Romantic claim to Millions

Stories of Murders and Battles


One Time home of Amy Robsart

All the elements of romance figure in the claim of Mr Charles Jermy Larner to an estate in Norfolk covering 15 parishes, valued at £7,000,000.

The claimant, who is 57, at present carries on the somewhat prosaic business of bottle merchant, at Church Street, Camberwell.

In an interesting chat about his family with a representative of the DAILY HERALD, Mr Larner said the Jermy estate in question, near Norwich, belonged to Earl Warren in the time of the Conquerer. It passed afterwards through many hands, until in 1735 William Jermy was in occupation.

"Stanfield Hall," said Mr Larner, "is the manor house of the estate, and was at one time occupied by the murdered Amy Robsart, who married Sir Robert Dudley, afterwards Earl of Leicester.


Continuing, Mr Larner said: "As to the William Jermy referred to, his first wife, who was a sister of Lord Cramond, dying without issue, he married, in 1751, Frances, daughter of Jacob Preston, of Beeston St Lawrence, and granddaughter of Sir Isaac Preston, who was knighted by William III. The property was devised to trustees, as Mr and Mrs Jermy died without issue, and then passed to the Preston family, who took the name of Jermy in accordance with the will.

"At the time of the death of William Jermy, there was an attorney near Norwich, named Francis Jermy, and on April 30 1754, that Jermy, as nearest male heir to the testator, assigned all his interests to Isaac Preston; but another branch of the family existed at Yarmouth - a John Jermy, who was described as 'a poor and illiterate man,' and to him the testator bequeathed six guineas per year! He also executed a deed of assignment for £20 to Isaac Preston.


"Isaac Preston took the name of Jermy by licence from the Crown in 1838, and was eventually appointed Recorder of Norwich. He was a great friend of a man named Rush, and lent him large sums of money to enable him to extend his farms; but for some reason or another, Rush transferred his friendship to John Jermy (the one who had sold his interests for £20), and a cousin of Jermy, one John Larner.

"They protested against the bargain made, and in 1838, with 80 or 90 supporters from surrounding villages, they seized the Hall, which they held for a day, and had to be finally dispersed by the military, who were called out. They were arrested and charged with rioting in April, 1839, and Larner was imprisoned for three months, and the others for shorter periods."


Mr Larner remarked that it was an interesting point to notice that John Larner was only charged with rioting. But why not with trespassing, if the property did not belong to him?

A most callous murder was then referred to by Mr Larner, who said: "Rush apparently fell into serious financial difficulties, and could not settle some thousands of pounds which he owed the Recorder. On November 28, Rush walked into Stanfield Hall, and in cold blood, shot dead the Recorder and his son. He was subsequently publically hanged in Norwich, and as the hangman fitted the rope, he asked him 'to put it higher as it did not run easily, and also chided him for being in such a hurry.

"I base my claims on the rights of the Larner referred to, who was imprisoned, he went on, "and my father John Jermy Larner, spent the best part of his lifetime in reading old MSS, searching church registers, seeing old inhabitants, and studying the genealogical trees of the families of Larner and Jermy, but there were so many missing links in the chain that he was compelled to give up the puzzle or financially sink.

Ref: Daily Herald, 17 November 1924