Hallblue cross


  The Jerningham / Stafford Family , Costessey Hall and Catholicism
in Costessey since 1555



20th  May 1555 Calendar of Patent Rolls -   Philip and Mary vol 2 p321
 Robert Dudley, knight ... bargained and sold to Sir Henry Jernyngham, knight, vice- chamberlain of the Household and to dame Frances his wife, the said reversion 
(of the manor and park of Corsey alias Costessey alias Cossey, late parcel of the lands of Charles,late duke of Suffolk, then and now in the tenure of the lady Anne of Cleve for life by patent of Henry VIII, also the said manor and park and all lands and liberties (long list) belonging to the same in Cossey, Earlham, Bawburgh, Bowthorpe, Easton, Colton, Marlingford, Barford, Wramplingham, Melton, Hethersett, Honingham, Thorpe, East Tuddenham, Brandon, Runhall, Weston, Morton, Ringland, Felthorpe, Taverham, Carleton, Sall and Yaxham, co. Norfolk.  )
and all rights and interest in the premises to hold to them and the heirs of their bodies and in default to their right heirs in fee;
   Confirmation, in consideration of Jerningham's service to the queen at Framlyngham, co. Suffolk, in suppressing the rebellion of the Duke of Northumberland and in Wyat's rebellion, of the estate and interest of him and Frances in the said reversion and premises and release to him of all claim which the queen has in the reversion, to hold them as aforesaid in chief by the service of one fortieth part of a knight's fee.
These without fine or fee.                                                                   By p.s.


On the death of the lady Anne of Cleves  the manor reverted to Henry Jerningham, knight and dame Frances his wife. The Jerningham family held the estate for the next 362 years.


Sir Henry Jerningham , knight
born 1509
died 1572
married                                     Frances  dau. of Sir George Baynham  of Clowerwall ,Gloucester.
       among their issue was Henry  their eldest son and heir.
    Sir Henry was the first among the Suffolk and Norfolk knights that declared openly for Queen Mary on the demise of Edward VI., in the year 1555, for which important service he was constituted  by her majesty, immediately after her accession , Vice-Chamberlain, Captain of the Guard, Master of the Horse and of the Household  and one of the Privy Council. Sir Henry also obtained grants  from the Queen of several large manors........particularly those of Costessey in Norfolk and Wingfield castle in Suffolk. The former he made the cheif place of residence of the family, having rbuilt the mansion ( on the south  bank of the river Tud). Sir Henry entertained Queen Elizabeth there in her progress through Norfolk; but his allegiance to the ancient faith seems to have been a bar to any favour in Court during that Queen's reign, he lost his place on the Privy Council. Sir Henry was aware of the dangers of celebrating the Mass in a manner contrary to the practices of the established Church of England so he had a secret chapel constructed under the roof of his new Manor House.  For nearly 200 years this little chapel was one of the few places where the practice of  Roman Catholicism was effectively maintained in England.  There is no doubt that was sanctuary in the house for Catholics priests clandestinely visiting the Jerninghams, there were a ' chaplains stairs' and a ' priest's hole'.   Two priests reputedly living or visiting the Jerninghams  were a "Mr Pratt"and  John Gerard the Jesuit who was tortured in the Tower of London and eventually escaped to France. 
   In 1578 Queen Elizabeth again visited Costessey, which indicates that Sir Henry's widow and her household were not at that time being badly treated as were other prominent recusant Catholics.
Sir Henry was succeeded by his eldest son.

1572 to 

 Henry Jernegan  Esq.
died      1619
married  1stly.         Eleanor dau. of Lord William Dacre & granddaughter. maternally of George 4th Earl of Shrewsbury  by whom he had five sons and one daughter and        2ndly.          Frances dau. of Sir John Jernegan of Somerleyton , Suffolkby whom he had one son  and a daughter. This family were devout Catholics and suffered because of their faith and their two young sons were taken from them to be brought up as Protestants at Westminster.  The plague raging in London prompted Sir Henry to request that his sons be sent back to Costessey.
  Vide Historical Manuscripts  Commission 10th report  App. part IV.  H.M.S.O. 1885 :-
"1593        The Privy Council to Henry Jerningham Esq.
    In answer to his suit that his two sons remaining with Mr. Molecaster might, during the time of the infection be sent to remain with him for one season, they had formerly permitted them to remain with him until Allhallows' tide next, now, upon his renewed application that his said children for some longer space of time may remain in the country with him until infection be more slacked in the city they consent to his request until Twelvetide next.  They look that in the meantime his children be brought up by a schoolmaster known to be well affected in religion, that may give account for their education.   Whitehall 22 Oct. 1593."   Consent was given.
He was succeeded by his eldest son.

1619 to  1646

 Henry Jernegan Esq.
created Sir Henry Jernegan Baronet in 1621
died 1646
married            Eleanor  dau.  of Thomas Throckmorton Esq.
by whom he had issue John ( whose son Henry suceeded  his grandfather)
                                   Anne  Angela Alexius who became Abbess of the 3rd. Order of St. Francis in Paris

    This gentleman suffered severly during the civil wars  in the upsurpation, the Park at Costessey was let down and the deer destroyed, the mansion with the domain, let to a farmer , and a considerable part of the buildings was suffered to fall into decay.
  Vide Historical Manuscripts  Commission 10th report  App. part IV.  H.M.S.O. 1885 :-
1637.. Sketch of the history of the manor and soke of Cossey, its component parts, and the courts held therein,  "the house well built with gardens and walks situated in the parks, a fair dove- house well stored and a malt- house, let to a farmer for £230."  The parks contain near 1,000 acres  " and at the Conquest was found by inquisition upon record to be an ancient park replenished with a great number of deer and xxvj ( 26) wild cattle and was well stored with fallow deer till within these  iiii (4 ) last years ; but formerly in old Mr. Jernegan's time  with red deer, but is now disparked but not dispaled. " 1637. 
   It is reported that Sir Henry who had been brought up in Westminster  had often attended Protestant churches,  lapsing from the Catholic faith.  A report published in the 'Chronicle of St. Monica's Louvain' says that when he was near to his death a ' Father of the Society' was sent to him and he re- embraced  the Catholic Faith.He was succeeded by his grandson

 1646 to 1680

 Sir Henry Jernegan   2nd Baronet
died 1680
marriedMary dau. of Benedict Hall Esq. of High Meadow, Gloucester
                                 there was one surving son  Francis

  Vide Historical Manuscripts  Commission 10th report  App. part IV.  H.M.S.O. 1885 :-

Letter of protection from Oliver Cromwell.
    "These are to command and require you, and every one of you , that you henceforth forbear to molest the person , seize, take, plunder, or carry away any of the horses, oxen, sheep, corn, household stuff, or any other goods whatsoever of, or belonging to, Sir Henry Jerneghan, of Cossey, in the county of Norfolk, as you and every one of you will answer the contrary at your utmost perils.    Given under my hand and seal at Whitehall the 4th day of January 1648.   O, Cromwell."
                            To all officers and soldiers to whom this may concern.

     From this it would appear that Sir Henry had good relations with the Parliamentary forces which might indicate that he was not zealous in openly  pursuing the Catholic faith. He was succeeded by his eldest son

1680 to  1730

Sir Francis Jernegan  3rd Baronet
died    27th Aug. 1730
married        Anne dau. of Sir George Blount Bart. of Sodington, Worcesterby whom he had issue :
7 sons ( including Charles M.D. ( educ at Douai College) George, Francis, John, Henry & Richard (all educated at St Omers College  in Flanders )
and 2 daughters

Sir Francis is considered to have been a more devout Catholic than his father and for this reason because of the penal laws spent much of his living in France with his family.  Before succeeding to Baronetcy  however he did spend time in England , as Lord Stafford's manuscripts   (see Historical Manuscripts Commission 1895) shows   :-

1675/76  March 9.   Permission granted by James, Duke of Monmouth chief justice of all H.M. ( Charles II)  forests, to Francis Jerningham, Esq. to hunt and hawk within the forest of Windsor under certain conditions.
  .......Whitehall 9 March 1675-76  Signed with seal

  Under William and Mary 1698-1702  " the Penal Laws were laxly  enforced against the Catholics in England . The Catholic gentlemen conducted themselves peacefully and gratefully sought and acknowledged the clemency of the  Prince of Orange.  Mass was said regularly in private houses ; there were many well-known Catholic chapels and some monasteries ; the priests conciliated opinion by passing about in disguise, but were seldom hunted and imprisoned "     England under The Stuarts   G. M. Trevelyan 9th edition 1920 Methuen London

Sir Francis  returned to Costessey in 1701 and again installed a priest at the Hall and his household followed the Catholic faith.  He died in 1730 and his burial memorial slab is in St, Edmund's Church, Costessey as  baptisms, marriages and burials where only allowed in the Established Church of England. He was succeeded by his eldest son

 1730 to  1737

 Sir John Jernegan   4th Baronet
born 1678
died 14 June 1737,Bath married 1704           Margaret , daughter of Sir Henry Bedingfield and died without issue He is said to have lived at the family estates at Painswick in Gloucestershire.    In 1734  made an agreement with his mother Dame Anne for her maintenance and  that of of Mr Francis  Jerningham  (his brother ) :-

Vide Historical Manuscripts  Commission 10th report  App. part IV.  H.M.S.O. 1885 :-
1734 Sept 22.     Agreement between Dame Anne Jernegan, of Costessey, widow, relict of the late Sir Francis Jernegan, Bart., of the said place, of the other, by which the former releases to the latter all her her lands, houses, jointure, &cin the same during the actual life of ether of them, he giving unto her yearly in mansion house of Costessey, her lodging, board, washing, fire, candle, and all wines necessary, and also board, lodging, washing, fire, and candle to her servants, and the same to Mr Francis Jernegan with the manning and maintaining of a horse or two, both summer and winter.  He shall also pay to the said dame Anne Jernegan the sum of  £212 yearly without any deduction.  Also certain arrangements as to the payment of rents due at the Michaelmas next following.  Signed
He was succeeded by his brother

 1737 to 1774

 Sir George Jerningham    5th Baronet
born 1680
died 1774
married 1733  Mary, eldest daughter and eventual heiress of Francis Plowden,  Esq. by Mary, dau of  the Hon. John Paul Stafford -Howard, younger son of the Sir William Howard , Viscount Stafford and Baron Stafford by whom he had surviving male issue :-
                      William his successor.
                     Edward, a man of  letters and distinguished in literature.
    Click here to read about a fascinating man of  Eighteenth Century Society.                                               Charles, a general officer in the French service and knight of Malta and St. Louis. They were educated at Douai College in France
    Sir George spent most of his early life abroad on the continent, anti-catholic feelings ran high in the early 18th Century. In the year of his birth Sir William Howard, Viscount Stafford died on the scaffold  on a trumped up charge of treason. Sir George returned to Costessey in 1733 and at the age of 53 married  Mary Plowden neice and heiress  of the last earl of Stafford thus carrying into the Jerningham family a claim to the Barony of  Stafford.  He died aged 94 in 1774.

He was succeeded by his eldest son



 1774 to  1809

 Sir William Jerningham   6th Baronet
born   7 March 1736
died 14 August 1809
married  16 June 1767 -- Hon. Frances eldest daughter of Henry 11th Viscount Dillon  by Charlotte daughter of George Henry Lee, 2nd. Earl of Lichfield  through her Lee descent she was great-great grand daughter of King Charles II  and Barbara Villiers ,Duchess of Cleveland)
By whom he had  issue 3 sons and 2 daughters: 

 George William  who suceeded him                                                   
                                                                            William Charles, an officer of  rank in the Austrian Service                    
                                                                            Edward of Painswick , Glos, a barrister -at-law and secretary of the Catholic Board and designer of the new St 

                                                                            Augustines Chapel at Costessey Hall
                                                                            Mary who died in infancy.

          (there is a memorial tablet in St Edmund's Church  
" And as they view this marble stone
                        Their little mistress they bemoan. "                         
                                                                            Charlotte Georgiana who married Sir Richard Bedingfield.

     Sir William  was probably educated with his brothers at Douay college and at Paris. Through his Mary (nee Plowden) he inherited the baronial castle of Stafford and considerable estates in the counties of Salop and Stafford. At the death of his cousin  Lady Anastasia Stafford-Howard, an Augustinian (Blue) nun in Paris ( who would have been Baroness Stafford in her own right but for her great-grandfathers attainder ), William became heir to the remaining honours of the Stafford- Howard family but he died before establishing his claim..  Sir William took an active part in the agitations which preceded the Catholic emancipation. He was a member of the  "Catholic Association " and was elected to represent the Midland district .
Although he was active in Catholic affairs and in spite of the anti-Catholic feelings of the period  Sir William appeared to be popular in the 'society' of Norfolk and was a friend of the Bishop of Norwich. He mixed much with the local  'Nobility and Clergy' as evidenced by. Parson Woodforde in his Diary :- 

Jan 28th 1778   ...." to the Maids Head (Norwich) to the meeting of the Nobility ,Clergy , etc.  Lord Townshend, Mr Townshend, Sir John Woodhouse,  Sir Wm. Jernegan, Mr de Grey the Lord Chief Justice's son  etc etc..............{after having diiner with the company Parson Woodforde went to the theatre } "we sat in the centre box which was quite full . Sir Wm. Jernegan was in the same box and spoke to me as he came out......

Dec.1782.... "Lady Jernegan whom I never saw before is a fine woman tho' large and extremely sensible but very much given to Satire. She is a rigid Roman Catholic and breeds her children up that way . It was rather late when i gor to bed to Night"

Nov. 7th 1783........." we went to Weston House in our Gowns and Cassocks and there we dined ......with the Bishop (of Norwich) and his lady, his Lordship's chaplain Mr Gooch, and Sir William and Lady Jernegan.......Sir William Jernegan is a very fine man,  very easy, affable and good natured. 
Lady Jernegan is a fine woman but high and mighty.  They are both of the Romish persuasion.  It being Friday and a Fast Day of course to them, they however eat fowl, Pheasant and Swan and Sir William eat some ham ".

April 18th 1785........." we took a coach and drove to the Theatre....We sat in the Mayor's Box......Sir William Jernegan came and spoke to us. The Play was the Duenna-and Farce the Divorce.  Both bespoke by Sir William and Lady Jernegan.

Nov. 10th 1786 ..."Evening at Weston House with Mr and Mrs Custance, Mrs Collyer Senr. and a Mr Chamberlain who is a  Roman Catholic Priest and lives with Sir Wm. Jernegan and Family......had Preferment in the Church of England to the value of  £800 per annum...., renounced the Protestant Religion, and has been made a monk. A very good kind of manhe appears to beand very sensible-has been in France etc. He is now Chaplain to Sir Wm. Jernegan that family being of the Romish persuasion. "

June 28th 1787.      Sir Wm. Jernegan sent me by Mr Custance a Treatise on the Plant called Scarcity Root (mangel-wurzel).

Sept. 25th 1788......"went in an Hackney Coach to St. Andrews Hall (Norwich) to hear the Concert  ( Madame Mara the famous singer)  ....Saw at St Andrews Hall this evening and conversed with them Sir William Jerningham, Sir John Woodhouse etc." After 1790 and the Catholic Relief Act Sir William started a bulding programme on his Costessey estate. He builttwo new lodges at the entrances to the Park and  in 1791, on a hill overlooking his Manor  House, he built a  Round Tower of red brick from the top of which it is said that obtained of  Norwich.


    He planted 400 acres of trees and a built a carriers' bridge over the  River Tud. Parson Woodforde writes in his Diary in 1793 that he was shown these improvements by Sir William and described them as very handsome;  " we had a pleasant ride as I ever took ". 
 In 1796 he visited  Costessey again and saw a double fronted residence in Townhouse Road known as the ' New Cottage'  which Sir William had  built  for his son William Charles ( this is now known as Eastwood Lodge )

Sir William was a generous benefactor in subscribing to the cost of the first Roman Catholic chapel built in Norwich since the Reformation . Dedicated to St.John the Baptist it was opened in 1794 and was situated at the rear of Strangers Hall. When St John's R.C. Cathedral was built it became redundant and in1921 was bought for conversion to the Maddermarket Theatre.   However Sir William's greatest contribution to the Catholic cause in Costessey was the building of the Chapel at Costessey Hall dedicated to St. Augustine.   ".... joined to the  house by a conservatory. It was designed by Sir William's youngest son, the popular and talented barrister Edward, who had the satisfaction of hearing it described by a stranger...............who had no idea who he was ......-as ' the precise model of King's College Chapel '-The Catholic Families by Mark Bence-Jones, Constable, London 1992.  It contained some of the finest 13th to 16th century stained glass obtained from the continent and other furnishings and vestments made in the German and Flemish styles.

      Sadly Sir William died on the 14th August 1809 a week before the Chapel was dedicated by Bishop John Milner thus the funeral of its founder was the first function to be performed in the new edifice. 

The Chapel of St Augustine at Costessey Hall served the  local Catholic community for over 100 years, present
Costessey villagers still remember going from St. Augustine's R.C. School (also provided by the Jernigham 
family ) to Corpus Christii services in the Chapel in the second decade of the 20th century


The Jerningham Ladies at the turn of  the 18th Century.
    Sir William's wife Lady Frances was very active in the ' high society ' of the time having something of a salon at their London house in Boulton Row. it was a meeting place of the emigre French nobility, where they could  mingle with the English Catholic --the " Cats " as Lady J. called them. She was known  in those circles as ' Her Catholic Majesty ' .
    Sir William was persuaded to give sanctuary at Costessey to the Blue Nuns and other French emigres during the French Revolution.
  Her daughter Charlotte is said to have been 'a beauty with large expressive eyes'  who had ben educated in Paris married Sir Richard Bedingfield of Oxburgh, Norfolk.  The correspondence betwen mother and daughter as recorded in the Jerningham Letters (ed Egerton Castle ) 2 vols. London 1896 gives a detailed account of and insight into the society of their day. The daughters of the  titled Catholic families where much in demand in  ' Society' as they mostly had been educated on the continent and spoke French-- a desired accomplishment.  Lady Charlotte became a Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Adelaide after being  widowed in 1829. Her mother remarked in 1819 that "it is really become fashionable to be a Catholic". 

During the the threat of invasion of England  by the Napoleonic forces at the beginning of the 19th century 
Lady Frances is reported to have offered to lead a force of  " Stout robust female peasants, dairy-maids, servants, field-workers, the wives and daughters of rustics engaged at ' push of pikes ' with the invaders on the coast. They were to sport a plain uniform and perform the humble duties of driving the horses and cattle into the interior, to work with mattock and spade to raise earthworks where needed on their own exposed shores. "
Lady Frances's offer was not taken up by the authorities !
Her daughter Lady Charlotte Bedingfield in a letter to her friend Matilda Betham in March 1799 :--
"  We are all in alarms about the French, the name and age of every man, woman and child taken down well as the number of the carts, horses etc., etc.............If the French land you may look in the list of the killed for my  name as well as Sir Richards." 
 Click to see   
"A Romantic Interlude"

 1809 to 1851

 Sir George William Jerningham,  7th Baronet 
Created 8th Baron Stafford in 1825 when he adopted the name Stafford-Jerningham
born    27 April   1771
died      4  October  1851
married  1stly.    26 Dec. 1799    Frances Henrietta  dau. & co-heir of Edward Sulyarde Esq. of Haughley Parkby whom he had :- 

             (1) born 2 Jan 1802     HenryValentine, who suceeded him. (9th Baron)
             (2) born 4 Aug 1804    Edward ,  Lieut  6th Dragoon Guards who married
                    Marianne Smythe reputed daughter of Maria Fitzherbert and King George IV
.           died 22 July 1849 leaving issue :-                 
                  Augustus Frederick Fitzherbert
(10th Baron)
                  Fitzosbert Edward  (11th Baron) 
                  Emily Charlotte who married Basil Thomas Fitzherbert whose son 
                  Francis Edward became (12th Baron)

            (3)  born 17 Feb 1806   George Sulyarde K.C.H., C.B., envoy extraordinary and minister-plenip. to  the  King of Sweden, died 4 April 1884                                  
            (4) Born Aug.1807  Charles William 
lieut.Carabineers died 4th April 1884

             (5)  born 15 July 1812  William George   Minister Resident at Lima  who died 16 July 1874
             (6)  born 20th March 1814    Francis  Hugh Joseph who died 9th Oct. 1874


            (1)  Charlotte Georgiana  married 6 August 1823  to Thomas  Alexander Fraser , later Lord Lovat
            (2)  Frances Sophia died unmarried at Paris  1838                  
            (3)  Georgiana        died in 1841                                          

            (4)   Laura Maria   married 21 July 1829 to Hon. Robert Edward Petre
            (5)   Isabella Maria    died unmarried 1 Jan 1847

        His lordship married, secondly, 25th May 1836  Elizabeth Caton, Daughter of Richard Caton,Esq. of Maryland U.S.A. and sister of the Marchioness Wellesley and of the Duchess Dowager of Leeds but by her had no issue.
Lord Stafford suceeded to the ancient Barony of Stafford  after the reversal  of the attainder of Sir William Howard, Viscount Stafford; the House of Lords  resolving 6th July 1825  " Sir George Jerningham had made out his claim to the title, dignity and honour of Baron Stafford, under certain letters patent, bearing date 12 Sept in the 16th year of the reign of  King CHARLES 1."   The Baronetcy and the Barony were combined in the person of Sir George which was later to lead to the destruction of the Hall and sale of the Costessey estate because of the laws of inheritance of such Honours..

     It is to Sir George William's credit that he appealed to the Home Secretary in 1827 for the sentences of transportation on  the poachers John ADCOCK and William SKIPPER to be remitted so that they be not sent abroad. He was successful in the case of Skipper who after his release lived out a long life in Costessey (see 1881 census).

     Just about all the remaining disabilities suffered by Catholics were removed in  the 1829 Catholic Emancipation Act and Lord Stafford joined the other Catholic Peers, the  Duke of Norfolk, Lord Clifford, Lord Dormer , Lord Stourton, Lord Petre, and Lord Arundell in the House of Lords.
  Sir George and Lady Frances moved much  in Regency Society in London and were very friendly with the Prince Regent.  In 1820 Lady Frances was instrumental in persuading Sir George to build and maintain a Catholic School in Costessey.
    Lady Frances was also the driving force in the conversion of the orginal Elizabethan hall  into a Gothic fantasy for Lord Stafford. Designed by architect J.C. Buckler and built from 1826 to 1836  " it was a superb folly with gables turrets, pinnacles and chimneys all dominated by a massive keep"  It was so ambitious that shortage of funds lead to it never being finished
    The old part was E-shaped withy far projecting wings and polygonal angle butresses or shafts to the porch and the ends of the wings. The new part rose behind it and to its right . It was large , of red brick and partly medieval, partly of Tudor details.  The climax was a big asymmetrically placed tower with machicolations ....
quote from Nicholas Pevsner  "NW & S Norfolk" publ. Penquin Books.

 In 1820 Sir George appointed as his Chaplain a newly ordained 24 year old priest, Revd. Frederick Charles Husenbeth, ( later Doctor of Divinityand Provost of Northampton Diocese) who served the Catholic congregation of Costessey until a few months before his death in 1872.
     In 1830 Lady Stafford  asked Father Husenbeth to undertake the building of a Catholic chapel in Costessey.  Lord Stafford donated the land and much of the finance but through shortage of funds it was not until 1841 that the building was completed.  Dr.John Milner, D.D.opened and dedicated   the Chapel to' Our Lady and St.Walstan' . Lady  Stafford had died in 1832. 
When  Dr Husenbeth was appointed in 1820 there were about 200 in the congregation but by 1830 the records show a total of 514.  As a ' missioner '  he was successful but one wonders how many  converts were prompted by the improved prospect of employment and trade with the Estate if they became Catholics.  Many parishioners were baptised into the Catholic Church who had been baptised as infants at the parish church of St. Edmund K.M., including my great great granmother Ann Barley and others of the family.
     In 1836 Lord Stafford became the first Catholic nobleman to marry an American, Elizabeth Caton, one of  whose two sisters had married the Duke of Leeds and the other  Lord Wellesley.  There were no children from that marriage.  Lord Stafford died in 1851.He was succeeded by his eldest son 

 1851 to  1884

 Sir Henry Valentine Stafford- Jerningham  8th Baronet ,  9th Baron Stafford
born 2  Jan. 1802
died 30 Nov. 1884                    

           1stly  in 1829     Julia , dau. of Edward Howard Esq. F.R.S.  (she was neice of  12th Duke  of Norfolk   and died 19 Nov 1859)                     
           2ndly in 1859      Emma -Eliza 20 y.o. dau. of Frederick-S. Gerard of Aspull House ,Lancashire
                                      (she married 2ndly 24 Aug 1887 Basil Fitzherbert Esq.   Swinnerton Staffordshire),

      Sir Henry suceeded to the Barony of Stafford and to the estate on the death of his father in 1851.  He inherited the unfinished Hall with its boarded windows and rooms still to be completed. 
    A Royal Visit planned for October 1866 resulted in remedial building work  and lavish furnishings, to make the Hall more presentable. The 3- day visit was by the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Queen of Denmark, and the Duke of Edinburgh with many other distinguished gentry.  In all 32 distinguished guests were entertained and  there was a grand Ball and Reception at which the local gentry were invited to join the guests.  The cost must have been very considerable. ( there was a full report in the "Illustrated London News " of  3rd November 1866 )
     Sir Henry was M.P. for Pontefract from 1850-1856 and for his efforts in giving hospitality to the Royal party he was given a vote of thanks by The City and County of Norwich and a full length portrait of him was commissioned to hang in St Andrews Hall, Norwich.
  In his lifetime Lord Stafford had a great influence on the Catholic church in Costessey.  In 1871 he made a personal free gift to Dr Husenbeth of  the freehold of all of the chapel land of Our Lady and St. Walstan, the cemetery, Chapel House and all buildings thereon, paying all conveyancing expenses.  Dr Husenbeth died the following year and services were discontinued there,  except for funerals.  It remained closed for 38 years. Lord Stafford again provided for local Catholics by making St Augustine's Chapel at the Hall available and his personal Chaplain  the Very Rev. Monsignor George Davies ministered to them until 1896.
     Sir Henry left no issue  and the titles were inherited by the heir of his deceased brother Edward
.There were no issue and he was succeeded by his nephew 

1884 to  1892

 Sir Augustus Frederick Fitzherbert Stafford -Jerningham  9th Baronet10th Baron Stafford
born       28 June 1830
died        16 February 1892

      He was the son of  Edward Stafford Jerningham and Marianna Smythe , reputed daughter of King George IV, of whom he had the same last two Christian names.  He was a certified lunatic and the estate was held under the Lunacy Commission and administered by the  Coverdales , father and son who resided at Home Farm the old Tudor Dower house across the River Tud from the Hall. He died in 1892 in Brighton and was succeeded by his brother .

It is reputed that he had a number of illegitimate  children through a relationship with Mary Pullin.

 He died unmarried and he was succeeded by his brother.

1892  to  1913

 Sir Fitzosbert Edward Stafford- Jerningham  10th Baronet   11th Baron Stafford
born       17July 1833
died       12 June 1913

     He was 59 when he inherited the titles and estate in 1892, from his brother.  He was a popular but rather eccentric landlord who in his time at Costessey Hall hardly ever ventured out but occupied himself with metalurgical and other experiments .  He was  one of the largest landowners  in Norfolk with 3022 acres and 6800 acres in other counties.  As well as Cossey Hall he had places in Shropshire ( Shifnal Manor ) and Stafford Castle in Staffs.  He was part owner of th Lilleshall Colleries near Shifnal.  He never married.  In the management of the estate he was assisted by his cousin Mr Stafford Henry William Jerningham.

  In 1896 Monsignor Davies retired as Hall chaplain and was followed by Canon Fitzgerald  who opened up the Presbytery for his residence but services continued at the Hall chapel .  In 1909 the chapel of Our lady and St. Walstan was restored,  having become very dilapidated.  Canon Fitzgerald left to become a priest at the new great church of St. John's in Norwich and Father Francis Byrne came from Norwich to take charge of St. Walstan's.  In 1909 the anniversary of the opening of St. Augustines chapel was celebrated over three days. A  Procession of the Blessed Sacrement was held through the Park and a telegram was received by Lord Stafford  from the Pope saying "  The Holy Father bestows Apostolic Benediction on yourself and all assembled for the centenary celebration".  As part of the anniversary his lordship opened up the old secret chapel in the attic and restored it something like its original state .

     On 7th June 1913 Mr Stafford Jerningham conducted the Norfolk Archaeology Society around the Hall and gave them a description of the house, which was reported at length in their Journal.  His Lordship was unwell and Mr Jerningham apologised for his absence as host. A week later on 12th June 1913 Lord Stafford died .     There is no doubt the Catholic cause in Costessey owes most of its history since the reformation until 1913 to the Jerningham family.    

In 1953, long after the demolition of the hall and its chapel, the remains of those of the family interred there were eventually brought to the cemetery of St Walstan's Church for  reburial.



 "Requiescant in pace"


He died unmarried and was succeeded in the Barony by his nephew and heir general, who inherited the Costessey estates and in the Baronetcy by  his cousin and heir male.

1913  to 1919

Francis Edward Fitzherbert -Stafford   12th Baron Stafford
born 28th Aug. 1859
Inheriting the Barony of Stafford from his uncle he also inherited the landed estates in Norfolk ,Shropshire and Staffordshire.  After the 1914 -1918  War when the Hall and estate was occupied by the army, the new Lord Stafford put up for sale his Costessey estates, in which he had no occupational interest . The sale attracted great interest and the farms all sold, some to existing tenants. The great Hall was left a  'white-elephant' and over the next 40 years was gradually demolished.  All that now remains in 1999 is a fragment of ivy covered Belfry tower on the Costessey Park Golf Course  
He  inherited the estates at Costessey and sold them in 1919,  thus severing the connection of the Stafford Barony with Costessey

1913 to 1935

 Sir Henry Jerningham  11th Baronet   (after whom the baronetcy became extinct)
born 28  November 1867
died   20 December 1935

     Sir Henry inherited the Baronetcy from his cousin and his  personal effects which include the contents of the Hall. Not owning the building in which they were contained Sir Henry put them up for sale .  The  contents were described by George Cubitt, Auctioneers, as " The Important and Valuable Contents of the Mansion "  and were sold over four days in December 1913. The Hall buildings were left empty but outbreak of War meant that it  and the estate did not come on the market until 1919.
     Although he was married twice Sir Henry had no male heirs and he died in 1935. 
He died without male heirs and the Jerningham Baronetcy became extinct



  Last revised 16 August 2009

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