Part 4 (G1)

      John Jermy, the Norwich Barrister, appears to have purchased Gunton Manor - his senior seat - firstly for his own use and thence for that of his eldest son Francis. Gunton had formerly been in the possession of one Ambrose Randolph (who had purchased it from the Berneys) and he sold it to John Jermy and his wife Eleanor on 2nd Aug 1615. He enjoyed this estate, which extended into 6 neighbouring parishes, for about 15 years - until his death in 1630 - when elder son Francis Jermy became established there in his own right. With his younger brother Robert, Francis seems then to have purchased the Bayfield estate about 1636, the younger brother then settling with his new wife there near the Saxlingham estate which their father had apparently purchased some years before for or with his younger brother Thomas Jermy. I'm not presently aware when he bought Tivetshall (in the far south of the county) but, as with Marlingford - ca 1628, he seems also to have left these - as primogeniture often dictates - in the hands of his eldest son alone. Apparently, some aspects of Blomefield's analysis of the former ownership of Bayfield was expunged from his final version of his 'Norfolk' after John Jermy, a later Esq of Bayfield (a major patron of the work) requested this (S.V.) [But see also Inq PM (below) for the earlier John Jermy re the purchase dates and ownership of his various Manors.]

      This latter John Jermy died in Feb 1630/31 and left a Will dated 1 Sept 1630 in which he directed to be buried at Gunton church (on the south side of the chancel). Sadly, he had conveyed much of his land to his children sometime previously so we are unable to determine who got what. [But see his Inq P M of 1631] In his Will (proved on 8 Apr 1631), he refers to furnishings in his rooms at the Temple in London and to his houses in Norwich and Gunton, as well as to land for his cattle on Runham marshes - which he left to elder son Francis; they had owned land in both Filby and Runham from 1626. [Note: a much later Thomas Jermy signed the Runham Court book in 1781 and was a Thatcher of Filby, son of another Thomas who held land in Hickling whose brother Edmond was a Maltster of nearby Ingham. This line needs further study; they appear to have descended from the Jermys of Marlingford and while that family only held that latter estate from the senior line at Gunton, it seems possible that there may have been some transfer of land ownership or tenancy between these two branches in respect of this 'manorless' land in that Ingham-Hickling-Runham area.] John left his eldest daughter Anne Turnor $100 and lesser amounts to her three children. To his youngest daughter Bridget Jermy he left an impressive £1000 - to promote her marriage - and also refers to daughters Elizabeth Palgrave (who married John Palgrave in Norwich 25 Sept 1628) and Eleanor Rant, as well as to John and Eleanor - childen of his son Robert Jermy. He left 20 shillings to the poor of both Gunton and Saxlingham - the latter suggesting that this parish was quite likely in part his rather than (just or partly) his brother Thomas's.

      This becomes clearer through the Inq PM: This was held in Norwich on 30 Nov 1631 under the Chairmanship of John Allen, Gent before 17 other Gents and Yeomen serving as Jurors. It recites details of his purchase and ownership of several Manors and estates - including Marlingford, Gunton, Saxlingham, Letheringsett and Tivetshall St Margaret. Reference was made to 14 other houses or Halls all in Saxlingham, Letheringsett and Bayfield that were to go to eldest son Francis and his wife Alice Irby (as by their Marriage Settlement). There was no specific mention of Bayfield as a Manor in its own right and on this basis at least, it appears that John's second son Robert would only acquired the Hall there some years later, apparently jointly with his elder brother Francis just after Robert's marriage. Saxlingham Manor itself seems to have been inherited by Francis. However, much of the latter was later held by Robert's youngest son Isaac Jermy of this Bayfield line. (see his comprehensive Will later). The same disposition (ie to go initially only to Francis and his wife) is described for all the other properties - in Gunton, Marlingford, Tivetshall and in those Norwich. [Note: I have an inscription pertaining to Gunton: 'Johanni Jermy armigero et Elianoire uxori, redd' Willelmo Jermy, gen et Clementi Jermy, gen' - the meaning of which escapes me. Who, in particular, was the Clement Jermy referred to? One of those of Marlingford seemingly.]

      This elder surviving son Francis Jermy, Esq was born in Aug 1600 in Norwich - where his father still resided in his role as chief Counsellor for the Norwich diocese. He would be educated in Norwich before entering Christ's College, Cambridge in about 1615/16. He later married Alice Irby, daughter of a knighted MP - Sir Anthony Irby of Lincolnshire - in 1629 at Lt Bradley, Suffolk. This seems an odd location for such a marriage. One of the Jermys' new neighbours at Gunton had connections with this part of Suffolk - which may explained this venue. They soon settled down at Gunton - where they apparently had most of their 5 sons and 3 daughters - in the years leading up to the Civil war. (The Gunton register before 1725 has not survived to confirm this, and BT/ATs are sparse.)

      The second surviving son of John was Robert Jermy - born in December 1601 (I believe in Norwich also) where he too would have been educated before entering the same College at Cambridge in about 1620. (Both brothers also received some education at the Middle Temple where their father had been Treasurer and Master of the Bench.) Robert, who was called to the Bar in 1629, married before his brother - in Sept 1627 in Norwich - to Christian Cocke, daughter of Robert Cocke of Rushford, Esq, in the south of Norfolk. (Interestingly, the Cockes appear to have acquired the former ancient Jermy estate at nearby Tharston et al sometime before this). Robert would soon reside at Bayfield (near Holt and Saxlingham) - possibly as a tenant of his brother initially) and have 3 sons and 6 daughters there over the same period as Francis was having his equally large family at Gunton - before and into the years of the Civil war. (A Complaint was brought by brothers Francis and Robert Jermy in 1638 as joint Lords of the Manor of East Ruston (near the north coast) inherited from their father John in 1630. Other early Jermy property was held at Worstead; both may have been outlying elements of the Gunton Manor (Netherhall). Intriguingly, Ingham, Hickling and Runham with later Jermy connections (ie about 50 years later) was also nearby; these properties may have provided a 'lifeline' to the remnants of the Marlingford family, with the main Marlingford manor having been sold out of the family around 1670. There was also a Robert Jermy/Jarmy at Worstead a little later whose possible connection needs verification.) Today, East Ruston boasts a much visited horticultural garden.

      A third son - Edward Jermy was born after several daughters (8 Oct 1609), but appears to have died an infant. Eldest daughter Eleanor (born 15 Apr 1603) married 17 Jan 1618/9 at St Michael at Plea, Norwich, aged just 16 to Roger Rant, Esq - he of the same family who married into the family of Sir Thomas Jermy in Cambridge, I believe. The next daughter Elizabeth (born c1607) married a Baronet - Sir John Palgrave of North Barningham, 25 Sept 1628 - also at St Michael, while the youngest daughter Bridget (born c1608/9) married a Gent - ?Robert Le Neve [Note: there was a later Bridget Jermy (born ca 1640) who married William Buxton of Tibbenham in Pulham (1665).] How the coming Civil war affected these particular Norfolk gentry families and offspring they may have had with these Jermy daughters, I am presently unaware. A Mary Jermy was baptised 28 Dec 1610 at St George Tombland - born to John Jermy, I believe - (or was this a burial entry?)

      But we do have more information on how the War affected their brothers - Francis and Robert Jermy. For they were both of a parliamentary/republican persuasion who soon became allied with Cromwell's Eastern Association which was to so dominate the political and military landscape of East Anglia between 1642 and 1650. Until Francis died in 1647 and for Robert until 1660 at least, these two brothers had picked the right side in the coming conflict - both assuming military command at Major and/or Colonel level and fulfilling influential roles in the life of their northern part of the county. After 1660 however, a more royalist orientation was of course favoured and Robert decided it might be best to leave Norfolk - which he did (with official permission) by moving temporarily to America. However, he is said to have returned to north Norfolk within a year or so and was allowed to resume his role as a typical country squire of more settled times - before his eventual death there in 1677. It may be noted that Francis and Robert, and their respective lines at Gunton and Bayfield had, through their father and Stutton Jermy mother, double Jermy inheritance; they and their descendents were thus in effect 'Jermy-Jermys'!

      As supporters on the roundhead side in the mid-1640s, the two brothers' respective estates might not have been subject to the more severe sequestrations applied to royalists' holdings, but in order to help the cause they no doubt raised all the silver, horses and cash they could manage (it was expected). By the Commonwealth period of the 1650s, many such estates had to rely on raising funds through borrowings; rental income being less reliable than before. Gunton was a small parish consisting entirely of the Gunton Hall estate - situated deep within a heavily wooded park in low marshy ground (with good fish ponds). Its original church was decayed and a new one built in the late 1600s, I believe. Timber may have been its principal value although the overall estate ran into some 10 nearby parishes including Suffield, Antingham, Felmingham, Thorpe Market, Bradfield, Alby and Alborough from whom adequate rents would be received.

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

        Any money owing on the estate wasn't to bother elder son Francis too much, however, as he died in Nov 1647 - whether through some Civil war skirmish or through natural causes is unknown. This left his widow Alice with 8 children aged between 2 and 15. There were 4 sons - John, Francis, Anthony, Edward and three daughters - Alice, Elizabeth and probably Eleanor (see pedigree above). Some insight into the character and times of Francis Jermy, Esq of Gunton is revealed in a description provided me by a local historian - Peter Smith of nearby Southrepps. He notes that early documents for the area gave him...

        "..the impression of a staunch Puritan squire who fills his role during the 1630s and'40s as a painstaking Collector and Assessor of Subsidy taxes, a Military officer for his Hundred and a respected Magistrate. With the coming of the Civil War, he is busier than ever collecting money, plate and horses for the Parliament and had dealings with Sir John Potts and other Norfolk M.P.s. He was certainly a man of influence in respect of the local Clergy - being responsible, for example, in removing the elderly Rev Robert Claphamson from his Vicarage at Roughton and Hanworth. His name appears again and again in matters concerned with local people seeking positions and livings, in their Assessments and the taking of Covenants. Unlike others, I can see no instance of him taking advantage of his position to enrich himself or buy up sequestered land cheaply, or put his own people into profitable positions, despite his authority. Indeed, he may have neglected his own estate and interests, for we find him (actually, his son) nearly bankrupt by the Restoration." [ie 1660]

      His Will was proved 15 Feb 1647/8). In it, he...(to be added). His widow Alice married Edmond de Grey of Merton in about 1652 and died there 30 July 1665 (aged 56). Edmond had her buried in the Chancel of the old church at Gunton with a small monument; this was later placed on the outside of the rear wall of the small new church there where it survives today. Edmond died in 1689 - leaving a Will proved 1690. Latterly, he was apparently quite poor himself.

      The eldest son John Jermy, Esq (born c1630 entered Cambridge shortly after his father's death and within two years (still just 18 or 19) decided to marry - Anne Castleton, daughter of a Suffolk Baronet - just outside Bury St Edmonds. Thus, he doesn't appear to have completed his degree or study eg the law or enter the church - so would have to rely on whatever rental (or borrowed?) income he could raise from his own ?depleted estates (which he inherited as eldest son), or any property or money he acquired through his marriage (little or none apparently). [This latter reality may be contrasted with the arrangement agreed for Robert Jermy's eldest son (Rev John Jermy of Bayfield) at his marriage to Alice Hobart - whereby £2000 would become available (from the Hobarts!) on his possible early death - as well as that from the Bayfield estate itself - to support his widow and educate her one son - John.] Presumably, John Jermy of Gunton, and wife Anne, began residing at Gunton forthwith, which may have encouraged his mother Alice to marry Edmond de Grey and move to Merton. What similar funds could be so raised to support Anne and her several children in the like circumstances of John's early demise, one wonders? The implications of this important factor would prove crucial to the future prospects of the senior Gunton family - as compared to that of their albeit more junior cousin line at Bayfield.

      John's eldest sister Elizabeth had already married - quite soon after her father's death - to a knight, Sir Standish Hartstonge - in 1648. And his younger brother Francis Jermy (born c1634 at Gunton) also entered Cambridge (St John's) quite soon - in 1650 - from where he at least did go on to study the law - in London - since he was unlikely to have received much property from his father. (He did in fact get the small estate at Tivetshall which his grandfather John had bought around 1625). He became a Barrister and, once in a position to attract a wife of some means, married - in 1666 - to Anne Wilsford, of a minor landed Essex family. He also bought some land at Gunton from his sister-in-law Anne (c1665) which, confusingly, went to his wife of same forename. His two other sisters, Alice and Eleanor, had themselves also married by this date - Alice in about 1658 to Thomas Smallpiece of Worlingham, Suffolk who, on his mother (Ann nee Duke)'s death, would inherit the former Jermy estate at Metfield, Suffolk - and Eleanor in 1664 to Lemuel Schuldham, a Norfolk squire. However, Francis the Barrister, then of the Middle Temple, soon died and was buried there - in Nov 1668 - within two years of his marriage, leaving no issue. In his Will, he left modest sums of £16 each to his sisters Alice Smallpiece and Eleanor Schuldham and their husbands, and £8 each to his two brothers Anthony and Edward. To his wife Ann, he left his land at Tivetshall for her life and then equally to his two brothers, and the same re his land in Gunton. In Codicils, he left a further £20 to Edward and some trees at Tivetshall to be sold to cover his recent debts. His elder brother John of Gunton had already died.

     The next son of Francis Snr Anthony Jermy (born c1638) also went to Cambridge - in 1656 - by which means he qualified as a clergyman in about 1661 and soon obtained the living at his own parish church at Gunton (and at neighbouring Hanworth). This was about the same time that Rev Thomas Jermy of the Suffolk branch began at Hethersett. It was possibly Anthony (but may have been his older brothers or his mother) who helped arrange the marriage of his sister Alice to Thomas Smallpiece of Metfield - possibly at nearby Worlingham, Suffolk. Certainly Anthony, once a Reverend, became the trustee for Alice's children - on her early death in 1673. Anthony had himself married in 1667 - to Bridget Lowde (nee Mann), widow of a fellow churchman - Rev Roger Lowde - by whom she had several children. [Note: On 13 Jan 1667/8, Bridget Jermy witnessed a Codicil to the Will of Thomas Tite of Worlingham, Gent (for which her new husband Anthony was also a witness). They may have been visting Elizabeth Howard (nee Jermy) in that Suffolk town. Thomas Tite held a mortgage for money lent to Thomas Smallpiece against the latter's land at Metfield. (The latter Thomas was a gt grandson of Alice nee Jermy and gt gt grandson of Ann nee Duke who had married Thomas Jermy of Metfield after losing her first husband, an earlier Thomas Smallpiece.) In his own Will of 1764, this later Thomas Smallpiece - also 'of Worlingham, Gent' would direct his executor Joseph Fox (his brother-in-law) to sell his estates at Metfield (and elswhere) - the excess of funds so raised to go to Fox for his own benefit. This severed all Jermy-related connection with Metfield - after 400 plus years.]

      Anthony and Bridget's eldest son Francis Jermy was born about 1668 and trained as an Attorney around 1686-90. He would marry twice but have no surviving issue. His first wife was Frances Parker, daughter of John Parker of Aylsham, Gent whom he married in about 1695. They had a son Robert (b ca 1696) who lived to be of age but died unmarried around 1720. Frances died about 1725 and he married secondly in Bacton, Norfolk, Jane Francis on 4 June 1728, widow of Henry Francis, Gent who had died there 21 Aug 1727. Francis lived mostly in the market town of North Walsham - to a good age, dying 7 May 1756, aged 88, apparently quite poor and left no Will. In 1710, there was some litigation between Francis Jermy and one Robert Curteis pertaining to property in Aylsham. I only mention this because I note there were Curteises in Oxfordshire. It could of course be a more common name than I realise. Francis would be one of the two surviving Jermys in Norfolk who were of concern to Isaac Preston in the early 1750s, as detailed below.

      Rev Anthony also had a son John Jermy - in about 1672 - who seems to have remained a bachelor, living in the Gunton rectory presumably until his death there in 1744, age 72. He likely received no higher education or skilled training, nor had the benefit of owning property. (He was however, left £80 by his step-sister Bridget when only 12). There were also two daughters - Alice and Elizabeth (c1670s) - who both married local clergymen of moderate means. Alice married Rev John Barker about 1700 who had livings at Wymondham, the Hautbois and Lammas (1701) and St Martin-at-Palace, Norwich - being Curate there (1709); they had no surviving sons; Rev Barker died in 1730. Elizabeth married Rev Edward Hoogan 14 May 1712 in Colby next to Gunton and settled at Beeston-next-Mileham in west Norfolk where their four children and they themselves, sadly, all died by 1734 (Elizabeth on 9 Oct 1727). There was possibly another son born to Anthony and Bridget - another Edward Jermy (ca 1675?) - of whom nothing seems known. He likely died quite young as he is not mentioned in Rev Anthony's Will - written 21 Sept 1719 (when he says "...and having already by God's goodnesse attained to near eighty years of age...") and then "..I bequeathe to my son John Jermy all my goods...and personal estate ..and do make (him) my sole executor." No property was mentioned. It was proved in 1723, the year he died, aged 83. His elder son Francis, who would live another 33 years as the Attorney of nearby North Walsham, was not mentioned, nor left anything apparently. Possibly some minor land was transferred earlier to him.

      More about this family is seen in the Will of a daughter of Anthony's wife Bridget (by her first husband Rev Roger Lowde) - being her younger and earlier namesake - Bridget Lowde (probably born about 1655-60). Her Will was dated 14 Aug 1684 and in it she disposes of about £300 plus some houses and land. She left £100 to an aunt Dorothy Smith of Salle, Norfolk, £10 to a godson Standish Hartstonge (via his father or mother - nee Jermy), £5 to a lady friend in Saxlingham (where this Bridget lived previously) and similar to a friend and to the poor in Gunton (where she seems to have lived latterly), £50 each to her half brother and half sister - Francis and Elizabeth Jermy (then in their teens), all her personal possessions equally to Elizabeth and her other half sister Alice - except her watch, which was to go to her 'father' (ie Rev Anthony) 'who gave it to me'; and to her other half brother John Jermy (then about 12 and seemingly her favorite) - £80. She leaves her houses, land and money to her step father Rev Anthony - her sole executor. She died in 1687 - the Will proved 23 June that year. It appears that the Dorothy Smith mentioned was nee Mann - a sister of her mother - the elder Bridget (nee Mann; ex Lowde; now Jermy) - who married a George Smith of Gloucestershire and where she soon settled and had a son Thomas.

      Interestingly, in about 1932, a professional genealogist in Norfolk, one Percy Bramble of Caister, was apparently contacted by an unnamed client "..whose people, wrote Percy, had (once) held some land in...Oxfordshire....there being a tradition in the family that they were descended from the Norfolk Jermys...". (This client could well be a member of the Larner or Jermy families then settled in London.) Percy Bramble contacted a later member of the Mann family in 1934 from whom he discovered the above Will of the younger Bridget Lowde - with its Jermy references. After tracing out all the Jermy descendents he could discover (from some earlier date) over the preceding 18 months, he concluded that the above John Jermy - half brother to Bridget " the clue that I have been seeking...all this time - to help solve 'my Jermy problem'. This John was the sole legatee and executor of his father Anthony's Will (1723) and my hypothesis, said Percy Bramble, is that he left Norfolk and settled amongst his mother's family - in Gloucestershire or Oxfordshire."

      When struggling, even longer, with my own 'Jermy problem' - 50 years later(!) - I too eventually happened upon this same John Jermy, and I too was convinced that he best fitted the role that appeared to lead to my wife's Jermy connection - via the Jonathan Jermy who went to Court in 1817 to claim the Jermy estate, and via a Sarah Jermy of the latter's family who was thought by a later descendent to have been 'of Gunton' - and marrried to one 'Blogg' (a north Norfolk name of restricted distribution). It turned out, promisingly, that there were indeed both Bloggs and Jermys at Gunton - a very small parish! But, I had eventually to discard this hypothesis (as I'm sure Percy had to discard his; he was still searching in 1936). For Anthony's son John Jermy was buried locally - in Gunton, in 1744 - having died there - unmarried. The only way to support Percy's hypothesis would be to assume that John (or his body was) returned to Gunton - to die and/or be buried there - while leaving a family behind him in the 'west country' (eg Oxfordshire), which seems most improbable. In my case, I wasn't trying to connect him with any such county but simply with Jonathan Jermy, the weaver of Norwich - who was convinced that he derived from the landed Jermys (see my fuller account on this family elsewhere). In any case, the part of Gloucestershire where Dorothy Smith apparently settled (and to where Percy felt this related John Jermy may have gone initially) was at the far west of that county (near Bristol) - and thus nowhere near the parts of south-east Oxfordshire, near Berkshire and Buckinghamshire, where, it seems, several 'Jermys', etc did later reside (from ca 1730s).

-- -- -- -- --

     There were two other sons born to Francis and Alice Jermy - Robert and Edward, and possibly a daughter Anne born ca 1645. Little is known about Robert Jermy but his younger brother Edward Jermy (born c 1642) would have been brought up by his mother Alice and her second husband Edmond de Grey - possibly in Merton in south Norfolk (ca 1650s). As Edward Jermy, Gent, he later became an Under Clerk in the Six Clerks Office at the High Court of Chancery in London on Nov 30 1668 - and worked for several years there for one of the Chief Clerks. Interestingly, a Thomas Lone, Gent (of the Worlingham family) did likewise - starting just a month before Edward. He may have been an older brother-in-law - his brother John Lone possibly married to the Anne mentioned above - he (or his father of same name?) being at the Courts from c1655. A John Allen was also an Under Clerk there - apparently related to the other two. Edward is referred to in the Will of his older brother Francis, the Barrister (d 4 Oct 1668), with respect to his share of Francis' land at Tivetshall. He soon mortgaged this, in Dec 1668 and again in 1671 (for only £150), but may have redeemed it a year later. For some unknown reason, Edward then resigned his post at the Court (on 27 July 1674) - as had Thomas Lone a year or so before. His later whereabouts are uncertain. Sadly, marriage registers for nearby St Bride's, Fleet St are lacking 1666-1675 - in the event he married there. Possibly he had a slightly better income from his property in south Norfolk and simply retired to it? Or, he was anticipating receiving £200 as his portion of the sale of his father's estate (previously much delayed) - ie around 1674-76. This would allow him greater room for manoeuvre - to settle where he may. His brother Anthony appears to have bought out his share of Tivetsahll from the Schuldhams - from whom Edward had borrowed £150 - in Apr 1672. We can't be sure that Edward ever resided at Tivetshall. Where did he settle, one wonders?

      [Note: There was apparently a family of Jermys (?Jermyns) at Tivetshall a bit later (ie a John Jermy married Prudence Burgess there in 1734) - with sons Edward and William (bn ca 1730s/40s); I have no idea to whom this John was born; possibly to Edward, the ex Under Clerk? Or was it to John of Yarmouth? Neither are very likely (as the Jermyn family was spreading nearby, as always), but one recalls that younger John of Yarmouth didn't vote there in 1734. Where was he? Prudence was later the subject of a Settlement order and thus rather poor; had she been abandoned? Did they have a son John who went to Oxfordshire? Or even this John himself? It may be noted here also that near Edward's possible early home at Merton was the parish of Shropham where a local gentry family named 'Sebright' resided. Besides having property in south Norfolk they, intriguingly, also held land in that part of Oxfordshire where a Jermy family inexplicably turns up ca 1735. Might Edward (or a son of his) have gone there and had issue? For an Edward Germany was born there in 1702 (but to an Abraham - son of...whom?) who led to a family named Jermaine nearby. Was there a John Jermy/Jermany also? Or, was Edward (of the Gunton family) or his issue, if any, the contact that may have led any son of John Jermy of Yarmouth (or Tivetshall?) to Oxfordshire later? And was the Charles who with wife Mary had a son John Jermie baptised around the corner on Fleet Street in 1676, Edward's nephew? [Too many questions; too many hypotheses; too few answers!]

      Meanwhile, during the 1650/60s - when his brothers, sisters and cousins were studying, marrying and having their families - eldest son John Jermy of Gunton, Esq, besides having his own family, was borrowing heavily against his various properties - either to maintain his lifestyle, educate one (only) of his three sons, promote marriages for his daughters and/or re-pay earlier debts on the estate. Whatever the reasons, matters appear to have come to a head by 166 1/2 - when litigation regarding unpaid borrowings must have proved increasingly stressful - for he became ill, wrote his Will 5 June 1662 and, barely 32, died just a week later - on 12 June 1662 - being buried the very next day - on 13 June 1662. This was rather unexpectedly in St Mary's, Bury St Edmonds. [Interestingly, a William Cropley, Gent was buried there 17 June that same year (epidemic?); the Cropleys held land in Suffield next to Gunton and would know the Jermys; the gentry seemed to favour Bury as a place to reside.] Oddly, there appears to be no record of John's Will being subsequently proved at PCC - ie around 1662-70, as would be expected. [It was apparently lodged in The Guildhall in Norwich at one point; one should check that litigation class for PCC Wills.] His widow Anne now had 3 sons and 2 daughters to raise as best she could - probably with the help of her two brothers-in-law, Francis and Anthony, as well as her own Castleton family back in Suffolk. The sons were named Francis, John and Charles and the girls Elizabeth and Alice - all born in the preceding decade - seemingly at Gunton. Thus, the situation guarded against by the family of the Bayfield John's wife (the Hobarts) actually came to pass in respect of the wife and family of the John Jermy of Gunton first - but less 'guarded against.       Again (as with John's father's daughter), his eldest daughter Elizabeth (born c1650) married first - oddly at Blickling in 1671 - to Philip Howard of Worlingham, Suffolk, probably through the auspices of her aunt Alice Smallpiece (nee Jermy), who also lived there. Philip was of Gent status, son of Phillip Howard Snr who held land and copyhold premises at Worlingham and nearby Carlton Colville, as well as in Mutford and Lowestoft . An Ann ?Jermy (probably born c1642-48) - also married someone of that same district seemingly - viz: John Lone - in about 1669 - by whom she had two sons named 'Jermy Lone' - who both died as infants ca 1672 and 1674, in Beccles. The Howards, Smallpieces, Jermys and Lones were much inter-married - with Worlingham and Beccles as common denominators. Was this Ann a younger sister of Rev Anthony - who may have met John Lone at Cambridge? There was a third Jermy Lone seemingly, also buried in Worlingham - as a Gent - on 2 Aug 1689. When and where born and after whom he was named, I am unaware, The same applies to one 'Jermy Carpenter' also buried at Worlingham just three years later - on 15 Oct 1692.

      The eldest son of John and Anne Jermy was Francis Jermy (born c1654/5) who benefited from a university education - going up to Jesus College, Cambridge, aged 16 in 1671 - but acquiring no particular qualifications or degree seemingly. Indeed, as will be elaborated below, he was eventually forced to live mainly on his wits - which he mostly managed to do. In the first place, there were various debts left by his father based on loans against some of his lesser properties - many of which had by now been sacrificed. Fortunately, there was still some value left in other properties and in Gunton itself. It was eventually decided for them, however, that they would have to sell it all. This is brought graphically to light in a document that was intended to be presented to Parliament in about 1668/69 - and designed to promote:


"An Act - to Enable the Sale of a Home Manor and Lands in Norfolk for the Payment of Debts and
the Raising of Portions for the Younger Children and Brothers of John Jermy, Esq, deceased.."

       It reads (approximately): "Whereas John Jermy, Esq - being seised in fee simple of the Manor of Gunton Overhall and Netherhall, Norfolk [during his lifetime] - in present possession of the yearly value of...(left blank)...and [seised also] of the reversion in fee of the Manor of Marlingford, also in Norfolk, expectant - after the determination of a Lease with 16 years to run, with a present annual value of £30, but rising to £200 on the expiration of the Lease...And of several other messuages, lands, tenements and hereditaments belonging to these Manors, as held and enjoyed by the said John Jermy in Oct 1656, Did then, in consideration of £1000 received by him for the marriage portion of Ann his wife, whom he had married in the time of his minority, and for other considerations relating only to his children and family, Settle the said Manors and premises on certain Trustees and their the use of himself for life, with the remainder of such part thereof as was of the yearly value of £200 to the use of the said Ann for life as her Joynture, with remainder in tail of this same part to any of the male issue of their two bodies, and the remainder of the other part to the said Trustees for 99 years - for the raising of £1800 for the younger children of the said John and Ann Jermy...But...the said Trustees did [later] disclaim the said Trust and refused to [oversee] any estate thereby...And also ..whereas the said John Jermy afterwards became indebted unto several persons amounting to £3000 or thereabouts secured by mortgages against the said premises, and realising that the trustees' disclaimer {due to those debts?] would negate the validity of the said [1656] Settlement, such that his younger children would be wholely unprovided for...Did, by his last Will and Testament dated the 5th June 1662...Appoint and Direct that all the said premises except the Manor of Marlingford should be Sold by his said wife and William Castelton, Esq (her brother) and that part of the monies raised thereby should be used for the said portions for the younger children (as by that last Will - lodged in the Guildhall, Norwich - may more fully appear)...And...the said John Jermy soon after died (c12 June 1662) leaving issue three sons and two daughters - just before which the said creditors claimed possession of several parts of the said premises and although we (Ann and her brother) have tried to sell the Manors and premises (with the creditors' permission) to raise both the required portions, pay off all the debts and still leave a considerable remainder for the eldest son (which was fully expected)...Yet...because of some doubt in Law about the said Settlement, the amounts raised could be all swallowed up by the creditors alone (except Ann's Joynture) and their legal fees..and...

'all the said children being thereby deprived of all present or future livelihood and subsistence
will in all probability be exposed to utter ruin and destruction which cannot in anyway
be prevented but by a speedy sale of the said Manors'

- as directed by the last Will of the said John Jermy - which can only be effected by an Act of Parliament enabling the sale of the said premises and which your loyal subjects Ann Jermy, Sir John Castleton, Bt and William Castleton, Esq, the mother and uncles of the said younger children, (hereby request) - for a price thought reasonable by Thomas, Lord Richardson, Baron of Cramond in Scotland, and Sir Edward Walpole, K.B. (the new Trustees) and that after all mortgages and judgements against the said properties are paid by the monies so received, that £1800 be made available from the residue for the said younger children - in such manner and proportions as agreed by the said Trustees...And...that out of the remainder of the said monies, the sum of Two hundred pounds apiece be paid unto Anthony Jermy and Edward Jermy - the younger brothers of the said John Jermy - in full settlement of their portions which the said John Jermy was by his father's Will obliged to pay unto them...And...out of the remainder of the said monies, the sum of Sixteen hundred pounds will be paid unto the said Ann Jermy in full recompense of her Joynture...And...if after payment of these several sums of money there shall remain any land unsold or surplus of money, the said lands and money shall be conveyed unto the eldest son or his heirs at the age of 21 years [which for Francis Jermy, the eldest son, would be in 1676 and thus this draft petition was compiled prior] and in the meantime the interest from same be employed for the benefit of that eldest son - as determined by by the said new Trustees...".

       However, it seems that through the new Trustees, it was possible to proceed with the sales after all - without such an Act. Thus Gunton was eventually sold - for £4236-15-0 to Sir Charles Harbord - finalised on 2 June 1676 (based on Articles of Agreement of 31 May 1676 concerning when the monies would be transferred) and the Indenture recording its Sale enrolled in Chancery on 5 June 1676. On 29 Sept that year, a further Bond between the parties was agreed which guaranteed that Sir Charles would not be liable for any unforseen liabilities on the estate. All this would be just after Francis, as eldest son and heir, had turned 21. Possibly the sale of other parts of the estate, including Marlingford a little later, would raise more of the £3000 owing, as well as the £1800 destined to provide for the younger children according to an Agreement reached some years earlier.

       This Petition (of ca 1669) seems to have followed a Complaint made by the 4 younger children on 5 June 1668 (when they were then aged only ca 7, 9, 11 and 17 and living with their mother in Bury St Edmonds) against their elder brother Francis Jermy (only 13 himself) - by way of the original Trustees (Sir John Castleton and John Southeby, Esq) - to the effect that the Trustees and Francis hadn't fulfilled their trust and duty as set out in the aforementioned Agreement - of 2nd Oct 1656 (by which John Jermy had 'sold' his estates to the original Trustees (one his brother-in-law) - for £5 - in trust to his own uses - which were confirmed in his Will, written on 5 June 1662 - to provide from the estate (due to go mostly to Francis) their specified portions of an £1800 'bequest' (with elder daughter Elizabeth being due £900, second daughter Alice £400 and younger sons John and Charles just £200 each) - as each child reached 21 - nor the monies promised them therein to ensure their adequate maintenance and eductions in the meantime (ie between ca 1662 and 1675 or so). If Francis didn't ensure this (via the Trustees) - which he hadn't - the latter were charged with the responsibility of selling the estates to ensure it. However, as shown above, they declined this role (fearing litigation costs) and the above Petition to Parliament was then made (later that year seemingly) - with new Trustees - when they became aware that the estates couldn't be sold otherwise for any profit. Creditors' claims would cause mounting legal bills. The Court eventually Ordered (on 13 May 1670) that "..the original Trustees (at their own costs) must transfer their Rights and Title to the said estate to new Trustees - as shall be approved by Sir Nathaniel Hobart." These were the above-mentioned Lord Richardson and Sir Edward Walpole. They then found a way to sell the estates (ca 1670-78) without proceeding with the Act of Parliament.

       Thus eldest daughter Elizabeth would receive her £900 quite soon - as she had turned 21 and married Philip Howard in 1671 (at the Hobarts' Manor of Blickling) and next daughter Alice would get her £400 by about 1678 (and marry an Apothecary in Cambridge), and poor John and Charles their £200 each (or was it £250 - to add up to £1800?) shortly before. John at least was then able to start an apprenticeship - seemingly never having the 'higher education' due him - ie if Francis and the original Trustees had fulfilled their obligations. The mother Anne may have received only a portion of joynture money - possibly after the Marlingford sale, leaving Francis enough to marry (c1680) Mary Payne, daughter of William Payne, an Attorney of Norwich, who had recently purchased a leasehold estate - at Haynford - on which they could live and maintain some semblance of dignity. Thus, second and third sons John and Charles were unlikely to receive the kind of support that their cousin John Jermy of Bayfield did after his father died (around this same time). Francis of Gunton was at least able to buy the leasehold from his father-in-law soon after his marriage - although later had to re-mortgaged back to him. He must have felt he needed rather more to live comfortably, or possibly to invest in some enterprise. Or just to get away (see below).

       Despite the eventual sales of the Gunton estate, the above phrase (in italics) concerning the likely 'utter ruin..' of the younger children has a strong ring of foreshadowing about it. How prophetic it was - when one considers the future of John Jermy and his family in Yarmouth - based on his meagre £200 share. There would be rather less 'dignity' in their futures it seems; viz - 'John Jermy, the illiterate day labourer' soon to come. Ann Jermy's remarks, while probably meant to have a dramatic effect, did also, I feel, represent her real fears about something that children in their class of society would normally never have to countenance; they just weren't brought up to it. Sadly, much of her prediction was borne out.

       It is worth noting here that about the time the Jermys sold Gunton to the Harbords, the latter had recently also bought a Manor estate in Frettenham (next to Haynford), with lands extending into Horstead, Coltishall and Belaugh nearby. One wonders if William Payne was known by the Harbords - as someone with a suitable daughter and a little leasehold land neighbouring their new acquisitions? In any case, he was already known by the Jermys more directly - having served as a Steward at an earlier Gunton Manor Court. Much of Haynford was owned by the Peck family at that time. The Marsham family also owned much land in the area - especially in neighbouring Stratton Strawless, as well as in Haynford. [Did the Harbords or Marshams hire John Jermy of Belaugh and Stratton Strawless ca 1740s/50s (as discussed elsewhere) and/or his possible father...?William Jermy?]

A Little On The Harbords.

       Sir Charles Harbord, Knt appears to have purchased Gunton for his youngest son, John Harbord, and had acquired considerable wealth and property whilst serving under Charles the First as Surveyor General of Crown property 'South of the Trent'. He no doubt spotted various attractive properties under financial pressures at that time and, as a consequence, eventually held lands himself in Surrey, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire, Suffolk and Norfolk before becoming established firstly at 'The More' (later 'Moor Hall or Park') in Hertfordshire and latterly at the Manor of Stanninghall near Horstead, north of Norwich, which he purchased on 6 June 1667 from Dame Katherine Waldegrave for £4600. This included farms in 5 neighbouring parishes, including Haynford. His 4 sons, Philip, William, Charles and John and 3 daughters Hester, Catherine and Elizabeth appear to have been born around the 1640s and '50s and raised primarily at Stanninghall in the 1660s/70s. They thus became associated with post-civil war Norfolk (rather than with other counties - such as Somerset, their father's home area) and so mostly married into important local Norfolk families, as did some of their children in turn. As mentioned above, Sir Charles also bought Gunton Manor for a similar price to Stanninghall - in June 1676 - from the Jermys, the Harbord family becoming thereby even more identified with Norfolk. [His Will also refers to his Manors of Wymondham and East Dereham and others in Cornwall!]

       John Harbord was about the same age as (or just a little older than) Francis Jermy and in 1676, after the sale, they had in effect traded places - with John Harbord (thanks to his father) becoming seated at Gunton and Francis Jermy (thanks, in effect, to his father also) now in Haynford, near to Stanninghall. Such is life. Francis Jermy would soon become involved in 'pressing' men for service in various small wars England was then engaged in, and he would later have other uncertain responsibilities under a Lord Trafford and one can imagine that Sir Charles Harbord and/or his elder sons may well have had contacts at this national level that may have provides Francis (and those in similar situations - down on their luck), with such dubious employment. He had no trade, profession or significant rental income and thus had to rely on any such connections. Sir Charles soon died, in 1679, and, after a few years, Francis would move to London.

       Charles Harbord, born ca 1595, was the son of Captain William Harbord (born ca 1572) of Wilton, Somerset and his wife Dorothy Tynte. According to Sir Charles' Will, they were buried in nearby Midsomer Norton. His father's elder brother Robert Harbord was baptised on 18 Mar 1569 at Bath Abbey, Somerset where he later married (Jane Whibbine) in 1592; a younger brother Capt John Harbard was baptised there also - on 13 March 1570. Charles expressed his gratitude to his parents for 'leaving me an inheritance of good value' and ensuring his good education when he seemingly acquired surveying skills which he put to good use later in life under Charles I. He married 2ndly Mary Van Alst the daughter of a Baron - John Van Alst from Flanders (and later Sandwich, Kent). She died 5 Sept 1666 aged 64 and Sir Charles Harbord on 11 June 1679, aged 84 (buried I believe in St Martin-in-the Fields, Westminster), with Memorial Inscriptions in Besthorpe Church near Attleborough in Norfolk probably due to the first marriage of their eldest son Philip to Ann Drury of that parish, where they settled.

       All 4 of the sons of Charles and Mary Harbord appear to have married, as did their 3 daughters. But the eldest son, Philip, had 3 daughters and only one son, Henry, who died in his youth; the next, William, had 4 daughters only; the third son, Sir Charles (knighted like his father), also died quite young, dying at sea in a battle against the Dutch in 1672; he was buried in Westminster Abbey, without issue; and the youngest son John Harbord apparently married twice but also had no issue. He died at Gunton in 1710 after a riding accident and asked to be buried in the church "by my wives" (one of whom was Katherine Rous d 1690).

             The Will of that youngest son John Harbord (of Gunton) was proved on 16 Nov 1711. By it (or by earlier arrangements), Gunton would go initially to Harbord Cropley, Gent, the son and co-heir of his sister Catherine (1645-1684) and her 2nd husband Col William Cropley of a Suffolk family (whose father was an earlier William Cropley, Gent who had an estate at Lt Bradley, Suffolk where the marriage (ca 1625) of an earlier Francis Jermy (d 1647) to Alice Irby took place. The Cropleys would seem to have had an estate also at Suffield next to Gunton from those earlier times so accou8nting for this otherwise inexplicable marriage location of a north Norfolk squire). Col William Cropley later resided at Kilverstone in south Norfolk (near Thetford) which his wife appears to have inherited on the death of her first husband Thomas Wright, Esq of that parish. Their son Harbord Cropley, born in Kilverstone the year Francis Jermy had to leave Gunton, married firstly Jane Rant, daughter of Sir William Rant of Thorpe Market (also next to Gunton) around 1700 to where he appears to have moved shortly before - to reside with his uncle John Harbord seemingly. After the latter's death in 1710, he must have soon changed his surname from Cropley to Harbord, thus becoming 'Harbord Harbord of Gunton, Esq'. [We may recall that Rev Anthony Jermy remained as Gunton rector until his death in 1723 although lived in his Rectory at Hanworth, I believe.] Harbord Cropley/Harbord married 2ndly Rebecca nee Wrench, daughter of Sir Benjamin Wrench, the famous physician of Norwich whose other daughter Mary had married John Jermy of Bayfield, Esq (who had a daughter Rebecca Jermy, the half-sister of William Jermy of the controversial Will; she died young and was buried in Aylsham). Rebecca Wrench was herself previously married to John Marcon, Esq from whom she inherited land at Langley, Norfolk. Harbord Cropley/Harbord had no issue from either marriage and died about 1742 and his wife Rebecca in 1752.

       Gunton then went to William Morden, the son of Harbord's sister Judith nee Cropley and her husband John Morden of neighbouring Suffield, and of Lt Bradley, Suffolk (1667-1727). [Presumably, the Cropleys and Mordens were also inter-married so explaining their mutual interests in Lt Bradley, a rather small parish in mid-south Suffolk.] He, born ca 1705, became Sir William Morden, Bart and Knt of the Bath (1744), and M.P. who married Elizabeth Britiffe, daughter of Robert Britiffe, of Hanworth and Baconsthorpe, Esq and Elizabeth nee Rant (sister of the above Jane Rant). Sir William was the one who re-built Gunton church in about 1760. Their son, Sir Harbord Morden (born 1734) assumed the surname Harbord after his father (Sir William Morden) had done so - in 1742. He married Mary Assheton, daughter of Sir Ralph Assheton, Bart and, as the 2nd Baronet, was raised to the peerage as Baron Suffield in 1786. [Sir Charles Harbord's many properties no doubt came down some of this line of descent and the later senior members were probably very well off for some generations; to be made a Baron generally required 'funds'.] Their son William Assheton Morden/Harbord was born in 1766 and succeeded as 2nd Baron Suffield on his father's death in 1810. He married (1792) Caroline Hobart, daughter of Sir John Hobart of Blickling (2nd Earl of Buckingham) and a daughter of Sir Thomas Drury, Bart. He was an M.P. on many occasions. They had no issue so, on his death (1821), he was succeeded by his brother Edward Harbord as 3rd Baron Suffield (d 1835) and in turn by that man's son, also Edward Hobard as the 4th Baron. The wives of these latter Barons both surviving their husbands, there was for a time two Dowager Ladies Suffield - one (Caroline) residing at Blickling and the other at Gunton, which they had respectively inherited. The Baronage continued nevertheless - through the 5th, 6th, 7th Barons Suffield et al. Eventually, however, the line failed on both the male and female sides, ending with two maiden sisters - the Honourables Doris and Lettice Harbord - who sold Gunton in the 1980s and lived in retirement on the north Norfolk coast before dying soon after.

-- -- -- -- -- --

       We may return to consider Francis Jermy - now 'of Haynford, Gent' (no longer 'of Gunton, Esq') and his wife Mary (nee Payne) - who had several children following their marriage around 1680. Most were baptised in St Giles, Norwich (possibly where Mary's mother resided) - as: Anne - on 11 Jan 168 1/2 (as Jarmey), Jane - on 18 Feb 1683/4 (as Jarmy), Francis - on 22 Mar 1684/5 (as Jermey), Elizabeth - on 7 Aug 1686 (as Jermey) and Mary - ca 1690 (possibly in Haynford). Except for Anne and Mary, they were all buried as infants in Haynford, I believe. Anne Jermy married John Harcourt in 1708 in Haynford and had, amongst others, a son named Jermy Harcourt in 1710. He was an Attorney who became Mayor of Norwich in 1762. Mary married Rev Henry Vincent in 1710 and possibly had a son Francis Vincent baptised on 21 May 1712 at Lt Bookham, Surrey (where he may have been a Curate). They then, with more certainty, had a daughter Mary near Reading in Berkshire where Henry was still a Curate. Where they later settled is unknown. Was it Oxfordshire?

      Meanwhile, what of Francis Jermy's younger siblings? Their father, John Jermy of Gunton, Esq with wife Ann nee Castleton had as their second son a namesake John Jermy (born c1656/7) who, in contrast to Francis (who went to Cambridge, as did the early Harbords), seems to have received little or no education beyond secondary school. As he would also have no property to fall back on, he could well be the first Jermy since the 13th century to not have the rental income advantages of property - associated with either Esq or Gent status - or of a higher education. Even those bachelors at the end of the Marlingford line lived out their later years as Gents - albeit on small properties in such as Fundenhall and Bawburgh (and later at Ingham and area seemingly). Thus, while older brother Francis was benefiting from his university education (c1671-74), John seems to have been set to an apprenticeship - ie starting about 1676 or so when aged about 18 (but possibly a little later). Now, when property and investment income declined, and education or lucrative marriages couldn't be arranged, the gentry would typically arrange apprenticeships for their younger sons - usually in London - but as Attorneys, Legal Clerks, Goldsmiths, etc. So where did 18 year old John Jermy go - in about 1676 - and in what sphere? He went to Gt Yarmouth - to learn to be...a Brazier (finishing in 1683)! His Master was one Christopher Betts. Why Gt Yarmouth? There seems to be two possible factors. Either it was through the contacts there that some neighbours at Gunton - the Symonds family of Suffield - may well have had; several of that family held positions of influence in Yarmouth despite its distance; eg see Will of Nathaniel Symonds (1720) - or, was it because Philip Howard of Worlingham and Carlton Colville, husband of John's sister Elizabeth, also held property there - where young John could reside and possibly raise a family - albeit with only the remnants of his £200? Philip would have some influential contacts there also. Sadly, Elizabeth soon died (c1680) but she did have two sons (born ca 1672-4) who would become John's nearby nephews (and his own sons' elder first cousins) - living not too far away, near Lowestoft.

       In any case, once through his apprenticeship, John would automatically acquire Freeman status in Yarmouth - something otherwise obtained only through purchase or being born there to a Freeman. (Thus two of John's sons would later possess this same status by this latter route, although one of them could have done so in his own right as well - by virtue of having completed his own apprenticeship there later.) Being a Freeman of the Borough granted one certain privileges - including the right to vote. Yarmouth was an important port, fishing and boat-building centre which brought the town much wealth and with it a considerable degree if independence and self government. One senses that its Mayor, councillors and various officers were, at least locally, looked on with a certain awe. With his new status, John was now able to seek a wife and marry. He married Abigail Cliffin in Nov 1683. She and her father (?Thomas) were apparently of Norwich (where there were a few Cliffins) but he does not appear to have been of Gent status or above, and it is unlikely that Abigail brought any money or property with her. How the marriage was arranged is not known.

       It appears that John's mother Anne was residing in the parish of St Peter Mancroft in Norwich at about this time (c1670-80s), as well as in Bury St Edmonds, after having to relinquish Gunton. This was when her older son Francis, having sold Gunton, was also marrying - with Mary Payne - but living in slightly better circumstances than his brother in Yarmouth. The same applied to Rev Anthony Jermy of the previous generation, and his son Francis. They apparently had control over some remaining bits of land around Gunton (described as 'late of John Jermy, Esq' - some of which had thus not gone to the latter's eldest son Francis and then sold to the Harbords) - for they mortgaged this on 3 or 4 occasions between about 1690 and 1710 - for £450 - to one Barbara Treherne of London. I imagine they never redeemed it. Interestingly, John Jermy's widow Anne and son Francis retained certain rights concerning Gunton Manor, as they both signed its Court Book - in 1690 and in 1698 - many years after selling the main estate there (as well as Marlingford). This latter date seems to indicate that Anne hadn't died before about 1700, say. But where? As mentioned, it was also noted more recently that Francis Jermy's father-in-law William Payne had also had some involvement in this Manor (being an Attorney) from before his daughter married Francis. This could explain their eventual union (and not the common denominator of the Harbords, as suggested elsewhere). Both may apply, of course.

       John Jermy and Abigail had several children born in Yarmouth during the 1680s and '90s, although a number of them died in infancy. (The same pattern was emerging with Francis in Haynford.) Thus they named their first son John in 1684 who soon died, and then a second one similarly in Dec 1685. He lived until 1691 before which they'd had another boy - named rather inexplicably Jeremiah Jermy (11 Jan 1688/9). Finally a third son named John Jermy was baptised on 2 Oct 1692. These last two did live to adulthood. There were also three surviving daughters - Abigail, Ann and Elizabeth born in the late 1680s.        The surname was spelt variously at the Yarmouth baptisms and burials - as Jarmine, Jarmy, Germy, Jarmin, Jarmey, etc. (To add to the confusion, there were five other fathers having issue in Yarmouth at that period with a mixture of these same names (the latter all of a Jermyn origin, we would suggest) three of them Johns! I have some data on most of these men and they can be clearly differentiated from 'our' John (Snr). Fortunately, wives names allow one to establish most identities with confidence.) I have seen an Inventory of the Goods and Chattels of a 'Mr John Jarmey of Gt Yarmouth, Gent, dated 1717 which amounted to £64.12.0, including a 1/64 share in 'Mr Peter Master's Ship'. His widow was described as Margaret Jermy whom he married 14 Nov 1686 - as John Jarmin. He'd have been born about 1660, say, but to whom and where I can't say. His Gent status (implied by the styling 'Mr') likely arose due to his owning part of a ship - which many did in Gt Yarmouth at that time. During this time, our John Snr was presumably engaged in his trade as a Brazier - probably in association with the local shipbuilding and repair industry. I once noted him having the styling 'Yeoman' (although have since lost that reference); this doesn't imply that he had any connection with local farming (as renting land on the outskirts of Yarmouth, say) but rather that he was of a station above a husbandman or labourer, but below that of Gent. These and similar terms - Groom, Yeoman, Gent and Esq - were also used in the heirarchy of Royal service in London - one typically moving up to a higher status in any given department, as those above left or died. This range of status and stylings reflected the same differentiation as existed more typically in rural areas from the 15th century...

       But, on 3 Feb 170 1/2, one or other of John's gentry contacts in Yarmouth (as the Howards or Englands) managed to get him a modest sinecure in government service - as a 'Tidesman and Landwaiter' - one of several positions concerned with collecting taxes for the Treasury from vessels docking in a port such as Yarmouth. There were "well over 5000 such revenue officers working in the Excise" (ie throughout the country) at the time, according to an article noted (The Daily Telegraph 23 Dec 1982), this being in Georgian times considered "one of the most sought after forms of employment. The method of recruitment seems to have been recommendation by persons of substance in a given County - where there was no doubt always a 'grandee' who could tip the scales as to who was chosen...". John was then about 44 and the post paid only about £10 per annum, although there were no doubt many perks. This improvement in his situation likely accounted for him now being in a position to put his elder son Jeremiah to an apprenticeship (ca 1705) - as a Shipwright - this likely costing John about £5 to £10. Three years later, if his situation lasted, he should be able to do the same for his younger son John Jermy Jnr - when he too turned about 16 or so - around 1708, say.

       However, fate was not to be so kind to the younger John, nor indeed to his father. For an earlier transgression of the law by the latter (committed in June 1696) suddenly came to light - in Aug 1708 - and he lost his secure position and income. For, on 9 Sept 1696, at the Norfolk Quarter Sessions in Yarmouth, two Judges - George England, Esq and Nathaniel Symonds, Esq and several Jurors - had heard a case against Thomas Reeve, a Pipemaker and one John Jermy, Brazier, both of Gt Yarmouth, accused of stealing a quantity of metal 'by force of arms' - to whit: brass, copper, nails, plates, etc to the value of 45 shillings - from a person unknown - and so were charged with 'a Felony against the peace of the Kingdom'. Both pleaded not guilty; Reeves was found guilty nevertheless and, being without means to pay the 11 pence fine, chose to have a beating (flagellata) rather than go to prison. (Most convicted men chose this same option, being typically without financial means, chattels etc.) But the case against John Jermy was to be re-heard a month later - there apparently being some doubt about his exact role. The next Sessions was on 9 Oct when the case was further adjourned - to 15 Jan 1696/7. Samuel Fuller (a father-in-law of John Jermy, the Counsellor of Bayfield) was now one of the Judges, plus both George Englands - Snr and Jnr. John was then found guilty by the Jury of the Felony and fined 9 pence - but, this decision (by the Jury) was immediately qualified - viz: 'the execution of this decision is to be respited unless the Judges Order to the contrary' (this a translation of the latin). There were 7 other cases heard that day and in every case the guilty opted for the whipping (rather than prison). But because John, who was apparently also without ready funds (what happened to the £200?), was of a good family, etc, it was apparently not considered dignified for him to be so whipped. This setback for him was seemingly overlooked when, 5 years later, he was later recommended for the aforementioned post with the Customs service in 1702. But, on 9 Aug 1708, he was discharged from this when it was eventually discovered that he had "formerly committed a felony". [See Treasury Warrants - Vols. 17, 22 and 25 - PRO]

       The younger son John Jermy Jnr, then 16, would now have to make his own way as best he could - with no apprenticeship. He might eventually gain his Freeman status (when turning 21 in 1713) nevertheless - by virtue of his father already having this - but with no particular trade and little or no formal education, he would find life difficult regardless. (He was in fact later referred to as an 'illiterate day-labourer'.) His uncle Francis at Haynford would be of little assistance presumably - as he had decided to leave his family a bit before this and settle in London, where he established a new, common-law union and started a second family. He was also having a difficult time financially over these same years, despite having many more influential connections (see later). And John Jnr's elder brother Jeremiah would himself soon marry (1718) and have to consider his own family and future. Their mother Abigail died in 1721. A John Jermy married a widow, Murial Water (nee Jenney) in Yarmouth in March 1728; this may have been the elder John or, less likely, his son (or one of the other John Jarmines, etc of Yarmouth); she is however not mentioned in John Snr's Will; she died in Nov 1735 and was in fact buried in Yarmouth as 'Moriall Jarmyn, wife of John Jarmyn'. (Her first marriage was on 4 Dec 1709 in Norwich so she would in any case be about 10 years older than the younger John.) John Snr's daughter Abigail married a John Harvey on 11 Oct 1709 in both Yarmouth and at Norwich Cathedral on that same day. A John Harvey voted in Yarmouth in 1734 - possibly as a Freeman. One wonders if he left a Will which might mention his in-laws? [Note however: a John Harvey, Gent or Esq (probably the voter) held land in Yarmouth then and seems to have been of another family to the one who married Abigail.] I have no information on the futures of the two younger daughters - Elizabeth and Ann. One notes that an Elizabeth Jermy married a John Beale in 1716 in Heigham in Norwich.]

       The boys' first cousin John Howard (born at Worlingham to their aunt Elizabeth nee Jermy) was now a Gent - of both Beccles and Yarmouth - with a Tanning business and the younger John Jermy may, conceivably, have worked for him at times. Fortunately, John Snr was later re-instated as a Tidesman (on 14 Dec 1711) and was able to continue in this position for a significant period - until his retirement on 6 Apr 1731 - at the goodly age of 75. But it seems to have been too late to help his son John into any trade. He likely continued to live at home therefore (being supported by his father and doing odd jobs); there is no certain record of him marrying or having issue baptised in Yarmouth - ie ca 1712-40, say, nor indeed elsewhere in Norfolk; Nor therefore to having any issue.

       [It may be noted here that throughout Norfolk and Suffolk in the early 18th century, there were various pockets of Jermys, Jarmys, Jarmines, etc (mainly I would suggest derived from the Jermyn family of south Norfolk) having issue, including sons named John. One of these happened to be born in 1715 to a John 'Jermy' in Needham - on the Norfolk-Suffolk border. However, the same man (who appears to have married one Ruth Lock in nearby Syleham, Suffolk in 1712) had already had a first son William Jermy in Needham that same year. 'Our' John Jermy, aged just 20 then, would be most unlikely to name any first son William and only a later one John - this being his own and his father's name. Moreover, he had grown up and lived for years in the urban port area of Yarmouth (where he later voted) and was unlikely to have been attracted to and remain in a distant rural area such as Needham (some 30 miles distant), where agricultural skills mainly would be required. The John Jermy born there in 1715 had been suggested as one possible source of the John Jarmoney who had issue (significantly, none named Ruth) in distant Oxfordshire ca 1735-50s - as discussed elsewhere. The younger John Jermy of Needham quite likely remained in that area - where there was no lack of men of this or similar names both before and after this period in nearby Pulham and points south.]

       John Jermy Jnr did vote in Gt Yarmouth at times (being a Freeman gave hi the vote), although seems for reasons unknown to be missing from the poll record for the year 1734. His father died 22 Apr 1739 - leaving a short Will (written 20 Oct 1737; proved 8 June 1740) by which he left his "youngest son John" (who was of course the 'younger' surviving son as far as we know) the house " in my possession.." - this quite possibly the one owned by John Howard. This would certainly help him 'get by' on his intermittent labouring income - ie through the 1740s, say, although possibly not to marry. If he had married, and had a son by this date (born ca 1714-16), some reference to such a grandson in the John Snr's Will might well have been expected. There was none. John Jermy Jnr the labourer will re-enter our story - in regard to the 1750s, and his possible death either in 1766 in Haynford, or in 1768 in his home town - after we delineate the parallel family derived from Robert Jermy of Bayfield (see below).

       Oddly, there was no reference in John Snr's Will to his elder son Jeremiah either - possibly as he was in a better position to support himself and his small family? He had also been granted his Freeman status - in 1709 (age 21) by virtue of being born to a Freeman. It is interesting to consider that Jeremiah's wife - Maryann Lilly - whom he married in Yarmouth on 3 June 1716 - came from Lowestoft. Did this relate at all to the presence of his 'cousins' in nearby Carlton Colville? Or, did Jeremiah marry a girl of that sea port neighbouring Yarmouth because of his own shipwright connections? They appear to have had just one child - a daughter Mary Ann Jermy on 19 Apr 1717, but she died a child in Nov 1723. [I thought there may have been a son Jeremiah as well and if so, he may have been the one of this name buried in Bungay on 21 July 1734, when he'd be aged about 16. Or might this have been an error for 1754 and thus represent Jeremiah himself?] In either case, Jeremiah must have died by about Nov 1754 - possibly at sea - as his Will was proved in Dec/Jan 1754/55, but there is no burial registered for him in Yarmouth at that time. His wife was described as his sole heir. Oddly, he was not mentioned in the 1751 Will of his 'cousin' William Jermy when the younger brother John was. Both Jeremiah and his father John Snr voted in the Poll of 22 May 1734 (when John Jnr didn't), while both brothers did so in the later one of 18 Apr 1754. If the younger John had a son (of whatever name), he too would acquire Freeman status as a right and thus would be unlikely to have any incentive to leave the area for some distant rural life - for example, in Oxfordshire around 1730-35. Moreover, he too would have had the vote and none is noted for him.

       There was apparently an entry in the Yarmouth marriage register for a John Jar...(missing?), single man, who married Ann Palmer of Yarmouth, single woman, on 19 May 1716. This needs further confirmation. (There may also have been a marriage between a John Jermy(n) and ?another Ann Palmer - at St Peter Mancroft, Norwich in 1751.) If Jeremiah's marriage was arranged via any Lowestoft/Carton Colville connections, we may ask the same question concerning his brother John; might he have married there (just into Suffolk)? If so, we can never verify this - as the parish records (and Bishop's Transcripts) for Carlton Colville - unlike those of all the parishes surrounding it - are (?suspiciously) missing. The first registers (pre-1710) were admittedly burnt/destroyed in a fire at the local manor house (Carlton Colville Hall) in which they were apparently lodged. Hopefully for our purposes however, the Rector began a new register in 1710. But, it is this that is also mysteriously missing. [We may note here that a 'John Jermy of Carlton, single man, married Susannah Gibby, also of Carlton, widow, on 31 may 1718 - at Norwich Cathedral'. There are however, several Carltons in Norfolk (eg Carlton Forehoe and Carlton Rode) and this one is unlikely to have been the Carlton Colville in Suffolk being presently considered. We may nevertheless consider sometime where most Gibbys lived then. In this same vein, we may recall that the registers for Suffield - the parish neighbouring Gunton - are also oddly lacking.

       John the Brazier/Yeoman/Landwaiter and his elder brother Francis of Haynford, did have a younger brother - Charles Jermy - about whom nothing is known for certain. He may have died young or, he could have been the Charles Jermie who had a son John (a fitting name) baptised in St Bride's, Fleet Street (near Chancery Lane) on 30 July 1676 - where an uncle Edward Jermy worked as a Legal clerk just before this. However, the Gunton Charles seems a touch too young to be confidently represented by this latter Charles, although he is difficult to account for otherwise. (Or was he a twin brother of John Jermy of Yarmouth (b c1656/7)?) He would have received his £200 as well. Did this son John Jermie marry and have issue - ca 1700-15? And did such issue include another John Jermy (born c1715) - who ended up in Oxfordshire ca 1735?? Did he have a brother Abraham? Finally, John Snr also had a younger sister - Alice - who married Thomas Roper of Cambridge (of an apothecary's family) in the early 1680s. One wonders if their mother Anne (nee Castleton) may have retired to live with this daughter and possibly die there - if not with her other daughter Elizabeth Howard in Carlton Colville (where the registers were destroyed pre-1710 and missing post-1710)? She doesn't appear to have re-married - having little or no viable property left her by John Jermy (d 1663) - nor leaving any Will apparently. She likely did receive some of the proceeds from the sale of Marlingford, however - around 1680. She did live for a time in Bury St Edmonds. [Try Suffolk Wills.]

       With Philip Howard in Worlingham, Elizabeth Jermy (John of Yarmouth's sister) would have two sons - Philip and John Howard - on 2 Mar 167 1/2 and about 1674. While only 13 when his father died in 1684, the elder boy managed to become an Attorney and, on turning 21 in 1692, inherited most of the family's Howard property in Suffolk. He married a widow - Penelope Pitfield on 2 Sept 1700 in Worlingham but soon died - in 170 1/2 - described then as a Gent of Beccles. His mother Elizabeth had also already died (c1680) in Worlingham, nr Beccles (where the Smallpieces and the Lones also lived at that time). In 1695, his brother John Howard turned 21 when he also inherited a lesser property - at Shelford in Cambridge (quite near to Taversham where the Metfield Jermys had held sway). He became a Tanner who would reside in both Yarmouth and Beccles, as a Gent. He was thus mid-way in age between the two John Jermys (father and son) in Yarmouth and would no doubt know both of these 'cousins'. On his elder brother's early death without any other heir, John now inherited all the family property. He had married a Mary Duke in 1696 and had two sons - also Philip and John Howard, around 1700 (and thus just a little younger than their 'cousin' (once removed) John Jermy Jnr in Yarmouth) - and they also became Tanners - settling eventually at Tunstead, Norfolk, (near Beeston St Lawrence) - after mortgaging or selling some of their copyhold estates at Worlingham, Carlton Colville, Mutford, Lowestoft and Broom Holme - after their father John Howard died in 1727. On inheriting the Carlton estate in 1702, this elder John Howard (and later his sons) negotiated a long series of mortgages - in 1704, 1706, 1712, 1716, 1719, 1728, 1734 and 1746! The monies raised seem to come initially from a couple of professional (Dutch) money lenders but eventually the mortgages were purchased by a Norfolk landowner - of the Marsham family (in whose archives at NRO the documents ended up). Intriguingly, the Marshams lived in and owned much of Stratton Strawless, Belaugh and Haynford.]

       John Howard's son, also John Howard, inherited the houses held by his father in Gt Yarmouth - including the house leased to John Jermy, the Landwaiter, who left it to his son John the labourer - in 1739. The elder son Philip Howard also had a son - yet another John Howard - in 1722 - who married in 1744 (a Mary.....) and was to benefit from certain earlier Wills - overseen (as executor) by...John Jermy, Esq, the ubiquitous counsellor of the Bayfield line, who was then 'old and blind' and would die later that year. Whether his executor in turn handled this John Howard's entitlements is uncertain. However, the latter man appears to have raised yet more funds on the Carlton estate and on 500 acres in Mutford in 1746 - before the Marsham's finally bought the estate outright (I believe) by the 1750s. I'm unaware of whether this John had any sons. He had a younger brother Robert Howard born 1738 in Tunstead and, amazingly, one or other of these brothers may have been a male nearest in blood to William Jermy later in the century (ie via John Jermy of Yarmouth's sister Elizabeth Jermy of the Gunton line). However, it is not known if either (or any sons) survived beyond 1791. In 1747, a daughter of this family - Mary Howard (b Tunstead 1724) - married a Daniel Howard of Coltishall.

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       Thus, of the Jermys of the Gunton line formerly resident in Norfolk, only three were still living in 1752. These were Rev Anthony's eldest son Francis Jermy, the very elderly Attorney of North Walsham - with only 4 years to live - and the two sons of his nephew John Jermy Snr of Yarmouth - ie Jeremiah (who would die himself within two years) and John Jermy Jnr, the labourer (to die ca 1768). Away from Norfolk, another nephew of Anthony - the elder John of Yarmouth's older brother Francis Jermy - had already died in London in 1723 and that man's middle son - Capt John Jermy - had also died - 'at sea' in 1751. However, his older son, also Francis, would live another 30 years - in far-off Italy - the last male of the Gunton line and possibly of the entire family - as far as we know). Interestingly, he was John 'the day labourer's first cousin. [Did they even know of one another?] He died in 1781 and, almost predictably for gentry in this position, unmarried. And Francis's youngest son - Edward William, a legal clerk - appears to have died, also unmarried, before 1780. But before giving more thought to these later, London members of the Gunton family, we return to consider the family and descendants of the other main Norfolk line - also derived from John Jermy the Norwich Counsellor - via his younger son Robert Jermy of Bayfield, Esq - thus becoming the junior branch of the 'later Norfolk family' being here considered.

This section last revised: 12 April 2005

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