Bethnal Green Jermys - Huguenot Connection?


Amongst the records of the French Protestant Hospital in the Huguenot Library are five applications for admittance from related members of a Jermy family living in Bethnal Green during the first half of the 20th century.

The French Hospital had been established as an almshouse for the relief of poor, distressed Huguenots, thanks to a donation by Jacques de Gastigny. The original building was opened in Bath Street, off Old Street, Finsbury during 1718. By 1760 some 234 inmates were accommodated at what was affectionately known as La Providence.

However, by the middle of the 19th century, the buildings had become greatly dilapidated and were in urgent need of repair. It was decided to construct a new hospital, resembling a small French chateau, on a new site in South Hackney. The hospital was completed in 1865 and eventually closed in 1949.

In order to be admitted to the hospital it was necessary to be able to prove Huguenot ancestry. The Petition questions and requirements consisted of:

A) i)  Applicant Name, Address and Parents 
ii)  Date and Place of Birth 
iii)  Descent 
iv)  Occupation 
v)  Reason for Application 
vi)  Signature or Mark of Applicant 
vii)  Signature of Witness 
B)  Certificates 
C)  Enclosures 

The first Jermy applicant for admittance to the Hospital was Harriet Esther Payne, nee Jermy.

Petition 7th June 1911, Registered 8th July 1911. Class C and Winsor Charity.
Elected 2nd March 1912. Left 10th March 1914, at her own wish.

A) i)  Harriet Esther Payne, 52 Percival Road, Enfield, Middlesex, widow. Daughter of William and Ann Jermy of Bethnal Green.
ii)  15th March 1846 29 Bethnal Green Road.
iii)  On father's side, who was the son of Peter Jermy, born in 1774, and he was the son of John Jermy, born 1743, and he was the son of John Jermy, born 1706. I know they came from France but I do not know what year.
iv)  Formerly, before marriage, a bible woman, but my best condition was when my parents were alive. Now supported by the sale of tea. I am a tea agent, 6d per week.
v)  Misfortune, death and age.
vi)  Harriet Esther Payne
vii)  T.J. Archer
B)  Birth Certificate: Harriet Esther, daughter of William Jermy and Ann Jermy formerly Davis, paper stainer. Born at 29 Bethnal Green Road 15th March 1846.
Marriage Certificate: 28th July 1890, Congregational Church, Bruce Road, Bromley, Poplar. Isaac Payne, 62, widower, water inspector, 42 Knapp Road, Bromley, Harriet E Jermy, 44, spinster, 53 Knapp Road, Bromley.
Undertakers bill for interrment of Isaac Payne, 4th April 1908, Ipswich.
Also received statement marked Memorandum of the Jermys on 10th March 1914, signed Harriet Esther Payne.
C)  1) Family tree compiled by French Hospital Steward Mr J Marshall. "John Jermy, father of John Jermy, born 28th January 1706, married Barbara. Died 13th August 1751. Father of John Jermy, baptised 29th May 1743 at St Giles, Norwich, worstead weaver, Freeman of Norwich, married 20th March 1773 to Frances Ward, daughter of Richard Ward and Sarah. Frances born 14th August 1737 at Wymondham, Norfolk. John was father of John and Peter. Peter was born 1774 and buried 2nd May 1824 in Gibraltar Burial Ground, Bethnal Green. Peter was the father of William, born 1801 at Walworth (when mother was on a visit). Father of Harriet Esther Jermy, born 15th March 1846, married 1890, widowed 1908."
2) Memorandum of the Jermys with facts as given above in 1), but adding that "William Jermy, son of Peter, born 1801, died 7th September 1862, aged 61."
3) Letter of 7th July 1911 from Walter G Stevens, Norwich, stating that John Jermy, worstead weaver, son of John Jermy, worstead weaver, was in the Freeman's roll in 1773, with a similar entry in 1783, and that "entries under this name "Jermy" occur up to the year 1868 - Jermy, Charles, baker, son of George Jermy, silkweaver."
RI No. 1642.

The second applicant for admittance was James Jermy.

Petition 4th July 1912, Registered 7th November 1912.
Elected 7th November 1912. Admitted 13th November 1912. Left 13th June 1927, of own accord.
Re-elected 6th April 1929, died 18th June 1929, buried Abney Park Cemetery, by his friends.

A) i)  James Jermy, 95 Powerscroft Road, Clapton, Hackney. Married, wife age 80. Son of James Jermy and Mary Ann, Bethnal Green.
ii)  9th October 1836, Brick Lane, Bethnal Green.
iii)  On father's side. Mrs Harriet Payne whose name was Jermy, same family, now in your hospital, whose father was my uncle.
iv)  Formerly millinery draper, 20 years in Hackney Road, now supported by old age pension, in addition £4 per quarter from Drapers Company.
v)  Misfortune and old age.
vi)  James Jermy
vii)  A. Sidney Marks
B)  Joseph K Elwood, Primitive Methodist Minister, Clapton Park Tabernacle.
C)  RI No. 1710, 1732.

The third applicant was Eliza Jermy.

Most of her documents appear to be lost, so there is only limited information on record.
Petition not found.
Elected 7th July 1928, died 11th December 1962, buried Roffey Cemetery, Horsham, Sussex.

Transferred on 17th September 1955 to c/o Mrs Tippler, 21 Church Road, Addlestone, Surrey.
Her descent was "Niece of James Jermy, a former inmate."


The fourth applicant for admittance to the Hospital was James Walter Jermy.

Petition 3rd May 1935, Registered 4th May 1935. Class A.
Elected 1st February 1936. Died 11th December 1948. Buried Chingford Cemetery, by his son.

A) i)  James Walter Jermy, 36 Brunswick Street, Walthamstow, Essex. Married, son of James Jermy, French Hospital and Ann Jermy.
ii)  7th July 1859, 30 Victoria Street, Bethnal Green
iii)  On father's side, who was an inmate of the hospital prior to his death.
iv)  General dealer, many years ago was chef in Mercantile marine. Now supported by old age pension and meals at relatives.
v)  Age and inability to carry on.
vi)  J.W. Jermy
vii)  L.M. Eastaugh
B)  William Mills, vicar of Holy Trinity, Leytonstone, E11
W.J. Jermy, caption writer, 13 Rosslyn Road, E17
C)  Certified extracts 28th March 1919.
Birth certificate: Born 7th July 1859, 30 Victoria Street. James Walter, son of James Jermy and Ann Jermy, formerly Coleman, cabinet carver.
Marriage certificate: 25th December 1889, St Peter, Bethnal Green. James Walter Jermy, 30, bachelor, furniture dealer, 28 Hackney Road, father James Jermy, cabinet maker; and Sophia Gaymer, 23, spinster, 222 Green Street, father George Gaymer, furrier.
RI No. 1775.

The final applicant was Eliza Jermy, nee Davis.

Petition 23rd February 1940, Registered 2nd March 1940.
Elected 2nd March 1940. Died 26th February 1941 at Broxbourne, Hertfordshire. Buried Worstead, with her own monies.

A) i)  Eliza Jermy, Weavers Alms Houses, New Worstead, Essex, widow. Daughter of Abraham Davis and Sarah Davis, formerly Toye.
ii)  17th February 1846, 3 Grove Square, Goldsmiths Row, Hackney Road.
iii)  On mother's side, who was of the same descent as Victor Arthur Merritt and Ada Emma Merritt, both at present inmates of the French Hospital.
iv)  Formerly the wife of Joseph Jermy, upholsterer, now supported by son's war pension 12s 0d per week.
v)  Old age.
vi)  Eliza Jermy
vii)  J. Marshall, clerk. F.H.
B)  Extract 4th May 1917, Register of Births, Haggerstone East sub district, Shoreditch. Born 17th February 1846, 3 Goldsmiths Grove, Haggerstone. Eliza, daughter of Abraham Davis and Sarah Davis, formerly Toye, weaver.
Extract 25th February 1910, Marriage Registration, St John, Bethnal Green. 7th January 1866. Joseph Jermy, bachelor, upholsterer, 138 Hackney Road, father James Jermy, milliner. Eliza Davis, spinster, 58 Pollard Row, father Abraham Davis, publican.
Letter 17th January 1940 from Miss E Jermy to the Steward asking that her mother and sister (Mrs Hughes) be admitted to the hospital.
Memo dated 27th January 1939 "Nurse Banks reports that it is Mrs Hughes, the sister of Miss Jermy, who is very ill and not the mother, who is 94 years of age and is able to get around a little."
Letter 8th February 1940 from Deputy Govener to Steward "You are hereby authorized to admit Mrs Jermy, mother of our inmate Miss Jermy, to be an inmate of the hospital, on Dr Dixon's sanction, when her daughter Mrs Hughes dies or is removed to the hospital or infirmary. Signed Stephen P. Duval."
Endorsed: Received 9th February 1940, Admitted 10 February 1940.
Letter 10th February 1940 acknowledging news of Mrs Hughes death.
C)  (Empty)

It is interesting that none of the applicants provided actual documentary evidence of Huguenot ancestry. The Memorandum of the Jermys provided by the original applicant Harriet Esther Payne, nee Jermy, states that I know they (her Jermy ancestors) came from France but I do not know what year, but that is hardly conclusive. It also states that Harriet's great-great grandfather John Jermy married Frances Ward, the daughter of Richard Ward and "Sarah" of Wymondham, Norfolk. Subsequent research indicates that Sarah's surname was Le Neve, so perhaps she was the family connection to the Huguenots?

The second applicant, James Jermy, is of course the man who founded the original Salvation Army church in North America.