Jermy, Isaac (DNB00)

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JERMY, ISAAC (1789–1848), recorder of Norwich, the eldest son of George Preston, rector of Beeston St. Lawrence, Norfolk, was born on 23 Sept. 1789. He was educated as a town boy at Westminster School, where his brother George was afterwards usher and second master. Leaving school in 1807, he matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford, on 28 Jan. 1808, and graduated B.A. 8 Feb. 1812. Having been admitted to Lincoln's Inn on 11 May 1809, he was called to the bar on 20 May 1814, and joined the Norfolk circuit. In 1826 he became steward and in 1831 recorder of Norwich. He was also a commissioner of bankrupts for Norwich. On the death of his father in October 1837 he succeeded to the family property at Stanfield Hall, near Wymondham, Norfolk, and by royal license dated 6 Sept. 1838 assumed the surname of Jermy in lieu of Preston (London Gazette, 1838, pt. ii. pp. 1946, 1965). His right of possession, however, was disputed by more than one claimant, and shortly after his father's death an adverse claim was set up by a family of the name of Larner. In September 1838 John Larner, accompanied by a London attorney named Wingfield and a miscellaneous rabble, took forcible possession of the hall, but were ultimately expelled by mili- tary force. Eighty-two persons were taken into custody, and were sentenced to various terms of imprisonment at the assizes in the following April. In the evening of 28 Nov. 1848, James Blomfield Rush, a tenant farmer on the estate, who had sided with the claimants, and had had several violent disputes with his landlord, shot Jermy in the porch of Stanfield Hall. Entering the house by a back door Rush then shot Jermy's son, and subsequently wounded his son's wife and Eliza Chestney the housemaid. Both father and son were buried in Wymondham churchyard on 5 Dec. 1848. Jermy married first, in 1819, Mary Anne, daughter of Sir Thomas Beevor, bart. She died in 1823, leaving two children, viz. Isaac Jermy Jermy (see infra) and a daughter, Ellen, who afterwards became the wife of the Rev. J. M. Jephson. Jermy married secondly, in 1832, Fanny, daughter of the Rev. Prebendary Jephson of Armagh, who died in October 1835, leaving an only daughter, Isabella.

Jermy, Isaac Jermy (1821–1848), who was murdered with his father, was educated at Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. 1844, and M.A. 1848. He married Sophia Jane, daughter of Clement Chevalier, rector of Badingham, Suffolk, by whom he had an only surviving child, Sophia Henrietta, who inherited the Jermy property, and married Captain Reginald Thorsby Gwyn, 4th king's own royals. Their only child, Reginald Preston Jermy Gwyn, is the present owner of Stanfield Hall. Mrs. Jermy recovered from her wound and was married, secondly, on 10 Dec. 1850, to Sir Thomas Beevor, bart.

Rush was tried at the Shire-hall, Norwich, on 29 March 1849, before Baron Rolfe (afterwards Lord Cranworth). The counsel for the prosecution were Serjeant Byles, Michael Prendergast, and Charles Evans. Rush defended himself, and was convicted. He was hanged on a scaffold in front of Norwich Castle on 14 April 1849. The trial, which lasted six days, occasioned such an excitement throughout the country that the Norwich papers were published daily, and ‘several sacksful … were sent off from Norwich every day, besides others contained in the usual mail-bags’ (Notes and Queries, 4th ser. iii. 170).

[An Introductory Narrative and Revised Report of the Trial and Execution of J. B. Rush, 1849; A Full Report of the Trial of J. B. Rush (Clark's edition); Peter Burke's Celebrated Trials connected with the Upper Classes of Society, 1851, pp. 458–520; Gent. Mag. 1849, new ser. xxxi. 97–8, 532; Ann. Reg. 1848 Chron. pp. 155–60, 270–1, 1849 Chron. pp. 378–416; Illustrated London News, 2 Dec., 9 Dec., and 16 Dec. 1848, 31 March 1849; Alumni Oxoniensis, 1888, ii. 751; Grad. Cantabr. 1856, p. 213; Alumni Westmon. 1852, pp. 512, 516, 517, 553; Burke's Peerage, &c. 1888, pp. 118–19; Walford's County Families, 1888, p. 461; Lincoln's Inn Registers.]

G. F. R. B.