William Jermy of Bayfield


It is doubtful whether William Jermy, the last of the landed Jermys, would be remembered today but for the repercussions from the terms of his will, dated 12 December 1751, which culminated in the Stanfield Hall murders of 1848 and the sensational trial of James Blomfield Rush the following year. Since then claims on his estate have provided legal wrangles and newspaper stories, even into the twentieth century.

William Jermy was born on 24 February 1714 to John Jermy of Bayfield and his second wife Mary Starkey. He was baptised on 28 February 1714 at St Michael at Plea, Norwich. He was admitted at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge in 1731 and matriculated in the same year. He was admitted at the Inner Temple on 24 November 1735, and was High Sheriff of Norfolk between 1747 - 1748. He married firstly the Honourable Elizabeth Richardson on 23 August 1735 at St Mary in the Marsh, Norwich. She was the sister and heiress of Baron Cramond of Scotland, and she brought significant property and wealth with her, to augment William's own not inconsiderable wealth. The childless marriage was short lived and ended in formal separation by deed, dated 5 July 1739. Elizabeth afterward lived apart from William, and died on 1 August 1751.

It is unclear what precipitated the separation from his first wife, but it is possible that William suffered from a "social disease" that led to his death at an early age. This may also explain why Elizabeth died at the unusually early age of 35 years old.

Two months after the death of his estranged first wife, William married Frances Preston on 7 October 1751 at Beeston St Lawrence, Norfolk. She was the sister of lawyer Isaac Preston. William died three months after this marriage on 21 January 1752 at Craven Buildings, Craven Street, London, and was subsequently buried on 30 January 1752 in the chancel of St Michael, Aylsham. The male line of the old Jermy family became extinct with his death.

According to his obituary in the Gentleman's Magazine, William Jermy was possessed of £1 000 per annum and £10 000 in ready money.


Jermy Roller Pedigrees
Poetry of William Jermy
Miss Molly Bacon
First wife - The Honourable Elizabeth Richardson
The Ownership of Stanfield Hall
William Jermy's Library
Second wife - Frances Preston
Craven Street Residence
William Jermy's Will
Monuments and Memorials