JERNINGHAM, George (1515-59), of Somerleyton, Suff.
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Family and Education
b. 26 Mar. 1515, 1st s. of Sir John Jerningham of Somerleyton by Bridget, da. of Sir Robert Drury I of Hawstead, Suff. m. settlement 20 Mar. 1534, Ella, da. of Sir John Spelman of Narborough, Norf., 6s. 4da.1
Sewer by 1554-d.; gent. pens. by 1558-d.; master of harthounds by 1559.2
George Jerningham came of a wealthy and well-connected family with a pedigree dating from the Conquest. Nothing is known of his life before his marriage in 1534, when his father transferred to Sir Thomas Bedingfield and other trustees, for his use, certain manors in Ashby, Herringfleet and Lound in the north-east of Suffolk near to the family seat at Somerleyton. It is likely that he came to court as an adherent of Mary with his uncle Henry Jerningham, but he did not receive a pension for service to her at Framlingham, unlike several of his kinsmen. The office of sewer which he held by 1554 was perhaps secured through his uncle’s influence as vice-chamberlain. His own service at court did not end with the Queen’s death, as early in 1559 he was still in receipt of payments as a gentleman pensioner.3
It was clearly as a ‘trustworthy and Catholic man’ that Jerningham was returned to the first two Parliaments of Mary’s reign, his election on both occasions being helped by his brother-in-law Sir Thomas Cornwallis as the sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk and his uncles Sir William Drury and Sir Henry Jerningham sitting as knights of the shire for Suffolk. The Journal throws no light on his part in the House. In October 1554 Jerningham, ‘in consideration of his service’, received a 21-year lease of Okehampton park in Devon at a yearly rent of £42. Its former owner,