniels had died soon after her husband, in 1722, aged 37 and is also buried at East Walton, again under a marble tombstone. (These details with gratitude from a member of the FamilyHistory Community.) His sister Elizabeth married William Jermy just 4 weeks after she inherited whatever property and estate was then held by her late brother, including Stanfield Hall and manors near by (unless these latter were only purchased by them latterly with funds obtained by the sale of their Southacre inheritance, understood to have taken place shortly after their marriage). The connection of the family for some decades with Goldsmiths of both Norwich and London suggests that they probably required extra funding from time to time.]

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       In December that year (1735), William's father John Jermy, Esq had a memorial inscribed for his own father's tomb in Aylsham church. This clearly sought to emphasise the Jermys' illustrious descent and reads: "Hic est John Jermy of Bayfield, Esq - Oriunde ex Johanne Jermy, Milite es Margareta uxore ejus una Filiarum et Cohaer dum Rogeri Bigot - Comitis Norfolciae et Comitis Mareschalij Angliae - tempore Edwardi 2nd...John Jermy morti 18 Dec 1735 agens 83". That is, the said (middle) John was descended from Sir John Jermy and Margery/Margaret his wife - she the daughter and co-heir of Roger Bigod, Earl of Norfolk and Marshal of England'. And thus so did this son John, who seems to have been more interested in the family's noteworthy origins than many of the family. It was he who apparently commissioned (ca 1700) the making of their extensive roller pedigree on vellum (long in the possession of Stewart Valdar but now held by Colin Jermy) which details so much of that earlier information. This younger John Jermy Esq, the lawyer/counsellor, was soon to die himself - on 24 Oct 1744 aged about 68 and almost blind - and was also buried in Aylsham church - 4 days later.

             As his only son, William Jermy, Esq now held estates centred on both Bayfield in north Norfolk, and those that came through his recent marriage - centred in part on Stanfield Hall - near Wymondham in south Norfolk and others in west Norfolk. He'd also inherited a small estate at Pulham and various other isolated properties. He was now a very wealthy young man - an only son of an only son of an only son. Could he handle it and could he hand it on intact to an ?only son of his own in turn? His father and grandfather had managed (just) to produce a surviving son each; would William match them? No. His first marriage was effectively dissolved (he possibly too soon manifesting a 'social disease' of the time) and they lived apart for their last 12 years. [Note: His step-mother Mary (nee Wrench) died - as 'Mary Jermy, widow' - in July 1775 and was buried near her husband in the Chancel of Aylsham church 25 July that year, aged about 77. She left her property in North and South Creake (in north Norfolk) to her brother-in-law Wharton Peck, Esq, Doctor of Laws, and £200 to £300 each to several of her Prideaux relatives. ]

        In her Will of July 1751, William's first wife Elizabeth referred to an Agreement dated 5 July 1739 which was designed to guarantee her an income of £200 a year following the recent separation of William and herself - ie "following some unhappy differences that have arisen between us, and our agreement to separate..". This was just 4 years after they'd married. The agreement involved the 'Bargain and Sale' by William of all of Elizabeth's (former) estate (as he acquired on their marriage seemingly) - to three Trustees, one of whom was (of course) Isaac Preston - they to hold same for 99 years at a peppercorn rent and from which they were to pay both she and William £200 a year for life. This estate included property in over 20 parishes in Norfolk and one in Lincolnshire (all listed). What would happen to this agreement on her and William's deaths, I'm unaware (but see below). Her Will also referred to an earlier Indenture of 7 Feb 1737 - which possibly amended their marriage settlement - and to a much more recent 'Deed Poll' - of 20 June 1751 (not long before she died - on 1 Aug). Their significance is also discussed below. The Will was witnessed by what could be three Huguenot goldsmiths - John Maule, John Lacam and Charles Delapole and was proved by her 'dear and worthy friend' Veneranda Maria Elizabetha England, widow, as sole Executrix - on 2 Aug 1751 (was she even buried yet?) - to whom she apparently left £8000 - and who would soon marry the aforementioned John Lacam. Seemingly, this money was to be raised from the estate - which, I presumed, was now theoretically in the hands of her soon to die husband William Jermy (along with Bayfield and Pulham) although in practice was of course controlled by Isaac Preston - who would have to satisfy such bequests (no doubt on his terms).

       William was said to have soon re-married himself - to Isaac's sister Frances Preston on 7 Oct 1751 - allegedly at the Preston family church at Beeston St Lawrence (which serves no village). This was after a vital Marriage Settlement was composed and signed (apparently on Oct 5) transferring his estate to Trustees for the benefit of himself and his new wife to be - she to receive £400 per annum for herself and any (most unlikely) issue of the union, in the event of his early death. Within a few weeks, William did indeed die - on 21 January 175 1/2. The Settlement directed that, besides the £400 annually, Frances should also receive £5000 if William died without leaving issue (by her) - which he hadn't. (One wonders if he even consummated either marriage.)

       The Bayfield line of Jermys had thus come to an end and, as mentioned, there were understood to be at that time in Norfolk only three other male Jermys alive of the former landed family (ie of the Gunton line) and, after the death of Jeremiah in 1754, and of Francis Jermy of North Walsham soon after - in 1756, only one Jermy male would be left there - John, the day labourer of Yarmouth - then 64 (but see now below at *). How intriguing. What would happened now to the vast Jermy estates and wealth - both at Bayfield and at that centred on Stanfield Hall (from which a most substantial amount of £8000 was supposedly to be raised? Who was William Jermy's heir at law? And what did his Will - dated 12 Dec 1751; proved 17 March 1751/52 - say? The answers to these questions could fill a novel and certainly run to more coverage than have the typical descriptions given of the dozens of earlier Jermys we've discussed heretofore - whenever their careers and life came to an end. The basic facts about William and the consequent events have been fully set out in various accounts over the years. Here is yet another: [* We may firstly note however that, as recently discovered, there may have been 3 or 4 other Jermys of the original family still alive after the 1750s - descended from the former Marlingford family, later residing in or near Ingham in north-east Norfolk; this is now discussed further in that section.]

       William Jermy died on 21 January 1752 (as per our current calendar system) or 1751/52 - as it was then described. He did so whilst residing at his (?bachelor) town house in Craven Buildings on Craven Street, London - near present day Charing Cross station. He was only 37 or so. Why did he die - so young? Was he poisoned? Was he living alone there? There has been no reference to the presence of his alleged and recent second wife at his death. This house was not the type that a society lady of the time like Frances would probably choose. (In fact, Frances Preston would later live for 25 years, more predictably, on Pall Mall.) When in Norfolk, William lived in Norwich (Cathedral Precincts) or in Aylsham - at the family homes there. He appears never to have lived at either Stanfield or Bayfield Halls. Who would concern themselves with his burial - which would be in Aylsham church on 30 January 1751/52? [Note: the entry in the parish register shows the burial on that date of - 'Wm. Jarmey, Esq'; even one of his standing, at the end of his line, could still have his name mis-spelt.] He had no immediate blood relations. His heir at law was his cousin Ann Mallison, daughter of his deceased aunt Alice - his father's only sister - who had married George England, Esq of Yarmouth. As Ann England, she married John Mallison in about 1735. Eventually, a grand tomb would be installed in Aylsham church, with considerable inscriptions on it, ostensibly commissioned by his widow Frances but more probably by Isaac Preston. Ann Mallison died in Pulham about 1761 and left a son George Mallison who was the male nearest in blood to William. If he changed his name to Jermy, he may in theory have had some claim to the estate.

       If William was truly ill during 1750-51, it would be expected that he would have written a Will - in the event that he might soon die. If he wasn't particularly ill, however, this would seem less likely; most people at the time wrote Wills only near the end of their lives - even if having considerable estates to dispose of. It wasn't that often done while still in one's 30s. Well, a Will was written (we can't be sure when) which was ostensibly signed and witnessed - on 12 Dec 1751. This could indicate that he was indeed concerned about a possible early demise. I believe that this was probably the case. However, an alternative scenario can also be envisaged. For this, we must begin some years earlier - in the 1720s - when young William was still a lad and his father John not yet dead. Manor court and other legal records in the NRO show John Jermy's name on many occasions through the 1720s and '30s as he fulfilled his legal duties as a Steward attending various Manor courts. Strangely, however, the record for his own Manor court for Bayfield (in 1726) shows that it was overseen legally by one Isaac Preston. This lawyer was of the long-established family of Preston settled at Beeston St Lawrence in north-east Norfolk since about 1640. Isaac Preston would thus know both John Jermy, Esq and his son William and continue to do so through the next two decades - ie especially around 1744/1751 when both William's father and wife Elizabeth had, respectively, died - leaving William a very wealthy sole survivor of his line - and with no immediate heir or a wife! A prize catch for a second wife. And Isaac had a young unmarried sister - Frances (born ca 1728).

       Isaac Preston would be referred to by some of those analysing these events much later as the shrewd and/or scheming lawyer. There would be various questionable activities that might support this appellation but very little in the way of objective proof. Nevertheless, we may pursue this line of approach to see how far it may hold. Not surprisingly, William's Will gives the strong impression that it was in effect composed by Isaac Preston. But the question is - when did he first compose it? And when did it first appear in the public domain? And where? With no immediate family (other than a possible new wife, who seems not to have lived with William), we must assume it would first appear in the office of his solicitor - who was of course Isaac Preston - shortly after his death. How convenient. And who were the witnesses at its signing? Can we assume they were really there? Indeed, was William himself there? Who knows?

       The same may be asked about his alleged marriage to Frances - ostensibly performed before production of the Will - at the Preston's own small parish church, by a member of their own family, apparently on Oct 7 1751. Were either William or Frances actually there themselves? Was anybody there that day? Was there a piece about it in the local papers? Who were the witnesses? When was the register entry about same written and by whom - probably in the privacy of Beeston Hall? When was Frances informed that she was in fact now 'married' to (the late?) William Jermy - whose Will usefully left her very well off - not only with the rents and income from both divisions of the estate - but with an even more significant stipulation that she was to receive £5000 (later raised from the sale of the Bayfield portion) - ie in the event of her early widowhood (which was, it appears, virtually guaranteed). This was an enormous amount at that time - which certainly couldn't be 'raised' from income from that estate but would in fact require its sacrifice - ie to be sold out of the family - to raise it. This was eventually done for £7500 and Frances would live royally on most of it (on Pall Mall), and on her annuity and the rents from the 20 parish estate around Stanfield - until her death in 1791. Bayfield at least was bought originally by John Jermy the Norwich Diocese Barrister; it, if any part of the estate, should have gone to his own Jermy descendants, one would assume - ie those of his senior line - formerly of Gunton. Indeed, the Bayfield Jermys may only have held the leasehold of much of Bayfield. Did the buyers (in 1767) have to pay something for the leasehold and another amount for the freehold? )

       So, in quick succession, a number of events transpired from 1750 on: 1. William's first wife died; 2. William allegedly re-married a Preston; 3. William supposedly wrote his Will leaving virtually everything to this alleged second wife - for her lifetime and then to her and Isaac's Preston relatives (a nephew and brother) and their male heirs (and, if none produce male heirs, only then 'to such male person of the name of Jermy as shall be nearest related to William in blood' (this possibly to give the Will an air of authenticity?); 4. William very soon died in London in January 175 1/2 and was buried in Aylsham - on 30 Jan; 5. William's Will was proved - on 21 Feb 175 1/2; his tomb later inscribed such that his alleged second wife was clearly named thereon (so further establishing the 'factual' basis of their alleged marriage - in stone, as it were - (in case its validity should ever be doubted?).

[Note: The Manor Court Book for Bayfield shows the name 'Frances Jermy' as 'Lady of the Manor' in Sept 1753. This might help us conclude that she had indeed married William - two years earlier...but then we note just who was shown as the Steward who signed that Book (allegedly that month); yes - Isaac Preston! And conveniently, Isaac's frequent witness (and side-kick?) John Lens, was again there - to confirm Frances's apparent status and role (if not her presence). The Court was allegedly held before John Michell, it said - in 'the right of Frances'. But did they not married for another year? We may note here also that an oval silver-gilt Dish was (?once) held by Aylsham church on the underside of which was inscribed "Francisca Nuper Uxor Gul. Jermy, Arm. D.D. 1753". The silver mark shows the year 1752 and the maker as Wm Cripps of Norwich - who likely had it in stock. Again, we have this usefully tangible evidence - if it was ever to be doubted - as to whom Frances was most definitely married, and by when. Who wanted this so convincingly established and repeatedly confirmed?]

       6. Frances then 're-married' - seemingly as Frances Jermy - in a private ceremony in her own house in Pall Mall, before family witnesses, although suspiciously the event is not entered into the appropriate parish church register at the time, but only many decades later - retrospectively - claiming it was done by special license (which was indeed applied for (but by whom?) - through the Archbishop's Faculty Office (as dozens were every day) - on 14 May 1754. [See more on this matter below] 7. Bayfield was later sold to raise £5000 for Frances - not long before her new husband died - in 1766; she having him buried at Letheringsett, near Bayfield (where they may have lived for a few years in the 1760s, when not in London) but then transferred him to his own family church in north Yorkshire - where she would also be buried - in 1791 - with a floor inscription (instructed by whom?) that serves again to affirm that - all those years ago - she was indeed first married (for a few weeks!) to a William Jermy, Esq of an ancient family of Norfolk. Why mention this at all so much later?

[Note: I believe that as from January 1st 1752, the old calendar system ceased but just to be sure, we show the old style for the early part of this 'change-over ' year both above and below.]

       On his Aylsham tomb, was inscribed: " Sacred to the Memory of William Jermy of Bayfield in this County, Esq - Here Entombed (30 Jan 1751/52) - By whose decease, on the 21 Jan 1751/52, in the 37th year of his age, the male issue of the Bayfield branch of that Ancient Family became extinct. He marry'd to his first wife the Honble Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Lord Richardson, and to his second wife Frances, youngest daughter of Jacob Preston of Beeston St Lawrence in this County, Esq - by whom this monument was erected." [When? And it seems odd that while the forename of Frances's father is given, and his abode, we know not which Lord Richardson was Elizabeth's father nor where either were from.] The inscription continues: "He (William) was the son of John Jermy, Esq and Mary his wife and grandson of John Jermy, Esq and Jane his wife who, with William, another of the sons of the said John and Jane, are interr'd in the adjacent Chancel." [The tomb of William Jermy of present concern is in fact not now adjacent to the Chancel (at the east end of the church) but was moved in the 1840s for reasons unknown, said the present incumbent, to a dark corner beyond (to the west of) the south-west Porch.] Possibly it was then that additional inscriptions seem to have been added to the tomb: ie "Frances, widow of William Jermy, Esq married 20 May 1754 by Special Licence at her house in Pall Mall - to John Michell, Esq, 2nd son of Simon Michell, Esq of St John's, Clerkenwell, a member of the Middle Temple and Lincoln's Inn - by whom she had issue Amelia, Charles and George Michell - born and Christened in Pall Mall. She died 18 Nov 1791 at Kensington in the 67th year of her age and was buried at Forcett in Yorkshire to which place shortly after the remains of her husband John Michell, Esq, MP and Recorder of Boston, Lincolnshire was removed from Letheringsett in this county (his place of interrment) - he dying 12 Dec 1766 at Bayfield in the 57th year of his age." [Why so much about people not interr'd in that tomb? It seems it was thought important to someone to establish (in stone, as it were) that Frances did indeed re-marry - in 1754 - as Frances Jermy.]

       To whom should the estate, or what was left of it, now go (ie after 1752)? Was there eventually any male issue from Frances's named Preston relatives - her nephew Jacob (Isaac's son) or brother Thomas? Rather surprisingly - no. Was it therefore, if unexpectedly, to go now to 'the male Jermy nearest related in blood to William' (or his heirs) and, if so, who would this be - now or over ensuing decades? Well, whomever this might have been (if anyone), it would in fact not now go to such a person. For wise old Isaac Preston foresaw even this unlikely outcome. After the early deaths of her brothers, only Anne England - born ca 1714 - remained in William's cousin line. She had married about the same time as her cousin William - to a John Mallison. They had one or two daughters before a son - George England Mallison in about 1744. In 1752, and until his death in, I believe, the 1770s, he would thus be 'nearest male in blood' to William Jermy, while his mother Anne would be William's 'heir at law' (of whatever sex) - until her death in about 1759. Realising this, it was not surprising that Isaac Preston sought to thwart any claims they may have made to William's estate from this quarter. For George could simply have changed his name to Jermy or even question the legitimacy of that stipulation.

       In fact, in early 1753, John and Anne Mallison did attempt to get what they referred to as "the ultimate limitation" of William's Will declared void. This referred to the wording therein about the "remainder in fee to the use of such male person of the name Jermy as should be nearest related to the testator William in blood, and to his heirs and assigns forever." If this could be removed, then Anne herself, if not her son, should inherit. Thus, Isaac hoped they would agree to an 'arrangement' whereby they would give up this action in return for gaining a part of William's estate - ie that deriving from his mother in Pulham, Norfolk. They must have agreed to this, as the Mallisons did indeed later reside at Pulham. Isaac could arrange this as he was, conveniently, the major Trustee of William's estate and had no doubt pointed out that, in any case, the estate already had a large claim on it - deriving from the Will of William's wife Elizabeth who had reserved certain powers to herself regarding those elements of the estate's property that she had brought to the marriage. Her Will would activate those powers and she would on that basis re-direct the value of much of her former property to her best friend Veneranda. There was, however, apparently still much value left in it after this. But, if Isaac so thwarted the Mallison claim (see a PRO Deed dated 15 Aug 1753 ensuring this - between the Prestons and Mallisons regarding various copyhold parts of the estate), it necessarily left the potential one by some male Jermy still viable. So, he had now to try to thwart that also.

       So, in the middle of these 'arrangements' with William's cousin line - the Mallisons - Isaac decided he must also approach the two Gunton Jermys - Francis and John - in 1754, with similar blocking moves. That is, more of his 'belt and bracers' policy. In the unlikely event that his Preston relatives didn't eventually produce one male heir between them, how could he also 'over-ride' the Jermy proviso (the 'ultimate limitation') that would then apply - whether this was included simply to look more legitimate or even if actually requested by William? He seems to not want the proviso made totally void (as the Mallisons might then benefit overly) yet somehow block any Jermy entitlement that might arise if it did continue to apply fully, as apparently intended. But who was the male Jermy nearest related to William - at least at that time, some years before France's eventual death and that of her named relatives? When William's Will was composed, it was apparently believed that the only relevant male Jermyswere Francis Jermy of North Walsham, then very old, and John Jermy, the day labourer of Yarmouth. In order to ensure that these men didn't seek legally to over-turn any such suspect directions in the Will, Isaac Preston appears to have seen to it (in 1751) that the Will included (very) small legacies for these two significant Jermys - viz: in the case of John Jermy - 6 Gns - to be paid in four equal quarterly amounts (I believe for just one year, but possibly annually). This was a recognised way to frustrate subsequent claims for a more justified portion of an estate - ie where they might otherwise claim they had been inadvertently overlooked. He wasn't overlooked. [The same seems to have applied to Francis Jermy.] But, the 'limitation' proviso did re-instate their possible entitlement under certain conditions and this, as with the Mallisons' concerns, had now to be further considered. This is described further in the second section on the Gunton Jermys. But first, we may consider further the role of Isaac's sister Frances in his seeming schemes:

       Whilst examining marriage registers for St James, Piccadilly for details of a marriage in an entirely different family, I happened upon an odd entry in the register for 1754 - written long after the original entries were made. Following a marriage entry dated 18 May 1754, this much later 'Memorandum' had been inserted - in 1803 - and read: "For the marriage of John Michell, Esq and Frances Jermy - see the Register Book of Marriages for the year 1803 - April 14th." The insertion was signed "Gerrard Andrews, Rector". Seemingly, someone had come to the Rector that year and requested that this note be so inserted into that 50 year old page (quite possibly then in a separate, dormant Register). In the more contemporary (1803) Register referred to, the following was also inserted - just after an entry for 13 April 1803 (No. 127):

            'No. 128 - 14 April 1803. "Whereas a Marriage was solemnized on the 20 day of May in the year 1754 between John Michell, Esq and Frances Jermy - which was neglected to be registered at the time (in the then Register), it has been deemed expedient [this seems a purposely ambiguous rationale, and why expedient in that particular year of 1803?] that the following Certificate taked from the back of the... Licence granted by (the Archbishop's Faculty Office at the time) be here inserted, together with the (following) Affidavit of Mrs Alice Heald who was present at the marriage:

       "We whose names are hereunto subscribed do certify that we were present at the marriage of John Michell, Esq of Arlington Street, St George Han. Sq., Middx, widower and Frances Jermy of Pall Mall, St James, Westminster, in the county aforesaid, widow, and did see the ceremony thereof duly performed - according to the rites of the Church of England by the Rev John Huntingdon, Minister of Irsted, Norfolk, in the dwelling house of the above-named Frances Jermy in Pall Mall - on the 20th day of May 1754.    [Note: Irsted was in the gift of the Prestons; their man was the Rector there.]

       The names of 3 witnesses followed: 'Richard Fydell of Boston, Lincs; Elizabeth Boulton, widow and L. Hilliard, widow.'

      The Affidavit referred to followed:

      "Alice Heald [nee Preston] now of Bristol Hot Wells, the widow of Rev Whitely Heald, late Rector of North Repps and Beeston St Lawrence, Norfolk and Prebendary of Wells, Somerset, deceased, maketh Oath and says 'that she was present at the Marriage of John Michell, Esq and Frances Jermy, widow of William Jermy, Esq and sister of Isaac Preston, Esq (father of this deponent) - on the 20th of May 1754 - and this deponent further saith that the said marriage was solemnized...(ie date and place as stated above). The 3 other witnesses at the ceremony...are all, as this deponent believes, now dead.' The name 'Alice Heald' was then written - in the same hand as the foregoing entry. This was followed by:

           "Sworn at my house in Clifton, Gloucestershire on the 6th April 1803 before M. Coates, Master in Chancery: "The above insertion was made the 14 April 1803" - signed 'Gerrard Andrews, Rector; Thos Bracken, A.M., Clerk & Registrar; George Michell, 2nd son of the above marriage; Edward Hooke, nephew and one of the executors of the said Frances Michell; and Henry Hulton, Grand nephew of the said Frances Michell and nephew and son-in-law of the said Alice Heald'. This was then followed by:

           "N.B. The Special Licence & Certificate with the Affidavit of Mrs Heald were this day taken away by the above George Michell in order to be placed in the custody of his brother Charles Michell of Forcett, Yorkshire, Esq. This was signed : George Andrews, Rector [presumably also on 14 April 1803]

       I believe something similar to the above was also entered into the register for Beeston St Lawrence but this needs to be confirmed. All of this strikes one as a bit 'over the top' and seems designed to make overly certain that this union should never be questioned - especially in terms of just what was Frances's surname when she thus married. Monumental inscriptions in both Aylsham and Forcett would serve to further reinforce this. Why all this was so emphasised in 1803 is difficult to answer. So many people had died by this time. It is not often that any descendents decide they must investigate some ancestors marriage register entry of 50 years earlier (!) and then go over-board in re-confirming it. We may recall, however, that Stanfield had not long become occupied by Rev George Preston - who had the Hall re-built although hadn't yet replaced the Preston Arms with those of Jermy as the Will required but did at least christened his next son 'William Jermy Preston' - ie as though some concern had recently arisen regarding William's Will and the basis of the Preston's acquisition of his estates - including the £7600 raised from Bayfield - which had no doubt benefited Frances and her heirs (the above Michells). Any contesting now of the legitimacy of their varied claims to the estate could prove awkward and/or expensive. Is it just a coincidence that the church register for the parish of Ingham in Norfolk, where that offshoot of the Marlingford family of Jermys resided ca 1700-1760+, was destroyed by fire in 1804? It was also around this same time apparemtly (early 1800s) that the Oxfordshire Jermys (as James and Dinah Jermy) were beginning to enquire about how to proceed through the Courts. They couldn't proceed due to a lack of funds.

- - - - - - - -

We may now return to the years just after the alleged Indentures and the above 'marriage' - ie after 1754 . There was soon to be other litigation over the matter of William's Will - brought by Isaac's own sister Frances and her new husband John Michell - in Easter 1756, which I believe they lost. By this date, their concern was not with Francis or John Jermy (if they even knew about Issac's 'arrangements' with them) but with George Mallison who, whilst not a Jermy, was the male nearest in blood to William; he need simply change his name to Jermy - and he may not have been covered by the Pulham agreement arranged with his parents. Interestingly, in his Will of 1759, John Lacam left George Mallison and his sister Anne Mallison £1000. Lacam had seemingly benefitted from the large amount of Richardson money left to his wife when she was of course (by marriage) yet another Preston. Did he feel a little of this should go to a Jermy descendant? Or was this part of some complex arrangement or understanding? Yet more litigation provides some insight into these matters.


In 1762, Frances and her husband felt they must now take action against her brother regarding the £5000 due to her from the estate if William pre-deceased her. Isaac (as a trustee) seems to have resisted this - claiming that he now had control over the estate due to his purchase of the potential entitlement to same from the male Jermy nearest in blood to William - who Isaac then named as Francis Jermy, the recently deceased Attorney of North Walsham. (This seems odd in that John them or their heirs could be eligible (and hence Isaac, who had allegedly bought their rights), the other named Prestons would take precedence and they were both still alive. Isaac's claim was not upheld and an order was eventually made in 1767 - after another action against Isaac by the Michell's to pay the £5000 - which was raised through the sale of the Bayfield part of the estate (for $7600). But whose was it then - to sel, all or even psat of it ? Presumably, the trustees - who were obliged to fulfilled William's Will and the marriage settlement. As Frances only held it for her lifetime, it was then already in the hands of her nephew or brother - at least potentially. Would the trustees have to ask their permission to sell, or even pay them something?

       Also, in Nov 1763, John Mallison (then of Norwich, Gent) had lodged yet another Complaint against Isaac - which provides some explanation about the two legal documents referred to by Elizabeth Jermy (nee Richardson) in her Will - written 21 June 1751 (see above). In the Deed Poll - dated the day before signing her Will - Elizabeth activated the power reserved to her by the Indenture of 7 Feb 1737 (in which she had transferred her extensive property in Norfolk and Norwich unto certain trustees (including John Lens of Norwich and Isaac Preston) for a term of 500 years) - to raise and pay unto Veneranda Maria Elizabetha England, widow (therein named) the sum of £8000 (!) - as the major bequest of that Will. Elizabeth died shortly after (ie ca July 1751), without revoking the Will, as did her husband William Jermy - in Jan 1751/52 - without issue - leaving John Mallison's wife Anne Mallison (nee England) as William's sole heir-at-law. She was the sister of the Rev George England - the first husband of Veneranda who, soon after the death of Elizabeth Jermy, married John Lacam of Pall Mall, London. A wall plaque in the church at Pulham St Mary states "Near this place lays the body of Ann wife of John Mallison, the last surviving daughter of George England of Gt Yarmouth, Esq by Alice, the daughter of John Jermy of Bayfield, Esq - the said Ann having departed this life on 10 Oct 1761, aged 64 and left issue George and Charlotte Mallison." [One notes that William's step-mother Mary (nee Wrench) left £100 each to George and his sister in her trcent Will of ca 1758 - as would John Lacam similarly a year or so later.]

       John Mallison claimed that there were certain properties not included with those due to pass to Veneranda (or to raise money from same for her) but that John Lacam and she denied this and in order to avoid the expense of going to Court over it, John Mallison offered to pay the entire £8000 to them for all the properties (his wife Anne having died in 1760). Possibly he felt that the entire estate was worth some amount significantly more than the £8000 due to the Lacams (say £4000 more - to make it worth his while and any risk). In any case, it was a massive contrast to the £20 ostensibly offered to John and to Francis Jermy!) and was willing to advance the major portion - to make such a profit. But before they could resolve this, one of the trustees - Isaac Preston - had stepped in, they claimed, and 'formed a design' wherein he claimed that one Robert Daniell, a person in 'mean circumstances', was in fact Elizabeth's heir-at-law (her mother having been a Daniell) - from whom he (Isaac) had already purchased the entire estate - at some modest price that was meant to represent its redemption value - ie after the £8000 claim on it was satisfied. [Shades of his purchase of the Jermys' entitlements.] John Lacam and his wife said that they then ceased to receive rents from the estate and that Isaac withheld all Deeds from them (which he denied - saying he had deposited them with their solicitor). Both Veneranda and John Lacam died by April 1759 - when, claimed Isaac, their solicitor sent the Deeds back to him!

       In his Answer of Nov 1765 to Mallison's Complaint, Isaac Preston claimed that Elizabeth's heir at law was in fact one John Daniell, a son of Robert Daniell - who was the brother of Lady Richardson's father James Daniell (the Goldsmith/Moneylender). John Daniell was thus Elizabeth's first cousin, once removed. He had tried to sell his Redemption on the estate - that is, whatever would be left after the £8000 had been raised from it and paid to Veneranda England (soon to be Lacam) but that he had no offers - until Isaac came along and gave him some 'trifling consideration' - which he accepted. A proper Conveyance was drawn up and signed on 15 Feb 1753 (note this before Issac's alleged arrangements with the Jermys) in which they agreed to share any additional advantage that might later accrue. It turned out that there was indeed more than realised so Isaac arranged to pay Daniell an Annuity - to which he agreed - receiving same for 7 years until he died - in 1760. Isaac had handed over the title Deeds for Elizabeth's former estate to Lacam's lawyer (to the value of the required £8000) who, he claimed, kept them over a year - during which Lacam died (1759) - so he then sent them back to Isaac. Lacam left about £6000 in his Will. Whether this was based on some of that £8000 or was from his own fortune is uncertain. Seemingly, some of the estate property over and above the £8000 value (as in Swardeston and Fritton) should have gone to the Mallisons (worth only £1000 at most) and this was what John Mallison was Complaining about. There were further Rejoinders and Answers in this complicated case (up to Nov 1767) involving claims by Isaac Preston that and Robert Woodford acquired Timber rights to certain parts of the estate and this may have prejudiced Mallison's claims. I'm unaware of the final outcome but Isaac Preston would in any case soon die himself - in 1768 - possibly worn out by the prolonged stress of his apparent schemes. Did he hold on to the entire estate and how much of it was Frances's - for her lifetime at least - and did her portion and that destined for Veneranda all go to....whom?

       [Note that documents attending the recent sale of the Lordship of the Manor of 'Glandford Cum Bayfield' included one dated 1767 which was 'Abstract of Title 1607-1754 - with Counsel's Opinion'. Clearly, someone in 1754 (that crucial year) sought to determine who owned what in the Bayfield complex. This would prove relevant after John Michell's death in 1766 - when Frances' £5000 joynture was finally to be raised. Seemingly the trustees, including Isaac (but possibly through his two Preston relatives - Jacob and Thomas - who had certain potential rights to the estate according to William's Will), sold Bayfield that year - to one of the Buxton family - who in turn soon t'ransferred it to' Elizabeth Jodrell- in December 1767 - by 'Assignment and Release'.

       The simple phrase 'transferred it to' seems rather inadequate to account offor the new ownership of a once valuable Norfolk Manor acquired by Francis Jermy, along with Gunton and Marlingford, in the early 1600s. The brief Buxton ownership (they of an old Norfolk family) seems to have served a convenient transfer scheme, or bridge, to this particular non-Norfolk family - the Jodrells ? Who were they ? Why would they be interseted in a property in distant Norfolk ? It turns out that it was in fact the wife of one such Jodrell - ie Elizabeth nee Warner - and her sister ?Margaret (who'd had married into the Buxton family) that accounted for this new ownership. Elizabeth had married Paul Jodreell in 1743. who died young in 1751, having had 3 Jodrell sons and a daughter (Elizabeth Jnr) in that short time. Frances Michell (nee Preston) likely knew both these contemporary north Norfolk landed Warner sisters, and was to benefit to the tune of £5000. from arrangements made between her father Isaac Preston and their father Richard Warner wof nearby North Elmham who likely put up the purchase money (£7,500). This was effected ca 1766/67 but the preliminaries were apparently worked out earlier.[Note: I have more recently come across another Release document which shows Frances Michell 'Released' (?Sold) Bayfield Hali, at least - in 1767 - to Elizabeth Jodrell (ne Warner)), by then long a widow. The document is held at NRO as part of a large collection concerning Bayfield: Ref MC 632/320. No mention at that point of any Buxrton intermediate or Assignment element.[This nes further analysis.]

       The Jodrells were a family from much further North who had held land in the north of Derbyshire, and later in Cheshire - for over 500 yers ! They had no early connections with or property in Norfolk. Normally, this would reflect a family's long stability in those northern areas as their descendents married locally for many generations until, typically, eventually dying out when failing in the male line. Thus, a final sole heiress marries someone required by a Will to change their surname to Jodrell, thereby extending their local Chehire line a lttle longer. But, in this case, a younger son had earlier moved to Staffordshire and a particularly bright son of that line - one Paul Jodrell(1) was educatd in the law at Oxford and/or at an Inn of Court in London. He soon acquired an estate at Sion Hill, just west of London, having married well in 1673 to Jane Rolles,daughter of one Thomas Rolles of Lewknor, Oxfordshire, Esq, and subsequently obtained a good position as Clerk of the House of Commmons which he held for a record 43 years. He Had meanwhile re-established the family's original seat back at Driffield in Derbyshire. He and Jane had 12 children but most died young or unmarried. However, his eldest son and heir, also Paul Jodrell (2) (b. 1679) also married well (in 1712) to Judith Sheldon, daughter and co- heir of Gilbert Sheldon (a descendent of an Archbishop of Canterbury). Paul(2), who inherited the Lewknor estate earlier in the 1700s, lived to a good age, dying in 1768. Their eldest son, a third Paul Jodrell (b. ca 1712), also a successful lawyer, became Solicitor-General to Frederick, Prince of Wales. He married about 1743 - to Elizabeth Warner, daughter of Richard Warner of North Elmham, Norfolk, Esq, and wife Elizabeth (nee Lombe) whose father Edward Lombe of Weston, Norfolk had been a Sheriff of Norfolk in 1714.


As mentioned above, Paaul Jodrell(3) and wife Elizabeth (nee Warner) had 3 sons: Richard P. Jodrell (b. 1745), Paul Jodrell (4), M.D. (b.1747) and Henry Jodrell, M.P. (b. 1750). Their father, Paul (3), was an active adult, latterly in his legal field, from about 1735 or so and his possible contacts and influence in both the Lewknor area of Oxfordshire (where his family held property) and in his wife's north Norfolk near Bayfield and Noth Elmham, We might usefully considered the period ca 1740s-60 in these regards. Thus, his three Jodrell sons, all later successful in their own rights, would from about the 1760s, no doubt become aware that, through their parents, thay had some vague connection with rural ex-Jermy properties in orth Norfolk, as well as some in south-west Oxfordshire, although were themselves likely raised partly in the metropolitan and legal culture of London (having likely had exccellent Oxbridge and/or Inns ofd Court educations in their respective fields). As we have noted, the brief Buxton ownership of Bayfield had been transferred to the Jodrells (actually transferred between the two Warner sisters). Paul (3) died in 1751 and hence the Bayfield property, (likely purchased ca 1756-'60, say, for Richard Warner's daughter (now a Buxton) was soon transferred his other daughter Elizabeth (Paul Jodrell's 's wife) The 3 Jodrell sons would thus have ben brought up by her in her widowhood - through their teenage years (ca 1750-60s) - likely in London but possibly in either her home county of Norfolk (near Bayfield or North Elmham) or at one of their family's other estates -as at Lewknor in Oxfordshire (see below).

       A little later, in 1772, a marriage for eldest son Richard Jodrell had been arranged - to a Virtue Hase, daughter of a Edward Hase of Salle,Esq, also in north Norfok; One might assume that the Hase family were known by Elizabeth as by her sister Margaret nee Warner) had married into the Lombes of Weston - related to the Hasees of nearby Ct Melton, as well as to those of Salle. Son Richard gave up the law to concentrate on a successful career as a Dramatist and Poet. He would nnherit a Baronetcy by virtue of a complex series of deaaths and relationships with the Lombes. While this union wirth another Norfolk family was likely arranged through his Warner mother, he may well have retained his connedctions back in Oxfordshire as weell, however - as reflected in a series of property purchgases in and near Lewknor in that latter county - to complement the family's holdings in that area - presumably inherited ultimately from Thomas Rolles, his gt-grandfather . Moreover, some of hius purchases were in Wheatfield, home of the Larners.

      The middle son Paul(4) became a Surgeon asigned to a Nabob Prince from India, while third son Henry Jodrell would be recommended to stand successfully as the M.P.for for nearby Gt Yarmouth (with its earlier Jermy relevances). He married Johanna Weyland in about 1785 and died in 1814, without issue, and appears to have inherited Bayfield on his mother Elizabeth's death some years earlier (ca 17770s/88s?). We must assume that the Warner daughters of north Norfolk were, around the 1750s, considered by those in London legal circles as potential worthy brides for any unlanded but talented young gentlemen (as the JOdrell sons) otherwise associated mainly with London. We may note too that Robert Jermy of Bayfield's 's youngest daughter Christian Jermy married a William Warner of Winfarhing as early as 1585 ! The Jawyers amongst the Jodrells woulld likely still have contacts reaching back to their grandmother Rolles in Lewknor, Oxfordshire and this area (near Berrick Salome, Chalford and Wheatfield may well have been recalled when Henry Jodrell became M.P. for Gt Yarmouth) where he likely heard stories about the Jermy estate (includinmg Bayfield) and Gunton) if not earlier via the Warners) and the associated claims. The dates do not fit too well however, to explain the presence of a John Germany in Oxfordshire in the mid-1730s or his birth in Yarmouth in the pre-1720's. There does seem to be scope for these propriotors of agricultural estates in both Lewknor and Wheatfied (where Jodrells were still acquiring land, between ca 1720 and 11800) to become aware of some of he labourers who work that land - for the many tenant farmers who rented same (whose names they would much more likely know). If any such names of the former (as Germany, Jarmoney, etc or Learner/Larner), etc) approximated those known about in north Norfolk and/or Gt Yarmouth (as Jermy or Jermyn) during that same lengthy period, it could reasonably stimulate various hypotheses pertaining to some concevable connection between them. Might Garlick have known Jodrells in Oxfordshire and Ithe lawyer Isaac Preston know the Warners and Jodrells in both Norfolk and LOndon ? An odd finding regarding surnames was that while there had been no examples whatsoever of the surname Jermy in rural Oxfordshire between 1735 and 1800 (as I believe), it does occur, finally, at a marriage (for one of those local Germany / Jarmony children) in about 1805, as I recall. How to account for this - after 7 decades abnd several generations ??

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       Returning now to Frances Michell (nee Preston): if she happened to have died earlier than she did (by 1760, say) - and those named Preston heirs had done likewise, without male heirs - John Jermy would, before signing his 'agreement', have apparently been entitled to inherit the residue/remainder of the extensive Jermy estate - being the male Jermy nearest in blood to William (ie after the Mallisons had backed off). But, because of that (?consequent) document,his entitlement at least, was now blocked. So, who would then inherit it - in such a theoretical situation? Well, a single phrase - buried within the detail of Isaac's own obscurely-worded Will (in purposeful legalese?) - seems to provide the answer. After dealing with his own Preston property at Beeston and elsewhere, this states: "...and whereas I am seized of certain contingent remainders in fee, and reversionary estates and interests in several Manors, etc - by me (as I think) already settled upon my son Jacob [d 1787], and the heirs male of his body - either by the marriage settlement of his mother or by any other settlement (ie William's Will - composed by whom ?)..." [but, in case there be any doubt or controversy, he hereby further re-asserts this intention with the following words (which in effect state that]: "...(in order) prevent any dispute concerning same, I do (ie once again) give and devise all and any such Manors, etc anywhere in the United Kingdom to my said son Jacob and the heirs male of his body...". That is, before his own death (and possibly before that of Yarmouth's John Jermy), Isaac clearly saw himself as undisputed owner of the estate (even if ostensibly 'held' by Frances in the meantime - or until her own death. Then, on his death, it would go directly to his son Jacob (to whom in any case it was already to go, as per William's Will - whoever continued 'holding' it - for their lifetime only). Thus it was that, if not Isaac, then Jacob (and Thomas Preston earlier) had some rights to sell Bayfield in 1766 - and give most of the proceeds to Frances (to the extent of £5000. at least)! But Jacob in fact died before her - and had no 'male heirs of his body'. So who owned it (vs just 'holding it') around 1788-90, say, after Isaac, Thomas, Frances and Isaac had all died ? Could Jacob leave it to whomever he wished - ie to any Preston brother or sister, say, despite the specific instructions of Isaac (the prior owner?) that it was only to go to a male of his (Jacob's) body? As he had no such son, to whom should it then have legally gone? Did he hot say or consider this ?

       Clearly, Isaac's Will (and/or Jacob's ) should have said, in effect, '..and if there is no such male heir of his body then 'to his 'heirs general' - ie to whomever would be one or other's heir-at-law. If the matter had then gone to Court, a judgement to resolve the above circularity in this fashion (ie to their 'heirs general') would probably have been the result. This heir-at-law was seemingly Jacob's half-brother, the younger Isaac Preston - of King's Lynn. In any case, it appears that, in theory, anyone could have so approached John Jermy and arranged such an agreement - and thereby have some such later relative or heir-at-law similarly inherit - for a mere £20 - he holding the vital Indentures that verified Isaac's phrase about being (so) seized... 'of certain contingent remainders' some sSttlemant ot anotheer.. !

       It may be pointed out that the major part of Isaac 's own (Beeston) estate - also left to childless Jacob - was left in turn by the latter man (with less ambiguity but still some controversy) to the son of his full sister Elizabeth (nee Preston), who had married a Thomas Hulton - provided her husband changed his surname to Preston - which he soon did. Interestingly, Jacob's Will was not filed in the usual PRO class (PROB 11/) - due to litigation arising from this aspect. His half-brothers had objected to the estate going to his full sister (who Jacob felt was his closest relative, as they had the same parents) while they, unsurprisingly, wanted more of it to go to the children of Isaac's second wife Hester Pettingel (ie to themselves - she being heirmother). Jacob may have directed the ex-Jermy portion of his (potential) inheritance to one such half brother and felt that should free him to settle the rest as he did - to his full sister and her husband (a Michell). Unless his early death without a son meant, as mentioned, that it then reverted to the elder Isaac's control and to his 'heirs general' - and thus to the younger Isaac - of KIng's Lynn? While the estate left by William would be worth less than its original value - after the Mallisons, Lacams had Michells had all had their shares, it was certainly worth very much more than £20. It was no doubt still worth thousands (and, in today's terms therefore, easily hundreds of thousands).

       Whoever was the appropriate heir would certainly know of his potential entitlement - based either on Isaac's or Jacob's Will, and on those dubious Indentures regarding the 'contingent remainders' that were no doubt passed on to him - ie to Isaac Preston Jnr - for safe keeping. [Where are they now I wonder?] He would have kept himself abreast of Frances's state of health and when she died, slip quietly into possession of the estate - centred then on Stanfield Hall (Bayfield having been sold to satisfy the large £5000 bequest to Frances). He may or may not have moved in physically but assuredly would inform the estate steward and solicitor (probably another Preston) to now forward all estate rents (and ownership deeds) to a new name and address. They would no doubt do so, possibly after a cursory check with local solicitors that this was in order. But whom might they talk to about all this? Would word spread - eg around Wymondham?

> --- --- --- --- ---

       And so it was that this younger Isaac Preston (Jacob's half brother) acquired the Jermy estates - without controversy or publicity (after Frances had held it for almost 40 years - often living comfortably on Pall Mall). There may have been a few mutterings amongst local Norfolk land agents and their solicitor friends in Wymondham or Norwich during the 1790s - if, that is, any had sought out a copy of William's old Will (175 1/2) and that of the elder Isaac Preston (1768) - coupled with an inspection of the copy in the London Chancery Office of the Indentures allegedly signed by Francis and John Jermy in 1754 - although this was not even implied or alluded to the obscure wording of that latter Will. But all this seems most unlikely. Who would be aware of that agreement? It seems it was eventually discovered - but by whom and when? {Probably by other solicitors then acting for the Mallison ca 1758 and later.] It would also require someone later with more direct interest and motivation to investigate and query the whole affair - possibly after the younger Isaac died (in 1796) and, by his Will in turn, left the estate to his younger brother and heir - the Rev George Preston.

       The mutterings must then have spread - eg to other solicitors in Norwich and thence to London, possibly. For Rev Preston decided (on reading William's Will - which he may well have done to see just how he came to be so fortunate) that any one inheriting his estate - as Isaac of Lynn - should have borne the Jermy Arms and taken the Jermy name. The Arms eventually appeared over the entrance door at Stanfield Hall, and,significantly, George named his next (and last) son 'William Jermy Preston' (baptised at Ketteringham on 8 Dec 1799). He may have discussed such matters with his local solicitor as well. Should it have been simply the name Jermy or the surname Jermy? Hence - the possible spread of rumour about the earlier suspect inheritance - on one such basis or another. To whom and where might it eventually spread? And did they have that interest and motivation referred to - to check out all the complex elements in the seeming deception - or was it all legitimate after all? And who were they? Where were they? And when would they first appear? [Probably ca 1800-05?] Why did the matter not just fade away? This is all considered in a later section. But first, we may return (as indicated above) to the later Gunton Jermys - as their story was not yet finished .

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