THE LIFE and EXECUTION OF James Blomfield Rush,

For the MURDERS at Stanfield Hall,

on the Bodies of ISAAC JERMY & JERMY JERMY, his son.

Who was Executed on the Castle Hill, on Saturday last, in April 1849.


James Blomfield Rush, is the natural son of the daughter of a farmer, near Wymondam, by a farmer residing near the parish in or near where she lived, to whom she was engaged. From some cause the engagement was called off, and an action was brought by her for breach of promise of marriage, and heavy damages obtained. Mr Rush, of Aylsham, not long afterwards married the prisoner's mother. From this year until 1834, Rush's father occupied a farm at Felmingham, the property of the late Rev. George Preston, and subsequently of the late Mr Jermy, where he died, his death having been attended by somewhat extraordinary circumstances. He was found dead in the kitchen in the day time, with a shot wound behind his ear, a discharged gun lying near him. Several aspects were spread respecting this affair, and among them, one that a number of persons had been summoned to the house by the son, and when the Coroner arrived, he found his jury as it were ready to his hand. The verdict was Felo-de-se.

The accused was brought up by his mother's husband, and put to school with Mr Nunn, at Eye, in Suffolk. In 1834 he commenced farming at Aylsham, under the Rev Samuel Pitman, from whom he rented for about four years, 120 acres of land. In 1828 he married the second daughter of a highly respected yeoman, in the neigbourhood of Aylsham, and took the Wood Dalling Hall farm, under W.E.L. Bulwer, Esq., where, he expended a considerable sum in improvements.

The husband of Rush's mother held a farm at Felmingham, under the Rev. George Preston. Times were very hard for farming, and he often talked of giving up his farm, and he said I should have what part I liked when he did so, but should prefer my taking the whole; in the mean time, one of his tenants at Felmingham would not hold under him any longer; he wished me to take that, he did so, under an agreement for 18 years, from Michaelmas, 1835 at £110 per annum.

He took the Stanfield Hall farm for 12 years, at £500 per annum; in 1837 Rev. George Preston died; Mr Jermy, his son, the late Recorder, discovered the leases were not legally made, and this was the beginning of disputes between Mr Rush and Mr Jermy.

At the latter part of his occupation of Wood Dalling Hall Farm, Rush commenced and continued the business of valuer and auctioneer, in which he met with some success.

The Potash Farm, which was the property of Mr Calver, was for sale, and as it lies between the Stanfield Hall and Hethel properties of Mr Jermy, that gentleman had a wish to possess it, as it would have made the property a compact whole. Rush consulted Mr Jermy about its purchase, and the latter deputed him to buy it at a certain sum. However, the estate was run up to a higher sum than Mr Jermy had directed Rush to bid, and Rush bought it for himself. The price was about 130l above Mr Jermy's bid. Rush informed Mr Jermy, that although he (Rush) had purchased it, he did not possess the means to pay for it and requested Mr Jermy to pay for it, and requested Mr Jermy to lend him the sum he required on mortgage. 3500l was advanced, for which interest was to be paid. After this two more sums were advanced, making 5000l, which was not to be called on until ten years later. This term expired two days after the murders.

The daughter of the prisoner, whose decease was confidently reported on saturday, had an interview with her father; she and the rest of the family are as well as under the melancholy circumstances can be expected. Miss Rush, and the younger branches of the family are still at Felmingham; with the exception of one son who with his eldest brother, Mr Jas. Rush, is at Potash. The prisoner has 9 children.


This morning the above unhappy malefactor paid the forfeit of his life to the offended laws of his country. No execution of late years has attracted so large an assemblage of spectators, some thousands being present. About nine o'clock he took some refreshment, and shortly afterwards the sheriff arrived at the castle, and immediately proceeded to the condemned cell. The usual melancholy preparations having been completed, Rush was brought to the room where he was to be pinioned. He appeared quite calm and collected, and walked with a firm step. The melancholy procession then proceeded to the scaffold, which he mounted without any assistance, and in less than a minute the drop fell, and the wretched culprit was launched into eternity.

O Lord! Receive my sinful soul, have mercy on my guilt;
The blood of Christ have made me whole, for me that blood was split;
All you that do around me stand, may this a warning be;
Unto the word of God attend, and shun bad company;
You see me here a wretched man,but short will be my stay;
Yet on my Saviour, I'll depend, to wash my sins away.
Pray for my soul, good people all, and pity my sad fate;
A moment hence the drp will fall, I have not long to wait;
And may the blood of Jesus Christ atonement for me make;
On his dear name my comfort rest, he did for sinners sake.


(Own Collection - with thanks to Isabelle Charlton)