On Thursday the Magistrate after a long investigation, and re-examination of the witness, J. Bloomfield Rush, a Farmer and Auctioneer of Wymondham, was Committed for the Wilful Murders of Recorder Jermy, and Mr Jermy Jermy.
A tragedy which surely cannot be matched in England’s Calendar of crime for atrocity and brutality has just been committed at Stanfield Hall near Wymondham, Norfolk on Tuesday Evening, 28th of November 1828, about half-past eight o’clock the family being at home and sitting in the Drawing Room. Mr Jermy left the Drawing room, having occasion to go to the door and soon after a report of a Pistol was heard, Mr Jermy Jermy his son left the Drawing Room, and proceeded through a dark passage leading to the front apartments, he was met by a man dressed in a large Cloak upon him with a black and red mask on his face, the moment Mr Jermy Jermy opened the door, the Assassin, fired a Pistol at him and shot him through the left breast, Mrs Jermy then left the Drawing-room, when a third Pistol was fired at her and severely wounded her in the Arm, little Miss Jermy ran shrieking across the entrance hall when she was met by the lady’s maid, Eliza Chestney when a Pistol was fired with a supposed intention of killing the child, unfortunately the Lady’s maid was wounded in the Thigh, the Butler hearing the report ran to their assistance when he was met by the assassin who presented a brace of Pistols at him being alarmed immediately ran to the pantry & remained there until the ruffian had taken his departure. The assassin dropping papers in the hall threatening the servants destruction, the Groom being at the stables, and upon hearing the report of a Pistol and shrieks of the sufferers waded the moat, at the back of the porch, ran to the next farm where he gave the alarm and took a horse and proceeded to Wymondham, soon after a number of the learned gentlemen repaired to the Hall where they discovered the body of Mr Jermy lying near the door quite dead, and the remainder of the family deluged in blood, a body of Police was immediately sent for from Norwich, on their arrival went to the house of J. B. Rush, Auctioneer and Farmer about three quarters of a mile off Stanfield Hall.
A small farm occupied by Rush, he was then taken & kept in safe custody, he was then taken before the Magistrate the witnesses examined were the cook, Margaret Read the housemaid, Blanchflower, the boy Standford, at the prisoner’s house the woman Bailey, and her son, who live at the lodge-gate a person who calls herself, Jeans, and says she is a widow, living in the house at Potash Farm where Rush slept that night and was apprehended and Mr. Standley, who picked up one of the written papers spoken of. All underwent a cross examination of the prisoner, and, we may say, we believe the evidence corroborated in the main facts the narrative we have collected.
On Friday afternoon Mr. Press the Coroner held an inquest on the bodies of Isaac Jermy and Jermy Jun. Mr. Nickolds and Mr. Tomally, Surgeons, who stated they had a post mortem examination they were convinced the two gentlemen had been murdered by a shot of pieces of lead from a Pistol, which was the cause of death several witnesses being carefully examined and left no doubt as to the guilt of the Prisoner.
Disclosures by Mrs. James
The evidence of the housekeeper before the magistrates on Saturday, she stated that she had known Rush about two years, but on this occasion been in Norfolk about six weeks, residing at Potash Farm. Since she had been at Potash, Rush had, on six several occasions, gone out late in the evening, as she expected, after poachers. On the 1st of these occasions she received an intimation to keep out of the way, at the time of him leaving the house. She supposed that he carried arms, or something that he did not wish her to see, and that he was after poachers. On Tuesday the 28th he discharged one of his guns just before dinner. At six o’clock he came home and took tea with her, whether he changed his boots then she could not say, it was arranged that both of them should go to a concert at Norwich that evening. This Rush evaded, by saying he was unwell, and said they would go the next morning. He soon said he should walk out again that evening. She told him he would take cold but he would go. He then went upstairs, about a quarter of an hour. She heard him come down, but did not see him, but heard him speaking to some one just through the keeping room. Rush then went out and called her to slip the bolt. She did so, but could not say how long it was before he returned. It might be between nine o’clock and half past. She was reading, and did not hear the clock strike. On his return he rap’d at the door, she slipped the bolt and let him in, but did not look at him, she heard him go upstairs, he said you had better got to bed, about ten minutes after Rush came very softly down stairs, without his coat, and said take the top off the fire. When she arose to take off the fire, she looked at him, and perceiving him to be much excited and ill, and altogether different to what she had ever before seen him, she asked him if any thing was the matter. He turned away and said No, nothing. “And cautioned her, if she heard any enquiry” about him, she should say he was not out more than ten minutes. Rush then went upstairs and she also retired to her bedroom. Shortly after she heard the lock of Rush’s door slipped , and heard him grope his way downstairs without any shoes. In a few minutes he again returned to his bed room. She heard nothing more until daybreak, when the bell rung and the boy Savory in conversation with Rush at the window. Rush in returning to his room, stopped by her door, and said there was something up at Stanfield Hall. In a few minutes she heard him go down, soon after found him in custody on suspicion of the Murders. She could not tell whether on Tuesday night Rush went out armed, but on his return my impression was he had had an affray with poachers. She said she had never seen him with any peculiar dress on. She was not a widow, and had no intention to swear that she was Mrs. James, gave her evidence with an air of strict truthfulness, and evinced every desire to speak the truth. She suffered most acutely and cried with great bitterness.
James Broadhurst, Printer, St Benedicts, Norwich