Captain John Jermy

By Kenneth E Jermy ©

(Used with the permission of the author)

Captain John Jermy, R.N. was descended from the Jermy family of Norfolk and Suffolk, a landed family from the thirteenth to the eighteenth century. He was the second of three sons born to Francis Jermy and his second wife Diana Holder. His father Francis, as eldest son, had inherited the heavily mortgaged Gunton estate from his father John Jermy. This he sold in 1676 to the Harbord family, later Lord Suffield. Francis later moved to London, where John was born circa 1711.

Not a great deal is known about his early naval service. He was appointed Lieutenant on 2 January 1742, and served on HMS Neptune, Revenge, Lowestoffe, Barfleur, Carolina and Marlborough. He was promoted to Commander on 16 October 1745, and captain presumably before 16 December 1745, when he received a commission as "Master and Commander" of the bomb (sloop) Carcass. He subsequently commanded HMS Swan.

In 1745 the navy was still smarting from its disgrace in the previous year, when the combined fleets of France and Spain, though smaller in number, had virtually defeated the British fleet, and the two year old blockade of Toulon had been broken. In 1746 however, HMS Carcass took part in the bombardment of Nice. In a dispatch of 16th December 1746 to Vice-Admiral Medley, Count Richecour writes: M. le Capitaine Jermy qui bombarde le fort, s'est beaucoup distinque, et M. le Comte Brown lui a rendu publiuement la justice qui lui est due. Comte Brown was General Lord Brown.

On 12 January 1747, Thomas Corbett sent the following despatch to Admiral Medley: The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, having heard a good account of Captain Jermy of the bomb Carcass, and his judicious conduct in assisting the operations of the Austrian army in Provence, I am ordered by their lordships to signify to you their direction to make him a Post-Captain when a vacancy happens.

After his gallant conduct at Nice in 1746, and subsequent promotion, he was posted in April 1751 to command the sloop Swan off the coast of Africa for a period of three years. However, he contracted a fatal illness there within a few months and wrote his last will on 28 August 1751, a few days before dying on board the ship.

Jermy, K.E. 1987. Captain John Jermy R.N. Norfolk Ancestor. v4. pt 8. pp124-125.
Millman, J. 1987. The Norfolk roots of Captain Seth and Captain John Jermy. Norfolk Ancestor. v4. pt 8. pp125-128