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