Born: 26 Mar 1515, Somerleyton, Suffolk, England
Father: John JERNINGHAM of Somerleyton
Mother: Bridget DRURY
Married: Ella SPELMAN (dau. of John Spelman of Narborough and Elizabeth Frowick) ABT 1535 (by deed drawn 1535)
1. John JERNINGHAM
2. Robert JERNINGHAM
3. Mary JERNINGHAM
4. Walter JERNINGHAM
5. Henry JERNINGHAM
6. Thomas JERNINGHAM
7. Son JERNINGHAM
8. Dau. JERNINGHAM
9. Dau. JERNINGHAM
10. Dau. JERNINGHAM
The details in this biography come from the History of Parliament, a biographical dictionary of Members of the House of Commons.
Born 26 Mar 1515, first son of Sir John Jerningham of Somerleyton by Bridget, dau. of Sir Robert Drury of Hawstead, Suff. Married, settlement 20 Mar 1534, Ella, dau. of Sir John Spelman of Narborough, Norf., by whom he had six sons and four daughters. Sewer by 1554-d.; gent. pens. by 1558-d.; master of harthounds by 1559.
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.
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 Oct 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, Sir Peter Carew, had been attainted of high treason, but was pardoned and granted the reversion of the property in 1556. Jerningham's career was cut short by his death late in Jan 1559 or the following month, when two manors were settled on his widow by his father who did not long survive him.
George Jerningham's return was almost certainly the work of the sheriff, his brother-in-law Sir Thomas Cornwallis, and Francis Yaxley had a family link with the neighbourhood to supplement the support he doubtless received in Mar 1553 from the Duke of Northumberland and Secretary Cecil. Henry Cornwallis, George Jerningham and Erasmus Paston were kinsmen of the sheriffs who returned them.
D. M. Loades, Two Tudor Conspiracies
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