JEFFREYS, George (c. 1644-89)

JEFFREYS, George (c. 1644–89)

cr. 15 May 1685 Bar. JEFFREYS

First sat 19 May 1685; last sat 28 Apr. 1687

b. c.1644, 5th s. of John Jeffreys and Margaret, da. of Sir Thomas Ireland, of Bewsay, Lancs. educ. Free sch. Shrewsbury bef. 1659; St Paul’s School, London c.1659–1661; Westminster sch. 1661–2; Christ Church, Oxf. 1662; I. Temple 1663; called 1668. m. (1) 23 May 1667, Sarah (1644–78), da. of Rev. Thomas Neesham [Nesham, Needham] of Stoke d’Abernon, Surr., 4s. (3 d.v.p.). 2da.; (2) 10 June 1679, Ann (b.1656), da. of Alderman Sir Thomas Bludworth, of London, merchant, wid. of Sir John Jones, of Fonmon, Glam., 2s. d.v.p., 5da. (3 d.v.p.). KB 1677; bt. 1681. d. 20 Apr. 1689; will 15 Apr. 1689, pr. 30 July 1690.1

Common sjt. City of London 1671–8; solicitor gen. to James, duke of York 1677; bencher, I. Temple 1678; recorder of London 1678–80; KC 1677; King’s Sjt. 1680; c.j. Chester 1680; sjt.-at-law 1680; chairman Mdx. justices 1681–?; LCJ k.b. 1683–5; ld. chan. 1685–11 Dec. 1688; ld. high steward 1686; commr. ecclesiastical affairs 1686–?d.

PC 1683–Dec. 1688.

Ld. lt. Salop, Bucks. 1687–?Apr. 1689; custos rot. Salop, Bucks. 1686–?Apr. 1689; high steward, Wallingford 1681, Buckingham 1688; recorder New Windsor 1684, Plymouth 1684.

Associated with: Wrexham, N. Wales; Chester; King’s Bench Walk, London; Bulstrode, Bucks.

The ambitious young lawyer

George Jeffreys’ career in the House of Lords was short, constrained both by the prolonged absence of a Parliament and by his own premature death. He was nevertheless an important political figure; the focus of this biography is therefore on how he came to be a peer rather than what he did after his elevation. He came from a well-established if minor gentry family that claimed to have been settled in north Wales since before the Saxon conquest; they had certainly lived at Acton Park near Wrexham since at least the mid-sixteenth century. Jeffreys’ grandfather had been a Welsh judge under James I; his father and nephew both served as high sheriffs of Denbighshire. Jeffreys’ father had suffered financially for his royalism in the civil wars and had a large family to support: seven of his eight children survived to adulthood. Since John, the eldest son, was to inherit the family lands, the younger sons were equipped to enter the professions. George and Edward Jeffreys both trained as lawyers; another brother, Thomas, became a successful merchant; the remaining brothers, William and James, entered the Church.2

His enemies and his later detractors have tended to cast doubt on George Jeffreys’ professional competence. Charles Hatton famously damned him as having ‘in great perfection, the three chief qualifications of a lawyer, boldness, boldness, boldness’. There seems little doubt that he was an extremely promising student who attracted favourable attention very early in his career. Yet he does not seem to have built up his reputation or his practice in conventional ways. His practice was concentrated in the London area and on criminal rather than the more prestigious private (or, as we would now term them, civil) cases. The most important factor in his meteoric rise seems to have been his acquisition of influential connections in the City of London. His point of entry into City society appears to have been through his fellow Welshman Alderman John Jeffreys, with whom he was on very affectionate terms, although, despite their common surname, the two men were not related. Alderman Jeffreys stood godfather to George Jeffreys’ eldest son, also named John Jeffreys, later 2nd Baron Jeffreys of Wem; he left substantial legacies both to George and to John Jeffreys. Alderman Jeffreys’ circle included his nephews John and Jeffrey Jeffreys, as well as Sir Robert Claytonand Sir Thomas Bludworth and yet another unrelated namesake, Sir Robert Jeffreys. All were financially well established; all served at various times as aldermen of London. George Jeffreys’ brother Thomas was also connected with this circle, serving as Alderman John Jeffreys’ agent in Spain.3

Just how wealthy Jeffreys became remains a matter for speculation. He certainly acquired a great deal of land – mainly in Buckinghamshire but also in Leicestershire and Shropshire – but it was heavily mortgaged. In February 1687, Roger Morrice reported that Jeffreys’ agents ‘now very openly say that he has the honour indeed of a peer of England, but has got very little by his place, having lived in good equipage, nor has had no casual advantages and is still very low in estate’.4 After his death much of the estate had to be liquidated to pay his debts.

By January 1669 Jeffreys was able to establish himself in an expensive set of chambers in King’s Bench Walk. In March 1671, less than two and a half years after being called to the bar, he was elected common serjeant of the City of London. The office, while prestigious in itself, did not preclude Jeffreys from private practice and probably enhanced his opportunities to attract business. It also appears to have been at this point that he first developed connections with the king’s court, reputedly providing it with intelligence about the activities of City aldermen.5 He became embroiled in City politics and in 1675 he was temporarily suspended from office as a result of his actions at a meeting of common council, but was restored to office after apologizing to the king.6 The setback seems to have had little impact on his prosperity for in 1676 he bought Bulstrode, an estate of almost 800 acres in Buckinghamshire, and he continued to build up his landholdings in the area over the remainder of his life.7 In 1676 his first bid to become recorder of London failed, but he was now building up considerable credit at court, partly because he was regularly passing his observations on attitudes in the City to Thomas Osborne, earl of Danby (later duke of Leeds).8

Consolidating the power base, 1677–85

In 1677 Jeffreys was appointed solicitor general to the duke of York, and received a knighthood; early the following year he became a bencher. In August 1678 he entertained the king, his mistress Louise de Kéroualle (duchess of Portsmouth), and other courtiers to dinner at Bulstrode. His friendship with Louise de Kéroualle, and through her with Robert Spencer, 2nd earl of Sunderland, was to be an important factor in his career. Given the duchess’s later reputation as a pardon broker and Jeffreys’ subsequent influence within the criminal justice system, it is not difficult to imagine that their relationship may have been to their mutual financial benefit. It is not clear when or how it began, but it may be significant that the duchess’s sister, Henriette de Kéroualle, had married Philip Herbert, 7th earl of Pembroke, in 1674. Although the centre of the Pembroke estates after the civil wars was in Wiltshire, the earl was also a major landowner in Wales, with estates in Glamorganshire and Monmouthshire; his daughter would subsequently marry Jeffreys’ son, John. Reports of that dinner in August 1678 concentrated, however, on the putative relationship between Jeffreys and the king rather than that of Jeffreys and the duchess: ‘The king caused Sir George to sit down at table with him and drank to him seven times’.9 Such a signal mark of favour caused considerable speculation about his future. His election as recorder of London on 22 Oct. following was no more than a formality, for the result was mentioned in a private letter sent into Wales four days earlier, even before the City had received a letter from the king commending Jeffreys to them.10

In 1679 Jeffreys married for the second time. His marriages mirror his meteoric rise: his first wife had been the daughter of a modest country clergyman; his second was an heiress, albeit one with a sharp tongue who was reputed to have been pregnant by Sir John Trevor on their wedding day, though Jeffreys’ continuing friendship with Trevor and his affectionate relationship with his wife suggest the slur was unjustified.11 So successful did Jeffreys seem that it was scarcely surprising that by October he was tipped for yet another promotion – this time to be attorney general.12 Although this prediction proved to be unfounded, Jeffreys, a determined opponent of exclusion, was certainly consolidating his position at court. In the winter of 1679–80 he distanced himself from the City authorities by encouraging the king to issue a proclamation against disorderly petitioning and followed this up, in April 1680, by joining with Francis Wythens in an address to the crown abhorring tumultuous petitioning. Like Sunderland his devotion to the court did not prevent him from retaining relationships with moderate Whigs such as Robert Clayton, though whether this particular relationship was one of friendship or of financial expediency is difficult to tell: Clayton was deeply involved in Jeffreys’ financial affairs. Almost the only survival of Jeffreys’ personal papers is a small cache preserved among Clayton’s at the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies.13

At the end of April 1680 Jeffreys replaced the popular and well-respected old royalist Sir Job Charlton as chief justice of Chester, at a salary of £500 a year.14 He may have wanted the post as a way of flaunting his success to his fellow countrymen. A stray list of ‘presents sent to Flints’ suggests that he was keen to maintain his ties with the Welsh gentry: among other items, it includes a quarter of beef to Sir Roger Mostyn, father of Thomas Mostyn, as well as bottles of claret and canary for the high sheriff and oysters for the sheriff.15 It was also, despite the high salary, a relatively undemanding post that would not interfere with either his private practice or his duties as recorder of London. Roger North ascribed the promotion to the influence of the duke of York, but others attributed it to Jeffreys’ friendship with the duchess of Portsmouth.16 Charlton was unwilling to relinquish his position even though he was appointed instead to the more senior post of judge in common pleas, but Jeffreys’ interest at court was by now ‘so prevalent’ that Charlton’s protests were ignored.17

It is tempting to speculate about a political motive for Jeffreys’ appointment. Shortly after this, Henry Somerset, 3rd marquess of Worcester (later duke of Beaufort), carried out an extensive purge of the Welsh magistracy, but that purge reflected personal as well as political grudges and there seems to be no reason to believe that the court really needed someone more pliant than Charlton.18 Perhaps what it needed was someone more aggressive: one possible explanation for Jeffreys’ appointment relates to a perceived need to counter-balance the Cheshire influence of the recorder of Chester and Whig ‘spaniel’, William Williams, who was not only an exclusionist but also Jeffreys’ much disliked professional rival.19

Jeffreys had been involved in a number of cases arising from the Popish Plot, both as counsel for the crown and in his capacity as recorder. Where reports of these cases exist, they indicate that his conduct was, if not entirely unexceptionable, certainly far from the caricature of the judicial bully that has become legendary. Yet his association with the court and particularly with the Catholic duchess of Portsmouth would in itself have raised suspicions of partiality. His role in the otherwise obscure case of Philip Doughty, convicted of murder in August 1680, led to rumours that he was somehow acting on behalf of Portsmouth, or her servants.20 His treatment of the grand jury empanelled in September 1680 to consider a presentment against the bookseller Francis Smith for publishing a libel against the lord mayor and sheriffs was an example of precisely the sort of misbehaviour that has come to be associated with his name. According to Smith, Jeffreys refused to accept the grand jury’s ignoramus verdict and forced them to reconsider three times. When the grand jury still refused to return a true bill, Jeffreys committed Smith to Newgate anyway, insisting that he find sureties for good behaviour.21 Jeffreys clearly believed Smith to be guilty, especially as Smith’s co-defendants had all compounded, a process that involved an admission of guilt.

Jeffreys’ open political partisanship now led to an attempt to remove him from the recordership of the City on the grounds that his activities made him ‘dangerous and destructive to public peace, unity and prosperity’. During the proceedings Henry Booth, later 2nd Baron Delamer and earl of Warrington, who was closely allied to Anthony Ashley Cooper, earl of Shaftesbury, and James Scott, duke of Monmouth, described Jeffreys as behaving like a ‘jack-pudding’, accused him of browbeating witnesses, and reported rumours that he regularly drank until two o’clock in the morning.22 Thomas Pilkington contented himself with remarking that Jeffreys was ‘a common enemy to mankind’.23 The committee considering the charges found that Jeffreys ‘by his discountenancing of the petition for the meeting of the Parliament he has betrayed the rights and privileges of the people of England’, as a result of which the Commons voted to present an address to the king asking that Jeffreys be turned out of his offices. 24 The king appeared to take no action but Jeffreys promptly resigned the recordership, thus taking the heat out of the campaign against him.25 Whether he did so of his own volition or as part of a strategy agreed by the king remains unclear.

Despite this setback, Jeffreys’ ties to the City remained strong. In April 1681 he was appointed to the City militia, and early in May to the City lieutenancy. Later that month he presented a loyal address from the citizens of Southwark, together with his father-in-law, Sir Thomas Bludworth, who presented a similar address on behalf of the City. In August Jeffreys was one of those deputed to attend the feast for Tory apprentices at Sadlers Hall.26 During the summer he was also elected chairman of the Middlesex bench of justices – an unusual appointment for a professional lawyer and one that must have been influenced by the court through the lord lieutenant, William Craven, earl of Craven. Early in October, in what must have been an integral part of the government’s strategy for a concerted counter-attack on the exclusionists, he ordered the Middlesex constables ‘to fall upon meeting houses with all severity’. To this end, over the coming months the order was not only distributed to the constables but also printed and posted up in ‘divers public places’. When the Middlesex sessions convened on 10 Oct. Jeffreys refused to accept the jury panel returned by the sheriff. Those to whom he objected were men of substance, but of Whig politics.27 Since the sheriffdom of Middlesex was held by the two sheriffs of the City of London, this precipitated yet another dispute with the City authorities.

Throughout 1682 Jeffreys continued to ingratiate himself with the court. It may have been he who suggested the revival of the custom of toasting at the City of London’s Bridgehouse feast, which was used in 1682 to ensure the appointment of a Tory sheriff.28 He acted as prosecuting counsel in a number of cases with political overtones, including the trials of Pilkington, Fitzharris, Plunket, and College.29 It was at his suggestion that a special commission was issued to remove the trials of those accused of riot during Monmouth’s progress from the jurisdiction of the court of the recorder of Chester (William Williams) to one presided over by Jeffreys himself, even though such an action was arguably in direct contravention of Chester’s charter. York rewarded him handsomely, granting him the profits of the penny post in November 1682, and perhaps also influencing the appointment in May 1682 of Jeffreys’ younger brother James as a prebendary of Canterbury cathedral.30

In March 1683, when Lord Chief Justice Saunders fell ill, Sunderland immediately proposed Jeffreys as his replacement. At that time the suggestion was unwelcome to the king, who protested that such a promotion would arouse professional jealousies among the existing judges and that Jeffreys ‘had not law enough’.31 Jeffreys continued to ingratiate himself. When the City of London’s charter was declared forfeited in June 1683, Jeffreys was one of those appointed to the commission to govern the City. One of his explicit instructions was to secure juries that would be prepared to prosecute conventicles.32 In July he was a member of the legal team that prosecuted the first of the Rye House plotters to conviction. In September the king accepted Sunderland’s advice and appointed Jeffreys lord chief justice; he joined the Privy Council a month later.

Like many of Charles II’s judicial appointments, Jeffreys was appointed ‘at pleasure’ rather than during ‘good behaviour’. His appointment amounted to a virtual declaration of war on those who opposed the court in general and the duke of York in particular. In the ensuing term he presided over a whole series of trials relating to the Rye House Plot, most notably that of Algernon Sydney. His handling of Sydney’s trial has attracted much attention, largely because of the publicity accorded to Sydney’s own objections.33 Many of Sidney’s complaints were unjustified: defendants were not entitled to a copy of the indictment against them; they were not entitled to counsel except on questions of law; and precise details of statutes were never given in indictments. He was on rather firmer ground with his objections to the way in which Jeffreys interpreted both the law of treason and the nature of the evidence required to prove it. Arguably Sydney was convicted by ‘the partial, malicious and unjust directions and sentence of the judge who made that law by his declaration which was not ever imposed without act of Parliament’. Jeffreys’ pronouncement that scribere est agere (‘to write is to act’) stretched the definition of treason to include what otherwise might have been a non-capital charge of conspiracy.34 Jeffreys certainly asked the rest of the bench whether they agreed, but, given the political pressure from above, one can scarcely be surprised at Sydney’s observation ‘I do not remember that any made reply.’35

Within five months of his appointment Jeffreys had released Danby from prison, in direct opposition to Sunderland’s wishes and against the advice of the lord chancellor, Francis North, Baron Guilford. Power was now concentrated in Jeffreys’ hands to an extent unprecedented for a professional lawyer. In the City he was at the centre of the quo warranto campaign against livery companies and was consulted in everything from applications for places as coal-meters, to the appointment of clerks and other officers appointed to the livery companies under their new charters, it being essential that such persons be ‘of a steady loyalty and unbiased affection to the established government of Church and state’. When the coal-heavers petitioned for incorporation and the surgeons and periwig makers asked for their own companies, it was to Jeffreys that the government turned for advice.36

In the provinces he was similarly involved in the government’s quo warranto campaign against the corporations. He had been appointed high steward of Wallingford in 1681; now he became recorder of New Windsor and of Plymouth; and it was Jeffreys who accepted the surrender of the charters of Liverpool, Lincoln, Carlisle, Kendal, Lancaster, York, and probably many others. In September 1683 he presided at the Chester assizes when a packed grand jury, under the chairmanship of the court Member Sir Thomas Grosvenor, presented Charles Gerard, earl of Macclesfield, and 27 other Whig magnates as a danger to the king and kingdom. Jeffreys also persuaded Chester’s corporation to surrender its charter.37 Those who did not surrender their charters voluntarily faced an expensive action in the court of king’s bench in the full knowledge that Jeffreys was not only directing the campaign against them but would also preside over their cases.38 Nevertheless, to many he was a popular rather than a fearsome figure: John Verney, later Viscount Fermanagh [I], wrote in March 1684 that some 500 horsemen were expected to greet Jeffreys on his return from circuit ‘so well is he beloved’.39 A year later, news that a report of Jeffreys’ death was false led the people of the Montgomeryshire town of ‘Kanevyllyn’ (probably Llanfyllin) to ring the bells and to celebrate so hard that they were drunk for three days.40

Jeffreys believed that part of his function was to mount an aggressive campaign against the government’s critics, complaining on one occasion that ‘every pitiful mechanic rascal instead of mending their shop tools pretended to mend the government’.41 Despite his association in the public mind with the Catholics who surrounded York, he appears to have been a sincerely committed Anglican. He denied being a Catholic in the will that he drew up just days before his death, and emphasized his loyalty and commitment to the Church of England. Indeed, the list of Anglican divines to whom he left mourning rings –Thomas White, bishop of Peterborough, Robert Frampton, bishop of Gloucester, John Sharp, the future archbishop of York, and Dean Stratford (many of whom braved public opinion to visit him in the final days of his life) – suggests a very firm allegiance to the Tory wing of the Church of England.

As one of the commissioners for London Jeffreys was responsible for turning out ‘those persons in hospitals and other public places who are whiggishly inclined’ and encouraging the stricter use of laws against conventicles.42 As lord chief justice he presided over both criminal and private causes. In keeping with his pronouncement in the case against Algernon Sydney, he adopted an extreme definition of high treason, enabling convictions for words that were politically offensive rather than overtly seditious or rebellious. When Alderman William Wright was accused of writing that ‘the king and duke are brothers in iniquity’, Jeffreys made a ponderous joke about the constitutional benefits of a long rope (for a hanging) and questioned whether Wright should be bailed ‘because his words were rather high treason than grand misdemeanour’. When he did admit Wright to bail he required four sureties of £5,000 apiece; Wright could find only two, so he was imprisoned instead.43 By imposing high fines and extortionate bail requirements Jeffreys ensured that opponents of the government faced financial ruin or an indeterminate period of imprisonment during which they would be kept under unusually harsh conditions.44 When on circuit he undermined local government by enquiring into disorders and alleged sedition, sometimes at the order of central government, and sometimes of his own volition. In Lancaster he called a local justice before him, accused him in open court, as a sympathizer to Dissent, of being ‘a rogue and a snivelling canting fanatical rascal’, and forced him into a recognizance of £1,000 to appear in king’s bench.45

Private causes heard in Jeffreys’ court included several actions of scandalum magnatum in which James, duke of York, was awarded extortionate damages against his political opponents. They also included cases that, although outside the mainstream of factional politics did have important constitutional implications, such as Lady Ivy’s case, which centred on the ownership of lands that had been alienated from the Church in the sixteenth century. This case almost certainly opened up possibilities for the crown to reclaim ownership of former Church lands that had been granted to commoners at the Reformation. Little wonder that in July 1684 the king ‘as a signal favour’ presented Jeffreys with a diamond ring pulled from his own finger.46

In September 1684 Jeffreys was at the centre of negotiations for a new City charter, the terms of which he had personally approved.47 By the end of the month it was confidently reported that he had been admitted to the inner circle of the crown’s advisers.48 It was as a member of that inner circle that in October 1684, with the complicity of York but to the consternation of George Savile, marquess of Halifax, and Lord Chancellor Guilford, he proposed the abrogation of the recusancy laws. Sunderland urged a general declaration suspending proceedings against Catholics, but York was not yet prepared to defy Parliament so Jeffreys achieved the same end by instigating a case-by-case review. The following month, during a discussion about the constitutional settlement of New England, and specifically about whether there should some form of representative government there, Jeffreys made his unquestioning support for unchecked royal supremacy abundantly clear when he declared that ‘whoso capitulateth, rebelleth’ – meaning that any attempt to define, in any way, the limits of the crown’s power, was equivalent to rebellion.49

In January 1685 there were rumours that Jeffreys was to be elevated to the peerage as Viscount Wrexham.50 Although the suggestion of a viscountcy turned out to be an exaggeration, it is clear that the procedures for creating Jeffreys a peer must have been instigated by Charles II, if only because Jeffreys was being congratulated on his elevation to the peerage before Charles’s death on 6 February.51 It was a singular honour to confer on a mere lawyer: Jeffreys appears to have been the first judge (apart from lord chancellors or keepers) to have been made a peer. Some, like Burnet, were suspicious of what appeared to be yet another Stuart constitutional innovation, believing it to be ‘inconsistent with the character of a judge’.52 In what was perhaps a reflection on the Jeffreys’ major source of wealth, the letters patent creating him a baron included a special remainder: his new honour was to descend to his sons by his second wife, reverting to his eldest son only if that line failed.

Predictably, Jeffreys’ conduct in the early days of James II’s reign demonstrated a continuing commitment to the cause of the crown. He seems to have run a virtual blacklist of selected lawyers. In February 1685 he warned representatives of Oxford University against employing John Wallis as their counsel in any forthcoming trial in his court, ‘lest their cause fare the worse’; Wallis’ offence was to have hosted meetings of defence witnesses during the trial of Stephen College.53 In May he told Richard Baxter, before his trial had even commenced, that he was one of ‘the greatest rogues and rascals in the kingdom’. At the trial later that month he described Baxter’s lawyers as ‘a company of rogues and rascals of the gown’ and ‘wondered they had confidence to be of counsel for such very seditious persons’.54 His decisions in private cases continued to favour the crown. His resolution of East India Company v Sandys early in 1685 was not simply a confirmation of the East India Company’s charter but was also a confirmation of the (controversial) prerogative powers of the crown to issue such charters. At a more prosaic level, his decision in favour of Sir Francis Holles, (2nd Baron Holles), in a case about a disputed dowry is thought to have secured that individual’s support for the Court.55

Jeffreys and Parliament, 1685–9

Meanwhile, Jeffreys threw himself wholeheartedly into the election campaign, combining electioneering with his circuit duties.56 He is known to have intervened to a greater or lesser degree in the elections in Bedfordshire, Bedford, Amersham, Buckingham, Lancaster, Aldborough, Beverley, and Denbighshire and it is likely that his influence was felt in many other places: his cousin Sir John Trevor certainly consulted him over the problems of the Montgomeryshire out-boroughs.57 Jeffreys’ brother-in-law Sir Thomas Bludworth was returned for Bramber. Ironically, he was least successful in his adopted county of Buckinghamshire where even transferring the election to another town at short notice and taking over every single inn could not prevent the victory of the anti-court candidates. A dispute about the governance of the corporation of Bridgwater, Somerset, was also settled by Jeffreys.58 He was reappointed to the City lieutenancy and continued to advise on the content of charters to livery companies.59 So great was his power in the City, that it seemed to have eclipsed that of the lord mayor who complained:

that whatever was well done in the City was attributed to his influence and contrivance; that himself and the aldermen were but looked upon at court as his instruments; and that … his lordship used them contemptibly … and that many were laid aside from their employments, not being suffered to make their defence …60

Jeffreys took his seat in the House on 19 May 1685, the first sitting day of the new Parliament, and attended 36 of the 43 sitting days that year. His cousin (and friend) Sir John Trevor was Speaker of the House of Commons. Jeffreys held the proxy of Ralph Stawell, Baron Stawell, from 13 June 1685. In October, when Robert Bertie, 3rd earl of Lindsey, sent his proxy to the king, ‘to be disposed of as his majesty thinks fit’, this too was given to Jeffreys.61 He was recorded as present on 22 May 1685 when the House voted that all impeachments fell by the dissolution of Parliament and that the popish lords should be freed; presumably he voted for the motion since Roger Morrice did not list his name among the not-contents.62 When Sir Robert Owen was denied the constableship of Harlech Castle, William Lloyd, bishop of St Asaph, consoled him that no other outcome could be expected since Owen’s opponent was backed by Jeffreys, whose interest ‘is too great this time for any ordinary man to contend against’.63 So great was Jeffreys’ ascendancy that in May 1685 there was ‘a very hot report’ that he was to be promoted to the lord chancellorship.64

In August 1685, in the aftermath of Monmouth’s failed rebellion, Jeffreys led the special commission to try the rebels. Some 300 people – the precise number is unknown – were executed, and another 800 were transported. The quartered bodies of the executed were displayed for several years as a salutary warning of the consequences of rebellion. There were so many of them that it created an ‘exceeding chargeable and troublesome’ logistical nightmare for local officials.65 The extent to which Jeffreys was responsible for the savagery of the repression has been a matter of debate ever since. Yet even if it is true that the account of one of the most notorious of the trials, that of Alice Lisle, was embellished after the revolution of 1688 to Jeffreys’ disadvantage, it remains clear that in this as in other trials Jeffreys acted more like prosecuting counsel than judge and that he virtually directed the jury to convict, even though some wanted to acquit.66 His conduct was particularly reprehensible in an age when it was part of the presiding judge’s function to supply some of the deficiencies caused by the rule against the use of defence counsel.

Jeffreys himself is said to have claimed, shortly before his death, that ‘what I did I had express orders for, and was so far from exceeding my orders, that I was not half bloody enough for the man who sent me thither’.67 Apologists for James, in contrast, have denied his involvement, insisting that he ‘abhorred what had passed in that Commission’.68 The surviving correspondence in the state papers makes it quite clear that Jeffreys kept Sunderland and the king well informed about the progress of the trials and that the king was well pleased with the effects of what he termed Jeffreys’ ‘campaign’ in the West. It is also clear that, whatever the initial motivation for the trials, financial considerations came to play an important role. The rewards from selling convicts into colonial servitude and accepting bribes for pardons provided a lucrative source of patronage bordering on the corrupt even by the standards of the day.69 Jeffreys himself was said to have made between £50,000 and £80,000.70 In the controversial case of Alice Lisle, the king himself may have been personally involved in insisting on her conviction. Lisle was the elderly widow of the regicide John Lisle, whose property (along with that of the other regicides) had been awarded to James at the Restoration. Her own claim on the lands as part of her jointure had frustrated attempts to confiscate them and had resulted in extensive litigation in the 1660s and 1670s.71 The decision to carry out the sentence of execution clearly was taken by the king rather than by Jeffreys, and one of the consequences of Lisle’s conviction was that James was at last able to seize her estate, as all her property became forfeit to the crown.72

Jeffreys’ role in the repression of Monmouth’s rebellion was simply a more extreme version of the consistently savage subjugation of rebellion that had been seen since Farnley Wood in the early years of the Restoration. The surprise after Monmouth’s rebellion was not that there were executions but that there were so many of them.73 Unlike William III, neither Jeffreys nor his royal masters ever seem to have grasped the importance of managing the theatre of death: a few carefully chosen token executions could be used to strengthen reciprocal ties of deference and loyalty but mass killings (especially when one of the victims was an otherwise inoffensive elderly woman like Alice Lisle) simply caused revulsion and festering resentment.74 Chillingly, Jeffreys was later reported to have told the king that ‘he must execute threescore hundred before the government could be safe’.75 As was soon to become apparent, in the particular social and political circumstances of the day, this massive, and necessarily isolated, show of judicial force far from assuring James’ future enjoyment of the crown, threatened to destabilize his regime.

In August 1685 Jeffreys was tipped as a candidate for the lord lieutenancy of Ireland, but that post went instead to Henry Hyde, 2nd earl of Clarendon. Roger Morrice concluded that Jeffreys had been opposed by ‘some very potent person’ but the reality was probably rather more prosaic: that Jeffreys’ name had been tossed about as part of the continuing infighting at court. Jeffreys’ sights were now set on the lord chancellorship, which was at last made vacant by the death in September 1685 of the ailing Guilford. Although he must have been the most obvious candidate for the post, he did have rivals, including Francis Turner, the recently appointed bishop of Ely, and Robert Sawyer, the attorney general.76 Accordingly he lost no time in asking Sunderland for his patronage and protection.77 As lord chancellor, Jeffreys added yet more areas to his already considerable powers of patronage. What little survives of his personal and official papers shows him presiding over an avalanche of requests for appointments: masters in chancery, masters extraordinary in chancery, commissioners to take affidavits in the country, and even parish clerks.78 Somewhat to his embarrassment, the king even consulted him over appointments to the Irish judiciary before discussing the issues with Clarendon, the lord lieutenant of Ireland.79

On 17 Oct. 1685 Jeffreys sat for the first time as lord chancellor and, much to Roger Morrice’s surprise, ‘gave satisfaction to all’. A few days later his speech to mark the inaugural sitting of his successor as lord chief justice, Sir Edward Herbert, set out the political objectives of the judiciary with an uncompromising attack on the Whigs, ‘a pestilent sort of men … that were implacable enemies … and therefore must have the utmost vengeance of the law taken upon them’. Although there was no outward sign of it, according to Roger Morrice Herbert had been appointed against Jeffreys’ wishes, demonstrating that even at the height of his influence his interest had considerable limitations.80

As lord chancellor Jeffreys was also now at the centre of the crown’s campaign to appoint loyal magistrates.81 Unsurprisingly his correspondents emphasized both their own loyalty and that of those they recommended: ‘I shall make it my chief endeavour in that employ’ wrote William Clarke of Somerset, ‘to shew that it is no less the interest than the duty of every man of an estate and office to be exactly loyal.’ Occasionally the requests reveal interesting alliances: somewhat unexpectedly the exclusionist Charles Powlett, 6th marquess of Winchester (later duke of Bolton), referred to ‘having the honour’ of Jeffreys’ favour, but when he wanted to have his steward added to the commissions of the peace for Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorset, Devon, and Cornwall, he nevertheless thought it politic to approach Jeffreys via the City financier Charles Duncombe. At other times they illustrate just how difficult it was to conduct such a wholesale purge of the political nation: Sir Thomas Chicheley reacted with horror to the nomination of one justice, remarking that ‘his father was butler to his family and that if he be made none of the gentry … will sit’.82

Having prorogued Parliament in November, the first major test of Jeffreys’ new office was to preside over the court of the lord high steward for the trial of Henry Booth, now 2nd Baron Delamer, on a charge of high treason arising from his alleged role in Monmouth’s rebellion. Thomas Bruce, 2nd earl of Ailesbury, was later at pains to suggest that James II went out of his way to convince his subjects that Delamer would receive a fair trial. Since he then went on to state that the peers summoned for the trial included only household officers, army officers, and lords lieutenants, any suggestion that the trial was not rigged is almost impossible to accept at face value.83 After the revolution of 1689 it was disclosed that Jeffreys was among those who had promised a reward and a pardon to entice testimony from a potential prosecution witness and that when the individual concerned had failed to provide such evidence he had been condemned to 36 weeks’ imprisonment in virtual isolation in Newgate.84 Jeffreys prepared for the trial carefully – two copies of a draft of his opening speech survive – but not carefully enough, for Delamer does not seem to have received answers to some very basic questions about procedural issues and the evidence was too poor to secure a conviction. The failure of this trial may have been a setback to Jeffreys’ position at court. It reinvigorated the Whigs to the point that, as Roger Morrice pointed out, ‘The grand enquiry is now who advised the trial of this peer when the evidence was so incompetent’.85

Throughout the spring of 1686 there were signs that Jeffreys was being outflanked at court by those who were politically even more extreme than he was himself, though whether the issues he questioned stemmed from genuine ideological concern, from a fear of criticism from the Parliament that was due to meet in the autumn, or from a belief that backing Laurence Hyde, earl of Rochester, was now a better bet than backing Sunderland is something of an open question. He expressed concern on a range of subjects, from the revision of the judicial bench to the appointment, against the Henrician statutes, of the Catholic Roger Palmer, earl of Castlemaine [I], as ambassador to Rome. He disagreed with the burning of Claude’s account of the persecution of French Huguenots and began to support Rochester’s arguments in the closet and on the ecclesiastical commission, but neither Rochester nor his brother Clarendon were prepared to accept his overtures.86 During June, Lord Chief Justice Herbert, who was said to owe his preferment to Jeffreys’ enemy at court, Father Petre, was said to be ‘daily proclaiming’ against Jeffreys’ exorbitances after Monmouth’s rebellion.87 Fortunately for Jeffreys, he managed to encourage a settlement of claims and thus avoided too close an enquiry into his own profits.88 The international situation also favoured Rochester and his pro-Dutch allies at court.89 Rumours that Jeffreys’ credit at court was in decline continued to spread.90 Meanwhile, the survival among Jeffreys’ papers of what appears to be Judge Powell’s initial opinion in Hales v Godden suggests that even though Jeffreys was disturbed by the king’s purge of the judges, he was nevertheless deeply involved in persuading them to agree to the dispensing power.91

In June 1686 Jeffreys commenced an action of scandalum magnatum against Margaret Lilburn, who was said to have called him ‘a bloody man’, to have wished to see him hanged, and to have criticized the way in which he had profited from the treatment of Monmouth’s rebels. Lilburn, ‘a woman of very mean estate and employment’ who could not defend herself, was forced to disappear after a verdict for £10,000 damages. That same month Jeffreys was reported as intending ‘to search into all the Inns of Court’.92 Yet reports of dissension in the king’s inner council of advisers confirm that Jeffreys’ influence was under threat. According to the Spanish Ambassador, Ronquillo, Sunderland was bent on destroying Rochester and ‘getting rid of the Catholics’ and had joined forces with Jeffreys, who ‘is still firm for the prerogative and on the penal laws, but does not show the same vigour against those who have insulted the Catholics’.93 A meeting, later that month, at Jeffreys’ house, of the factional leaders Sunderland, William Herbert, earl (later marquess) of Powis, and James Hamilton, then styled earl of Arran [S] (later 4th duke of Hamilton [S]) confirmed Jeffreys’ alliance with Sunderland and the ‘French faction’.94

Also brewing behind the scenes was a dispute between Roger L’Estrange and Jeffreys. According to Roger Morrice, Jeffreys had already taken umbrage at certain remarks published by L’Estrange in the Observator in May. The relationship between the two men further deteriorated when L’Estrange alerted the king to Dean Sharp’s sermon and its strictures on papists. Sharp was a friend of Jeffreys, who attempted to smooth matters over. He was so confident of his success that he informed all the interested parties that no action would be taken. L’Estrange and Jeffreys also fell out over the prosecution of Dissenters. Roger Morrice reported that prosecutions and harrying of conventicles in the London area continued throughout the first half of 1686. Among the meetings targeted was one held at the house of Thomas Spencer in Newington and frequented by Charles Fleetwood, the former parliamentarian general. The informers, members of the notorious Hilton gang, tried to collect over £600 in fines, then offered to compound for £200 or £300. Their victims refused to pay and entered an appeal. The following month instead of prosecuting their appeal at the Middlesex sessions of the peace, they entered formal complaints against William Cleeve, the justice who had convicted them. The informers were indicted for perjury and the assembled justices, clearly acting on advice from Jeffreys, drew up a representation of Cleeve’s misconduct. This was presented to Jeffreys as a prelude to Cleeve’s removal form the bench. Cleeve, who claimed to be acting on the king’s ‘special commands’, promptly threatened to represent the justices to the king. It was no idle threat. It now emerged that Cleeve was under the protection of Roger L’Estrange. Cleeve alleged that Spencer’s conventicle was frequented by people who were openly sympathetic to anyone claiming to have been involved in Monmouth’s rebellion. Jeffreys was forced to humble himself to L’Estrange and to give him ‘great matter of triumph’ by clearing Cleeve of all charges.95

In July 1686 Jeffreys was named to the ecclesiastical commission. It was also thought, erroneously, that his interest would be sufficient to secure the see of Chester for his brother James; Jeffreys was so piqued when Thomas Cartwright, was not only given the bishopric but also a living that Jeffreys had designed for his own chaplain, that he refused to pass the royal assent and left town for a few days.96 In August he was appointed high steward of Buckingham. He also presided over the hearing of the case against Henry Compton, bishop of London, for failing to suspend Dean Sharp. Roger Morrice cannot have been the only person to have condemned Jeffreys’ rudeness to the bishop, or to have remarked on the disparity of status between the nobly born Compton and Jeffreys, who had been ‘raised to what he was by the king’s mere favour’, for Jeffreys subsequently apologized for his behaviour.97

In October 1686 Jeffreys was trusted to make a royal visitation of the deanery of Windsor. He was also named to the committee to regulate the commissions of the peace, yet when the regulation took place at a meeting of the council in November, the king listened to his Catholic advisers and Jeffreys ‘was never at all consulted nor bore any figure in this matter’. His status at court was only just sufficient to protect him from a threat of assault by one of Rochester’s adherents, George Legge, Baron Dartmouth. In January 1687 Jeffreys was one of the electors at the Charterhouse, where his support for a Catholic candidate provoked an argument about the dispensing power. Jeffreys and Sunderland argued in vain against Danby, who, supported by James Butler, duke of Ormond, Halifax, and William Sancroft, archbishop of Canterbury, declared the dispensing power to be illegal and ‘the judges’ opinions … unwarrantable by the laws of England’.

In April 1687 a case that tested the validity of capital punishment in cases of desertion from the army precipitated Herbert’s removal as a justice of the king’s bench. It was believed that the case had been contrived by Jeffreys in order to ensnare his rival, and when, in the course of his deliberations, Herbert deplored the use of judicial proceedings for ‘personal advantage and lucre’, his words were widely interpreted as a reference to Jeffreys. Yet, although Jeffreys may have engineered Herbert’s fall, he was by no means in the ascendant at court, for he was unable to prevent the removal of his friend and ally Francis Wythens from the bench later the same month.98

As lord chancellor, Jeffreys was called upon to seal the Declaration of Indulgence and to arrange for it to be printed and published, and also to insert a dispensing clause into every commission of the peace and all other commissions and patents that were to be sealed by him in the future.99 In April 1687, when the Declaration of Indulgence had been issued, Jeffreys summoned Thomas Cartwright of Chester, Nathaniel Crew, bishop of Durham, Thomas Sprat, bishop of Rochester, Thomas White, bishop of Peterborough, and Samuel Parker, bishop elect of Oxford, to a meeting at his house at which he and Sunderland told them that the king expected an address of thanks from them for his care of the Church of England in the Declaration.100 In May he was again being tipped as lord lieutenant of Ireland.101 In June, as one of the ecclesiastical commissioners investigating the Magdalen college case, and in a fine display of the partiality that had come to be associated with him, he assured the vice-president of the college that ‘the commissioners would not be so hasty in adjudging him as he had been in disobeying and contemning the king’s authority’.102

In August 1687 Jeffreys was appointed lord lieutenant of Shropshire, and to the commission of lieutenancy for the City of London. He obtained the post of ranger of St James’s Park for his son in September and in November he became lord lieutenant of Buckinghamshire.103 He was still influencing decisions on the minutiae of public affairs: it was Jeffreys, for example, who advised on the crown’s response to a petition for the grant of a market in Old Soho, and another for a monopoly of printing musical books.104 Yet these apparent successes concealed the increasing fragility of his position at court. He was well aware that ‘as the Popish interest grows so his declines’.105 The proposed regulation of the corporations and revision of the commissions of the peace meant that the Tory allies that he had so carefully placed in office were now to be purged. His lack of enthusiasm for the task provoked accusations of failure that were orchestrated by Father Petre and his Catholic allies, even though Jeffreys had personally added some Catholic names to the lists of those being pricked for sheriffs. Although in mid-November he was added to the new commission for the inspection of offices (intended to regulate more general ‘offices, employments or preferments’ in a manner similar to the regulation of local government) his position was increasingly uneasy. Nevertheless he was reassured about his position after he had told the king that if he were to be dismissed as lord chancellor the country would no longer be safe for him.106 By the end of November he had regained some support by promising to get 30 or 40 lords to ‘a concurrence’ on the repeal of the Test Acts and penal laws, but since he was unable even to get agreement from the gentry of Buckinghamshire, it proved to be a very temporary return to favour.107

On 7 Jan. 1688 Jeffreys was called to a long interview with the king from which he emerged ‘so greatly disordered and discomposed’ that his friends concluded that he had been threatened with dismissal. His refusal to become a Catholic without some guarantee of retaining his position was a contributory factor to his fall from favour, since it implied a lack of trust in his sovereign; what was more important, however, was his lack of sympathy with the king’s new policies: ‘it cannot but be a pressure upon him to the very breaking of his heart to see the Tories thus depressed, and to see the Protestant Dissenters enjoy the liberty they now have’. The king had given him some £2,500 in new year’s gifts, but in anticipation of his removal from office Jeffreys cut back on his expenses by dismissing several servants.108 He was saved only by the intervention of Sunderland, whose isolation at court was such that he in turn had to call on the assistance of the queen.109 Jeffreys and Sunderland then tried unsuccessfully to interest the king in a new policy: using the judges in their travels on circuit ‘to dispose the country for the choice of a right Parliament’. Nevertheless Jeffreys’ renewed alliance with Sunderland seemed to have brought him back into favour; it certainly convinced Roger Morrice that a fresh attack on Dissenters was on the way.110 At the end of February Jeffreys was ordered to add schedules to each commission of the peace in order to facilitate future piecemeal alterations.111 He was still in a position to influence the distribution of offices and royal favour, and conducted a major reform of the Six Clerks’ Office in the court of chancery. When, in March 1688, Thomas Cartwright criticized Jeffreys and Sunderland ‘as not being true to their trust’ and giving ‘ill advice’, the king forced him to apologize.112

Later that month Jeffreys wrote a series of letters to the gentry and deputy lieutenants in Shropshire on the subject of the three questions. He did not give his own views, suggesting that to do so when the king had expressed his intentions so fully would be impertinent, but ‘humbly’ (and unsuccessfully) requested their compliance.113 He fared rather better in Buckingham. The borough had long been threatened with a quo warranto but was determined not to surrender its charter voluntarily. When Jeffreys learned that the mayor and aldermen had said ‘That the lord chancellor had got an hundred thousand pound by the rebellion, or by pardons &c that many an honester man had been hanged’ he seized the opportunity to bring them to heel with an action of scandalum magnatum. Imprisoned for four days while they found bail of £40,000, the mayor and aldermen were so terrified that they quickly agreed to surrender the charter in return for an end to the action.114 In August 1688 their new charter named Jeffreys as high steward.

In July 1688 Jeffreys’ merchant brother Thomas referred to him as having ‘his head … full of business and I fear his mind full of discontent’ and asked for information about his affairs. Even in Alicante he had heard about troubles at court: ‘I hear various reports of him, some that he stands as fast as ever, others that he is much declined at court and is abundantly uneasy and out of humour.’115 Jeffreys did have much to worry him, for his position was still precarious.116 He was said to have welcomed the acquittal of the seven bishops, partly because some of them were his friends, partly because it vindicated his own advice, and partly because it put his old rival William Williams in a bad light at court.117 Early in September he was named to the committee to superintend the forthcoming elections.118 By the end of the month the deteriorating political situation had led the king to reverse his earlier policies and order the restoration of those who had so recently been purged from local government office. Jeffreys received the king’s commands as ‘a matter of joy’ and ‘he spent that night in drinking healths and prosperity to the Tories’.119

Jeffreys’ surviving correspondence for September and October, meagre as it is, is sufficient to indicate that he was inundated with work arising from the task of restoring justices to the county commissions.120 He was also involved in regulating the bench of judges.121 On 4 Oct. he restored the City seal, carrying it hung on the boot of his coach so that it might be seen by the populace. According to one account, Jeffreys and the seal were ‘huzza’d in the streets’, but according to Roger Morrice the level of popular suspicion was too high to permit any rejoicing: ‘people said “There was the fellow that took away their charter, they could expect no good from him”’.122 Perhaps they were right, for in November, when the City attempted to elect a new common council, it was discovered that Jeffreys had taken care to ensure that a clause be inserted into the precept requiring candidates to forswear taking up arms against the king or seeking any alteration in government.123 The king granted him a free pardon on 12 October.124

Meanwhile Jeffreys was taking steps to settle his family affairs. His eldest daughter, Margaret, had been married to the son of his fellow lawyer Sir Thomas Stringer in a ceremony conducted by Sprat of Rochester, in October 1687. In July 1688 his eldest son, John Jeffreys, married Lady Charlotte Herbert, the 13-year-old daughter of Philip Herbert, the deceased 7th earl of Pembroke. Lady Charlotte was a substantial heiress, said to be worth £70,000. Unfortunately, her inheritance had been secured by a decision in chancery handed down by Jeffreys himself in the full knowledge of his son’s forthcoming marriage. Jeffreys of course denied any partiality, but his decision nevertheless provoked controversy, a series of appeals, and ultimately, long after Jeffreys’ death, a private act of Parliament. Lady Charlotte was also a Catholic, so the marriage identified Jeffreys even more closely in the public mind as a supporter of popery. On 7 Oct. 1688 he drew up a settlement for his daughters, appointing as their trustees Sir Robert Clayton, his younger brother Dr James Jeffreys, Henry Pollexfen, Thomas Colston, and Edward Jennings. On 25 Oct. he settled his estate at Bulstrode, naming Thomas White of Peterborough and Sir Thomas Bludworth as trustees.

By early December the political situation had deteriorated to such an extent that Jeffreys was forced to move with his goods from his house in Duke Street to Father Petre’s lodgings in Whitehall.125 He was said to have been angling for the post of governor of Jamaica in succession to the recently deceased Christopher Monck, 2nd duke of Albemarle, and in confirmation of his fall from power the benchers of the Inner Temple ordered the removal of his portrait from its prominent place in their hall.126 Although the king took the great seal from him shortly before his flight to Kent, Jeffreys stayed on transacting business in chancery, carrying an empty purse.127 It is not clear whether he was attempting a show of normality in order to cover the king’s flight, or whether, as Roger Morrice alleged, he genuinely believed that the king would not flee without him. As is well known he was arrested at Wapping as he attempted to secure a passage to Newcastle. He was said to have been trying to take 35,000 guineas with him.128 Those who captured him were careful to observe the legal niceties: they made no move until they had obtained a warrant for his arrest. He was taken first to the lord mayor and then to the Tower, guarded by three or four constables sitting with him in the coach and others alongside armed with blunderbusses and drawn swords or bayonets. They were not there to prevent his escape but to protect him from the crowd that rapidly assembled to witness his humiliation. Jeffreys, terrified of mob violence, kept putting his head out of the window to calm them, calling out ‘It is I. It is I. I am in your custody and at your mercy.’ ‘Thus’, remarked Roger Morrice with evident satisfaction, ‘the chancellor that vomited out such rude unmannerly and brutal language (that was a reproach to the bench on which he sat) … is a sad subject of counter passion and the mobile pour out the same vomit upon him.’129

There were great expectations of the confessions that Jeffreys might make, as well as fears that he might prove a rallying point for counter-revolution.130 When he applied for a habeas corpus, the judges ran for advice to the peers at Guildhall, ‘who told them they were not to direct them in their own business, but advised them to take notice he stood charged with high crimes and misdemeanours’.131 Jeffreys remained in the Tower. He had long been subject to periodic and painful bouts of ill health and, while these were undoubtedly exacerbated by his heavy drinking, it is also possible that he treated alcohol as a painkiller. Now he was reported to be drinking continually, sometimes consuming as much sherry and brandy in one day ‘to have killed 5 or 6 men’.132 He died in the Tower on 20 Apr. 1689 and was buried there, but his body was removed to St Mary’s Aldermanbury four years later. His will, drawn up just a few days before his death, provided an opportunity to make a last political statement as well as to settle his estate. He declared that,

I was in hopes notwithstanding my long indisposition of body I might by the blessing of almighty god have recovered so much strength as to have been able to vindicate myself if called to an account and made out that I never deserved to lie under the heavy censures I now do. I am sure I could have excused myself from having betrayed that Church whereof I have lived and die a member, I mean the Church of England which I take to be the best Church in the world and in the words of a dying man I declare I never contrived the ecclesiastical commission nor ever acted therein save in order to the service not overthrow of that Church.

His sons by his second wife having predeceased him, his only surviving son by his first wife, John Jeffreys, succeeded him as 2nd Baron Jeffreys.


  • 1 TNA, PROB 11/400.
  • 2 G.W. Keeton, Lord Chancellor Jeffreys and the Stuart Cause, 27–29, 33–34, 46–47.
  • 3 Ibid. 60–63.
  • 4 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iii. 357.
  • 5 North, Lives, i. 273–4.
  • 6 CSP Dom. 1675, pp. 27, 31.
  • 7 CBS, D/RA/1, 23, 27–32, 34–38, 40, 44–45; D/RA/2/29, 31–32.
  • 8 HMC 9th Rep. 451.
  • 9 HMC 7th Rep. 471.
  • 10 NLW, Wynn of Gwydir 2797; Keeton, Jeffreys, 122.
  • 11 POAS, ii. 351–5.
  • 12 Hattton Corresp. i. 198.
  • 13 CBS, D 135.
  • 14 CTB, vi. 524.
  • 15 CBS, D135/B3/1/3.
  • 16 North, Lives, i. 277; Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. 39; Bodl. Carte 241, f. 241.
  • 17 HMC Verney, 478; Bodl. Carte 243, f. 241.
  • 18 National Lib. of Wales Jnl. vi. 249–59.
  • 19 HP Commons, 1660–90, iii. 735.
  • 20 CSP Dom. 1680–1, p. 121; HMC 7th Rep. 479.
  • 21 An Account of the Injurious Proceedings of Sir G. Jeffreys … Sept. 16 1680 (1681?).
  • 22 North, Lives, i. 277n.
  • 23 HP Commons, 1660–90, iii. 245.
  • 24 HMC Ormonde, n.s. v, 485, 487–8.
  • 25 Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. 61.
  • 26 Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. 76, 80–83, 114.
  • 27 HMC 10th Rep. iv. 173; CSP Dom. 1680–1, pp. 509, 509, 516; Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. 132–3, 140–1.
  • 28 HP Commons, 1660–90, i. 314.
  • 29 Keeton, Jeffreys, 152–3, 190–201.
  • 30 Wood, Life and Times, iii. 31.
  • 31 Clarendon Corresp. i. 83; Add. 17017, f. 135.
  • 32 CSP Dom. 1683–4, p. 149.
  • 33 J. Scott, Algernon Sydney and the Restoration Crisis 1677–1683, 192–347.
  • 34 Stanford Law Review, xxxvii. pp. 661-765.
  • 35 CBS, D135/B2/1/7.
  • 36 CSP Dom. 1683–4, pp. 129, 207, 320; 1684–5, pp. 20, 41, 77, 80, 91.
  • 37 HP Commons, 1660–90, i. 153.
  • 38 CSP Dom. 1684–5, p. 45.
  • 39 HMC 7th Rep. 491.
  • 40 NLW, Wynnstay box 85/5.
  • 41 Wood, Life and Times, iii. 93–94.
  • 42 Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. 295.
  • 43 Wood, Life and Times, iii. 93–94.
  • 44 Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. 306.
  • 45 CSP Dom. 1683–4, pp. 62, 295–6, 303; Feb–Dec. 1685, pp. 119–20.
  • 46 Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. 307, 313.
  • 47 CSPD 1684–5, pp. 138–9, 142.
  • 48 Hatton Corresp. ii. 50.
  • 49 Halifax Letters, i. 426, 428; The Works of George Savile, Marquis of Halifax, ed. M. Brown, i. 51.
  • 50 Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. 325; HMC Egmont, ii. 143.
  • 51 HMC 7th Rep. 296.
  • 52 Burnet, iii. 60–61.
  • 53 Wood, Life and Times, iii. 133.
  • 54 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iii. 6, 10.
  • 55 HP Commons, 1660–90, ii. 564.
  • 56 HMC 7th Rep. 499.
  • 57 NLW, Wynnstay box 85/5.
  • 58 CBS, D 135/B1/3/1.
  • 59 Ibid.; CSP Dom. Feb–Dec. 1685, pp. 86, 137.
  • 60 Reresby Mems. 380.
  • 61 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iii. 57.
  • 62 Ibid. iii. 8.
  • 63 NLW, Clenennau 842.
  • 64 Luttrell, i. 343.
  • 65 HMC 5th Rep. 373.
  • 66 S. Schofield, Jeffreys of ‘The Bloody Assizes’, 288, n. 11; HMC Portland, iii. 387.
  • 67 HMC Buckinghamshire, 485–6.
  • 68 Ailesbury Mems. i. 121.
  • 69 CSP Dom. Feb.–Dec. 1685, p. 331.
  • 70 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iii. 157.
  • 71 TNA, E 134/25&26Chas2/Hil15.
  • 72 Keeton, Jeffreys, 318–20.
  • 73 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iii. 34; HMC Portland, iii. 388.
  • 74 J The Revolution of 1688–1689: Changing Perspectives, ed. L.G. Schwoerer, 218–33.
  • 75 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iii. 52.
  • 76 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iii. 35.
  • 77 CSP Dom. Feb.–Dec. 1685, p. 323.
  • 78 CBS, D135/B1/5/1–2, B2/1/8.
  • 79 Add. 15893, ff. 182, 322.
  • 80 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iii. 39, 42; iv. 41.
  • 81 CBS, D 135/B1/1/1–14; D 135/B1/2/1–27.
  • 82 CBS, D 135/B1/1/4; D 135/B1/1/10; D 135/B1/2/7.
  • 83 Ailesbury Mems. i. 132–5.
  • 84 HMC Lords, ii. 406–7.
  • 85 CBS, D135/B2/1/6; Add. 62453, ff. 39–42; Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. 369; Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iii. 82.
  • 86 Kenyon, Sunderland 133.
  • 87 HMC Downshire, i. 187.
  • 88 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iii. 157.
  • 89 Kenyon, Sunderland, 118–19.
  • 90 HMC Downshire, i. 189.
  • 91 CBS, D 135/B2/1/4; D 135/B2/1/5.
  • 92 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iii. 135, 144, 148.
  • 93 HMC Downshire, i. 182.
  • 94 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iii. 149.
  • 95 Morrice, Entring Bk. iii. 104-5, 109, 111, 133, 139, 155; Politics and the political imagination in later Stuart Britain ed. H Nenner, 43-73; Archives xxxiv, no.120 (2009), 42-51.
  • 96 Wood, Life and Times, iii. 193; Cartwright Diary, 2; HMC 7th Rep. 500.
  • 97 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iii. 222–3; HMC Downshire, i. 210–11.
  • 98 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iii. 265, 295, 316, 346; iv. 19–21, 26.
  • 99 CSP Dom. Jan. 1686–May 1687, pp. 403, 408.
  • 100 Cartwright Diary, 47–48.
  • 101 Ellis Corresp. i. 298.
  • 102 Cartwright Diary, 59–60.
  • 103 HMC Downshire, i. 268.
  • 104 CSP Dom. June 1687–Feb. 1689, pp. 93, 106.
  • 105 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iv. 107.
  • 106 UNL, PwA 2103.
  • 107 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iv. 183, 190.
  • 108 Ibid. iv. 204, 215; HMC Downshire, i. 285–6.
  • 109 Kenyon, Sunderland, 176.
  • 110 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iv. 218, 225–7.
  • 111 CSP Dom. June 1687–Feb. 1689, pp. 152.
  • 112 Ibid. 156, 173–4, 203, 211, 228; Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iv. 248, 250–1.
  • 113 NLW, Clenennau 867.
  • 114 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iv. 271; HMC Portland, iii. 408.
  • 115 Keeton, Jeffreys, 37–39.
  • 116 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iv. 296.
  • 117 Burnet, ii. 443; HMC Portland, iii. 410.
  • 118 HMC Laing, i. 458.
  • 119 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iv. 313.
  • 120 CBS, D135/B1/4/1–15.
  • 121 HMC Dartmouth, i. 168.
  • 122 Ibid. i. 143–4; Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iii. 319–20.
  • 123 Morrice, Entring Bk. iv. 353.
  • 124 CSP Dom. June 1687–Feb. 1689, p. 312.
  • 125 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iv. 363; Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. 481; HMC Hastings, ii. 201–2.
  • 126 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iv. 366, 369.
  • 127 HMC Buckinghamshire, 453–4.
  • 128 HMC 5th Rep. 324.
  • 129 Hatton Corresp. ii. 125; Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iv. 386–7.
  • 130 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iv. 395, 426; HMC 5th Rep. 325; HMC Buckinghamshire, 456.
  • 131 London Mercury, 24–27 Dec. 1688.
  • 132 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iv. 479; v. 91.