Louie Jermy ("The Maid of the Mill")

Discussion in 'Norfolk' started by euryalus, Oct 8, 2020.

  1. euryalus

    euryalus Well-Known Member

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    The seaside town of Cromer was 'discovered' in 1883 by the writer and journalist Clement Scott (1841-1904) who, tired of more sophisticated British or European resorts, had written enthusiasically of what he called 'a queer, ancient, rambling village' – the only charm its simplicity, 'the only recreation its rest'. Scott's poem The Garden of Sleep and his evocation of what he called 'Poppyland' transformed Cromer and the north-east Norfolk area into a veritable Mecca for contemprary writers and littérateurs, while the soubriquet 'Poppyland' survived for many years as an important element in local tourist publicity – the Poppyland 'brand' having been eagerly taken up and exploited by the Great Eastern Railway. Maria Louisa Jermy (1864-1935), the 'hostess' of the old Mill House at Sidestrand, plays a central part in the story of 'Poppyland', but a slight mystery arises in that she appears to be absent from the 1891 and 1911 census, although she is listed in 1881 and 1911. How can anyone just disappear - was she overseas (unlikely) or did she change her name? It is all rather odd.
     
  2. Daft Bat

    Daft Bat Administrator. Chief cook & bottle washer! Staff Member

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    1901 census:
    Piece 1824
    Folio 17
    Page 6

    Living at Poppy Land, Sidestrand, Erpingham, Norfolk
     
  3. Daft Bat

    Daft Bat Administrator. Chief cook & bottle washer! Staff Member

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    1891 Census:
    Piece 105
    Folio 104
    Page 36

    42 Grove End Road, St Marylebone, London, working as a Cook/Domestic. Looks like a possibility - enumerated as Maria L JERMY
     
  4. AnnB

    AnnB Editor in Chief who is Hot off the Press!

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    1911
    Piece 11175; Schedule Number 8
    Sidestrand Cromer
    Head - Alfred Jermy

    Sorry, just realised you have 1911 :oops:
     
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  5. euryalus

    euryalus Well-Known Member

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    Maria L(ouisa) Jermy looks like a good match - we know that Louie worked as a house-keeper in London for a short time, but she missed Norfolk so much that she returned after a few months.
     
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  6. euryalus

    euryalus Well-Known Member

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    There appear to be a number of transcription errors in the Jermy records. One of the census returns spells her name as "Jerbey", while the 1891 census quotes 40 Grove Lane Road in one version and 42 Grove Lane Road in another. However, Maria L.Jermy was born in Norfolk in 1864 and was living with her brother, 19 year old porter Alfred Jermy (or could she have been on holiday in London?) Mystery solved!
     
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  7. euryalus

    euryalus Well-Known Member

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    Another odd thing about the occupants of 40 Grove End Road is that there is no Head of family. Is it possible that Louie was working as a servant, and that her absent employer was the head of the household? On a footnote, it may be worth adding that Louie Jermy was the subject of a BBC TV film entitled "Poppyland", which was filmed in Norfolk in the summer of 1984 and broadcast for the first time in the following year. It starred Alan Howard as Clement Scott and Phoebe Nicholls as Louie, and was described by one reviewer as "simply beautiful …. a curious, haunting film of modest ambition but Olympian achievement".
     

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