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Somerleyton Parish

British Isles Genealogy | County of Suffolk
 

Somerleyton or Sumerledetuna

In the time of the Conqueror the lordship of this parish was held by William de Warren, Earl of Surrey. It afterwards became the possession of the family of Fitz Oshert; who were Lord Wardens of Lothingland, and held divers lordships in this county: from whom it passed, by marriage, to that of Jernegan.1

Sir Walter Jernegan, Knt., of Horham, and of Stonham Jernegan, in this county, married Isabella, daughter, and at length heiress of Sir Peter Fitz Osbert, of this parish. This lady was the relict of Sir Henry de Walpole, Knt., and afterwards became co-heir to her brother, Roger Fitz Osbert; who was summoned to. Parliament in the 22nd of King Edward I. Sir Walter her husband, deceased before the 34th of that reign.

He was succeeded by his son and heir, Sir Peter Jernegan, Knt.; who, on the death of his mother, inherited the large possessions of the Fitz Osbert family. His maternal uncle, Roger Fitz Osbert, dying without issue, the inheritance devolved to Isabella, his mother, and to the issue of Alice, her sister, the wife of Sir John Noyoun, Knt.: on a division being made between the two sisters, this estate was settled upon Isabella. Blomefield says that the above Sir John de Noyoun died in the 18th of King Edward II., seized of a moiety of this manor; whose son, Sir John Noyoun, Knt., deceased without issue, and the issue of Isabella inherited.

From this period the manor descended through a long line of the Jernegans, until the reign of King James I., when Henry Jerningham, Esq., of Costessey, in Norfolk, sold it to John Wentworth, Esq.; whose son, Sir John Wentworth, Knt , succeeded; but dying without issue, in 1652, the estate descended to Ms nephew, John Garneys, Esq.; and Thomas Garneys, Esq., his son, sold it to Admiral Sir Thomas Allin, Bart., of Lowestoft.

Sir Thomas Allin, Knt., born in 1613, acquired the reputation of a brave and distinguished naval officer. He served under the Commonwealth, and commanded one of the ships in that part of the fleet which revolted to the Prince of Wales. In 1660 he was appointed to the "Dover;" amongst the earliest vessels commissioned by the Duke of York. In 1663, he was constituted Commander in Chief, as Commodore only, of the ships and vessels in the Downs; and invested on that occasion with the singular privilege of bearing at his main-top the Union flag; which he hoisted on board the "St. Andrew." The next year he was Commander in Chief in the Mediterranean, and soon afterwards achieved a victory over the Dutch fleet; for which he received the honor of Knighthood, and was promoted to the rank of Admiral of the Blue.

In 1666, he was advanced to the White; and again distinguished himself as Commander of the Van, or White squadron, in a decisive action with the French and Dutch allied fleets. In consideration of these, and subsequently equally gallant exploits, Admiral Allin was created a Baronet, on the 7th of June, 1673; and retired then to his seat in this parish. Sir Thomas was, at different periods, Comptroller of the Navy, Captain of Sandgate Castle, and Master of the Trinity House.

He married, first, Alice, daughter of W. Whiting, Esq., of Lowestoft, Capt. R.N.: and by her had issue, Thomas, his successor; Anne, who died single; and Alice, who married to Edmund Anguish, Esq., of Moulton, in Norfolk. Sir Thomas wedded, secondly, Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Anguish, Esq., of Moulton, and sister of his son-in-law; but had no other issue. He deceased in 1688, and was buried in this parish church.

Sir Thomas Allin, his only son, succeeded; who married, in 1672, Mary, daughter of John Caldwell, of London; but dying without issue, in 1696, the Baronetcy expired, and this estate devolved upon his nephew, Richard Anguish, Esq., of Moulton; who subsequently changed his name to Allin; and was created a Baronet the 14th of December, 1699. He married Frances, only daughter of Sir Henry Ashurst, Bart., of Waterstock, in the county of Oxford; by whom he had issue, Thomas, his heir; Henry, who died unmarried; Richard, who died unmarried; Ashurst, in holy orders, who became third Baronet; and a daughter, Diana, who married Thomas Henry Ashurst, Esq., of Waterstock.

Sir Richard died in 1725, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Sir Thos. Allin, Bart. This gentleman was Sheriff for this county in 1730, and was appointed Serjeant at Arms to the Treasury in 1733. He deceased unmarried, in 1764; and was succeeded by his brother, the Rev. Sir Ashurst Allin, rector of Blundeston cum Flixton, who died in 1770; leaving a daughter, Frances, who died unmarried; and a son and heir, Sir Thomas Allin, Bart., who died unmarried, in 1794; when the Baronetcy became extinct, and Somerleyton, with his other estates, passed to his nephew, Thomas Anguish, Esq. He died unmarried, in 1810; and was succeeded by his brother, the Rev. George Anguish, A.M., Prebendary of Norwich, now of this parish.

Somerleyton Hall stands in a park, beautifully planted; a fine grove of limes decorate it at one end, and are scattered, with other trees in great variety, over the whole range of this fine enclosure. Fuller, amongst the many "fair houses" of the gentry in this county, names "Sommerly Hall (near Yarmouth), belonging to the Lady Wentworth, well answering the name thereof: for here Sommer is to be seen in the depth of winter, in the pleasant walks, beset on both sides with fir trees, green all the year long; besides other curiosities."

The Hall, which was built by the last Sir John Jernegan, who was living in 1579, is a fine old mansion, exhibiting a good specimen of the style of architecture used at the period of its erection; and conveying a just idea of the knightly residences of our ancestors. Several engravings of it are extant.

ARMS. Jernegan: argent; three arming buckles, gules. Wentworth: sable; a chevron between three leopards' faces, or. Allin: gules; a cinquefoil pierced, or. Crest: a snake coiled, encircled with grass. Anguish: the same.

CHARITIES. Apiece of marsh land, containing 11A. 1R. 27p., was alloted, on the inclosure, for the purpose of purchasing fuel for the poor. The present rent is 33 5s. a year: and a further rent of 2 10s. a year, is paid for the use of a ditch belonging to the marsh land. This land is usually let in different parcels, by auction, every seven years, to the highest bidders. The income is expended in coals, which are distributed among the poor, in winter.

1. An excellent pedigree of this ancient and illustrious house is given in Mr. J. H. Druery's "Historical and Topographical Notices of Great Yarmouth;" published in 1826.

County of Suffolk

Topographical and Genealogical, The County of Suffolk, 1844, Augustine Page

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