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The author happened^ in the presence of a 
friend^ to hint his intention of writing this life, 
when the latter instantly took the alarm, and 
exclaimed^ ^' Why, you surely are not going to 
whitewash Judge Jeflreys ?" The author said, he 
certainly could not think of justifying that lawyer 
upon every occasion, whose character was, upon 
the whole, none of the best ; but that he saw 
no reason why even such a man as Jeffreys 
might not have had some good qualities, as well 
as others. 

Now, most will agree that this is a fair prin< 
ciple, not at all inapplicable to human nature ; 
and, upon investigating the subject, some very 
redeeming traits soon showed themselves, bright- 
ening up with admirable lustre the conduct of 
a man who has been denounced by Protestant 


writers^ people of his own creeds as the most 
wicked of mortals. Were all the histories un- 
impeachable which profess to speak of him, and 
the anathemas against him as prompt in their 
fulfilment as in their descent from the pens of 
ripe and ready writers, surely he might beg 
from the Catholics a place in their purgatory, 
and count it indeed a felicitous atonement for 
his misdeeds. 

But really it would be as absurd to predicate 
of any person that he is entirely vicious, as that 
we should desire to see Jeffreys at the head of 
the King's Bench now, instead of the excellent 
and patient judge who presides there. At the 
same time, we are far from advising parents to 
recommend the example of Sir George Jeffreys 
to their children. Heaven grant that our country 
may be for ever free from such tyranny as his ; 
and that whoever ventures to make him a pat- 
tern may be impeached, and soon hanged, or 
beheaded, as may suit ! All we say is, that 
whenever a cloud is spread over the political 
horizon, some needy adventurer will appear, 
ready to serve every turn ; and that it is, never- 
theless, the province of such as are pleased to 
record his actions, to give him fair mieasure, 
good as well as evil report. For were it other- 
wise, it need only be said of any one, as Bur- 


net did of Jeffreys, that . he is '' scandalously 
vicious;'* and the terms monster, tyrant, ruffian, 
a cohort of abuse, a condemnation full and 
universal^ would be poured forth against him, 
without the scantiest endeavour to point out the 
true sources of his errors ; so that others would 
never be the wiser, or better enabled to shun 
them. If an inquiry be once set on foot, there 
are kindly qualities even in the worst of men : 
the depraved and degenerate (as some are 
called) will often, in their mood, achieve gene- 
rous and noble deeds which the excellent of the 
earth have seldom contemplated, so sternly is 
the Divine Image, all over beautiful and lovely, 
stamped upon us. But, had the author even in- 
dulged in panegyric, the character of Jeffreys 
would not have been the first, no, nor yet the 
worst, which a solitary writer might have dared 
to ennoble in the face of all others who have 
agreed in an united theme of execration. 

What said the philosopher Seneca of Claudius 
Caesar? Consoling Polybius, the emperor's 
freedman, for the loss of a brother, he writes : — 
'' Since you are so anxious to banish all things 
from your memory, think on Caesar : see what 
faithfulness, what diligence you owe him, for 
his partiality. It is his watchfulness which 
guards the dwellings of all ; his labour the ease 


of all, his industry the luxuries of all, his occur 
pation the repose of all. Add now, that as you 
ever hold Csesar to be more dear to you than 
your own soul ; it is not right, whilst Geesar is 
safe, to repine at fortune." * 

This was the great philosopher who so far 
scorned the world, as to declare, that there was 
great pleasure in the very article of death ; and 
yet he wasted much such lavish praise upon a 
drivelling idiot. 

But not to harass the reader ; does not our 
own historian, George Buck, speak feelingly for 
Crook-back'd Richard? "There is no story 
that shows the planetary affections and malice 
of the vulgar," says the panegyrist, *' more 
truly than King Richard's, and what a tickle 
game kings have to play with them ; though his 
successor, Henry VII. played his providently 
enough (with help of the standers-by) ; yet even 
those times both groaned and complained, but 
had not the sting and infection of King Richard^s 

' Cum voles omnium rerum oblivifici, cogita Caesarem : 
vide quantam hujus in te indulgentiae fidem> quantam indiis- 
triam debeas. Omnium domps illius vigilia defendit, cm* 
nium otium illius labor, omnium delicias illius industria, 
omnium vacationem illius occupatio. — Adjice nunc, quod 
cum semper pnedices cariorem tibi spiritu tuo Csesarem esse, 
fas tibi non est, salvo Csesare, de fortune queri« 


adversaries, who did not only contend with 
his immortal parts, but raked his dust, to 
find and aggravate exceptions in his grave/' — 
" Julius CeBsar/' continues he, " was, and ever 
will be, reputed a wise and a great captain, 
although his emulation cost an infinite quantity 
of human blood. He thought crimen sacrum 

If right for ought may e'er be violate. 
It must be only for a sovereign state. 

And again : " He wore the crown at Bosworth," 
says Polidore, " thinking that day should either 
be the last of his life, or the first of a better ; 
but whatever was his mystery, it rendered him 
a confident and valiant master of his right." 

Indeed, one might at this day be emboldened 
to ask — ^What had become of Richmond's me- 
mory, if he had fallen down slain in Bosworth- 
field, and, like Richard, had been 

Dragg'd by the hair to hostile swords a prey. 
And slain with barbarous wounds ? 

What had been told us of Augustus, if he had 
died less than Emperor of Rome ? What of our 
Jeffreys, on the other hand, if the army at 
Salisbury had stood faithful to King James ; or 
the Lord Dartmouth, blest with auspicious 


winds, had attacked the Dutch fleet, ere the 
Prince of Orange had landed at Torbay ? 

But it is for the public to judge: to their 
mercy we leave the great Chief Justice, and go 
on at once, lest some Christopher Sly should 
peep out, and say, " A good matter surely : 
come there any more of it? Would it were 
done !" When the answer must be, " My lord, 
'tis but begun." 



Birth and parentage of Jeffreys — Hiv love of Bplendour 
— Anecdote — Goes to school at Shrewsbury, St. Paul's free- 
school^ and to Westminster — Recollection of Busby— Jef- 
freys a lawyer against his father's consent — His remark- 
able dream — He is entered of the Inner Temple — Sir 
Geoffiry Palmer, attorney-general to Charles II. — Stu- 
dies of Jefftejs — His love of the bottle — He is the zeal- 
ous supporter of the democratic faction, who encourage him 
and assist him ¥rith money . . page 1 


Jeffreys pleads at Kingston at the age of eighteen, two 
years before he is called to the bar — Paucity of lawyers — 
Boldness of his carriage — His clear enunciation — Ingenious 
artifice to obtain briefs — Cross-examining — Disinterested mo- 
tive of Jeffreys' marriage with the kinswoman of tlie heiress 
whom he first courted — Amiable temper of his wife. Lady 
Sarah — He receives countenance from a namesake. Alder- 
man Jeffreys — He is appointed common-serjeant — His bkis- 


tering to conceal a bribe — ^Jeffreys betrays the democrats, 
and accedes to the court party — Friendship with Chiffinch, 
the King's page — Jeffreys, recorder of London, owes his 
advancement to political tergiversation . page 16 


Jefireys, now a widower, espouses the daughter of a former 
lord mayor — " The Westminster Wedding ;*' lampoon upon 
the Town Mouth, or Recorder Jeffreys — ^The King's Psalter, 
question of literary piracy — Sir Edmondbury Godfrey — 
Trial of the Jesuit Coleman — The recorder's commisera- 
tion of the papists he condemns— Really inimical to the 
Catholics — The sermon-house at Canterbury — Jeffreys de- 
fends Dangerfield — Cases of libel — Maxims of Jeffreys on 
this head — Jurymen ignore a bill against Smith; violence 
and subtlety of the recorder foiled — Jeffreys is made Ser- 
jeant, chief justice of Chester, and a baronet — Duke of 
York's claims of profits of the new penny-post — Mr. Dockra 
— Baron Weston's reproof of Jeffreys in court — Lord Dela- 
mere's severe charge against Jeffreys, as a Welsh judge — 
His brothers. Sir Thomas Jeffreys and Dr. Jeffreys — The 
question as to Petitions — Jeffreys is accused of obstructing 
the voice of the people — Subsequent censure of Sir George 
Jeffreys on his knees at the bar of the House of Commons 
— He is constrained to resign the oflSce of recorder of 
London — George Treby elected recorder — Case of Verdon; 
his wit in his own defence . • • . page 36 


Situation and new prospects of Jeffreys — He refuses to 
admit dissenters oi^-the grand jury — ^Trial of Fitzharris — 


Colledge, the joiner^ tried — Witticiamfl of Jeffreys — Elec- 
tion of die city aheriffii — Dudley North elected — Aocovnt 
of Sir Edmund Sanderv — Judge Jones — The fiw WHorrmmi^ 
judgment — ^Trial of Piikington for a riot — ^Anecdote of Dare, 
the petitioner — Some account of Sir Thomas Bhidwoffth, and 
tfie fire of London — ^The Rye-house plot — Sir Francis Pem- 
berton — Conduct of Jeffreys on the trial of Lord William 
Ruflsel pace 8S 


Sir George Jeffreys appointed lad chief jliLi of tlie 
's Bench — ^The trial of Algemon Sidaey — ^Poiats of 
law oTermled by the jadge — Intrepid and talented defeace 
made by Sidney — ^Exasperalioa of the chief jattioe — BIAop 
Burnet's inYective against Jefteys — Chssiader of him by 
North— Wit of a gray-beaid dkeded againat the judge 
Williams, the speaker of the Commons, fined — BMEctiag 
between the chief Jifetioe and Mr. Ward— His severity ia 
restraints upon cMdsei — His treatment of mnriUiag wit* 
neoes-^He is suttBKHied to be a aMmber of the cabinet — 
The Lord Ke^ier Guilford's aneasiaem in hsiiag Um for a 
eoUeagae— He addranes the King^Loid AaiHbid reaisto 
the chief jmtice's iatercession — Jeffreys decidedly n Pto- 
testant— Trial of Mr. RoeeweD— Ganenms application of 
Sir John Talbot to the Kii« for Roaewell's pardon— Con- 
tests of the chief justice and Lord Guilfoid — Anccdotrs 
Death of Charles II. — Monmouth and the liberal p«uty — 
Jeffreys's elevation to the peerage — ^Titns Gates tried for 
perjury — His sentence^— Sir Bartholomew Shower — ^Legal 
acquirements of Jeffreys discussed — East India monopoly — 
Lady Ivy's ease — Richard Baxter, the nonconformist — Gc- 
casionfll forbearance of Judge Jeffreys page 114 


tuperation of the fallen chancellor at the time of his impri* 
sonnient — His good and ill qualities — His splendid talents 
— Attainder of Jeffreys and his heirs attempted — His landed 
possessions — His portrait by Sir Godfrey Kneller — Some 
account of his son, John, Lord Jefireys — Fakk supposed to 
have been written by him^— He espouses a daughter of the 
Earl of Pembroke — Conclusion . page 366 





Birth and pareotage ot Jeffreys — His love of splendour — Anecdote 
— Goes to school at Shrewsbni^y Si. Panl's free-scfaooff, and to 
Westtniastor^-AeceilDctioii otBn^f-^Mteiy^ alaivyeni^Mt 
his father^ consent— His remarkable dreani — He U entered of 
the Inner Temple — Sir Geoffry Palmer, attorney-general to 
Charles If.— Sindies of Jeffreys— His loYe of the bottle— He is 
fbe sedoiui napparlcr #f die democrwlicfafiliaa, wJio eaiMMirafe 
him and assist bim with monej, 

George Jeffreys was the sixth son of John 
JeflTerys, E^. of Atton/ near Wrexham, in iJie 

^ Now the property of Sir Foster Cunliffe, Bart Aeton 
liad beem for a long time in the family: and Pennant 
IS pleaaed to tell us of the obloquy which must have fiallen on 
the race of Jeffreys, by the production of the chancellor, after 
it had so long run uncoataminated froia an ancient stock. 



county of Denbigh, by Margaret^ daughter of 
Sir Thomas Ireland/ Knight, of Bewsey, in the 
County Palatine of Lancaster, and was bom at 
his father's house about the year 1648. 

His paternal grandfather was a judge of North 
Wales (though some call him a justice of peace 
for that principality), and claimed on his father's 
side a descent from Tudor Trevor, Earl of 

John Je£freys,^ the father, was held to be a 
gentleman in his neighbourhood ; and although 
his estate was not large, he lived contentedly 
upon his fortune, improving it by industry and 
frugality, till, having gained the good- will of his 
acquaintance, he obtained so good a recommen- 
dation to his intended wife, through a person of 
some inte^rest who knew him, as to win her hand 
irery successfully. HVliether, as some have said, 
he indulged a niggardly and covetous disposition, 
or was, according toothers, prudent and economi- 
cal (for men differ somewhat as to the bouftds be- 
tween thriftiness and parsimony), it is admitted 
that he was a cautious and careful housekeeper, 

' Probkbly of Chray's ftm, kad the saitie who abridged 
€[1eTen books of Lord Cokeys Reports, and tlite Reports of 
CKief Justice Dyer. 

* The original name of the family wus Jefferys^ although 
the chanceRor wrote Ids name Jeffireys. 


that he pros[Sered on the fruits of his exertions, 
and lived iti peace and happiness with hiid 
partner at home. But he wsus decidedly a foe 
to extravagance; and we will here give an 
instance of the dislike which he bore to that 
fashionable vice. When his son George had sup* 
planted that good old cavalier, iSir Job Charlton, 
in the chief-justiceship of Chester, he thought 
to dazzle his old companions and the unassuming 
natives of his birth-place with the splendour of 
his new i^tate. Accordingly, he purposed a visit 
to his father, and went forth with a train so nu- 
inetous, that the cider-barrels ran very fest, and 
the larder was in a state of perpetual exhaustion : 
on which the old gentleman put himself into 
such a fret, that he charged his son with a de- 
sign to ruin him, by bringing a whole country 
at his heels, and bade him never attempt the like 
prodigality with hopes of success. The reverend 
old man lived to a very considerable age, having 
witnessed his son's eminence and downfall ; but 
he ever withheld his sanction from those arbi- 
trary measures which the chancellor pursued. 
Pennant saw a likeness of him at Acton House, 
taken in the year 1690, in the eighty-second year 
of his age. 

George, who, were we writing romance, would 
be called the hero of these pages, showed very 
early that prompt address and activity which 


were the causes of his rising: he was always 
striving for the mastery over his young compa- 
nions ; and, although he inherited no ambition 
from his parents, he was indebted to their dili- 
gence for the improvement of his enterprising 

When yet very young, he was sent to the free- 
school at Shrewsbury, where he remained some 
time, we are told, not without credit ; and on his 
leaving that place, it appears to have been the 
wish of his father that he should have settled to 
some trade, for he had already evinced proofs 
of a dispositicm far from tractable. This sober 
career, however, would have been a sad check 
to the untameable spirit of Jeffreys: no fatherly 
admonitions would, probably, have hindered him 
from becoming the idle apprentice ; and he cer- 
tainly possessed talents and propensities, which, 
had he been kept in an inferior station, might 
have procured him his quietus in those turbulent 
times much sooner than the ambitious bearing 
of his elevated fortunes. It seems as though 
his mind was instinctively bent upon aggran- 
disement; and he was so fortunate as to discover, 
youthful as he was, the importance of learning 
and information : he is, therefore, described as 
being addicted to study ; so it was determined 
to give him the benefit of a superior education 
at St. Paul's free-school. Here he acquired a 


fair proficiency in the learned languages ;' and 
he iml»bed also in this place that fondness fw 
the profession of the law, which led him to fix 
on it as his future destiny. He afterwards went 
to Westminster school, then under the care of 
Dt. Busby, whose rod bears as high a character 
as his learning/ Of his improvement here we 
have no account ; but many years afterwards he 
showed that he had not forgotten his old school- 
master, nor the knowledge of grammar he had 
acquired. On the trial of Rosewell, the dissenting 
minister, there was a little conversation about the 
relative and the antecedent on an objection taken 
to the indictment; and Jeffreys, the chief jus- 
tice^ referring to a treasonable sentence charged 

' Not, as has been said, under the care of Dr. 6iU. 
There were two Gilb, father and son, sucoessively tnniteis of 
St. Pattl's school ; but the last was remoTed from his situa- 
tion in 1635, and died in 1642, before the birth of Jeffreys. 
John Langley was the next, and he died much beloved by 
his scbolais in 1657. He was sacceeded by Sanvel Ctom- 
leholme, or Crumlum, who, from his ^oquaiataiice with 
iaogua^pes, obtained the name of nohvyhmrm,* and under 
him, young Jefireys probiably received his education. St. 
Panl's school was burnt in his time. , 

* There was another George Jeffipeys, a lawyer, who was 
bom at WeUon, in NofthamptomUre, and who went to 
that aohooL He died in 1756, at the age of 77. 

* M«Dy-ionga«d. 


to have been delivered by the prisoner from his 
pulpit, aaid — '' 1 think it must be taken to be an 
entire speech, and you lay it in the indictment to 
be 30, and then the relative must go to the last 
antecedent, or else Dr. Busby (that so long ruled 
in Westminster school) taught me quite wrong ; 
and who had tried most of the grammars extant, 
and used to lay down that as a positive rule, that 
the relative must refer to the next antecedent." ' 
His desire Uxr forensic debate was, however, 
very far from being agreeable at home: often 
and earnestly was he entreated by his father to 
desist from a pursuit which savoured too much 

* The words were — ** We have had two wicked kings 
together, who have permitted popery to enter in under their 
noses, whom we can resemble to no other person than to the 
moit #ioked Jeroboam > and that if they wouhi stand to their 
principles, he did not fear hut they woaM overcome their 
ettemies, as in former times, with rams' horns, broken platters, 
Mid a stone in a sling." 

And this is the observation of the lord chief justice : 
** Stfppose yon were to speak it in fingiish, Mr. SolicitxMr*' 
(iBdictiiients were ihen^ifawn in Latin)-^^ Now we k^ye had 
two widced kingps together, who have suffered popery tooome 
in under their noses (meanhig the iate king and 4his)-*4here 
porkape the imendo is sensible, and no dovbt of it; then he 
mast mean them : bat to say. If they will stand to their pan- 
ciples, they shall overoome their enemies; pray to ^hom 
does that WAey' relate r 


af amlHtion to please a retired country gentle* 
man ; and when all dissuasions were found to be 
unavaUable, the signal of yielding to his wishes 
was a gentle pat upon the back, aecompanied by 
these; words : *' Ah, Geofge, Gewge, I fear tlioii 
wilt die with thy shoes and stockings on«" Surely 
the prophecy would haire been aecomplished, 
but &r the chancellor s sudden death in the 
Tower« Some have said, that this legal impulsd 
arose from a dream which the ambitious boy 
had whilst at this pphool. The substance of it 
was, that '* he should be the chief schdar there, 
and should aftf^rwards enmh himself by study 
and industry, and that he should come to be 
the second man in the kingdom ; but in conclu* 
9ion, should fall into great disgrace and miisiery.'^ 
This he toid, wh^n be came to the chancelloi^ 
ship : jaeyer imagining that the last part of it 
ppuld pos^bly befall him* But whatever might 
have been his vapourings after hi« elev^dJon, ^ 
9iuch inop^ probable reason may be assigae<i 
ffx hi^ decision. 

The profit^ of the law were greatly dim^^sb^4 
during the broils of the civil wars, and thft 
steady c^r^ful jtimeii of the Commonwealth ; hvf^ 
no sooner had the new system of t^ingfi boe^ 
eatal^ishedf th^ the business pf the counsel)pr« 
reviv^ : they b^g^n to set up thftir equi|^@s» 


and to make a splendid «how of the improved 
fortune which had befallen them; and this^ 
doubtless^ excited a youth who was never back^^ 
ward to discover the bright side of human life, 
and who, being without an estate himself, was 
thus stimulated by the hopes of acquiring one. 

With all his constancy, Jeffireys needed one 
essential towards the prosecution of that pursuit 
which he had marked out for himself, and that 
was the main-spring and engine of all human 
action — ^money. His Neither, encumbered with 
a large family, could scarcely have afforded as^ 
distance to his younger son, had he confcHmed 
himself to the manners of his home ; much less 
would he create- the means to promote an end so 
hostile to his feelings. And, perhaps, it had 
been happy for the state-prisoners of after-times, 
if this aspiring youngster had been without 
another relation : — ^but it happened, that he was 
liot only blessed with a fond grandmother, but 
had either so far insinuated himself into her 
good graces, or recommended himself to her 
pride, that she came forward with an annuity of 
forty pounds for him ; and when his father found 
this to be the case, he did not scruple ten 
|K>unds a year more for decent clothing. Not- 
Ifrithstanding all these pushing efforts, he never 
bad the benefit of an University education. 


He was entered of the Inner Temple, May 
19, 1663; and, in an obscure apartment, com* 
menced a stndy of the municipal law very dili« 
gently : while, at the same time, his pectmiary 
means were such, as to call upon his best wits 
for subsistence in a profession which bore a dis- 
tinguished character for gentility. Templars of 
the present day can have a better idea of this 
dull lodging than of most ancient buildings ; for, 
without the aid of Sir Walter's lively colouring, 
they can behold the v^ry original of dulness in 
many oomers of the learned spot which they 
peo|de so thickly* Roger North, therefore, finds 
easy credit, wlhen he applauds the good fortune 
of his relative ' in coming into Sir €reoffry Pal- 
mer's* chambers, which were very commodious ; 

' The JiOid Keeper. 

^ Geofiry Palmer was of Carlton in NorUiamptonflhire. 
He was a very considerable lawyer, and Uie first attorney- 
general after the Restoration. He was employed against the 
unfortunate Earl of Strafford ; and fn Noyember, 1648, was 
sent to the Tower for opposing '' the Chrand Remonstrance/' 
after wUeh he retired into Oxfordshire. In May, 1655, he 
was again imprisoned, on snspicion of being concerned in a plot 
against the Protector; and, we are told by a facetious writer, 
Ihat he never could be persuaded to write Oliver any other*> 
wise d»n with a litde o. In 1660 he was knighted, made 
attorney to the King, and chief justice of Chester; and on 
the 7th of June, in the same year, a baronet. His wife was 

)0 MDMOiaS OF 

haying a gallery, and at the end a closet, with a 
little garden. Here Sir Francis North could 
tqm about, and walk and talk with a friend: a 
situaticm so eligible, that a few more such would 
brighten up the countenance of many a recluse 
of this day. 
The sajfing of Juvenal — 

Magnis virtutibus obetat 
Res angusta dpmi — ' 

seems most applicable, where the sufferer is of 
a modest and retiring habit ; but fails of its point, 
when poverty drives forth the man of pleasantry 
and humour to seek the pleasures of society, 
and makes hfan acquire by his ingenuity an 
access to those festivities he would vainly dream 
of in his domestic solitude. Jeffreys was not 
the man to sit silently in his chs^ber^ either 

Margaret, dafigl^ter of Sir Francis I^pore, qerjei^nt-aMaw, of 
Fawley, Berl|», by i^rho^ he had four nfmn and two daug^tef^ 
He died, Mi^y 6, 16V0« at Pampetead, ^ad 73, and was in« 
terredji Ipavipg first lain hi state ii| th^ M juddle Tqiiib)^ Hf^ 
with gi[eat funeral honan^s* It was to ii cultivated ^ends!|ip 
with If^ifffwAt the fourth son of Sif Oeo^, that the Lpid 
I^eep^r North owed ai^ introduction to thf^ feunily of that 
grei^t pl^^Mler, |n4 ffuch of his subsequent good fortune. 
' " 91^ ngeii worthy by poverty deprest'' 



mourniqg over the depths of the law, or indulg- 
ing in that paradise of anticipplion the advent of 
clients : he was out and abroad in season and 
put of season ; grave with the grave, and dieerful 
with the gay. 

Mo0t pro^bly he was never a profound law.- 
yer ; and these holiday-makings were certainly 
obstacles to the attainment of a difficult science, 
Bot there were other reasons which diverted 
him from a course (^perpetual application-r-pther 
temptations which fell in w^h his ardent dispo- 
sition, 9»(i easily seduo^ him from his ^bode of 

Th^ tide of fM)p»viviali^y hs4 now atxongly oet 
«n : to refuse the social glass wo^ld hfiye been to 
co^rt the m9rtyrdom of jPjintimisip : every conn* 
tenanfse was lifted up by the neinr-born hilari- 
ties of the IWstoration — ey^ heairt felt reUeved 
from the stern auptenties €i the rej^blicwi tyr 
rant ; and this change agreed exactly with the 
temper of our promising student, ^e w^ now 
in a condition to consider every frc^e dinner as a 
boon of the fijrsjt oider, and was ^ery w^ing in 
return to ienliven the entertainment with his 
jests -and saHies. Indeed, he was not the first 
student who has readily deserted his apartment 
to become an animated and wel^pme member of 
the ch^rful board ; or who has Ibrgotten to re* 


tarn thither when summoned to the drawing- 
room, where his wit and address have made him 
equally a favourite. 

Yet these freedoms with Littleton and Coke, 
truly hostile as they must be to the character of 
a black-letter scholar, are calculated to give 
the man who ventures on them an enlarged ac- 
quaintance with the world; and when a man 
has determined to push his fortune unaided by 
interest or influence, how much is done by ef- 
frontery, and a certain easy indifference to the 
rules by which others are governed, and abide ! 
These last qualities were eminently possessed 
by Mr. Jeffreys ; they accorded remarkably with 
his versatile genius, which seldom failed to take 
advantage of a beneficial change, or make any 
sacrifice consistent with personal advancement. 

The following whimsical lines are to be found 
in an old poem, called *' Jeffrey's Elegy.** 

" I very well remember, on a night. 
Or rather on the peep of morning light. 
When sweet Aurora, with a smiling eye, 
CaU'd up the birds to wonted melody, — 

. Dull Morpheus with his weight upon me leant ; 
Half-waking, and yet sleeping, thus I dreamt. 
M ethought I saw a lawy^ at his book. 
Studying Pecunia, but never Cooke ; 
He scorned Littleton and Plowden too. 
With mouldy authors he'd have nought to do/' 

JUDGE J£FFR£rs. 13 

It might have been supposed, that as 
lawyer was launched upon the world at the time 
when regal glories, were rerivedi he would have 
lost no opportunity of proving himself a steady 
loyalist, and more especially a)s an indttlgenoe 
in unrestrained pleasure was familiar with the 
career which he proposed for himself. But al- 
though the public voice was in favour of royalty^ 
a host of discontented sufferers, angry republic 
cans, and disaffected persons remained, to whom 
rest seemed a burthen, and tranquiUity a crime. 
This is not the place for us to eater, into the 
reasons oi this disgust: it is sufficient to say 
that their labours were unceasing to procure 
converts to their cause ; that their enbourage*- 
ment when they had found a partisan was no 
less abundant; and that, amongst the society 
which they had thus zealously drawn tc^ther, 
the needy and ambitious Jeffreys was numbered. 
He bad now the means of turning his insinuating 
address to an excellent account; and he soon 
gained access to the chief of the party, with 
whom he so fully ingratiated himsdf, as to leave 
a convicticm df his capacity and readiness to fur-* 
ther their designs. Nor was he backward to 
perceive, that a great impression had been made 
by his blustering forwardness ; and that their 
patronage would, at that moment, be of incal- 


14 MEMOlks ol^* 

^uiable benefit to a beginner at the bar, to 
whom the Uhited efforts bf a fectioh, hoWeVer 
obtidxious or iheonsiderable, V^ould be far pi'e- 
ferable to the obecutity in which, uncohhected 
ftd he Was, he might expetit for soine time to be 

But this wai^ not all : the difficulties of his 
peicuaiary means ' Were ever present with him ; 
and what scruples could be found sufficient to 
deter a licentious adventurer from pursuing A 
course likely to extricate him fVom the pressure 
tif want, ahd give fVee play to his lujcbries ? 
Todenfs like his Were not to be monopoli2ed 
without a speedy return fdr the services they 
rendered ; and thus he soon became a caressed 
and cherished pensioner upon his new friends : 
hts allowance was no longer a source of appre* 
hension : if he felt any anxiety, it was to display 
all possible zeal and energy in the cause of those 
who were so bountifully feeding him. 

Thus, he would talk, write, or fight for them 
if required ; and it is further related of him, that, 
in the hour of revelry, he would drink on his 
knees the most approved toasts among the mal- 

* His must have been at this time a perpetual '' pecuniary 
crisis/' • 

* Hie cant word during the grett commercial panic of 182S and 18i6. 

contents, which, as may be conjectured, were 
not a little treasonable : so that there quickly 
sprang from the rustic brood of a Welsh gentle- 
man, a champion armed at all points for the 
destruction of kingly power. 



Jeffreys pleads at Kingston at the age of eighteen, two years before 
bo is called to the bar — Paucity of lawyers — Boldness of his 
carriage — His clear enunciation — Ingenious artifice to obtain 
brieis — Cross-examining — Disinterested motive of Jeffreys* 
marriage with the kinswoman of the heiress whom he first courted 
— Amiable temper of his wife. Lady Sarah — He receiyes counte- 
nance from a namesake, Alderman Jeffreys — He is appointed 
common-seijeant — His bluslering in concealment of a bribe — 
Jeffreys betrays the democrats, and accedes to the court party — 
Friendship with Chiffinch, the King's page — Jeffreys, recorder 
of London, owes bis advancement to political tergiversation. 

It has been asserted, that the young aspirant 
was never called regularly to the bar ; whilst, 
according to others, he performed the exercises 
allotted to students, and, having complied with 
the customs of his Inn, was published in the 
ordinary way, if we except his being promoted 
over the heads of elder graduates through the 
interest which he made with the benchers. 
Perhaps this irregularity was alleged against 
him in after-times, when every tale to his dis- 
credit met doubtless with a ready believer ; but 
the origin of the report may be traced beyond 
question to his conduct at Kingston assizes, 


during the plague. There, when the hearts of 
many, and amongst others those of the counsel- 
lors, were failing them, by reason of the neighbour- 
ing calamity, this youth, although but eighteen, 
put a gown upon his back and began to plead ; 
and although he continued to act as an ad- 
vocate continually from that time, it is certain 
that he was not called to the bar until two years 
afterwards ; and he was probably admitted to 
speak upon that emergency, from the imprac- 
ticability of inquiring into his qualification, 
which, on his own part, so far from denying, 
he most probably vehemently asserted . Indeed, 
the lawyers had been of late so much thinned 
by the calamities of civil war and pestilence, 
that the number of admittances at Gray's Inn 
had decreased from the usual quantity of one 
hundred and upwards, to a number nearly as 
low as fifty ; on which account, a daring inter- 
loper might enter the field with a success to 
which in ordinary times he would have been 
utterly a stranger. 

However gloomy the early days of Jeffreys's 
noviciate might have been, he could not be said 
to have embarked as an advocate without sup- 
port ; for he was backed in the first instance by 
the active confederacy, whose organ he had been. 
The party had been delighted with his zeal for 


them, had foretold his future success, and ap^ 
plauded the choice of his profession ; and they 
now combined to give him their united confi- 
dence and interest. 

It was at Guildhall, Hickes's Hall, and before 
inferior couf ts, that he first essayed his powers ; 
and these he at first preferred to Westminster, 
by reason of the frequency of their sittings, and 
the comparative ease which attended the dis- 
patch of business there ; and there is good rea- 
son to believe that he went the home circuit. 

He was of a bold aspect, and cared not for 
the countenance of any man: his tongue wais 
voluble ; his words audible, and clearly under- 
stood;' and he never spared any which were at 
all likely to assist his client.^ These advantages 

' The following testimony to his loud voice took plac^ at 
the trial of Sir Patience Ward for perjury. It tv^as neces- 
sary to call people as witnesses who had heard Sir Patience 
give evidence at a former trial, and among these was Mr. 

Mr. Serjeant Jeffreys to Northey-^" You heard my 
question, when I said to him his bvention was hetter than 
his memory ; upon your bath, ujpon what occasion was it ?'' 

Mr. Northey — " I can't ^ay, Sir George, what ; but your 
voice being much louder than other men's, I heard you 

* Tlife description given of him by a poetaster of those 
days has sohiething in confirmation of this : — 


soon forced him into notice: so that fees, the 
forerunners of legal prefer ment, soon crottrded 
upon him; and we are even told, that persons 
would put a brief into his hand in the middle of 
a cause which they petceiTed likely to turn 
against them. He was not abore adopting 
any artifice which might raise him in the esti^ 
mation of those with whom he associated : so 
that, when he was sitting in a coffee-housoi his 
servant would come to him under his pretious 
direction, and say, that Company attended him 
in his chamber, which was the signal for him to 
huff, and desire them to be told to stay a little, 
and that he would come presently. This inge^ 
nious trick helped forward his reputation for 
business ; and it is not by any means an exag- 
geration to say, that he found himself in Con- 
siderable practice sooaer than almost any one 
of his contemporaries* 

Nevertheless he sometitnes received a check, 
in common with many others of his brethren, 
wheh Uiey vetnlul^ upon the occasional recrea- 
tion of bantering witnes6esi and ih return meet 

Bat yet he*s ehiefly devil about the meuth.*' 

And again : 

<' Oft with success this mighty blast did bawl. 
Where loudest lungs and biggest wordi win all. 


now and then with a smart stroke of humour, 
which coming from the intended butt of the 
auditory, seldom fails to disconcert the asto- 
nished assailant. A country-fellow was giving 
his evidence clad in a leather doublet," and Mr- 
Jeffreys, who was counsel for the opposite party, 
found that his testimony was '^ pressing home." 
When he came to cross-examine, he bawled 
forth ; " You fellow in the leather doublet, pray 
what have you for swearing ?" The man looked 
steadily at him, and, *' Truly, sir," said he, *' if 
you have no more for lying than I have for 
swearing, you might wear a leather doublet as 
well as I." Of course every body laughed, and 
the neighbourhood rang with the bluntness oi 
the reply. 

He had another rebuff when he was re- 
corder. There 'was a wedding somewhere, — 
and those to whom it appertained to pay for the 
music at the nuptials refused the money, on 
which an action was brought ; and as the '' mu- 
sitioners'' were proving their case, the judge 
called out, — " You fiddler l" This made the wit- 
ness wroth, and he appeared to be disgusted ; 
but shortly afterwards he called himself a ^' mu- 

' ** His doublet was of sturdy buff, 
Aftd tho' not sword, yet cudgel-proof.*' 



sitioner/' on which Jeffreys asked, what differ* 
ence there was between a *' musitioner" and a 
fiddler. '* As much, sir/' said the man of me- 
Ipdy, ** as there is between a pair of bagpipes 
and a' recorder." 

One more story: — Some gentleman in the 
course of his evidence was making use of the 
law terms lessor and lessee, assignor and as- 
signee ; which might have escaped observation, 
had not his testimony been directly against 
Jeffreys's client : " You there, with your law 
terms of your lessor and lessee, and of your as- 
signee and your assignor, do you know what a 
lessee or lessor is? 1 don't believe that you 
know that, for all your formal evidence." "Yes, 
Sir George," said the witness, in reply to this 
gasconade, " but I do, and I'll give you this in- 
stance : if I nod to you, I am the nodder, and if 
you nod to me, then I am the noddee." 

A lucky advocate, such as we have just spoken 
of, could scarcely hope for any better stroke of 
fortune at this time than a successful marriage, 
and he had been by no means unmindful of this 
chance. He had acquired a very winning air 
amongst the fairer sex, and was therefore the 
more qualified to gain the hearts of women, 
whose generosity will often pass by unheeded 
the prejudices of birth and wealth, where they 


meet with the plausible address of an affable 
and earnest suitor. 

An opportunity was not long wanting; for 
Jeffreys thought the daughter of a merchant 
who had thirty thousand pounds, a prize far too 
valuably to be left unattempted. He accord- 
ingly prepared for' the trial, and gained over a 
kinswoman and companion of the lady, through 
whom he silently addressed her. His cause 
was espoused so warmly by the disinterested 
relation whom we have mentioned, that it seems 
very likely that the heiress would have yielded 
to her friend's recommendation ; but the suspi- 
qiops of her father were aroused by some acci- 
dent which cannot now be known: the plot 
was unravelled, the daughter effectually se- 
cured, and the unfortunate negotiator dismissed 
and discarded. 

Upon this sad denouemenU the kinswoman 
came hastily towards London, to acquaint the 
disappointed lover with the failure of his cause. 
He went to her on this occasion to hear the re- 
lation of the whole circumstance, when a result 
most unforeseen and unexpected arose from the 
visit. He applauded her zeal for his welfare, 
the hazard which she had incurred for him, and 
compassionated the calamity which had befallen 
her on his account ; and which was still more 


grateful and generous, and the more extraor- 
dinary for a man of his aspiring. character, he 
proposed^ as isome satisfaction for her misfor- 
tunes> that she should be a substitute for her 
rich relation ; in a word, that she should be bis 

There are persons who, if an obnoxious cha- 
racter should by chance perform a kind office, 
are nevertheless quite ready to attribute his be- 
nevolence to some interested motive, or to neu- 
tralise the good bearing of it by some subtle in- 
sinuation ; in the minds of such, this conduct on 
the part of the young advocate would naturally 
give rise to much conjecture, and, considering the 
future conduct of the man, would provoke an un- 
favourable interpretation if there were any room 
for it. But it is worthy of consideration, that 
amongst all the faults with which this judge ha^ 
been charged, whatever may have been his anxiety 
to grasp large possessions, whatever his eager- 
ness to feed his own ambition at the expense of 
others ; — a want of generosity, independently of 
that ambition, has never been attributed to him, 
but rather a habit of prodigality ; and there is 
not any reason why censures of a new kind 
should be laid upon one who has been already 
the object of so many. This was certainly one 


of those bursts of good feeling which spring 
occasionally from the darkest of men, — a bright 
gleam of sunshine amidst a world of mist. 

On the 23d of May, 1667, he married, at All- 
hallows Church, Barking, Sarah, the daughter 
of Thomas Neesham, A, M. And it was by no 
means a discreditable alliance : he had espoused 
the daughter of a clergyman; and although 
she could not be said to be mistress of thousands, 
it seems that she brought her husband three 
hundred pounds. And he had not erred in 
judgment, if he foresaw that his partner had 
possessions of much greater price than the pit- 
tance of money which he received with her, 
since she proved an excellent wife; — a very 
great acquisition to one of his careless and dis- 
solute manners. By this lady he had several 
children, of whom we shall have occasion to 
speak hereafter. 

As the tide of Jeffreys's fortune set in first at 
Guildhall, it is no wonder that we soon find him 
wedded to the luxuries and jovialities of the 
great city. His chief object was to make an 
interest for himself in London; and by the 
carelessness of his disposition, and his love for 
social hours, he succeeded in gaining the af- 
fections of many opulent merchants. There 


Were, indeed, two aldermen of the same name 
with himself about this time ; ' and although it 
does not seem to be agreed whether they were 
in any way related to him, there being asser- 
tions on both sides; — one of them, a great 
smoker, took a vast fancy to his namesake, and 
very soon determined to push his fortune with 
all the strength of his purse and connection, 
which was far from being inconsiderable. 

Accordingly, young as he was, scarcely in- 
deed twenty- three, on the resignation or surren- 
der of Sir Richard Browne, Bart., he was made 
common serjeant. 

This elevation took place March 17, 1670-71. 

' John Jeffreys elected sheriff of London, and alderman of 
Bread-street, in 1661 ; but discharged from both offices on 
paying fines. 

Hobert Jeffreys, sheriff in 1674, and knighted. He was 
elected alderman of Cordwainer*s ward in 1676, and lord 
mayor in 1666, died in 1704. An hospital was erected in 
Kingsland Road in 1712, pursuant to his will, for as many 
of the founder's relations as should apply for the charity ; and 
in default thereof, for fifty-six poor members of the com- 
pany. He was buried at St. Dionis Backchurch, where 
there is a stately monument to his memory. 

Jeffery Jeffreys, knt. sheriff in 1700, alderman of Port- 
soken 1701, died at Roehampton in 1709, and was buried 
at St. Andrew- Undershaft. 

One of these, probably Robert, was called, by way of 
distinction (icar' efoxijv), */ the great smoker." 

26 H^MoiJ^s QF 

But he was not yet a servile favourite ; for either 
presuming upon the good^will which he had se-* 
cured by his address among the citizens, or im- 
pelled by that confidence which so often a^^com- 
panies success, he was accustomed to set tha 
authority of the mayor and aldermen at defiance, 
and, in fact, he never rested until he had placed 
the city entirely at his devotion. How be con- 
ducted himself with respect to the orphanage 
dues, with which he was concerned by virtue of 
his oflSce, ' we are not informed : had there, 
however, been any cause of complaint against 
him on this ground, posterity would probably, 
through the zeal of some enemy, have been nmde 
acquainted with it. Yet, as far as interest would 
avail, the following story will show that he could 
control the application of the funds, even when 

A country gentleman married a city orphan, 
and demanded her fortune, about £1100, but 
could not procure it. At length, all friends 
failing, he betook himself to Mr. Recorder with 
ten guineas in hand, which the learned officer 
received, and informed his visitor that the court 
of aldermen would sit on a certain day, na- 

' See Bohun's Privilegia Londini, 1723, p. 329, where the 
business of the commoD aerjeiint with these (vphans' por- 
tions is described. 


miBg it. The ge&tlentan uttended it. '' Sirraiil 
wbat> your busmess?" quoth Jeffreys. The 
applicatioiji was made ia form* Had he asked 
the ponsent of the (SQurt of aldermeo? To 
which th§ suitor replied in the negative* Jef- 
freys CQmplimeuted him forthwith with the 
terms rogue a4d rascal, and told hinj he should 
have asked leave of the court for snicb a mar-* 
riage. The gentleman asked pardon, and 
pleaded ignorance of the city customs, but this 
did not save him from fresh abuse. Neverthe* 
less, there soon appeared a note from the great 
man, authorizing the receipt of the money ; and 
all the blustering was ascribed to an anxiety cm 
the part of Mr. Recorder that the court should 
not peer into the bribe. 

We shall now have occasion to speak of an 
entire revolution in the political prospects of our 
wary common serjeant. The reader has been 
apprised of the subtlety and address with which 
he became acquainted with the secrets of a fac^ 
tion, as well as of the outward regard which he 
professed for his disaffected friends ; and it haa 
been no secret, that of all the men who ever 
thirsted for preferment, Jeffreys was the most 
eager. Some, who have in view the prospect 
of considerable good which they cannot reach 
without a sacrifice of their ancient friendships. 


will withdraw themselves with a gradual and 
quiet backsliding from their associates; and 
while they forswear the inconsistent intercburse, 
will hold the confidence inviolate which has 
been reposed in them. Others again, advancing 
a little farther on the same ground, although 
they have gained sufficient boldness to betray 
the counsels which have been entrusted to them, 
have yet abstained from grosser acts of hostility^ 
and have patiently anticipated the fruits of their 
apostacy. But we have now a character before 
us, who would have held this proficiency in 
changing sides as merely trifling; he had not 
only the nerve to desert his confederates, and to 
expose their secrets, but to harrass them with 
furious persecution ; and if he met with any in 
after life, to treat them ** not only as if they were 
his greatest enemies, but as if they were the 
common enemies of mankind." 

Well may a reason be demanded for this most 
singula]* proceeding : we have none to give as it 
respects his friends, for it seems that they had 
given him no provocation ; but as it respects his 
preferment, when we come to detail the result, 
it would be weakness to say otherwise than 
that reasoning on the subject must be super- 

The court party had become triumphant, and 


places and honours; which flowed abundantly 
from them, were the rewards of a pliant favourite 
and an easy conscience. Comparatively obscure 
as the common serjeant might be, nature had 
never denied him a yielding and careless de- 
meanour ; so that in these respects he was a fit- 
ting candidate for the favour of those in hi(^ 
office. He had, moreover, the sense to know that 
employments were never bestowed upon the 
factious, unless they gave strong proof of their 
regeneration, and by some bold stroke confirmed 
their apostate acts. He had held his present 
situation for some years, was in a vast career of 
forensic business, and, which weighed still more 
with him, the recorder. Sir John Howel,' was 
spoken of as likely to quit his place. Now, al- 
though the gradual ascent from the one of these 
offices to the other was not, as at present, by 
any means common, it could not fail to strike 
Jeffreys, that, if he showed a bold disposition to 
serve the court, he might be made recorder; 
and that there could not be a more favourable 
conjuncture for a turn in his politics than one 
which promised a vacancy he could so faithfully 

' Howel presided at the trial of the celebrated William 
Penn for a tumultuous assembly, and treated his prisoners 
with a ferocity which Jeffreys could not have excelled. In 
the State Trials he is called Thomas Howel, Recorder. 


supply, fof just then the city wtts oii very fair 
teJtns with the goternment. 

He soon decided » changed at dnceji made no 
iiecret of his treachety, ^nd bade defiance to the 
letenge of those whom he had thus abandoned/ 

But reason suggests that we should seek a 
tietter cause for the kind reception of this man 
by the courts than his being a sudden renegade 
from a discontented and defeated party ; since, 
whaterer might have been his flexibility, what- 
ever the nature of his disclosures, he could 
scarcely have expected impunity, much less 
promotion, by virtue of this tergivei'sation. One 
writer* attributes this result to a successful am- 
bition on the part of Jeffreys for advancement; 
another' speaks of his accuiHulating profits and 
eonnection ; but Mr. North, in bis Life of Lord 
Guilford, seems to throw much more light upon 
the subject by giving a note of the Lord Keeper 

* WeU, quoUi Sir G. the whigs may think me nide. 

Or brand me guilty of ingratitude ; 

At my preferment they (poor fools I) may grudg. 

And Uiink me fit fof hangman more than jndg ; 

But though they fret, taiA bite their hails, ttnd brawl, 

He*ll slight them, and go kiss dear Nelly TVall.^ 

MidsuiMner Moon. 
* The Author of his life and character, 1725. 

' Th6 Author 6f the Bloody Assizes. 

• Nell Gwyn. 


himself regarding this afi^/ After introdudng 
the celebrated royal page Chifflnch^ as a com*- 

' We give the quotation at length, being in itself highly 
interesting : '' Then being acquainted with Will. Chiffinch 
(the trusty page of the back stairs), struck in, and was 
made recorder." This Mr. Chiffinch was a true secretary as 
well as page ; for he had a lodging At Uie back stairs, which 
might have been properly termed the spy office, where the 
king spoke with particular persons about intrigues of all 
kinds ; and all little informers^ projectors, &c. were carried 
to Chiffinch's lodging. He was a most impetuous drinker, 
and, in that capacity, an admirable spy ; for he let none part 
from him sober, if it were possible to get them drunk ; and his 
great artifice was pushing idobttroas healths of his good 
master, and being always in haste, for the king w comings 
which was his word. Nor, to make sure work, would he 
scruple to put his master's salutiferous drops (which were 
called th& King*8, of the nature of Croddard's,) into the 
ghiflses ; and being an Hercules, well breathed at the sport 
himself > he commosly had the better, and so fished out many 
seotets, and diacovered men's dia^actets, which the king 
could never hare obUuned die knowledge of by any other 
meaoAi It is likely that Jeffbeysi bfeinl A pretender to niaiA- 
feats with the citizens, might forwatd hite^lf, and be enter- 
tained by WilK Chiffinch; imd that, Which at first was 
mere sjpying, titm to liequaittta&oei if not friendship, such as 
is apt to grow up between immane dritaken t and from tiiem^ 
mif^t spring recommendationft of him to the king, ^ the 
most useful man that could be found to serve his Majesty in 
London, where was need enough of good magistrates, and, 
8uch as would not be, as diyers were, account no better 
than traitors. — 8vo. ed. voL ii. pp. 08, 00. 

* There were two Chiffinchs, both closet-keepers to King 


plete court spy, and a most incorrigible wine- 
bibber, he tells us that Jeffreys was in the 
habit of keeping company with this trusty 
servant, and that something like regard sprang 
up between them ; whence it happened that a 
strong recommendation of Chiffinch's guest went 
forth to his Majesty, as a person likely to do 
good service. 

It seems that the era of this entertainment 
and confidence was that in which the young 
lawyer was immersing hunself in faction, kneel- 
ing at one table to drink King Charles as '' the 
god of his idolatry," at another, to pledge con- 
fusion to his reign. 

A conclusion almost irresistible results from 
this inquiry; so that we are tempted to consider 

Charles, perhaps father and son, but the latter b the most 
notorious character. The former is mentioned by Evelyn, 
and by Pepys in his Diary, who says that he died in 1666. 
The latter, therefore, must have been the companion of 
Jeffreys. This man was the royal pimp, and used to find 
constant employment in discovering new faces for his master. 
He lived much with Nell Gwyn at Filberd's, which was a 
favourite seat of the king in Berkshire ; and it was his duty to 
see that every accommodation was provided for the fair cour- 
tezans. It was Chiffinch who introduced the priest Hudleston 
to the king's dying bed, when the bishops were requested to 
withdraw for a season, little dreaming that their sovereign was 
on better terms with the Pope than with the foUowera of 


Jeffreys, during much of this interval, as a spy 
of the court, pledged deep by Chiffinch on one 
side and paid by the foes to royalty on the 
other; that he was playing his game like a 
general, who is prepared to act on the ofiensive 
when occasion offers ; that he would have held 
to the mal-contents if the crown had been'van* 
qnished, as he deserted them when the city 
honour we»,bl«»<».iag within hisgraap. It^ 
probable also, that about this time, he became 
acquainted with the celebrated Duchess of 
Portsmouth through this channel of fovouritism : 
certain it is, that allusion was made in the bal- 
lads of those times to Her Grace as an enemy 
to Monmouth, and no mean friend to our re* 

Moimiouth^s tamer, Jeffery's advance^ 
Foe to England, spy to France, 
False and foolish, proud and bold, 
^gly» S8 you see, and old. 

Duehe$$ of P&rtimauih'$ Picture. 

La Jin cauronne les csuvres. Sept. 14, 1677, 
he was knighted ; and on the resignation of Sir 
William Dolben,' who was made a judge of the 

' Williaia Dolben was recorder of London, after the cesiios 
of Sir John HoweL He was made judge of the King's 
Bench in October, 1078 ; but remored from that place in 



King'p Bench, was elected Oct. 22, 1678, re- 
oordedT of Loiiidan ; or, as he himself termed it, 
tbe " mouth-piece of the city;" tiius attaining 
U) be capital judge of the Guildhall, in which 
ha first began his prosperous pleading. There 
were three other candidates, Mr. Richardson, 
a judge of the Sheriff's Court ; Mr. Turner, of 
Gray's Inn ; and Mr. Roger Behnrood,' a bar* 
rister of the Middle Temple ; and NiohoUs, in 
his History of Leicestershire, has furnished a note 
extracted from the city records, from whence it 
appeani that Sir George was ^' freely and una-* 
nimoualy elecli^ by scrutiny." 

If^ p lafLdkf roepn fi^r Wy^ienp, who scnif^ed leas to fulfil 
the measures of the new court-party. Howeyer, as soon a^ 
the Prince of Oran^ came in, he was restored to his seat 
again^ and died in 1693. There haye been some great men 
of this name: John Do)ben, iir^hbisbop of York^ and the 
late Sir William DoMieq^ Bar^ and LL.D. whose know- 
ledge of church history was }|0 ii^ucb flisMpguiahed during 
some reqe^t debates pfi the Tes^ Ae^ f" / *^ 

' Roger Belwood was engaged in many of the state prose- 
c^lJtMis dniing ^e latter pM of KiQg Chcvrfes's reign « He 
^pB afj^pvard^ a serjeq^l;, apddied abo^t 1691. His librai^ 
w(^ extremely choice, and some rare tf^cts and manusQripts 
were sold by auotion after his decease. — See BihUotheca 

JUDOE jEvritErs. 35 


Jeffreys, now a widower, ^espouieft the daoghter of a former lord 
mayor— '*Tbe Westminster Wedding f lampoon npon the Tmtm: 
MmA^m Recorder Jeffiwyt— The King's Psalter, ^neifieii <yf 
Jiterarj piracy— Sir £dmoadkiiiy Godfrey— THal of tiie Jesiiift 
Coleman — ^Tberecorder'iB commiseration of the piq>ists he con- 
demns — Really Inimical to the Catholics— The sermon-bonto 
at CaatorlMU7--Jeffi«ys defends Dangeiileld— Cases oflibal-^ 
Maaims of Joffireya on this head-— Jarymen ignore a bili against 
Smith; iriolence and subtlety of the recorder foiled-^effreys is 
made seijeant, chief josticc of Chester, and a baronet— Doke of 
York's claims of profits of the new penny-post— Mr. Dockim 
—Baron Wesloa's reproof of Jeireys ia conrtr— Liord Delar 
mcre*s sevore charge against Jeffreys, as a Welsh judge — 
His brothers, Sir Thomas Jeffreys, X>t. Jeffreys, Dean Jef- 
freys—The iioestion as to petitions— Jeffreys is atcosed of 
obstrnoUng the toice of the people— Subsequent «ensmr« ef 
Sir George Jeffreys on his knees at the bar of the House of 
Commons— He is constrained to resign the office of recorder 
of London— George TVeby elected recorder*— Case of Verdbn; 
his wit in his own defence. 

The new recorder became a widower slMWtly 
before his eleration, for Lady Jeffreys had died 
on the fourteenth of tike preceding Febniair^ :' 

" She was buried on the 18th, in tlie yault at' Ahkmaap 
bnry cbuxch* 


upon thii^, he lost no time in repairing the do- 
mestic breach ; and while he had proved that 
his first marriage had been an effusion of gene- 
rosity, he showed by his second choice that he 
was not unwilling to unite attachment with in- 
terest. He, accordingly, made his advances to 
the . widow of a Montgomeryshire gentleman/ 
a daughter of Sir Thomas Bludworth/ who had 
been lord mayor, and for many years one of 
the city representatives, and he very soon suc- 
ceeded in his wishes, for the citizens of London 
were always ready at that time to match their 
children with favoured courtiers.' 
. He married this lady about May, 1678, not 
more than three months from the death of the 
former; and by her also had several children, 
whom we shall mention at a future time. The 
assertion of several writers, that his first wife 
lived to see him chief justice of England, — is 
therefore clearly ill-founded, though the mistake 
might have arisen from the register of burials in 

' Mr. Jones. 

* An aficount of this knight is giren in a subsequent page. 

' A proof of this is the earnestness with which Sir John 
Lawrence, the city broker, desired the union of one of his 
daughters with Mr. Solicitor-general North. — See lAJt of 
Lord Gmiford, 4to. p. 79. 


St. Mary, Aldermanbury, where the lady Sarak 
Jeffreys is stated to have died in 1703 ; whereas 
his second wife. Lady Ann, certainly died m 
that year. 

It was mdeed time that Mrs. Jones should 
again enter into the legitimate state of marriage, 
for she certainly was brought to bed of a son 
much too early for a common calculator to say 
otherwise than that there had been a mistake 
somewhere. And Jeffreys was once very un- 
comfortably reminded of this precipitancy by a 
lady who was giving her evidence pretty sharply 
in a cause which he was advocating. *' Madam, 
you are very quick in your answers !" cries the 
counsel. '' As quick as I am. Sir George, I was 
not so quick. as your lady."" 

We cannot forbear to insert here that very 
curious copy of verses, called — 

A IVettminster Wedding y or the Tcum Mouth ;* Mm, iht 
Recorder of London and hU Lady: Feb. 17, 1679. 

Tis said when George did dragon slay, 

He saved a maid from cruel fray : 

But this Sir George, whom knaves do brag on. 

Mist of the maid, and caught the dragon ; 

■ There were reasons, therefore, for Jeffreys's second mar- 
riage so soon after the death of his wife. 
* " Mouth-piece of the city."— Jc/Trey*. 


Since which, the fiirious beast so fell, 

Stares, roa», and yawns like mouth of helf : 

He rares and teaiB,.his bad condition 

Distracts his mind, as la€e petition. 

Peace man, or beast (or both) to please ye, 

A parliament will saiely ease ye« 

Marriage and hangbg both do go 

By destiny ; Sir George, if so. 

You stand as ftdriy both to have. 

As ever yet dU fool or knave : 

The fiiBt your wife hath help*d ye to; 

The other as a rogue's your due: 

No other way is left to tame ye ; 

And if you have it not, then blame me. 

But ere it comes, and things are fitting. 

Judge of his merit by his getting: 

He's got a ven'mous heart, and tongue 

With vipers, snakes, and adders hung. 

By which, in court he plays the fury. 

Hectors complainant, law, and jury : 

His impudence hath all laws broken^, 

(To the judges honour be it spoken,) 

For which he got a name that stinks 

Worse than the common jakes or sinks : 

But to allay the scent so hot, 

George from the court has knighthood got 

Bestowed upon him for his bawling, — 

A royal mark for caterwauling : 

But certain, George must never boast on*t, 

X/ause traitors, cheats, and pimps have most on'fr 

Now rogue enough he got in favour. 

To bind good men to worse behaviour, 


Am! bark alotid Aef will ikeeif^ ye. 
In that he matehes tribe of Levi $ 
Who Aow with Pope bear all befMe 'eitt. 
Priests made jast-aflaes of the qaoraaA. 
Faith make *eiA judges teo» most flne-o. 
And then they'll preach it all Ditiao. 
There's tomeipHiat m6ie flmt Oeoff^ his got, 
(For Trefor* left him, who know wimt) 

A teembg lady-tHib • • * 

• • • 4 • • « 

But one WiAg mo^ f Mtn^t let fMHs,p 
VHien Oeorgj^ wiCh Olodpate* feaitedf last, 
(I must say Clodpafte WHs a skitter. 
To jerk his brother so aft ^ftimer,) 
He by his almanack ^d dtaebVer, 
His wife scarce thirty weeks went over, 
fire she (poor thmg 1} in pieces fell, 
Which made Moath stare and bawl like hell. 
What then, you fool I some wives miscarry, 
And reckon June for January. 
This Clodpate did assert as true, 
Whk^ he by old ezpericnee knew, 
Btat all Uscantmg would not do. 
George put him to *t upon denial. 
Which set him hard as Wakeman*s trial : 
They raiPd, and bawl'd, and kept a pothet. 
And like tWo durs did bite each other, 

1 Sk John TreTor, nod to be bu iady'8 gallan€ in the dine df bei" widbfn^^ 
hood, &c.— Nete to ihi foem. Of this Tre?oT we sbail speak bmalter. 
* Stroma, lord chief jvtttoe of the King's Bench. 


Which brought some sport, but nd repentAocft t 

So off they if eat to Harris' scmtence,^ 

Which soon they pess'd i^inst all law»» 

To glut their rage and popish cause : 

For which injustiee, knayes ! we hope 

You 11 QBd togedier in the rope : 

And when the gallows shall yoi| swallow,^ 

We 'U thrQW up caps, and once more holloa* 

If this we wish from private grudge. 

Or as their merit, England 's ju<^ : 

Who seek the nation to enthrall 

Are treacherous slaves and villains all. 

And when confusion su^^h does follow, 

Wci '11 throw up caps, and once more holloa. 

That 's their exit, 

Tho' they rex-it. 

We shall gi»x*it. 

Some persons about this time had printed a 
Psalter, which they called '' The King's Psalter," 
expecting to shelter themselves under the au-- 
thority of so high a name from t>eing called to 
account for their piracy, for they had invaded 
the rights of the Stationers' Company ; but this 
subterfuge did not avail them, since the Company 
hnmediately brought the matter before the Privy 
Council^ and being desirous of retaining a re^ 
solute advocate, they took the new recorder 
with them in that capacity. Sir George thought 

' Benjamin Harris, the bookseller. — Note to ike poem. 

this an admiraUe opportu&ity for him to attract 
the notice of royalty ; and he therefore, in open- 
ing the stationers' title to the property which 
had been invaded, ventured upon a very bold 
speech which had almost ruined any other man. 
'' They/' meaning the literary pirates, '' have 
teemed/' said he^ '' with a spurious brat, which 
being clandestinely midwived into the world, 
the better to cover the imposture^ they lay it 
at Your Majesty's door." Perhaps the King 
might have been flatterofl (for much depended 
upon his humour at particular times) with this 
public proclamation of his gallantries; doubtless^ 
he thought it a most impudent address on the 
part of his loyal recorder ; but so far from re- 
senting it> he turned to one of the lords who sat 
next to him, and said, '' This is a bold fellow, I'll 
warrant him !" and he^ probably, was so much 
tickled with it, as to recollect very shortly after- 
ward^, that no one could, better befriend the 
crest-fallen government, than he who had ha- 
zarded so free a reflection upon the royal person. 
The stationers had a decree in their favour. 

The new magistrate was not destined to be long 
inactive. Every one knows, that the furious 
fanaticism against the Catholics burst forth 
about this time, and that the Duke of York's 
imprudent valour, in demanding an investiga- 


tUHi of matters which very few at that time 
knew or cared any thing for, kindled the em- 
bers, which weife just expiring^ into a flame. 
That which neither Dr. Tongue's hypocrisy, nor 
Oates^is quackery could effect, was most folly 
accomplished by the roysd Head of those who 
were so soon to undergo the most wicked and 
unmerited persecution. 

And as though no incitement dhould be Want- 
hig to embroil the nation in civil tuniult. Sir 
Bdmondbury Godfrey, who had taken informar 
tions against some of the accused papists, a man 
naturally given to vapours and melanchdy, vtm 
fbund with ^e marks cf strangulation upMr him 
in a ditch, and with a sword in his body. Hni 
spleen is by some considered as sufficient to 
brand him with the crime of suicide ; but thete 
is equal reason to believe, Ihat by some dark 
contrivance of those who afterwards reaped such 
immense harvests, he was made a victim to the 
clamour of the day; the announcement of his 
fate being a tocsm against the miserable fottowers 
of popery. At first the people were compa- 
ratively passive, and seemed contented with a 
few sacrifices ; and during these early scenes^ of 
blood, the recorder made bis appearance, some- 
times as counsel for the crown, sometimes as 
judge to pass sentence of death upon the male* 


factors. We shall see presently how the times 
changed on a rumour that the plot was to be 
stifled, and how Jeffireys was affected by the al- 

He has been charged with violence throu^out 
the whole of his professional and jodk^ career, 
and no . doubt he was an orerbearing advocate 
and an intemperate judge ; but he lived in a 
day when all mesx of any spirit were vehement, 
and when nearly all judges * were given to rude 
language: the marvel would have been, if he had 
shown kindness, when fashion and prejudice ran 
so strongly to the contrary: there could be none 
to find him striking in with the confirmed mad- 
ness of the age/ If it be once admitted that 

' There must be an exception in faYonr of Sir 
lfoffUi»and perhaps one or two others; bnt North had encon- 
raged avery wary and fax-tte demeanour during the whole 
of hisUfe. 

* We do not by any means mtend to jnstify the jtidgeV 
eondnet upon tbb occasion ; the dkief object of tiie biographer 
being to reveal every feeting of human nature in its clearest 
Kght. Bntthat wiiich is held to be a crime in our age, might 
have been e^eemed avirtue in another; and it certainly was 
not ftMT a socoessfiil reeofder, under the crooked policy of 
CharleS) to foresee these most liberal days, when every Jv- 
dioial movement is criticised with the utmost rigour. Had 
the present improvements of the home secretary been sug- 
gested, it might be said, even twenty years since, they certainly 
had been treated as chimerical, or at least marvellous in the 


he lyas not worse than his contemporaries/ pos-* 
terity will the more readily do him justice in 
respect of any good qualities which he . might 
have possessed ; and these again will . be dis- 
played in a more favourable light, if virulent 
and unlicensed invective can be silenced, though 
it be but for a moment. 

The first state prosecution against the sup- 
posed popish conspirators, was the case of 
Coleman ; and if the account of those proceed- 
ings^ as. detailed in the state-trials, be carefully 

extreme; we regard them, beyond a doubt, as proofr of an 
enlightened legislation. We condemn those who have loaded 
our statute-book with capital punishments ; but we do not give 
them credit for that degree of information which has sprung 
up since their day. Whatever might have been the asperity 
of Jefireys, it certainly was not exceeded by that of Rains- 
ford, Scro§^, Pemberton, or Sanders ; and we must therefore 
be content (laying aside all mention of hissubsequ^it conduct) 
to class him with those whose examples he was imitating ; 
neither exaggerating his roughness, nor palliating it, by ap- 
plauding the excesses of which he was guilty. 

* He certainly could not have shown more jocoseness at a 
capital trial than Sir William Dolben, who was a judge after 
the Revolution. Thwing and another were indicted for high 
treason at York ; and in the course of his challenges, Thwing 
said, — ** My lord, I shall willingly stand to the other jury/' 
—Justice Dolben. " What jury?"— Thwing. ** My Lady 
Tempest's jury.'* — Justice Dolben. ** Oh, your servant ! you 
are either very foolish, or take me to be so." 


examined, it will be made evident, that how- 
ever busy the recorder might have been as coun- 
sel for the crown, his conduct was mildness 
itself when compared with the harshness of the 
judges and Serjeants towards the accused. And 
it is worthy of remark, that his anxiety for a re- 
gular system of evidence, which he was always 
ready to promote when on the bench, appeared 
upon this trial. Counsel were constantly in the 
habit of interrupting the witnesses, and that li- 
cense was frequently allowed to the prisoner; 
but Jeffreys begged that the court would suffer 
Oates to go on without any interposition to the 
end of his story, which the chief justice pro- 
mised, but soon interfered himself as briskly as 
any one. Ireland, Pickering, and Grove, were 
tried next; and notwithstanding the shrewd sus* 
picions which we may entertain at this day of 
the recorder's sincerity, when he affected pity 
for these poor people, he went not one step 
farther in his denunciation of their religion and 
customs than other judges, who were occasionally 
called upon to give judgment of death upon the 
papists. The following specimen of his seeming 
commiseration, mixed with reflections on the 
superstitious ceremonies of the Catholics, is cu- 
rious. '' Thus I speak to you, gentlemen, not 
vauntingly; 'tis against my nature to insult upon 


persons in your sad condition : God forgive you 
for what you have done ; and I do heartily beg it, 
though you don't desire I should : for, poor men ! 
you may believe that your interest in the world 
to come is secured to you by your masses, but 
do not well consider that vast eternity you must 
ere long enter into, and that great tribunal you 
must appear before, where his masses (speaking 
to Pickering) will not signify so many groats to 
him ; no, not one farthing. And I must say it, 
for the sake of these silly people whom you have 
imposed upon with such fedlacies, that the 
masses can no more save thee from a future 
damnation, than they do from a present con* 
demnaiion." He was next counsel on the trial 
of Green, Berry, and Hill, for the murder of Sv 
Edmondbury Godfrey ; and seems again to have 
exercised great caution in abstaining from leading 
the witnesses with questions, and eliciting their 
testimony in a general manner, which varies but 
little from the practice now followed* Here he 
exhibited a strong sense of humanity and justice. 
A tipstaff had deprived the prisoners of their 
clothes as soon as they had been committsd, 
pretending that ^ey were his fee; on which the 
rocoanier, previously to his praying judgment, 
complained openly to the court, and obtained an 
order that the property should be restored; a 


barbarous custom haviiig been set up in hwta 
of this jdimder, but disaliowed by the judges. 
' Shortly afterwards Langhom and the Jesuits 
were condemned, and it fell again to the re- 
corder's lot to pronounce the judgment of death, 
which he did with much apparent humanity, 
regretting that one of his own brethren of the 
bar had brought himself to a &te so untimely, 
and giving express orders that the unfortunate 
persons should receive every comfort, and eiqoy 
the company of their friends at all convenient 
seasons. Mwe tenderness could not now be 
shown to prisoners in that unhappy situation, 
saving, perhaps, the absence of abuse whidi 
was then bestowed upon the unfashionable 

The recorder, however, was cartainly an ob^ 
ject of terror to tibe Romish party, and they 
used every effort to mollify him when they came 
before him for judgment, but rarely with good 
success; for he never was at a Iqss for some 
i^rcasm upcm their religious opinions. 

Yet it is curious to observe how pliant he 
seemed when the names of the great and power- 
fiil were mentioned, especially if any high pep- 
son had expessed himself favourably towards 
the accused. As where Starkey, a condemned 
priest, having been overruled on all the legal 


ol^ecticHis which he had started, happened to 
plead the very gracious reception which he had 
received some years before from the King, the 
Duke of York, the Chancellor Hyde, and the 
Bishop of London, to whom he had unravelled 
some conspiracy; — ^Jeffreys softened directly, 
spoke of the King as a fountain of inercy, pro- 
mised to relate every extenuating circumstance 
to His Majesty, and intimated in conclusion the 
excellent opportunity which the prisoner then 
had of enlightening the government on the sub- 
ject of the plot. It is evident that he had been 
treated hitherto more as the tool than the confi- 
' dant of the ministry ; for they were then lying in 
wait for a convenient handle to brand the whole 
narration with imposture, though they dared 
not as yet brave the infatuation of the parlia- 
ment and the populace. However, he in reality 
was never friendly to the Catholics, even when 
King James filled the throne, and it became his 
interest to patronize them. This is confirmed 
by an anecdote related by Sir John Reresby, 
which he received from the Rev. Mr. Gosling of 
Canterbury, and which he gives entire as it was 
communicated to him. 

'^ One day, while he was chancellor, he in- 
vited my father home with him from the King's 
Chapel, and inquired whether there were not a 


building at Canterbuiy called the Sermon-' 
house, and what use was made of it My fa- 
ther said it was the old Chapter-house^ where 
the dean, or his representatives, might convene 
the choir once a fortnight, and hear the chan- 
ter's account how well the duty had been at- 
tended in- that time. ' This,' said he, ' will not 
do;' and explained himself by saying, that the 
presbyterians had then a petition before the 
king and council, asking it, as a thing df fi6 
use, for their meeting-house. On this, my father 
told him, that if it were made a chapel for the 
early prayers, and the choir reserved purely for 
cathedral service, this would be a great conve- 
nience, and the Sermon-house would be in 
daily use. * This will do,' said the chancellor: 
' pray let the dean and chapter know as soon as 
possible, that I advise them to put it to this use 
without delay ;' adding, * if the presbyterians 
do not get a grant of it, others perhaps will, 
whom you may like still worse.' His advice 
was taken ; and it has been the morning-prayer 
chapel ever since." 

It is not our province to weary the reader 
with a description of all the state prosecutions 
which arose out of the pretended popish or 
presbyterian conspiracies ; the reijorder was 
engaged in all, save one or two ; and as the con- 



victions multiplied, he grew bolder in his as- 
sumptions, and more elated with his victories. 
He was singularly resolute in propping up the 
character of Dangerfield, a man who had been 
disgraced in every possible way, and who came 
branded and pilloried into court for the purpose 
of convicting Lord Castlemaine and the perse- 
cuted Mrs. Collier. When the record of this 
man's conviction for uttering counterfeit guineas, 
and of his subsequent punishment in the pillory 
was read, Jeffreys directly replied, that he was 
not the same person, which, however, turned 
out a bad defence. He then combated the ob- 
jection to the witness's competency, which was, 
that an attainted felon could not be restored to 
his capacity of witness by a pardon. And this 
be did successfully, though, after all, the true 
reason for admitting the testimony came from 
the Court of Common Pleas, whither .Mr . Justice 
Raymond * went to learn the opinions of the 

' Sir Thoifias Ra]rmond was the author of some reports in 
the common law courts. He was made serjeant, Oct. 26, 
1677, and a baron of the Exchequer, May 6, 1679, though 
much against his will ; for he tells us, that he laboured, not 
without great reason, to present it. Feb. 7, 1680, he became 
judge of the Common Pleas ; and on the 29th of the follow- 
ing April, ju^^ of the King's Bench, in which situation he 
died soon afterwards. He was the father of Robert Loid 
Raymond, Baron Raymond of Abbott's Langley, in the 


judges there. It probably came firom that great 
lawyer. Lord Chief Justice North ; and it was 
because the offender, having been burnt in the 
hand, had expiated his crime by the punish- 
ment, which is conformable to the doctrine en- 
tertained at this day. 

In the prosecutions for libel also, which were 
frequent about this time, the city advocate was 
very sanguine, sometimes threatening, sometimes 
coaxing the defendants to confess ; though in the 
case of Sir William Scroggs's ' libellers their 

county of Herts, some time solicitor and attomey-generd, 
a judge of the King's Bencb, and ckief justice of that court. 
Lord Raymond, also an author of reports, died inl73!2, and 
was interred at Abbott's Langley, where a magnificent mo- 
nument was erected to his memory. The title became 
extinct in 1753. 

* William Scroggs was bom at Dedington, Oxon, and 
became a commoner of Oriel in 1699, at the age of sixteen, 
although some have held him to be the son of a one-eyed 
butcher near Smithfield-bars, and a big fat woman with a 
red nose like an alewife. * He afterwards went to Pembroke 
College, and proceeded M. A. in 1643. His father had in- 
tended him for the church, and had procured him the rever- 
sion of a good living, but he took arms for the king, and was 
captain of a foot company, which entirely changed his for- 
tune. He then entered at Gray^s Inn, and in 1660 was 
made Serjeant, and knighted, and soon after became king's 

* Tlus was said by Sir William Dtigdale, Garter, because Scroggs re- 
fuaed bia knighthood-feea, and moat therefore be taken eum gnmo. 


submission availed them little, since, although 
they had been assured by the insinuating coun- 

se^eant. May 31, 1678, being at the time a judge of the 
Common Pleas, he was promoted to the chief seat in the 
King's Bench through the Earl of Dauby, and there ensured 
many convictions of the supposed popish conspirators. 
However, in the full belief that the sway of parliament was 
all-powerful, and that Shaftesbury was guiding the destinies 
of the state, he one day asked a lord of the privy council, 
if the lord president (Shaftesbury) really had that influence 
Vith the king which he seemed to have? The reply was, 
*f No ; no more than your footman hath with you.'* Scroggs 
was converted, and threw cold water on the plot, for which 
he was impeached ; but he escaped on the-dissolution of par- 
liament, and retired to Weald-hall, near Bumtwood, in 
Essex, with the loss, however, of his place. He died of a 
polypus in the heart in 1683, * having survived his wife, a 
daughter of Matthew Blucke, Esq., some time. This judge 
was a great lover of good living; and Sir Matthew Hale, 
iphoee taste was quite different, refused Scroggs the privilege 
of a seirjeant when he was arrested, which made a great talk 
at the time. His son and heir, Sir William Scroggs, sold 
hb estate to Alderman Erasmus Smiths No man was more 
smartly lampooned by the wits of the day than this turncoat 
chief justice. Beneath lUre extracts from some of the squibs 
which were let off against him : — 

. Justice in MaspuradCf or Scroggs upon Scroggs, 

A butcher's son 's j udg capital. 
Poor Protestants for to enthral, 

* Some lay he died in Etsex-street, bat ffurvly this must be a blander 
for Essex. 


sel that they would find mercy at his hands, he 
nearly, if not quite^ ruined some of them by his 

And England to enalaTe, mn : 
Lose both our laws and liTes we rnuit, 
When to do justice we entrust 

So known an errant knave, sirs. 

Some hungry priests he once did fell 
With mighty strokes, and them to hell 

Sent presently away, sirs : 
Would you know why ? the reason *s plain ; 
They bad no English nor French coin 

To make a longer stay, sirs. 

His father once exempted was 
Out of all juries ; why 7 because 

He was a man of blood, sirs : 
And why the butcherly son (foraooth !) 
Shou'd now be judg and jury both. 

Cannot be understood, sirs. 

The good old man, with knife and knocks. 
Made harmless sheep and stubborn ox 

Stoop to him in his fury : 
But the brib'd son, like greasy oaph. 
Kneels down and worships golden calf. 

And so do's all the jury. 

On the $ame. 

Since Justice Scroggs Pejpys and Dean did bail. 
Upon the good cause did turn his tail. 
For two thousand pounds to buy tent and ale, 

Which nobody can deny. 


strict exaction of justice. It must have been 
with great complacency that Sir George echoed 
the chief justice's expressions in Carr's affair, 
who was indicted for publishing " The Weekly 
Packet of Advice from Rome ;" a trial in which 
the bias of the government against the plot was 

Scroggs was at first a man of the blade. 
And with his father followed the butcherly trade. 
But 'twas the Peter-pence made him a jade. 

Which nobody, &c. 

He'd stand by the protestant cause he said, 
And lift up his eyes, and cry'd, we're betray*d ; 
But then the pettifogger was in a masquerade. 

Which nobody, &c. 

When Danby mentioned to the king his name. 
He said he had neither honesty nor shame, 
And would play any sort of rogubh game. 

Which nobody, Sec. 

He swears he'd confound Beddlow and Oates, 
And prove the papists sheep, and the protestants goats. 
And that he 's a tool that on property dotes, 

Which nobody, &c. 

The WolfJuitice. 


Here lives the Wolf Justice, a butcherly knave. 
Likes protestants' goods, but the papists' do's save, &c. 

See also the ** Westminster Wedding,'' which we have 
inserted, and in which he is called ** Clodpate." 


pretty strongly manifested: when the verdict 
was given, after the interruptions of a tumul- 
tuous crowd of people, which considerably an- 
noyed Scroggs, he said, '' You have done like 
honest men." To which the recorder very 
joyfully added, '' They have done like honest 

The recorder, indeed, was always very severe 
upon libellers; but, even on this subject, he 
sometimes spoke very good sense ; and his opi- 
nion, with regard to the proof of malice which 
he expressed in Sir Samuel Bamardiston's case, 
has been . mentioned with much approbation. 
** Certainly,^ said he, (at this time he was chief 
justice) " the law supplies the proof, if the thing 
itself speaks malice and sedition. As it is in 
murder ; we say always in the indictment, he 
did it by the instigation of the devil : can the 
jury, if they find the fact, find he did it not by 
such instigation? no, that does necessarily at- 
tend the very nature of such an action or thing. 
So, in informations for offences of this nature, 
we say, he did it falsely, maliciously, and sedi- 
tiously, which are the formal words ; but if the 
nature of the thing be such as necessarily im- 
ports malice, reproach, and scandal to the go- 
vernment, there needs no proof but of the fact 
done ; the law supplies the rest." 


And had he lived in these daya, the vengeance of 
the public press would have fallen on him as a sub- 
ject for condign punishment ; for when recorder, 
he was guilty of promulging this singular heresy : 

Sir G. Jeffries, Recorder. 

*^ All the judges of England having met toge- 
ther to know whether any person whatsoever 
may expose to the public knowledge any mat- 
ter of intelligence, or any matter whatsoever 
that concerns the public, they give it as their 
resolution, 'that no person whatsoever could ex- 
pose to the public knowledge any thing that 
concerned the affairs of the public, without li- 
cence from the king, or from such persons as he 
thought fit to intrust with that power. 

> 99 

Observing upon this, says Lord Camden, 
*^ Can the twelve judges extra- judicially make a 
thing law to bind the kingdom by a declaration, 
that such is their opinion. — I say no ; it is a mat- 
ter of impeachment for any judge to affirm it.*' 

Mr. Recorder Jefireys was, conformably with his 
creed, very severe upon a poor bookseller named 
Francis Smith. This person had been so indis- 
creet as to. publish a book against the expenses 
of mayors and sheriffs, in which there were de- 
clamations against feasting and wine worthy of 

JUlHiS, J£FFE£YS. 57 

a Spartan. *' Debauchery is come to that 
height/' said the writer, ^* that the fifth part of 
the charge of a shrievalty is in wine» t^ growth 
of another country." However, the graad jury, 
who (although they might have liked wine ex- 
ceedingly well) could not persuade themselves 
that these general censures of expense were 
libellous, thought fit to indorse that obnoxious 
word to court ears, ^' ignoramus/' upon the bill 
of indictment; and this was an unanimous 
ejectment of the charge. However, somebody 
scraped out the ignoramus, and next sessions 
the bill came forth again, upon which it was re* 
solved with one voice to renew the ignoramus, 
and thus the bill was returned. Jeffreys flew 
into imjnense choler, and sent back the bill a 
third time. But the jury stuck to their fa* 
yourite ignoramus, and again tendered the dis- 
graced Writing to the incensed recorder, who 
might well have thought that all his interest 
with mayor and sheriffs would fleet away, if this 
heretical proscription were suffered. ** God 
bless me from such jurymen 1'' vociferated the 
city advocate; ** I will see the face of every one 
of them, and let others see them also." And so 
he ordered the bar to be cleared, that the citi- 
zens, who had thus acted might be laid open to 
the public gaze. But in vain : — 


Nod vultus instaatis tjrranni 
Mente qnatit solids. 

One by one, seriatim, as lawyers say, did the 
jury, seventeen in number, utter ignoramus ; and 
in a moment, blasphemy and perjury were 
thundered out in their ears: they had com- 
mitted a sin which God would never pardon. 
It was the apotheosis, the anathema maranatha 
of Mr. Recorder. Still the jury say nothing. 
Utterly inefficient, when a firm body of men, 
sheltered by the imperishable constitution of 
their ancestors, had decided on a matter which 
belonged solely to their jurisdiction. Sir George 
was driven from his high position, and instantly 
betook himself to a land of gins and snares. 
He doffed the lion's hide, and hid himself in 
the sof^ sleek coat of the fox. '' Come, Mr. 
Smith !" and he beckoned the crest-fallen book- 
seller, who knew that he was on very slippery 
ground ; " there are two other persons besides 
you whom this jury have brought in ignoramus; 
but they have been ingenuous enough to confess, 
and I cannot think to fine them little enough ; 
they shall be fined but two-pence a-piece for their 
ingenuity in confessing. Well come, Mr. Smith, 
we know who hath owned both printing and 
publishing this book formerly." Most proba- 
bly Smith had been in the trap before, and had 


probably escaped with some severe injury, as a 
mouse does wlio loses the greater part of his 
tail ; and so, says he, *' Sir, my ingenuity hath 
sufficiently experienced the reward of your se- 
verity already formerly ; and besides, I know no 
law commands me to accuse myself, neither 
shall I ; and the jury have done like true Eng- 
lishmen and worthy citizens; and blessed be 
God for such a just jury !" Then Jefireys foamed 
again; and the bookseller found his ¥ray into 
Newgate, and was compelled to give bail* We 
shall just give the sequel. He asked for a copy 
of his indictment, which even Serous said he 
was entitled to; but Jefireys put it off from time 
to time, under pretence that his private house 
was not a court, and that he could not meddle 
with ordering any thing there. At last Smith 
got a nice compact charge of seventeen sheets 
against him; but it gives us pleasure to say, that 
he ultimately got clear of that charge, and in- 
deed of another, at the expense of a small fine. 
This is his winding-up of the matter : — '' From 
such a judge, and such a recorder of London, 
and such judgment, good Lord deliver me ! and 
may every true citizen and right Englishman 
say. Amen." 

It was now time that this persevering zealot 
should receive some token of favour from those 


whofie dictates he had so faithfully obeyed. 
And, indeed, when he had once planted himself 
in the track of preferinent, he moved on with a 
speed which has seldom beeii equalled, for the 
court would have been puzzled to have fotind 
another so exactly fitted to their service — one 
who scrupled so little, and did so much. 

He was called serjeant, Feb, 17, 1680: on 
which occasion he gave rings with the motto — 
A Deo rtx ; a rege le.v ;* and became a Welsh 
judge about that time, when his brother preached 
an assize-sermon before him. On the 30tli of 
the following April, he had succeeded in de^ 
spoiling Sir Job Charlton of the chief justiceship 
of Chester, which he secured for himself. He 
was made king's serjeant on the 12th of May» 
in the same year; and Nov. 17, 1681, was 
created a baronet. This chief justiceship was 
given him in consideration of his loyalty and 
good services ; and the dignity of one of his ma- 
jesty's counsel at Ludlow, with a permission to 
retain the office of recorder, was joined with it.. 
, Sir Job was an old man, and was most unr 
willing to give up his office, for he had a consi- 
derable estate in Wales ; but finding the mat- 
ter determined against him, he took it to heart, 

' The king from God ; the 1(lw from the king. 


and going to Whitehall, placed himself so that 
the king could not avoid seeing him on his re* 
turn from St. James's Park; and *' set him down 
like hermit poor."" But King Charles espied 
him at a distance, and knowing too well the 
burden of his speech, could not bear to pass 
him; but turned short off, and went another 
way. *Sir Job was sorry for his master, but 
never sought another interview. He was con* 
stituted judge of the Common Pleas, where he 
brought with him much dignity and learning. 
However, it is pleasing to reflect, that in the 
reign of James II., the old judge had his 
quietus in Westminster-hall, and was restored 
to his much-loved station in the principality.* 
Some time before this, Sir George had 

I North*s Lives. 

^ Sir Job Charlton was not the only chief justice of 
Chester who loved his place. We are told that Sir Eardley 
Wilmot very anxiously longed for that situation by way of 
retirement, and was only prevented from filling it by Mr« 
Morton, who could not be prevailed on to give it up. This 
was previous to Uie elevation of Sir Eardley to the chief 
justiceship of the Common Pleas. — Life of Wilmot, by hit 
$on. . The real reason of the removing of Sir Job was his 
refusal to concede the king's dispensing power ; but he was 
doubtless glad to occupy his old seat again, which, on petition, 
was granted him. 


a firmer footing at court by his introduction as 
solicitor-general to the Duke of York. 

On the ripening of the popish persecutions, 
history acquaints us, that the Duke retired to 
Brussels, in conformity with his brother's advice 
and request, but not without having obtained an 
explicit declaration of Monmouth's illegitimacy. 
His solicitor was very active during thisHseason 
of trouble ; for although no one was more violent 
than he, when the accused came to the bar, he 
promoted in secret every design which could be 
imagined for sheltering his master, removing the 
stigma of the jplot from him, and foiUng the ob- 
noxious Exclusion bill. And hence it was, that 
he held so long and powerful a dominion over 
the mind of that prince, though he had possibly 
sunk at last, if the religion of the country had 
changed, since, it admits of little doubt, that 
bigotry will forswear the warmest friendships. 

It may not be amiss to relate an afiair in this 
place connected with the post-office, because 
though it will carry us forward to the year 
1682, it entirely arose from Jeffreys's manage- 
ment of the Duke's property. By a statute 
passed in the early part of King Charles's reign,' 

' 15 Car. 2. chap. 14. 


the post-office was settled upon the Duke of 
York and his heirs male. William Dockra, a 
merchant, in a subsequent part of the reign, 
invented a penny-post, which he completely ar- 
ranged, and directed for a considerable time 
with the approbation of the inhabitants of Lon- 
don. But the Duke, being the general grantee 
of revenues acquired in this manner, it occurred 
to his solicitor, that he was entitled to those also 
which Mr. Dockra was enjoying; and finding 
the project capable of high improvement, he 
filed an information on the post act against that 
person, and obtained a conviction against him in 
the King's Bench. 

Had Dockra been a wise man, it seems, that 
he might have received for his life the place of 
commissioner for the management of this post, yet 
he would not submit himself, but continued his 
fruitless complaints, while the crown at length 
became possessed of the benefit, which has re- 
mained in the same hands ever since.' How- 

' About 1776, a penny-post was set up in Edinburgh, by 
Mr. Williamson y unconnected with the general post-office. 
It met with but indifferent encouragement for some years, 
doubts being entertained as to its punctuality in delivering 
the letters ; by degrees, however, it seemed to be advancing 
in estimation and was more frequently employed. Twenty 
years after, the general post-office, by virtue of the act of 


ever, the disappointed merchant made another 
attempt at the Revolution to gain some repara- 
tion for his loss by memorialising the House of 
Commons, and printing an appeal to the public 
in the shape of an advertisement.' Here, he 
complains of the injustice done him by the then 
late king, who had, under colour of law, de- 
prived him of his rights, without any manner of 
recompense, and states the progress of his peti- 
tion to Parliament, which was adjourned before 
his case was heard. He tells us also, that there 
had been an ''Answer to Mr. Dockra's case con- 
cerning the Penny-post ;" to which he wrote a 
reply, but did not print it. If we may believe his 
aceoimt, he had a wife and eight children, and 
had spent many thousand pounds upon the 

And now, the new Welsh chief justice in- 
creased in haughtiness every day, and his vanity 

parliament, prohibiting the conveyance of letters by any but 
those employed under the postmaster-general, took the penny- 
post entirely into its own hands ; and Mr. Williamson was 
allaufcd em annuity dmriug life, equal to what his ptivate 
establishment yielded. 

' An advertisement on the behalf of William Dockra, 
merchant, concerning the penny-post. 

^ He had a small pension at last. He is praised for the 
ingenuity of his discovery, in the State Poems, vol. iii. 
p. 246. 


advanced in an equal ratio with his preferments 
and favour. But some of the judges would not 
brook this torrent of conceit, and he received a 
Very severe lesson from Mr. Baron Weston* at the 
Kingston Midsummer assizes for 1679. Being 
counsel there in some cause at Nisi Prius, he 
took on himself to ask all the questions, and 
tried to browbeat the other side in their exami- 
nation of witnesses, when the judge bade him 
hold his tongue. Some words passed, in the 
course of which he told the baron that he was 
not treated like a counsellor, being curbed in 
the management of his brief. "Ha!" fiercely 

' There have been four Westons judges of our courts : 
Richard Weston, of the Common Pleas, in the reign of 
Elizabeth ; Richard Weston, a baron of the Exchequer, in 
the time of Charles I. ; James Weston, a baron, in the same 
reign ; and Richard Weston, to whom allusion has been 
made in the text. The two barons of Charles the First's reign 
were celebrated for their courage ; and this Sir Richard in 
no wise came behind them in resolution: for, being im- 
peached for some words he had let drop in a charge on the 
circuit, he, unlike to Scroggs and Jones, who had incurred the 
same displeasure, and were much troubled at it, was. '* gay 
and debonair as at a wedding.'* Indeed, he desired nothing 
so much as a great balk with tlie Commons; in the course of 
which he intended to set up Magna Charta, the judicium 
parium, and his lawful challenges — in fact, to dispute every 
inch of ground. But the prosecution was dropped. He died 
March 23, 1681* 



returned the judge : *' since the King has thrust 
his favours upon you, in making, you chief justice 
of Chester^ you think to rim down every body : 
if you find yourself aggrieved, make your com- 
plaint; here's nobody cares for it." The counsel 
said, he had not been used to make complaints, 
but rather to stop those that were made; but 
the judge again enjoined him silence* Jeffreys 
sat down, and wept with anger. 

Lord Delamere, afterwards Earl of Warring^on^ 
in a speech which he delivered on the corrup- 
tion of judges^ was very severe upon the new 
chief justice of the County Palatine. He spoke 
thus upon that point : — " The county for which 
I serve is Cheshire, which is a County Palatine, 
and we have two judges peculiarly assigned us 
by His Majesty : our puisne judge I have nothing 
to say against him,^ for he is a very honest man 
for ought I know ; but I cannot be silent as to 
our chief judge, and I will name him, because 
what I have to say will appear more probable : 
his name is Sir George Jeffreys, who I must 
say behaved himself more like a jack-pudding,, 
than with that gravity which beseems a judge : 
he was mighty witty upon the prisoners at the 
bar ; he was very full of his jokes upon people 
that came to give evidence, not suffering them 
to declare what they had to say in their own 


way and method, but y^ould interrupt them, be- 
cause they behaved themselves with more gra- 
vity than he; and in truth, the people were 
strangely perplexed when they were to give in 
their evidence ; but I do not insist upon this, 
nor upon the late hours he kept up and down 
our city : it* s said he was every night drinking 
till two o'clock, or beyond that time, and that 
he went to his chamber drunk ; but this I have 
only by common fame, for I was not in his com- 
pany : I bless God I am not a man of his prin- 
ciples or behaviour : ' but in the mornings he 
appeared with the symptoms of a man that over 
night had taken a large cup. But that which I 
have to say is the complaint of every man, espe- 
cially of them who had any law-suits. Our chief 
justice has a very arbitrary power, in appointing 
the assize when he pleases ; and this man has 
strained it to the highest point : for whereas we 
were accustomed to have two assizes ; the first 
about April or May, the latter about September ; 
it was this year the middle (as I remember) of 
August before we had any assize ; and then he 
dispatched business so well, that he left half the 
causes untried ; and to help the matter, has re- 

^ Thb savouis yery much of '< I thank God I am not as 
other men are/' &c. 


solved that we shall have no more assises this 

While George was thus climbing the slippery 
summits of ambition, his brethren were pros- 
pering at home^ partly by their own merits, 
partly by the assistance of their eminent kins- 
man. His eldest brother, John, was high-she- 
riff of Denbighshire in 1680; and James, an- 
other brother, preached the assize-sermon in 
the same year,, when Sir George rode his first 
circuit as chief judge. Dr. James Jeffreys 
was of Jesus College, Oxford, and took his de- 
grees thus; M.A. 1672, B.D. 1679, D.D. 1683. 
Through the same influence he was installed a 
prebendary of Canterbury, Nov. 9, 1682 : he 
was canon of the ninth stall. Pennant tells 
us, that one brother was Dean of Rochester, 
(and his account must clearly be referred to 
James,) and that he died on the road to visit 
his brother, when under confinement in the 
Tower. But there has not been any dean 
of that name in Rochester cathedral;' and Dr. 
Jeffreys died on the 4th of September, 1689, 
some months after the chancellor's decease, 

* John Castilion, canon of Canterbury, was dean from 
1676 till October 21, 1688; and Simon Lowth from De- 
cember, 1688, till the Revolution. 

I r TV. -_. ^_- 


which dispoves the latter statement. His epitaph 
is in Canterbury cathedral, as follows : — 

Sub hoc mannore depoeite sunt leliquic Jacobi Jsf- 
FERIES S. T. P. hujus ecclesiae canooici, qui obiit 4 Sep- 
tembrisy Anno Domini 1689. iEtatis suae 40. 

Thomas, another brother, was knighted at 
Windsor Castle, July 11, 1680. He was a 
knight of Alcantara,' and resided much among 
the Spaniards, who greatly admired his an- 
cestry,^ as consul at Alicant and Madrid. He 
had so far conciliated the esteem of the Spanish 
ministry, as to be recommended for Lord Lans- 
down's successor, as British envoy in Spain; 
but this good fortune was arrested by the Revo- 
lution. When Pennant wrote, there was a full- 
length picture of him by Kneller in Acton- 
house, with a long white cloak over his coat, 
and the cross of the order upon it. 

A storm, which had been gathering for some 
time, was now ready to burst on the heads of 
the court favourites ; and it fell not only upon 
the underlings of the ministry, but even on the 

' A religious order, instituted in 1170 by Fernan Gom^s, 
under the pontificate of Alexander III. 

^ From Tudor Trevor, earl of Hereford, who was himself 
descended from Kynric ap Rhiwellon. 


ministers themselves : it was not likely, there- 
fore, that upon any serious change in the 
posture of affairs, so noted a stickler for govern- 
ment as Sir George Jeffreys should escape. 
Ostensibly, the country party had taken great 
umbrage at a supposed attempt by the adminis- 
tration to stifle the plot ; and in pursuance of 
this, they instituted prosecutions against some 

persons, who, however honestly, had expressed 


themselves indiscreetly on the subject of that 
bugbear; and the King, with equal dissimula- 
tion, professed himself friendly to these proceed- 
ings. But the plot was a mere pretence : the 
old arm of faction was not yet withered : the 
sprightly and gallant Duke of Monmouth had 
gained much upon the affections of the people; 
and the Catholic religion, with the heir-presump- 
tive as its patron, was unpopular, both within 
and without the walls of parliament. The ex- 
clusionists, by pressing their obnoxious bill," 
were at length visited by the black rod ; and the 
parliament was prorogued from time to time, in 
spite of the earnest desire of the opposition to 

* Although the bill was thrown out in the House of Peers 
by a considerable majority, the violence of the Commons 
continued ; and their desire to renew it, with their threat 
against such as had advised its rejection, produced a proro- 


persecute the abhorrers, and to question the 
King's proclamation against tumultuous petition*- 
ing. In order to compel King Charles to sum^ 
mon his parliament, the most violent addresses 
were got up ; and to counteract them, the court 
contrived that anti-petitions, expressing an ab* 
horrence of this clamorous proceeding, should 
be prepared and presented; whence it was, 
th^t the term, abharrer, was derived. Money» 
however, was wanting for the exigencies of tlie 
state, and thus the country faction at length 
prevailed : the session began, and a furious pu*- 
nishment was menaced against all those who 
had dared to violate the subjects liberty, by 
suppressing the voice of petition. After expel- 
ling two of their members, and sending one to 
the Tower, they let loose their wrath against 
the recorder. He had fallen under their dis- 
pleasure on more accounts than one ; for not 
only had he opposed their petitioning to the ut- 
most, but he had of late become quite luke- 
warm in the prosecution of their beloved popish 
plot. When this " Genesis of abhorrences,*' as 
a certain writer styles it, began, the King sent 
for the mayor and aldermen in council, hoping 
that through their high authority an early check 
might be imposed on the hostile petitions which 
were coming forth. Jeffreys attended as their 


spokesman. The lord mayor was one of the 
factious ; and when it was required of him to 
punish the undue practices that were com- 
plained of, he answered, " that he knew of no 
course to suppress the inconvenience, for that 
the people took it as a right in them to petition 
upon any grievance they were sensible of." 
Then Jeffreys, hoping to shift from the city to 
the council the responsibility of this check, 
moved. That his Majesty would issue a procla- 
mation, prohibiting the framing and presenting 
any such petitions, and commanding all magi^ 
strates to punish such as should act to the con-- 
trary. But few approved of this, as being too 
positive ; and North, the chief justice, like a true 
statesman, took exception to the recorder's mo- 
tion ; and though he admitted that a proclama- 
tion on the subject matter might be beneficial, 
yet; objected to one according to* the proposed 
tenor as rather prejudicial, and capable of a 
captious construction. And then his lordship 
recommended the proclamation to be directed 
^tgainst seditious and tumultuous petitioning 
only ; and that it should not by any means be 
supposed to condemn the undoubted privilege 
of the people. The King highly approved of 
this, and the recorder pleased neither party. 
Soon afterwards, he, nevertheless, got up an 


anti-petition in the name of the loyal citizens 
of London, in which they declared this method 
of petitioning to be the method of forty-one," 
and likely to bring His Majesty to the block, as 
his father was brought ; — ^all which doings they 

These were the offences which the House of 
Commons remembered against Sir Gewge when 
they recovered their temporary power, and 
lifted up their voice of censure; accordingly 
they proceeded to several votes against him, 
which are recorded in the journals, and are 
here copied. 

Sabbati, 13« die Novembris, 1680. 

Mr. Trenchard reports from the committee, to 
whom the petition of divers citizens of London 
against Sir George Jeffreys, recorder of the said 
city, was referred ; — ^that the said committee had 
taken the same into consideration, and had 
heard the evidence of the petitioners, and of 
the said Sir George Jeffreys, &c. 

" Resolved, That Sir George Jeflreys, re- 
corder of the city of London, by traducing and 

^ Serjeant Maynard, who was a popular man, was whis- 
pering something, not very pleasing, to Gadbury, a witness 
on Elizabeth Cellier's trial, when the man said, " Mr. Ser- 
jeant, I was none of the tribe of forty-one." 


obstructing petitioning for the sitting of this 
Parliament, hath destroyed the right of the 

'' Ordered, That an humble address be made 
to His Majesty, to remove Sir George Jeffreys 
out of all public offices. 

'* Ordered, That the members of this House, 
that serve for the City of London, do commu- 
nicate the vote of this House relating to Sir 
George Jeffreys, together with their resolutions 
thereupon, to the court of aldermen for the said 

To this address the King replied, '' that he 
would consider of it/* 

Had this gentleman stood upon his right, and 
refused to give up the office of recorder, (for the 
principal object of the country party was to 
substitute Sir George Treby for him in the city 
of London) he had probably continued the 
'* mouth-piece of the city" as long as he de- 
sired. The course which must have been pur- 
sued for the purpose of compelling him to deli- 
ver up the corporation writings, would have 
been by mandamus ; and the cause which the 
parties asking for it must have alleged, might 
probably have been held insufficient by the 
judges then in office ; but he, who had so long 
acted the terrorist towards others, was himself 


considerably alarmed upon this occasion, and» 
in the end, was imposed upon by a trick adopt- 
ed by the adverse faction. He had a repri- 
mand upon his knees at the bar of the House ; 
and on condition that he should remain unmo- 
lested for his crime of abhorring, surrendered 
his situation quietly to that eminent lawyer. Sir 
George Treby, afterwards chief justice of the 
Common Pleas. Some discourse that was held 
out to him about taking heads off, probably 
hastened this pusillanimous decision. He cer- 
tainly played a very weak part at this crisis, for 
he begged and importuned the King to allow the 
vacating of his place, which the Monarch was 
not by any means willing to concede, on ac- 
count of the influence which the former had 
with the citizens, added to his fierce and intract- 
able carriage towards His Majesty's enemies^ 
He gained his point, however, at last, but ^ lost 
his credit, for King Charles facetiously observed, 
" that he was not parliament-proof ;' and some 

' King Charles seems to have been parliament-proof. He 
sold Dunkirk to the French when he thought bis Commons 
parsimonious; he demanded a repeal of the triennial act; shut 
up the exchequer against the bankers without fear of being 
questioned for it; and when the House became clamorous and 
turbulent, he would very quietly send his black rod to tap at 
their door> and warn them all home. His natural sense was 


pretend, that he was never afterwards held in 
esteem by that sovereign, for his timid be- 
haviour ; and, indeed, Mr. North tells us, that 
Jeffreys was " none of the intrepids." How- 
ever, Burnet says, that they [the House of 
Commons,] " fell on Sir George Jeffreys, a fu- 
rious declaimer at the bar; but that he was 
raised by that, as well as by this prosecution :" 
and this is certainly true ; for although he might 
have been under a cloud for a season, the se- 
quel will show, that he soon regained his ground, 
tmA triumphed more surely than before. 

Some have said, that he lost his recordership 
by vote, but this is clearly a mistake ; and there 
is yet another account of this matter, which is 
as follows : — The King, having recovered from a 
very dangerous indisposition, was greeted on 
his going abroad by an address of congratulation 
from the mayor and aldermen, upon' which 

very strong and good ; and it b probable that the little culti- 
vation he allowed his mind was greatly assisted by the advice 
of such great men as Sir William Temple, of whom too 
much cannot be said in panegyric, and the calm, calculating, 
sure, lord-keeper. North. However, this Monarch knew 
^at he could not afiront his parliament beyond a certain 
pitch, and therefore once facetiously observed to his brother 
James, who wanted him to do some extraordinary act, not 
warranted by the constitution, ** Brother, I have no mind to 
go upon my travels again ; you may, if you please.** 


the recorder proposed that they should wait 
upon the Duke of York, who had not long re* 
turned from Flanders, with a like courtesy. 
This motion not being relished, he stayed he^ 
hind with his father-in-law to gain access to 
the Duke ; at which the city took offence, ima- 
gining (and indeed not without some colours 
that he was espousing a cause not exactly coin- 
ciding with their interests ; and thence it was 
determined in the council-chamber, that he 
should be requested to deliver back the papers 
and writings with which he had been entrusted 
as their officer, and so give up his place. This 
he did without delay. 

Both these relations may be correct ; for the 
latter only describes the feelings of the parlia<^ 
ment expressed through the court at Guildhall ; 
and there is nothing unreasonable in the suppo- 
sition that both parties, the city and the parlia- 
ment, had been displeased with his manoeuvring. 
However, he was not turned out in absolute 
disgrace, as will appear from the proceedings 
on the subject, which we subjoin. 

Court of Aldermen, Nov. 23, 1680. 

'* This day the members that serve for this 
city in parliament came to the court, and brought 
down the votes and resolves of the honourable 


House of Commons, in reference to Sir George 
Jeffreys, that he will forthwith surrender to this 
court his said place of recorder. Ordered, That 
Sir Henry Tulse, and Sir James Smyth, knights 
and aldermen, with the town clerk, do speedily 
acquaint Mr. Recorder herewith, and desire 
him to be present at the next court. 

" Ordered, That the town clerk deliver a 
copy of the courts proceedings in reference to 
Sir George Jeffreys to Sir Robert Clayton, 
knt. and alderman, one of the city members, 
to be by him communicated to the House of 
Commons, if the same should be required." 

*' On the second of December Sir George Jef- 
freys, knt. serjeant-at-law, recorder of the city, 
here present, did freely surrender up unto the 
court his place of recorder, and all his right 
and interest therein; of which surrender the 

court did accept and allow. George Treby,' of 


' Of Plympton, Devon. He entered himself a. commoner 
of Exeter College in June, 1660, and afterwards became a 
fellow-commoner. He was of the Middle Temple, and sat 
for his native town in 1678 and 1679. In the beginning of 
October, 1683, he lost his recordership, on the bursting of the 
fanatical plot, but was restored to it on the approach of the 
Prbce of Orange, and again sat for Plympton. In the fol- 
lowing March he became solicitor-general, and when Pol- 
lexfen was made chief of the Conunon Pleas, rose to be 
attorney. In X692 Pollexfen died, and Sir George Treby 


the Middle Temple^ London, Esq. was elected 
the same day, and sworn in December 3rd. 
At the same time, it having been noticed that 
the sum of £200 remained unpaid, which had 
been voted to Sir George JefiFreys on the 22nd 
of October, for his good services performed to 
the city, it was ordered that Mr. Chamberlain 
do pay the same. And a committee was also 
appointed to take into consideration the great 
sums of money disbursed by the late recorder, 
in fitting up his dwelling-house in Alderman- 
bury, which he held of the city."* 

The mob generally take part against a falling 
favourite, and this misfortune of JefiFreys afforded 
them great amusement ; for when the pope 
was burnt in effigy at Temple Bar, on Queen 
Elizabeth's birth-day, the wags of the day had a 
figure of a man set on horseback with his face to 
the tail, and a paper on his back, '' I am an Ab- 
horrer.*' Indeed, he was no favourite with the 

was named for his successor. He died December 13i 1700. 
He was the author of several pamphlets which made a great 
noise at that time of day, and is supposed to have written 
the annotations in the margin of Lord Chief Justice Dyer's 

' Elkanah Settle, who composed a panegyric in verse upon 
Jeffreys, ascribes his removal from the recordership to the 
influence of Shaftesbury. 


populace either in this or the following reig^ 
and he went shares with poor Sir Roger 
L'Estrange in the general odium. L'Estraoge 
was burnt in effiTgy with the pope,' and Jeffreys 
vidth the devil. 

A curious circumstance happened about this 
time respecting one Verdon, a Norfolk attorney, 
which is not unworthy of a place here by way 
of digression. A petition had been presented to 
the House of Commons against this man by the 
inhabitants of his county, for undue practices in 
returning knights of the shire, and other niisde* 
meanours;^ and an order was made that he 

' L'Estrange had given great offence by his ridicule of the 
popish plot, in a narrative which he published in derision of 
Titus Gates's ** /Narrative." ** There was a consult," says 
Sir Roger, ** of three or four booksellers over a bottle of 
wine, what subject a man might venture upon at that time, 
for a selling copy. One of the company was of opinion that 
a book of the fires would make a smart touch, and so they 
all agreed upon't, and propounded to get some of the King's 
witnesses' hands to it; naming first one, and then another, 
they came at length to a resolution, and pitcht upon TVap 
ad crucem, and the History of the Fires, &c." It was '* A 
Narrative and Impartial Discovery of the Horrid Popish 
Plot, carry'd on for the Burning and Destroying of the 
Cities of London and Westminster, with their Suburbs, &c. 
And Dedicated to the Surviving Citizens of London ruin'd 
by Fire, &c." 

*- He once helped off a fellow attorney on a charge of 


shoald be sent for in custody of the serjeant-nt* 
^arms. But Verdon was not so easily taken ; he 
shifted about from place to place, and so eluded 
the search after him for some time, although he 
offered a composition in money for his fees, and 
agreed to surrender upon those terms ; to which 
the Serjeant replied, that he could not sell the 
Justice of the House. However, after a firuitless 
attempt to reach him in London, the messengeiB 
went down to Norwich, and there he struggled 
and battled with them considerably ; he would 
neither mount or dismount from his horse, but 
made the officers put him on and lift him off, 
while his clerks were taking notes all the time, 
and marking the various assaults, for each of 
which the attorney proposed to bring a distinct 
action of battery. But -as soon as they had come 
on about midway between London and Nor- 
wich, the parliament was prorogued, and Ver- 
don said> that the subsequent custody was a 
false imprisonment, upon which he sued the 
parties in the Exchequer* William Williams^ 
the speaker, who had signed the warrant, 

murder by returning a faTourable jury ; and %ke consequence 
was, that hifi acquitted friend committed an assault on the 
persons who were sent to arrest him by order of the parlia- 
ment upon this occasion.;: — See the Journals of the House of 
Commons for 1680, p, 678. 


led for the defendants, and Jeffreys was em- 
ployed for Verdon. Williams alleged, that 
•the men could not have known of the pro- 
rogation, and said much to excuse them upon 
that ground. Verdon then stepped forth, and 
said, " My lord, if Sir William Williams will 
here own his hand to the warrant, I will 
straight discharge these men." Roger North, 
who tells this story, then adds, that *' Jeffreys 
was so highly pleased with this gasconade of his 
client, that he loved him ever after, of which 
Verdon felt the good effects, when his learned 
counsel came that circuit as chief justice ; for 
although many complaints were intended against 
tiiim, and such as were thought well enough 
grounded, yet he came off scot-free." Jeffreys 
hated Williams, because he had received a cen- 
sure on his knees at the bar of the House from 
that gentleman, when speaker, and as North 
says, '' they were both Welshmen ; " ' so that 
when the former got uppermost, he prosecuted 
his quondam lecturer. 

' Sir George seemed not to be aahamed of his country, or 
ite p^uliarities. He was indulging himself one day with a 
very9ommon amusement, that of bullying a witness, and 
thus addressed him : *' Look thee, if thou can'st not compre- 
hend w^at I mean, I will repeat it again, for thou shalt see 
what countryman I am, by my telling my story over twice : 
therefore I ask thee once again." 



Sitowiion MiA new pvos|ieoU of J6Areys-*H« refract to Mlmit 
dissenters on tbe grand jury — Trial of Fitzbarris—- CoUedge* 
tbe joiner, tried — ^Witticisms of JefTrejs — Election of the city 

^ sheriflTs — Dudley North elected — Accoant of Sir Edtnotad 

. Skndwsr-^iidge Jones — ^The fw mmmmio jadgnient'-*tFriy jat 
PiJJdngton for a riot— Anecdote of Dare, tbe petitioner — Some 
account of Sir Thomas Blud worth, and the ^re of London — Tbe 

' Rye-bouse Plot — Sir Francis Pemberton-^Condnct of Jeffreys 

.. t>n the Mai of Lord William Russel. 

I I 

. For this sudden veering of the compass Jef- 
freys was but ill prepared ; he had isubmitted to 
the disgrace of aposl;acy.with the full ejcpecta^ 
tion cf a reward so secure rand permanent as to 
make him ample amends. Now/ on a sudden* 
he was driven forth an .-outcast from the city 
magistracy, publicly denounced by the Com- 
mobs, and jeered at by his royal master fona 
wsDat of common resolution . To. secure his own 
fortunes, let the means or consequences be: as 
tbey; might, wafe the utmost he had. anyrcare 
for, Jbnt the dilBculty lay in discerning the best 
political game 'for accomplishingthose enda* He 
^mus, indeed, possessed of a valuable Judgeldbip, 


and was invested with very high honour amongst 
his coifed brotherhood ; but the court interest 
had sunk to an ebb so low, as to give a proba- 
ble earnest of some instant and fatal revolution 
in the state. Then it was that he bethought 
him of his old companions, many of whom were 
careering with the triumphant party : a seat in 
parliament, and a clamorous disapprobation of 
all government measures^ seemed to him the 
best things in prospect ; nothing remained but 
to seek a reconciliation ; and to obtain this, he 
would, probably, have stooped to any sacrifice. 
But his conduct had been so despicable, that, 
audacious as he was, there were many whom 
he could not approach with any degree of assu- 
rance ; and from those tQ whom he ventured the 
hint, (for it seems he actually made some endea- 
vours,) he met with a reception so un&vonrable, 
as to determine him at once to live and die 
under the royal banner. 

And it happened, that notwithstanding all 
these rebuffs, he maintained a considerable. influ- 
ence both at court and in the city ; so that 
when the Southwark petition was carried up in 
the next year to Hampton Court, he was invited 
to dinner by the Kii^ with his wife's father. Sir 
Thomas Bludworth, and was particularly no- 
ticed ; whilst the lord mayor, aldermen, and com*' 


moiis were sent away with a reprimand* He 
contiQued also an active member of the.lieu^ 
tenancy, and appeared among them girded with 
bk sword ; and, on the whole, we may say of 
him, as Waller did of the Protestant faith in the 
reign of James the Second, ''This falling church 
has got a trick of rising* again/' 

Having had a little time for consideration, 
Jeffreys bethought himself how to avenge his 
disgraoe upon those who had been instrumental 
in annoying him, and he, at last, fixed upon 
the dissenters as the party who bad influenced 
the court of aldermen to turn him out; and, 
ever after, he directed his especial malice against 
these persons. It slight pleasure to him, 
ibr the gratificaticm of this hostility, to find him*- 
aelf appointed chairman of HickesVhall, though 
he lost some portion of his practice through it ; 
and here he soon embroiled himself with his new 
enemies. He would allow no dissenters to serve 
cm the grand jury, and ordered the under-sheriff 
to return a new panel, purged of the secta- 
rians ; but this was refused, on which he order- 
ed the sheriffs to attend on him the next day. 
However, instead of them, came the recorder, 
fraught with the opinion of the court of alder- 
men, that the privilege of the city exempted 
the sheriffs from coming to Hickes's-hall, and 


that tbe service of the under-sheriff was sujBS« 
cient. Oh tbis^ the court fined the sheriff 100/., 
and declared, that the judges should be made 
ac<tuainted with the matter. Accordingly, the 
discussion was renewed before ten judges at the 
Old Bailey, where the sheriffs attended; ^d 
after considerable demur, they consented to re^ 
form the panel. 

Lucky, indeed, was it for our £ing*s serjeant, 
that he had not sudceeded in appeasing the 
offended brotherhood of his early days : the sense 
of shame, or conquering dread which assailed 
him when bethought of them, most indisputably 
averted the wreck of his fortunes. The -King; 
actuated by wise advice, had the .firmness to 
retrench his expenses, and dispense with his 
unruly parliament ; and the government rallied 
imresistibly against its opposers, and was soon 
inta condition to crush them utterly. Fitzharris, 
an Irish gentleman, who had thrown himself in 
ah odd way at the mercy of sodie eaves-^droppers^ 
was the first oil whom the ministers retaliated 
the insults which had been offered them ; he 
was ostensibly sacrificed to the old popish plot 
mania, but, in truth, fell a victim to the furious 
jealousy which raged between the crown and the 
parliament. Jeffreys roared prodigiously 'against 
this unfortunate and indiscreet spy ; he : insisted 


that the prisoner had condemned himself by 
disparaging his own witnesses ; and he further 
told the jury, that if they acquitted Fitzhar- 
ris, they could neither have respect to their cre- 
dit, nor to their consciences. He delivered^ 
moreover, a speech of extraordinary ability ; and 
one who wrote shortly after those days, has 
not scrupled to affirm, that this rhetoric 
weighed mainly with the jury, who were in 
some doubt as to their verdict. However, the 
court before whom he was tried, the chief of 
whom' was a moderate man, highly approved 
of the decision ; and the government no less 
exulted in ridding themselves of one who had 
been a rallying post for faction : yet, notwith- 
standing all this, Fitzharris died a martyr to 
violence and prejudice, for he was clearly in the 
Duchess of Portsmouth's confidence, although 
it pleased Her Grace to forget every thing of the 
kind in a moment of political convenience ; and 
those were days in^ which a culprit's witnesses 
could not be subjected to the test of an oath. 
The seijeant, elated by success, rather increased 
in his roughness at the trial of the titular arch- 
bishop, Plunket; so that Sawyer, attorney-ge- 
neral, was obliged to interfere, and to beg that 
the prisoner might have fair play to ask his 

• Sir FraQcis Pemberton. 


questions. He gave the court another speech ; 
at the end of which, as usual, he held that all the 
treasons were punctually and precisely prored. 
But it was in the following August, at the trial 
of CoUedge,, the London joiner, that he suffered 
his temper to break fully forth ; not only essay- 
ing to overrule the opinion of the court, but 
scattering abroad his untimely jests eren against 
the accused, and thus giving somewhat of a 
foretaste of the chief justice who was to come. 
In fact, this was the first trial of the court party, 
to signalize their triumph over those of the coun- 
try ; and Jeffreys could hardly contain himself 
for joy to think that his ship had righted again, 
and that he should sail on now with all his 
colours flying. He fell first on North, who was 
th^ presiding judge, and who felt disposed to let 
the prisoner have some papers which had been 
taken from him,, to which the advocate objected, 
till the King's counsel had seen them : — ** Look 
you, brother I" says the chief, ** we will have 
nothing of heat till the trial be over : when that 
is over, if there be any thing that requires our 
examination, it will be proper for us to enter 
into the consideration of it^ but in the mean- 
while what hurt is there, if the papers be put 
into some trusty hands, that the prisoner may 
inake the best use of them he can, and yet they 


remain ready to be produced on occasion ?"~ 
Serj. Jefireys. ** With gubmission^ my lord, that 
is assigning him counsel with a witness*" And^ 
at length, the papers were retained by the court, 
on the ground of their being scandalous. Sir 
Greorge could hardly allow the attorney-general 
and the other leading counsel to examine the 
crown witnesses, so anxious was he to gain a 
conviction ; but the prisoner's trade of a carpen^ 
ter afforded him excellent opportunities oi show* 
ing his wit. A libel, called Rary-Show, wad 
produced with cuts : '* I suppose 'tis his own cut* 
ting," said Jeffreys. — Again Jeffreys. " Do you 
know that he had any pistols in his holsters at 
Oxford?"— Dugdale. "Yes, he had."— Jeffreys. 
'* I think a chisel might have been more proper 
for a joiner." 

Sometimes he would affect great coolness. 
— CoUedge. *' Is it probable I should talk to an 
Irishman who does not understand sense ?'^ 
— ^Haynes. ** It is better to be an honest Irishman 
than an English r(^e." Jeffreys (to Haynes 
the witness)—" He does it but to put you in a 
heat ; don't be passionate with him." Colledge's 
mother-in-law came forward to say, that he 
always carried himself like a gentleman, and 
scorned any thing unhandsome. " Pray, how 
came you by this witness ?" said Jeffreys; "have 


you any more of them ? " However, some of the 
witnesses indulged themselves with a sharp hit 
upon the counsel, and upon. his sorest part, and 
he would yet give them their answer in turn/ 
One John Lun was called to throw a discredit 
upon a crown witness, and he, of course, en- 
countered Jeffreys, to whom the attorney and 
solicitor-general seemed to have left all the 
rough work. — Lun. '' I will take the sacrament 
upon it, what I say is true." — Mr. S. Jeff. 
" We know you, Mr. Lun; we only .ask ques- 
tions about you, that the jury may know you 
too, as well as we. We remember what .you 
once swore about an army." CoUedge was 
frightened at this, for he said, " I don't know 
him," meaning the witness. — Mr. Lun. '* I 
don't come here to give evidence of any thing 
but the truth; Itoas never upon my knees before 
the parliament for anything.'' — ^Jeffreys. " Nor I 
fieither for much ; but yet — once ^^w were, when 
you cried. Scatter them, good Lord !" Now this 

* Thia is not unlike Johiiflon*s description of Foote : 
Boswell — " Sir, the ostler would have answered him ; 

would have given him as good as he brought, as the saying 


Johnson — " Yes, sir; and Foote would have answered 

the ostler." 

BoswelVs Joknson, 4io, Vol. ii. p. 491. 


Lim had been a drawer at the Devil Tayern, and 
was ** gifted like an army saint/' He was once 
heard praying against the cav^lieis, and was 
crying out. Scatter 'em» scatter 'em ; which gained 
him the nickname of Scatter 'em. The next 
rub came from Titus Oates, who appeared for 
CSolledge, to show subornation against the Pro- 
testants. The doctor was appealing to Sir 
George as to his knowledge of Alderman Wil- 
cox. The very name of an alderman .eould not 
have failed to h^ve tickled the. lawyer rather 
unpleasantly; and so he said, ** Sir George Jef* 
freys does not intend to be an evidence, I assure 
you." — Dr. Oates. " 1 do not desire Sir George 
Jefireys^to be an evidence for me; I had credit 
in parliaments, and Sir George had disgrace in 
one of them." — Mr. Seijeant; " Your servant, 
doctor ; you are a witty man and a philosopher. 


' The wit of this word '' philosopher ** here may be ex- 
plained by looking to a subsequent cross-examination of 
Gates's brother. Wilcox gave Dr. Oates a dinner, where 
.were seyeral persons; and ColMge had examined the brother, 
who was . one . of the company, to show that no treasonable 
words had been uttered there. Serj. Jeffreys. " Hark you, 
sir, wero there no disputations in divinity ?" — Ans. " Not 
at all.''— Jeff. " Nor of philosophy ?"— Ans. " No;**— Jeff. 
*' Why, pray, sir, did not <Dr. Oates and Mr. Savage talk 
very pleasantly of two great questions in divinity-*the being 
of God, and the immortality of the soul ?" 



A day of retribution was at hand for Oates, and 
Jeffreys was his judge. 

It is not a little amusing to read the account 
of Jeffreys setting the evidence of such men as 
Gates and Dugdale against each other ; though 
we regard with very different feelings the per- 
petual comparison which. lie was making before 
the jury between the testimony x>f Dugdale, as 
being on oath, and so highly credible, and that 
of Oates, unprotected by such sanction, and so 
worth nothing. Nevertheless, he showed even 
on this trial a strong partiality for the strict rules 
of evidence : for when the witness Everard was 
discoursing of what one Justice Warcup wanted 
him to sweat, Jeffreys interrupted him, saying, 
** We have nothing to do vrith what you and Jus- 
tice Warcup talked of: Ibr example's sake, my 
lord, let us have no discourses that concern third 
persons brought in here." He kept up his ani- 
mosity against the prisoner throughout a very 
long trial ; and though CoUedge was noted for his 
zeal against popery, the seijeant, in summing 
up part of the evidence, (which he did with 
many canting expressions,) told the jury, that 
they would trip up the heels of all the evidence 
and discovery of the plot, unless they believed 
Dugdale, Smith, and Turbervile, the principal 
witnesses. The prisoner was convicted and 

jypOfi JEFFREYS. 93 

executed^ and died firmly in the Protestant 

In the following November^ Serjeant Jeffreys 
appeared against Lord Grey of Werk, who had 
deflowered the Lady Henrietta Berkeley ; and^ 
although he occasionally indulged in a alight 
stroke of satire, he behaved very much like a 
man of the world in this affair. However, When 
that lady came to deliver h^r testimony in fa- 
vour of the noble defendant, the seijeant cou}4 
not help his adcustomed slight upon witnesses 
against his own case; and so, when he found 
that the court had ov'erruled the attomeyrge- 
neral's objection to her being sworn, he drily 
added, " Truly, my lord, We would ptevent perr 
jury if we could." 

And now we come to speak of th$i troubles 
which befel the city of London in 1682 and 1663, 
in consequence of the unconquerable predilec- 
tion of the members of the commpn-hall for 
choosing their own sheriffs. ' In forwarding 
their punishment, Jeffreys was a great political 
engine : he had been fortunate enough to bring 
two discomfited adversaries within his grasp — 
th6 city and the dissenters ; and whatever were 
his gdod qualities (for such he certainly had), 
forbeariance and forgetfulness of affronts were 
never numbered amongst them. 


It had been a custom for the lord mayor to 
choose one sheriff, and for the commonalty to 
elect the other- At the Bridge-house feast, 
which was a few days before the 24th of June, 
the day for electing sheriffs, the mayor used to 
drink out of a large giH cup to some person, 
flaming him, by the title of sheriff of London and 
Middlesex for the year ensuing. If the favoured 
citizen were not there, the cup, being placed in 
the great coach, was carried in state to his 
house by the isword-bearer and other officers, 
and presented to him theii^ upon which he was 
saluted my lord mayor's sheriff, and shortly 
after summoned before the mayor and aldermen, 
wheii he either gave bond or fined. This drink^ 
ing and fining was very often a well-concerted 
finesse for the benefit of the corporation ; for if 
ihe'^arty declined, the gilt cup went travelling 
again, and so continued, till some one would 
pledge, and hold ; and this was called ^* going 
a birding for sheriffs." In 1641, the factious 
party having got the ascendency^ my lord 
^mayor's choice was set aside, and the livery se- 
lectied both. Now the court being much vexed 
at this time with the ignoramus by which 
Shaftesbury was let loose, and chagrined indeed 
by thie want of pliability which the city had 
shown respecting the popish plot, by the peti* 


tioning assemblies, and the treatment of thei Duke 
of York, — ^was deteimined to revive the old 
usage ; and having got a mayor. Sir John Moor/ 
who would drink, they cast their eyes around for a 
fitting sheriff to be drunk unto. After some delay, 
Jeffreys, who was at the bottom of all the trans- 
actions, hinted, that Dudley North, the chief 
justice's brother, a rich Turkey merchant, would 
be a creditable man for the ministers to pitch 
upon for a recommendation to the city. This was 
a good device on the part of Jeffreys ; for if the 
chief justice had objected to this nomination, he 
had possibly embroiled himself with the King, 
and so made room for another ; and if he made 
no scruple, as it happened, then the crown was 
served equally well by this insinuation. Sir 
John drank to Mr. North, and sent him the gilt 
cup in full parade, which the merchant boldly 
accepted, amidst all the fiiry and menaces of the 

' '^ Nor was it without cause that the news of his being 
chosen mayor was entertained with so much joy and triumph 
at Holyrood-house ; for some behind the curtain had un< 
doubtedly laid the project of serving themselves in this, if not 
other considerable matters, by him."*— Modest Inquiry con- 
cerning the Election of Sheriffs of London, 1682. However, 
when Moor came to be examined in parliament after the 
Revolution, he denied that any one had instructed him ; and 
Pudley Northsaid the same thing, though Secretary Jenkins 
was a likely man to have done something of that kind. 



opposite faction, who held out the penalties of 
hanging, parliament, beating braids out, and 
even of something worae after death, against 
any one who should dare stand against their 
will. And for a time they so. far gained the 
day, that North was the victim of paivphleteers 
tmd tongues from every quarter: '' the whole 
country rang Mrith his name ; and wherever he 
went, people started out of the way, and cried 
out, ' That's he J*" However, after a conversa- 
tion or two with his brother, the judge, who 
promised to^vance him lOOO/. towards making 
up his account, he cared very little for the cla* 
mours which flew about his ears, for he was a 
jolly, red^£aced, good-humoured man ; and, as 
Roger North says, ^* he thought no more of the 
adv6ntui:e or consequence, than he did in shift- 
ing a bale of cloth." At last came *' the tug of 
war;" the 24th of June arrived, and brought with 
it, as far as the factions were concerned, *' A 
Midsummer Day's Dream.'* 

The chief justice North went to Sir George 
Jeffreys, (who, though not a chief actor, was 
present at the hustings,) and stayed at his house 
during the election ; for Sir George was working 
all his interest to promote the new sheriff; and 
the presence of these great men might, besides, 
assist the spirits of the chief magistrate, lest 


they should droop in the tumult. On the other 
side went forth the Lord Grey of Werk, and the 
^eeii ribbon council,' and the floor of the 
Guildhall was soon crowded. After an immen- 
sity of wrangling, the livery refused to confirm 
North's appointment^,* on which a warm discus- 
sion arose, which ended in a long argument by 
counsel, whether the ball could be dissolved. 
The attorney-general was flat to the point, that 
the mayor was head of the corporation, and so, 
that nothing could be done without him: on 
which he plucked up a remarkable spirit, rose 
unexpectedly, and bade the officer take up the 

' Many cluhs and associations were formed at this time in 
different quarters of the city. The most celebrated was the 
green ribbon club, which consisted of two hundred persons 
devoted to opposition and the bill of exclusion. Sir Robert 
Peyton, who incurred the censure of the House of CJommoos 
for having made his peace with the Puke of York, being 
questioned by the House, informed them that the Duke of 
York said to him, ** You have been against me, Sir Robert ; 
you was a member of the green ribbon club." — Somer* 
tilk^M PoUHcal Transactions, p. 101. and lb. p. 10. 

^ ^* The dissenteri, who were much the greater numbery 
instead of holding up hands, screwed their faces into num- 
berless variety of No*s, in such a sour way, and with so much 
noise, that any one would have thought all of them had, in 
the same instant of time, been possessed with some malign 
spirit that convulsed their visages in that mantter."-p*J\rorl**# 
Examenf p. 005. 



sword, saying, as he went off, " If I die, I die." 
He then took his seat upon the hustings, and 
directed Crispe, the common seijeant, to adjourn 
the hall. Sir John Moor intended that the case 
should have been argued by counsel, and he 
fixed on Mr. Sanders (afterwards the chief jus- 
tice), together with Sir George Jeffreys, for that 
purpose ; but " upon receiving a letter from a 
certain minister, his lordship came down, and 
dismissed the court." ' 

In the end, the court prevailed ; and North, 
with one Sir Peter Rich, a citizen-courtier, 
were sworn for the ensuing year. But Jeffreys, 
although not permitted to interfere with these 
proceedings on account of his deprivation, was 
not without full employment in this alBTair soon 
afterwards. For, doubting perhaps the firmness 
of the crown, the old sheriffs, Pilkington and 
Shute, were so indiscreet as to set up a poll in 
the common-hall after the adjournment; for 
which, on information and oath made, they 
were forthwith arrested, and obliged to put in 
bail, and in the following May took their trial 
with several others for a riot. 

Upon this occasion the serjeant appeared in 

' See '* The Rights of the City further unfolded, and the 
manifold Misearriagesof my Lord Mayor, &c. displayed and 
laid open/' 1682. 


all his glory. There was some objection in the 
outset as to swearing the jury ; in the legal 
phrase, it was attempted to challenge the ar- 
ray. " Pray, gentlemen, " said the good-natured 
chief justice Sanders, '* don't put these things 
upon me : you would not have done this before 
another judge ; you would not have done it if 
Sir Matthew Hale had been here. This is only 
to tickle the people." And Jeffreys exclaimed, 
when the challenge was read, '' Here's a tale of 
a tub, indeed !" 

This Sir Edmund Sanders was a most re- 
markable character: he was derived from the 
meanest origin, a mere beggar-boy, and " court- 
ed the attorneys' clerks for scraps." But he 
contrived to make himself in due time a very 
expert special pleader ; and being conversant 
with all the traps and snares of the law, very 
often baffled his superiors, (Maynard' among 

' This very considerable man was the eldest son of Alex* 
ander Maynaid, Esq. of Tavistock, Devon, and was born 
about 1602. At the age of sixteen he was entered of Exeter 
College, Oxford ; and, previous to his taking the degree of 
A. B., was admitted a student of the Middle Temple. He 
was a friend of Mr. Attorney Noy, and was contemporary 
with Selden, RoUe, and other great lawyers of the day, 
whose custom was to converse very unreservedly together, 
and thus cement their various stocks of knowledge. Maynaid 
soon had great practice, which he managed to retain to the 


the restO and had certain business which none 
but himself could do. Hale had no great fancy 

€nd of his forensic career : for whether there was a monaichy 
or a commonwealth, he equally prospered ; and was concerned 
in the state persecutions which distinguish the reign of the 
second Charles. His knowledge of law waa exquisite, and 
Jeffreys was often glad to avail himself of ft faint from the 
old Serjeant, which he would greedily swallow, and ciow 
over the other counsel with the new information he had 
gained. One day, however, he unguardedly broke loose 
upon his instructor, and told Maynard, who was then quite 
mellow with age, that he had grown so old as to forget the 
law. ** Tis true. Sir George, I have forgotten more law 
than ever you knew/' was the punishing retort. In 1(140, 
thb lawyer sat for Totness, and soon after was employe^ 
against the Earl of Strafford and Archbishop Laud. In 1647, 
he was so eminent as to get 700/. in one circuit : " more,'' 
says TVhitelock, ** than was ever got before in that way:" 
and in 1663, the Protector made him his serjeant There were 
some pointo, however, which this stout advocate would not 
submit to yield ; and he so conducted himself in the famous 
case of Cony, (who was imprisoned by Cromwell without 
process of law for refusing to pay taxes,) as to be sent to the 
Tower, from whence, however, he soon got out by submis- 
sion. At the Restoration he was fox enough to be made 
Serjeant ; and very soon after. King's serjeant, with the honour 
of knighthood, at which time he was appointed a judge,* but 
made his excuses, probably because that post was held only 
during the King's pleasure. In 1661, he was returned for 

* Thb refutes what ii tomewhere sneeringly Mid, tb«t Maynaid con- 
trived to be made King'e leqcant tt the Bestorttaoib hut could get ao fur* 



for him, for he was quite besotted with ale and 
brandy ; so much so, that in summer his brethren 
c^ the bar suffered a kind of martyrdom in being 
obliged to stand near him, for intemperance had 
given him rather an unwholesome carcase. 
However, he passed off all their grumbling with 
a jest, and used to be so merry and facetious, 
aind withal so loyal, that he had no enemies ; 
and having had the settlement of the pleadings 
in the great qm warranto case against the city, 
(fcff he was the government devil' of those 
times,) came quietly upon the cushion of the 
King's Bench, where his science soon recon- 
ciled the lawyers to him. 
We return to Pilkington*s affair, where Sir 

Beeralston, Devon, and sat throughout the two reigns in the 
House of Commons. He was a member of the Convention , 
^nd was very vigorous and able in managing the conference 
between the LorAs and ComvMBS. At the age of 97, he was 
promoted to be first conminioBer of Ae great Mai, Md the 
year after was chosen member for Plynoutb, but resigaed 
his seat in Chancery soon afterwards. He died at Gunners- 
bury, near Ealing, on the 9tb of October, 1690, and was 
buried in the church there. Every one knows his celebrated 
reply to King William, who told him that he had outlived 
all die men of the law of his time. ** He had like to lutve 
oaOived tlie law itself," he ttnawered, " if His Highaess had 
not come over.'' 

' An eminent counsel who settles pleadings for govern- 


Greorge was exercising his grossiereth ia perfect 
freedom. The counsel for the defendants were 
pressing their challenge : *' Pray tell me, Robin 
Hood upon Greendale stood," quoth the Ser- 
jeant, ** therefore you must not demur." And 
in .the course of the trial he rose into a towering 
passion, rebuked the advocates on the other side 
with considerable violence, and, in fact, carried 
the verdict by storm. . He was the more an- 
noyed, because of the frequent allusions which 
were made to his having held office in the city, 
and he himself was obliged incidentally to 
mention circumstances which had happened in 
his time there. Nevertheless, he evinced great 
acumen in fixing the guilt of this riot on the 
respective prisoners whom he found he could 
convict ; and there was, indeed, some need of his 
blustering amidst the din and clamour which 
disturbed the court during the trial. 

And now he was able to requite some of his 
enemies ; for in estimating the amount of fines, 
and the abilities of the defendants to pay them, 
recourse was had to his advice, which he so 
gave as to bring down a heavy penalty upon 
their heads. This judgment was reversed in 
parliament on the coming in of King William. 
Soon afterwards, it fell to the lot of Sir Patience 
Ward to be tried for perjury ; in which inquiry 


Jeffreys was concerned, but exhibited nothing 
remarkable/ if we except the precision with 
which he detected the inaccuracy of some short- 
hand notes.' 

Yet his most signal victory over the city par- 
tizans was certainly the (pw warranto judgment. 
Secretly he had urged this measure as a punish- 
ment for the perpetual rebellion which the citi- 
zens had been waging against the ministry ; and 
he succeeded not only in overturning their pri- 
vileges, but in reducing them to beg for favour 
at his hands. The same man had complimented 
the King and the Duke of York on the removal 
of a similar proceeding in 1680 ; but he was not 
at that time an ex-recorder. 

This pulling down of so great a charter as 
that of the Londoners was a bright example 
for one so fond of power and terror as Sir George 
Jeffreys: so that as soon as he became chief 
justice, he went the northern circuit, in the 
plenitude of authority to save or annul the cor- 
porate privileges of those parts at his pleasure : 

Diruity aedificat, mutat. 

There was in truth a northern, as well as a 
western campaign. Having plotted, that the 
King should give him some token of acceptance 
in respect of these services, on the morning of 


his expedition he had a ring fresh from the royal 
finger. And so he went forth, a mighty legate, 
while all the charters, " like the walls of Je- 
richo/'" fell down at his feet ; and he returned 
*' laden with surrenders, the spoils of towns/* 
This ring was called the blood-stone ; and when 
the King gave it, he is reported to have said, 
that now the judge was going his circuit, '' as 
the weather was hot, he had better not drink 
too much." 

It is well known, that Judge Jones gave the 
opinion of the court upon the quo warranto; 
and it is probable, that he was rewarded with 
the chief seat in the Common Pleas for this 
eminent service. Jones was of Welsh extrac- 
tion, and was brought up at Shrewsbury free- 
school, like his countrymen, he was given 
to occiusional heats ; and these were shown, says 
the author of the Examen, ** in a rubor of coun- 
tenance set off by his grey hairs." He was the 
judge who punished the femous Mr. Dare for 
seditious words. It is a well-known story, that 
this Dare presented one of the violent petitions 
to the King, and that when his Majesty asked 
him, how he dared present it, " Sir," said the 
man, **my name is Dare." However, Jones would 

' North's Bxamen, 4to. p. e06. 


have been supplanted if Sir George might have 
had his will, for it seems that he pressed very 
hard for the place, and it might have been only 
a promise that he should be the next King's 
Bench premier that quieted him, particulairly 
as Sanders was ill, and the place was one of 
greater power, though indeed, at that time, of 
less emolument. This was a second effort to 
outstrip another, though not so successful as 
the ejectment of poor Sir Job Charlton. 

Sir John Reresby tells us,' that, when the 
chief justice Jones* was dispensed with by 
JWnes II. Mr. Jones, his son, said, that his fa- 
ther had observed to the King,«that he was by 
no means sorry he was laid aside, old and worn 
out as he was in his service, but concerned that 
His Majesty should expect such a construction 
of the law from him, as he could not honestly 
give ; and that none but indigent, ignorant, or 
ambitious men would give their judgment as he 
expected ; and that to this His Majesty made 

* Memoirs, p. 233. 

* He was choleric, but, on the whole, a very tolerable 
judge for those times. The greatest stain upon his character 
seems to be the yiolence which he used towards the unhappy 
Mrs. Gaunt. He was made judge of the King's Bench, 
April 13, 1676, and chief justice of the Common Pleas, 
September 29, 1083. 


answer, '' It was necessary his judges should 
be all of one mind." Jones replied, " Twelve 
judges you may possibly find, sir, but hardly 
twelve lawyers." 

" Sir Thomas Bludworth, the father of Lady 
Jeffreys, died about this time. He was sheriff 
in 1663, and lord mayor of London in 1666, and 
he represented the city from the restoration 
until the thirtieth year of Charles II.'s reign, 
the year of his daughter's marriage. Pepys 
falls very foul . upon him in his Diary, repeat- 
edly characterizing him as. a weak and ineffi- 
cient man; for which some proof is certainly 
adduced. He suffered the impressment of some 
respectable persons who had not been accus- 
tomed to a sea-faring life, and neglected to 
give them the boimty money, which Mr. Pepys 
says, he was obliged to furnish from his own 
pocket.' The account which that journalist 
gives of Sir Thomas's pusillanimity during the 
great fire, is as follows : '^ At last, met my lord 
mayor in Canning-street, like a man spent, 
with a handkercher about his neck. To the 
King's message,'* he cried, like a fainting wo- 
man, * Lord I what can I do ? I am spent : peo- 
ple will not obey me, I have been pulling down 

• ' Diary, Vol. i. p. 426. 
* That houses should be pulled down. 


houses, but the fire overtakes us faster than we 
can do it.' That he needed no more soldiers ; 
and that, for himself, he must go and refresh 
himself, having been up all night. So he left 
me, and I him, &c/" 

Something that came out on RosewelFs trial, 
which we shall mention by and by, seems to 
confirm this supineness of the lord mayor. A 
witness, named Smith, stated that the prisoner 
had preached to this effect : — *' There was a cer- 
tain great man that lived at the upper end of 

* Vol. i. p. 446. Pepys aeems afterwards to have been on 
good terms with Jeffreys , as appears from a letter printed 
among the correspondence subjmned to the Diary : — 

Lord ChanceUar J^rty$ to Mr, Pepys, 

Bulstrode, July ye 7th, 1687. 
My most honrd. Friend, 

The bvArer, Capt. Wren, came to mee this evening, 
with a strong fancy that a recommendation of myne might 
at least entitle him to your favourable reception : his civiUi- 
ties to my brother, and his relation to honest Will. Wren, 
(and you know who else,) emboldens me to offocmy request 
on his behalfe. I hope he has served our Mr. well, and is 
capable of being an object of the Ring*s favour in his re- 
quest : however, I am sure I shall be excused for this im- 
pertinency, because I will gladly, in my way embrace all 
opportunities wherein I may manifest myself to be what I 
here assure you I am. Sir, your most entirely 

Affectionate friend and servant, 

Jeffreys, C. 

108 M£llfOIRS OF 

Gracechurch-street, about thifi time eighteen^ 
years agone; I name nobody, you all know him 
whom I mean. And there came a certain poor 
man to him ; he was not a poor man neither, but 
a carpenter by trade ; — one that wrought for his 
living, a labouring man; and told that great 
man, if he would take his advice, he would tell 
him how to quench the fire; but he pish'd at 
it, and made light of it, and would not take his 
advice. Which if it had not been for that great 
man, and the lord mayors and sheriffs that have 
been since, — ^nor the fire at Wapping, nor the 
fire at Southwark, had gone so far, or come to 
what they did." Then said the chief justice, 
''There was a great man that lived at the 
end of Gracechurch-street ? who did him 
mean by that ?" As if Jeffreys did not know 
that his own father-in-law lived Jthere! — Mr. 
Recorder. " He meant, we suppose. Sir Tho- 
mas Bludworth, that was lord mayor at the 
fire time." 

However, Dr. Freeman, the rector of St. 
Ann's, Aldersgate, who had the task of perform- 
ing his funeral sermon, indulged in most lavish 
praise of die knight. '' He had the unhappiness 
to live in an age that 's full of uncharitable cen- 
sures. He was an excellent father and hus- 
band, feared God and loved his church, and 


died without an expression of discontent." The 
reverend doctor could not have said more if the 
mitre had been descending upon his head. 

There was another Sir Thomas, probably the 
son of the lord mayor, who, among others, stre- 
nuously opposed a bill for charging the chancel- 
lor's estates in Leicestershire, after his decease, 
with 14600/., and interest, for the payment of 
his debts. By calling in the assistance of coun- 
sel, the property was saved to the heir, the bill 
being lost. 

The Rye-house Plot, a real substantial con- 
spiracy, was now discovered, in which many 
persons of high blood were deeply implicated ; 
and we should not do justice to the character of 
Jeffreys were we to pass over the details of it in 
silence. The king's counsel were on the alert, 
and Sir George had precedence next to the at- 
torney-general, (Sawyer,) and the solicitor, Mr. 
Finch.' The judge was Pemberton, who had been 

' Mr. much was ihe second ion of Heneage, Earl of 
Nottiagfaam, Lord High ChaaceUor of England* He was 
sent to Christ Church at the age of fifteen, in 1664, and^ 
went thence without a degree to the Inner Temple. At the 
age of twenty-nine, being then solicitor-general, he was 
chosen member for Oxford University, which honourable 
trust he held for many years. Sir Francis Winnington 
having displeased the ministry^ Fiaoh took the place of soli* 
citor-general in the room of that lawyer in 1678, but was 


was mainly deficient, for want of clear proof 
that Lord Russel had assented to the plans of 
the conspirators : wherefore it was, that he asked 
very earnestly of the Lord Howard this : " But 
he did consent ?" — Lord Howard. "We did not 
put it to the vote, but it went without contra- 
diction ; and I took it, that all those gave their 
consent." The prisoner had been in the habit 
of associating with the persons who were said to 
have formed a treasonable council on this occa- 
sion, and so far the evidence was against him ; 
but it was indispensable to a just conviction that 
he should have participated in some overt act ; 
and had not Pemberton, in the conclusion of this 
sunmiing up, fallen upon the design to seize the 
King's guards, which he interpreted as a design 
to seize the person of the King, the matter had 
gone lame indeed to the jury. Nevertheless, 
Jeffreys manifested a bravado which must have 
been perfectly astonishing ; he told the jury that 
the King's counsel had raked no gaols for their 
witnesses ; that it was not likely that two men 
should damn their own souls to take away the 
prisoner's life ; that the religion of the country 
ought to be preserved ; that they should not for- 
get the horrid murder of that pious prince. King 
Charles the First ; and that they should not be 
corrupted by the greatness of any man. An 


anonymous writer ' tells us, that this speech had 
great influence on the jury, and that it vras deli- 
vered from a pique against the nobleman ac^ 
cused, because he had been in parliament when 
the orator was brought down upon his knees 
there : and there may be some colour for this, 
since the address of the judge must be consi- 
dered as containing an intimation that the jury 
might acquit, if they dared. 

Sanders, the chief justice, was now dead by 
apoplexy; an admirable lawyer, and one who 
has left behind him a very bible for special 
pleaders; but a man of careless morals, and a 
bigot to the ale-cask. In his room came Sir 
George Jeffreys, who was made on the 29th of 
September, 1683, and soon afterwards sworn of 
the privy council.* 

' The Bloody AflBues, p. 10. 

* Somerville says^tliat he was first a puisne judge ; hut 
this is incorrect : Pembtrtan had heen a puisne before his 


114 MinCOIRS OF 


Sir George Jeffreys appoioted lerd chief jtratiee of tbe King's 
Benoh— -The trial of jljgemon Sidney— Points of law oTerraled 
by the judge— Intrepid and talented defence made by Sidney — 
Exasperation of the chief justice — Bishop Burnet's invectiYe 
against Jeffreys — Character of him by Nortli — Wit of a gray- 
beard directed against the judge— Williams, tbe speal^er of the 

, CommonSy flned^— Bickering between the chief justice and Mr. 
Ward— His scYerity in restraints upon counsel— His treatment 
of unwilling witnesses — He is summoned to be a member of 
the cabinet— The Lord Keeper Guilford's uneasiness inbaving 

. . him for a colleague— He addresses the King— Iiord Gnilferd 
resists the chief justice's intercession — Jeffreys decidedly a 
Protestant — Trial of Mr. Rosewell — Generous application.of 
Sir John Talbot to the King for Roseweirs pardon— Contests 
of the chief justice and Lord Guilford — Anecdotes — ^Deatb 
of Charles Uw — ^Monmonth and the liberal party — Jeffreys's 
elevation to the peerage — ^Titus Oates tried for perjury — 
His sentence— 43ir Bartholomew Shower— Legal acquirements 
•f Jeffreys discussed— East India nM>iiopoly— Lady Ivy's oase 
— Richard Baxter, the nonconformist — Occasional forbear^nce 
of Judge Jeffreys. ^ 

This promotion^ it may be well imagined^ 
could hardly be denied to Jeffreys; always 
busy in the intrigues and politics of the courts 
from a mere adventurer in state manoeuvres, he 
at length became a chief engine in virorking 


them^ and in Hie course of a few months he was 
admitted into the cabinet. There hardly needd 
any speculation as to the immediate cause of 
this eleyation» when we consider the immensity 
of service which he had rendered the crown; 
the abundance of convictions he had procured ; 
the unhesitating and devoted servility which 
he had displayed: yet it has been said^ that 
his promise to bail the popish lords helped ma- 
terially to lift him up, that he showed much 
irresolution and deceitfulness about the matter, 
and, in the writer's own words, " failed at the 
touch." Certain it is, that Danby and the three 
others (for Stafford had suffered death) applied 
by petition to be bailed ; but their request was 
refused on the first application, although means 
were found afterwards to renew it with better 

There was now another victim to be sacrificed,, 
and the ministers knew their new judge too 
well not to prefer him to Pemberton. It was 
one of Jeffreys's first judicial employments to 
preside at the trial of that considerable man, 
Algernon Sidney. He began very fairly, for he 
openly reprobated the practice of whispering 
to. the jury. " Let us have no remarks,*' said 
he, *' but a fair trial, in God's name V Sir John 


Dalrymple has observed in his Memoirs/ that 
when the court would have persuaded Sidney 
to make a step in law, which he suspected was 
meant to hurt him, he said, '' I desire you 
would not try me, and make me to run on dark 
and slippery places, I don't see my way ;'' as 
though the judges wished to lead him into a 
trap. In justice to the chief of the court, who 
has been so much censured for his deportment 
here, let us hear the caution which he distinctly 
gave the prisoner : — 

Lord Chief Justice. '' Put in what plea you 
shall be advised; but if you put in a special 
plea, and Mr. Attorney demurs, you may have 
judgment of death, and by that you wave the 
fact." And again, '' I am sure there is no gen* 
tleman of the long robe would put any such 
thing into your head. There was never any 
such thing done in capital matters." The deep 
blemish upon this trial was, that the unfortunate 
colonel was found guilty upon inadmissible evi- 
dence, and a misrepresentation of the law by 
Jeffreys. A witness was suffered to give evi- 
dence that he knew Sidney's hand-writing, 
because he had seen him write once, and had 
met with indorsements upon bills in the same 

* Vol. i. p. 36. 


hand- writing ; ,and another was allowed to speak 
from his experience of those indorsements only : 
and the judge would have mere writing to be 
an overt act 'of treason. Whereas, the men 
ought to have testified to Sidney's hand of 
their own knowledge, without consulting any 
other papers ; and the doctrine, scribere est 
agere, ought never to have been entertained in 
a court of justice, unle&s a publication were 
proved. , 

But there is no colour for saying, as some 
have done, that the court refused to hear the 
prisoner, and give him the benefit of his de- 
fence. The report of the proceedings bears 
ample proof that great patience was shown, 
even by Jefireys, and that he pointed out the 
advantage which would be gained by throwing 
a discredit on Lord Howard's statement, who 
was a principal witness against the prisoner. It 
was not until questions were demanded by Sid- 
ney at their hands, that he was interrupted by 
the judges, and with regard to some suggestions 
by the chief, that irrelevant discourses should not 
be indulged; — in this, our own enlightened day, 
if an accused person strays far from the point, 
it is rarely indeed that he will not be minded 
by the judge of the true course material to his 
defence. Sir John Dairy mple brings a further 

118 Memoirs of* 

charge against the chief justice for' endeavour- 
ing to ensnare the colonel into an avowal of the 
seditious writing attributed to him. We will 
give the passage from the State Trials at length, 
always premising that Jeffreys had such an 
overbearing tendency in his composition, as to 
reveal any artifice he might have been desirous 
of employing by the very violence of his method. 

Mr. Att. Gen. — So much we shall make use 
of; if the colonel please to have any other part 
read to explain it, he may. — [Then the shopts 
were shown to Colonel Sidney.] 

Col. Sidpey. — I do not know what to ^ make 
of it ; I can read it. 

Lord Ch. Just. — ^Ay, no doubt of it ! better 
thain any man here. Fix on any part you have a 
mind to have read. 

Col. Sidney. — I do not know what to say to 
it, to read it in pieces thus. 

Lord Ch. Just. — I perceive you have disposed 
them under certain heads : to what heads would 
you have read ? 

Col. Sidney.— My hrd, let him give an account 
of it that did it. 

And then the King's counsel went on with 
their evidence. 

Can it be denied, that, at this day, if the 
publication of a libel be proved, it may be pro- 

JUD^e J£JFRETS, 119 

posed to the defeadant, without offence, to read 
any detached parts of it ? a proposal which may 
come from the court, if they see fit, for his be- 
nefit The papers produced had been found 
in Sidney's study ; and there could hardly be 
a question but that he had been the author. If 
Jeffreys intended the address he made for arti- 
fiee, he was most deplorably off his guard ; for 
the most natural reply which a prisoner would 
make, when told that he knew all about a mat- 
ter with which he might be charged, would be, 
*' My lord, I know nothing at all about it" 

Nor would an assumption by the judge that 
he had done any particular act, in any wise alter 
his course ; for having determined to deny the 
thing itself, he would be brought to the very 
point of denial by being challenged so publicly 
as the author. If it be intended to applaud the 
43kill of the conspirator, Sidney, it may be agreed, 
without difficulty, that he opposed craft infi- 
nitely superior to that exercised against him, 
admitting a design to entrap him This lart 
reply is justly celebrated : he would give no 
ground to his prosecutors; and, at the last, 
would have had his writ of error, but for the 
dissent of the attorney-general. Just before 
judgment he exclaimed, ** I must appeal to Grod 
and the world, I am not heard ; " and after sen- 


tence pronounced, he finnly uttered his appeal 
to God, that inquisition for his blood might be 
made only against those who maliciously perse^ 
cuted him for righteousness' sake. Jeflfreys, as 
well he might, on hearing this, started from his 
seat, and lost his temper. *' I pray God," cried 
he, *^ work in you a temper fit to go unto the 
other world, for I see you are not fit for this." 
— Col. Sidney. " My lord, feel my pulse (hold- 
ing out his hand), and see if I am disordered ; I 
bless God, I never was in better temper than I 
am now«" Sidney's solicitor entertained a very 
different feeling: far from participating in the 
prisoner's philosophical calmness, he could not 
lielp declaring, that the jury were a loggerheaded 
jury, for which he was immediately committed. 
It is said also, that the chief justice was seen to 
speak with the jury ; but the maxim, de mortms nil 
nisi banum, has never been of the least advantage 
to poor Jeffreys, whose character is destined to 
bear every curse which the fierce imagination of 
men can devise. 

The attainder was reversed, because the 
law had been improperly expounded; and 
the friends of Russel and Sidney would, of 
course, combine to blacken the judge who 
had deprived them of their associates, when 
they themselves rose in power at the Revolu- 


tion. Jeffreys had grossly erred; but must be 
held acquitted upon this occasion of that vast 
brutality and artifice with which writers have 
loaded him : for^ excepting Hale and Pemberton, 
all his predecessors in that reign were accus- 
tomed to language and manners quite as arbi- 
trary, and occasionally even more unpolished. 

However, this conduct plainly showed that 
he would go all lengths for the attainment of 
rank ; or, as one writer says, '' so as he rode on 
horseback, he cared not whom he rode over/' 
And the truth was, that people in general were 
seriously frightened when they found this man 
seated on so high a throne :' they were preju- 
diced against him ; and, no doubt, regarded every 
thing which fell from him with much less al- 
lowance than the words of other contemporary 
judges, although no less violent when it suited 
their purposes. Burnet is outrageous upon the 
subject : '' Jeffreys was scandalously vicious," 
says he, '' and was drunk every day, besides a 
drunkenness of fury in his temper that looked 
like enthusiasm/' He then launches out against 
the partiality and declamation which Sir George 
displayed on the bench, the indecency which 
he yielded to on his post ; and abuses his elo- 

' Evfilyn says, ** Sir George Jefferies was advanced^ re- 
puted the most ignorant^ but most daring." 

'122 M£HOIR$ OF 

^tience as ^* viciously copious, and neither cor- 
rect nor agreeable." It was very proper that a 
clergyman should feel scandalized at a charac- 
ter, who was frequently not only ebrius, but 
ebrhokis; but it does not follow from* all this 
tirade, that Jeffreys was drunk every day ; and 
the future bishop could not be complimented 
upon his choice of companions, if he had any 
actual proof of such indulgences : the fact was, 
that men of that day had adopted a system of 
mutual abuse and recrimination. Treby, who 
never left the bottle while thwe was a man to 
«tand by it, comes out of the furnace a most 
respectable judge ; and Jeffreys, as though he 
were a perpetual firebrand.' 

His private life at this time is described much 
in the same manner by North, who had no 
great love for him, because he was for ever 
thwarting his brother, the lord keeper. He 
used to drink and talk with ^^ good fellows and 
humourists:" and so he would unbend himself 
in " drinking, laughing, singing, kissing, and 

' Bevil Higgons, in his Reyiew of Burnet's History, has 
observations upon this subject nearly similar : " If my Lord 
JefferieSy" said he, '' exceeded the bounds of temperance now 
and then in an evening, it does not follow that he was drunk 
on the bench and in council/' There are several other re- 
marks which may be found in Higgons*s Historical Works^ 
Vol. ii. p. 263. 





erery extravagance of the bottle/' But the 

writer is driven to confess, that when this judge 

was in temper, and had an indifferent matter 

before him, he became a seat of justice better 

than any other. And then he had a set of ban-< 

terers, as North calls them, but who were most 

probably parasites suffered to live upon his hos*« 

pitalities ; and when they all sat down together, 

there was a general flow of abuse and scandal, 

which regaled the chief justice amazingly. Some 

of these hangers-on were at the bar; and .al-> 

though our author acquaints us that there was 

no friendship which he would not pse ill, we 

cannot help chuckling at the idea, that he 

would fall upon these minions without mercy 

when he was pleased to* do so, even in public; 

and this he called giving '' a lick with the rough 

side of his tongue." Who can condemn th^ 

host for lashing such guests as these on occa^ 

sion ? He kept up the dignity of the bar by it ; 

for he said as much as that, although such men 

might be his boon companions, he did not con* 

sider them as deserving of the least favour* 

And truly he was equally impartial, as far as 

relates to any preference of his friends when he 

got into the chancery, for there he lectured aH 

the counsel round. From this we gather ai: 

once the secret of his violating friendship when 


he arrived at promotion ; for none except aban- 
doned characters would stoop to be his co-mates, 
and he had ample sense enough to know that 
they were never worth consideration. He met, 
however, occasionally, with more respectable 
men, amongst others with Evelyn. Very soon 
after Sidney's trial, at most a day or two, he 
went to a grand wedding of one Mrs. Castle, 
where the lord mayor and several of the city 
quality were present — ^Judge Wilkins and Eve- 
lyn were there. Jeffreys and his brother judge 
danced with the bride, and were very merry. 
The party spent the afternoon, till eleven at 
night, in drinking healths, taking tobacco, and 
" talking," says the author of Sylva, " much 
beneath the gravity of judges that had but a 
day or two before condemned Mr. Algernon 
Sidney." Yet every one knows that judges 
must unbend as well as other people ; and the 
customs of times much later than those have 
warranted the pledging healths and cracking 
bottles even unto the peep of the day succeed- 
ing the bridal night. 

Some violences of his temper at this period 
may be accounted fbv, from the severe fits of 
the stone which intemperance had bestowed on 
him. It must have been one of these which 
prompted his severity to Armstrong. Sir Tho- 


mas demanded the benefit of the law. Lord 
Chief Justice. "That you shall have, by the 
grace of God ! see that execution be "done on 
Friday next, according to law : you shall have 
the full benefit of the law." This looks like 
brutality ; but Sir Thomas had almost infuriated 
the judge, by telling him that he had been 
robbed and stripped of his clothes ; and there^ 
fcnre, as lawyers would not plead without money, 
that he could not fee them ; and he half hinted, 
that the court knew of his being plundered. 

When Armstrong found that nothing he could 
say would prevail, he exclaimed aloud against 
the chief, saying, " My blood be upon your 
head!" — "Let it, let it; I am clamourrproof," 
returned Jeffreys. After the great change of 
1689, an attempt was made to procure 5000/. 
for the Lady Armstrong and her children, from 
the estates of Sir Thomas's judges 9Bd prose-, 
cutors ; but, like many others of the same kind, 
the bill failed, and the attainder remained in 
force for some years, when it was reversed, but 
without the compensation clause. 

Fierce as he was, our chief j ustice did not 
always escape the sting of a repartee. He went 
a country assize once where an old man with a, 
great beard came to give evidence, but had not 
the good fortune to please the judge : so he 


quairelled with the beard, and said, '' If your 
conscience is as large as your beard, you'll 
swear any thing." The old blade was nettled, 
and briskly returned, ** My lord, if you go about 
to measure consciences by beards, your lord- 
ship has none/' He had a strange remem- 
brance of slights. There was a certain jury at 
Guildhall^ with one Best among them, who ac- 
quitted a man for publishing a pamphlet much 
against die recorder's will (who was Jeffreys), 
and he did not scruple to upbraid the twelve 
with perjury. The jury were so much irritated, 
tiiat they nbved the Old Bailey court for leave 
to indict him, and Mr. Best was very active in 
the business. Scroggs, the judge, said, that 
ihey had better defer their charge, for the ses- 
sions were nearly ended^ and it could not be 
tried until the next ; and that he .did not like to 
leave so high a nian as the recorder under an 
imputation so long. The matter dropped, be- 
cause Treby came in recorder before the next 
sessions; but there was one who recollected 
Mr. Best very keenly for it. This man afterv 
wards drank a health to the pious memory of 
Stephen GoUedge, for which he was convicted, 
but absconded to avoid the fine. However, he 
met ^ die chief justice on horseback, some time 
afterwards, going the cirquit ; and on being told 


who he was, cheated perhaps by some roman- 
tic idea that great men forget the injuries done 
them in their inferior stations, was so silly as tor 
tell his name, and desire his service to his lord- 
ship. He little dreamt tihat he should be im- 
mediately fetched back, sent off to York gaoU 
and thence brought to the King's Bench a pri- 
soner, for a fine of £500* And Williams, the 
speaker, shared the same fate : he had undergone, 
the task of lecturing the present head of his court 
at the bar of the House of Commons, and was now. 
sued to the utmost for publishing Dangerfield's 
Narrative of the Popish Plot, althcmgh in his ca- 
pacity as speaker ; for which he paid no less a sum 
than £8000, as a fine for his ministerial conduct. 
To notice all the state prosecutions in which 
this judge figured, would be a long task, and 
inconsistent with the duty which we owe a 
kind and patient reader. He was, of coursei^ 
the presiding magistrate on the principal of 
these occasions; and though sometimes. most 
unjustifiably rough, would generally keep the 
counsel in good order, confining them to the 
point in issue, and was a tolerably good guar- 
dian of such rules of evidence as were then un- 
derstood. Some remarkable passages, while he 
sat on the common law bench, caunot be passed 


over: one of which is a stormy conversation 
which he had with Mr. Ward, afterwards lord 
chief baron/ in an action against an ex-sheriff 
for arresting the lord mayor. The counsel was 
alluding to the trial of Pilkington and others 
for a riot, which he coloured over by calling it a 
matter of right and election : " No, Mr. Ward, 
that was not the question determined there," 
interrupted my lord chief justice. — Mr. Ward. 
''My lord, I humbly conceive the issue of 
that cause did determine the question." — " No, 
no, I tell you it was not the question." — " I 
must submit it to your lordship." — ** I perceive 
you do not understand the question that was 
then, nor the question that is now. You have 
made a long speech here, and nothing at all 
to the purpose; you do not understand what 
you are about : I tell you it was no such ques- 
tion : — ^no," continued the chief justice, " it was 
not the question ; but the defendants there were 
tried for a notorious offence, and disorderly tu- 
multuous assembly. Do not make such excur- 
sions, adcaptandum papiUum, with your flourishes. 
I will none of your enamel, nor your garniture." 

* Edwaid Ward was attorney-general to King William in 
1693 ; made chief baron in 1695 ; and died July 16, 1714, 
in office. 


And then, after a few more words pro and con, — 
'' Indeed, Mr. Ward, you do not understand the 
question at all, but launch out into an ocean of 
discourge, that is wholly wide from the mark/' 
— ** Will your lordship please to hear me ?" — 
''^If you would speak to the purpose ; come to 
the question, man ! I see you do not understand 
what you are about/' — " My lord — " — " Nay, 
be as angry as you will, Mr. Ward," &c. — [Then 
there was a little hiss begun.] Lord chief jus- 
tice. " Who is that ? What, in the name of God ! 
I hope we are now past that time of day, that 
humming and hissing shall be used in courts of 
justice; but I would fain know that fellow that 
dare to hum and hiss while I sit here ; I'll as- 
sure him, be he who he will, I'll lay him by the 
heels, and make an example of him. Indeed, I 
knew the time when causes were to be carried 
according as the mobile hiss'd or humm'd ; and 
I do not question but they have as good a will 
to it now. Come, Mr. Ward, pray let us have 
none of your fragrancies, and fine rhetorical 
flowers, to take the people with." There was a 
little more blustering, but great civility on the 
part of Ward, when Serjeant Maynard got up, 
and stated the law, which the chief justice 
adopted in a moment, and all went on quietly. 
He had also a habit of scolding the popular ad- 


vocates of those noisy times^ if they happened 
to displease him; and this he would do with 
great severity. Williams, the speaker, his old 
enemy, who was afterwards solicitor-general/ 
and Mr. Wallop, came in for a full share of this 

In the trial of Braddon and Speke, for pub- 
lishing a statement that the Earl of Essex had 
been murdered in the Tower, the latter counsel 
was especially visited with an effusion of this 
kind. He had asked some question which the 
chief by no means approved of, and on his per- 
sisting, — " Nay, Mr. Wallop," exclaimed his 
lordship, *' you shan't hector the court out of 
their understandings." — ^Mr. Wallop. *' I refer 
myself to all that hear me, if I attempted any 
such thing as to hector the court." — Lord chief 
justice. '' Refer yourself to all that hear you ? 
refer yourself to the court : 'tis a reflection upon 
the government, I tell you, your question is, and 

' William Williams, sometime recorder of Chester and 
speikker of the House of Commons, was solicitor-general with 
.Powis, attorney, during the latt^ part of James the Second's 
reign, and was made a baronet in July, 1688. He was, 
neyertheless, one of King William's learned counsel, and ia 
famed for introducing the Treating Act. His wife was the 
daughter and co-heiress of Watkin Kiffin, Esq. He died 
July 11, 1700. Sir Watkm Williams Wynn, that munifi- 
cent lord of Wales, is his great-grandson. 


you shan't do any such thing while I sit here, 
by the grace of God, if I can help it." — Mr. 
Wallop. " I am sorry for that ; I never intended 
any such thing, my lord." — Lord chief justice. 
" Pray behave yourself as you ought, Mr. Wal- 
lop ; you must not think to huff or swagger here." 
And afterwards he said, amongst other things, 
" We have got such strange kind of notions, 
now-a-days, that forsooth men think they may 
say any thing, because they are counsel." With 
a little more coarseness of the same kind, he 
contrived at last to lay the spirit of Mr. Wallop. 
He fell very foul upon Mr. Stanhope on the 
trial of Sacheverell for a riot. There was a 
quarrel about the mayor's mace, and the counsel 
thought there was no great sauciness in demand- 
ing the ensign of office. He was mistaken. '' I 
say it was saucy," cries Jeffreys ; " and 1 tell 
you, you had been saucy if you had done it ; for 
every man that meddles out of his province is 
saucy. Every little prick-eared fellow, I war- 
rant you, must go to dispose of the government !" 
Stanhope was sulky, and he replied, " It may 
be I should have known better than to have 
gone ou such an errand." — Lord chief justice. 
" So you would have done well to do ; and you 
should know better than to ask such insignifi- 
cant, impertinent questions as you do," &c. 


Serjeant Bigland was laid hold of in the same 
trial. He was recorder of Nottingham, and 
swore in the sham mayor. When he came to be 
sworn/ he told the court, that he had asked the 
mayor, whether he desired his advice as recorder, 
or how ? Jeffreys took him up : " But what au- 
thority had you to swear him ? I reckon it to be 
worse in those people that understand the law, 
than in others, that they should be present at 
such things. Do you ask me as recorder y or as 
counsel? But they would have done well to 
advise people to meddle with their own business ; 
let my brother take that along with him.''" 

It is difficult to say, why he should have been 
so grossly accused of partiality: the following 
instance will show that the crown counsel had 
no more mercy than the rest, when they ven- 
tured beyond the rules of evidence. In Titus 
Oates's case, when he was indicted for perjury, 
Jeffreys would not suffer the attorney-general 
to prove the narrative of the popish plot, deli- 
vered to the House of Commons by Oates, till 
he had distinctly satisfied the court of its 

* Roger North says, that in Sacheverell's trial, the lord 
chief justice sided with him, and reproved the attorney-gene- 
ral : but how can this be ? for the attorney-general was not 
there, and the chief justice was clearly against the de- 


having been made on oath in the Lords' House. 
And when Sir Robert Sawyer put a witness into 
the box^ and asked him, whether what he swore 
•at a former trial was true, the judge burst forth 
against the King's counsel : ** That is very nau- 
seous and fulsome, Mr. Attorney/* said he, " me- 
thinks, in a court of justice." — Mr. Attorney-ge- 
neral. " Tis not the first time by twenty that 
such evidences have been given." — Lord chief 
justice. *^ I hate such precedents at all times, 
let it be done never so often. Shall I believe a 
villain one word he says, when he owns that he 
forswore himself?*' — ^Attorney-general. " Pray, 
my lord, give me leave ; I must pursue my Mas- 
ter s interest." Then the solicitor-general tried 
to persuade Sir George, but in vain ; and when 
Mr. North was beginning, he was stopped with, 
" Look ye, sir, when the court have delivered 
their opinion, the counsel should sit down, and 
not dispute it any further." And so it ended. 

However, nothing could exceed the treatment 
which a reluctant witness would experience 
from this judge. He fastened himself on such a 
person at the trial of Lady Lisle ; and he was 
Dunne, the messenger who carried on a cor- 
respondence between the prisoner and Hicks, 
the person she was charged with harbouring : 
but the witness bore the attack for some time 


with great adroitness, for he seemed to have 
made a resolve that his mistress should never 
suiSer through his testimony. However, Jeffreys 
grew quite mad ; he lectured the witness, n^e- 
naced him with hell-fire, then persuaded him, 
and uttered the most savage exclamations ; but 
all in vain. At one time he thought of his old 
witticisms, and asked the man what trade he 
followed. " My lord, I am a baker by trade.'* 
— " And wilt thou bake thy bread at such easy 
rates?" The witness had said, that he tra- 
velled a great many miles, and had only a piece 
of cake and cheese for it. " I assure thee, thy 
bread is very light weight, it will scarce pass 
the balance here." He got out a name with all 
the acumen of the most wire-drawing advocate. — - 
" Now must I know that man's name." — " The 
man s name that I went to at Marton, my lord ?" 
— Lord chief justice. " Yes ; and look to it, it 
may be I know the man already ; and tell at 
what end of the town the man lives too." — 
Dunne. *' My lord, I cannot tell his name pre- 
sently." — Lord chief justice. '* Oh ! pray now, 
do not say so ; you must tell us, indeed you must 
think of his name a little." — Dunne. *' My lord, 
if 1 dan mind it, 1 will." — Lord chief justice. 
'* Prithee do." — Dunne. *' His name, truly, my 
lord, I cannot rightly tell for the present." — 


Lord chief justice. *' Prithee recollect thyself; 
indeed thou canst tell us if thou wilt." — Dunne. 
" My lord, I can go to the house again, if I were 
at liberty." — Lord chief justice. " I believe it, 
and so could I ; but really neither you nor I 
can be spared at present ; therefore, prithee do 
us the kindness now to tell us his name." — 
Dunne. ** Truly, my lord, I cannot mind his 
name at present." — Lord chief justice. " Alack- 
a-day ! We must needs have it ! Come, refresh 
your memory a little." And then it came out. 

Dunne made a few trips, but was very cool 
at first: ** How came you to be so impudent," 
cried the judge, " as to tell me a lie?" — " I 
beg your pardon, my lord." — Lord chief justice. 
" You beg my pardon ! That is not because you 
told me a lie, but because I have found you in a 
lie. I hope, gentlemen of the jury, you take 
notice of the strange and horri|>le carriage of 
this fellow." The worst was yet to come for 
poor Dunne : he was again at issue about some 
fact which Jeffreys wished to get from him, and 
which he was by no means desirous of giving, 
when the judge struck upon a new plan, saying, 
'' Dost thou think, that after all this pains that 
I have been at to get an answer to my question, 
that thou canst banter me with such sham stuff 


as this? Hold the candle to his face, that we 
may see his brazen face." The witness declared 
that he was cluttered out of his senses, and that 
he would say whatever the court desired. And 
soon afterwards they held the candle nearer to 
his nose, but then he would tell nothing, except 
that he was robbed of his senses. Jeffreys had 
long since summed up his character; ** Thou art 
a strange, prevaricating, shuffling, snivelliag, 
lying rascal," said my lord.' 

We come now to September, 1684, when Sir 
George Jeffreys was summoned to the cabinet. 
No act in the King's reign could have annoyed 
Lord Guilford more than an introduction of 
this kind ; and in truth it was something like the 
letting a bear loose into a garden. The lord 
keeper had been brought up with the old school 
of Charles the Second s better days ; he was a 
staid, sober, thinking counsellor, rather stiff in 
his demeanour, but loyal to a proverb. It was, 
in spite of this, his misfortune to come under the 
denomination of a trimmer, >a class of people 
whom Jeffreys maligned and persecuted without 
example. These persons were a subdivision of 

* The whole of the very long examination of this man is 
well worth the reading. It is to be found in the State Trials, 
fol. vol. iv. pp. 108—122. 


the Tory party who would not go along with all 
the high-flown measures of the court. Yet we 
shall see that the hatred which Sir George bore 
them ultimately cost him his life. 

The venerable sages who have kept the great 
seal of England, seem generally to have re- 
garded such as have approached their dominion 
with much jealousy: Lord EUesmere could 
never reconcile himself with Coke ; and North 
felt an uneasiness whilst he had the seal, which 
must be mainly attributed to his proximity with 
Jeffreys. In a word, whatever the one pro- 
posed, the other thwarted ; and as Sir George 
was fully in the Duke of York's confidence, who 
influenced the King's mind very greatly during 
the last period of his life, it was no marvel to 
find the young man of thirty-six gaining a fre- 
quent victory much to the mortification of the 
veteran. However, when they came to contest 
a matter of business, the man of real metal pre- 
vailed. As soon as the new cabinet minister 
had returned from his northern expedition 
against the corporations, the lord keeper was 
addressed by the Duke of York on a Sunday 
morning, and requested to aid a motion to be 
made on that evening to His Majesty. 

All the great men were shy as foxes ; and it 
soon appeared, that a great secret was on the 


point of development. The lord keeper came 
to the cabinet, ignorant of the whole, and the 
King took his seat, when np rose Jeffreys with 
the recusant rolls before him, and made a speech 
as follows : '^ Sir, I have a business to lay be- 
fore your Majesty, which I took notice of in the 
north, and which will deserve your Majesty's 
royal commiseration. It is the case of number- 
less numbers of your good subjects that are im- 
prisoned for recusancy. I have the list of them 
here, to justify what I say. They are so many, 
that the great gaols cannot hold them without 
their lying one upon another." When he had 
spoken, he laid his papers and rolls on the 
table ; but no one answered him for some time, 
contrary to North's expectation, who concluded 
that some Protestant lord would take up the 
matter. At length the Lord Guilford addressed 
the King : ** I humbly entreat your Majesty," 
said he, " that my lord chief justice may de- 
clare, whether all the persons named in these 
rolls were actually in the prisons or not." The 
chief justice hastily replied, '' that all the gaols 
in England could not hold them ; all certainly 
were not actual prisoners, but they were liable 
to prosecution if any peevish sheriff chose to en- 
force the law." On this, the lord keeper turned 
to the King, and boldly said, " he thought that 



there was no reason to grant such a motion 
then; that all these persons were not Roman 
CathoheSy but that there were many sectaries 
amongst them ; that they were a turbulent and 
seditious people ; and that if it pleased the King 
to pardon any Roman Catholic, he might issue 
a particular and express immunity in favour of 
the persons intended to receive grace." The 
King was very attentive, and the matter dropped 
for that time. It had not escaped the lord 
keeper that it would have been his province to 
affix the seal to the proposed general pardon. 
As soon as the great man returned home, he 
exclaimed, ** Are they all stark mad?" And 
then he noted it down thus : 

Motion, cui solus obstiti. 
Motion, which I alone opposed/ 

However, in the next year, the royal compas- 
sion was extended to some particular cases. 

This was a bold proceeding for a Protestant 
chief justice, and savoured highly of that be- 
nighted bigotry on the part of James, which led 
him so soon afterwards to brave the indignation 
of his subjects. 

Whether this judge had any religion of his 

' North's Lives. 


own, it is diflScult indeed to say : he was oi^ten- 
sibly a Protestant, and it is affirmed, that he 
declined in favour ajt court through his reluc* 
tance to countenance the new religion. Never- 
theless, Lady Russel, in a letter to Dr. Fitz- 
william, (April 1, 1687,) tells him, that Lord 
Peterborough was declared a Roman Catholic, 
and that two more, the chancellor and the lord 
president (Sunderland), were reported as forth- 
coming papists on the following Sunday : yet, 
fortunately, as it happens upon many occasions, 
report is one thing — ^fact another ; and from the 
best authorities we now have of the bearing of 
Jeffireys towards either faith, he certainly did 
the most acts for the support of the Protestant 
establishment. Sir John Dalrymple also affirms, 
that the chancellor regretted his having yielded 
so much to the King s inclination for popery ; 
that he ** hesitated, repented, trembled." The 
choice of his chaplain, Luke Beaulieu^ of Christ 
Church, confirms the surmise of his attachment 
to the reformed faith. He was divinity reader 
in St. George's Chapel at Windsor, and pub- 

■ This divine was born in France, and educated at the 
university of Saumur. He came over to England, where he 
was naturalized, and became a student at Oxford for the 
sake of the public library. He was rector of Whitchurch^ 
Oxon, in the year 1686. 


lished several things against popery ; and Wood 
says, that he asserted the rights of His Majesty 
and the Church very usefully. Another of his 
chaplains was Thomas Spark.' When the brief 
allowed by the King for the benefit of the dis- 
tressed Protestant refugees was put in operation, 
Jeffreys (who at first refused to a£Sx the seal 
to it*) was so strict as to the qualifications of 
the relieved persons, that it was believed he 

* Spark, student of Christ Church, anno 1672, aged seven- 
teen, was the son of Archibald Spark, of Northop, in Flint- 
shire. He was indebted to Lord Jeffreys for much adrance- 
ment. He died in 1692, rector of Ewehurst, near Guildford, 
Surrey ; of Norton » or Hog's Norton, near Bosworth, Leices- 
tershire ; prebendary of Lichfield and of Rochester, D.D. 
By his excesses, and too much agitation in obtaining spiritu- 
alities, he brought himself into an ill disposition of body, 
which, contrary to his expectations, brought him in the prime 
of his years to the grave. — Wood» 

* Lady Russel tells something which shows that the chan- 
cellor had some good points which he would occasionally 
develope. In one of her letters, she says, " I am unwilling 
to shake off all hopes about the brief, though I know them 
that went to the chancellor since the refusal, and his answer 
does not encourage one's hopes. But he is not a lover of 
smooth language ; so that in that respect we may not so soon 
despair." — Letters, p. 55. Dr., afterwards Bishop Beve- 
ridge, objected to the reading the brief in the cathedral of 
Canterbury, as contrary to the rubric. Tillotson replied, 
" Doctor, doctor. Charity is above rubrics." — Note to the 


admitted no one to receive the alms, who would 
not take the sacrament from his own chaplain. 
And the remarkable passage which occurred at 
his death when he sent for Scot, another divine 
and author against popery, to give him consola- 
tion, confirms still more his secret regard for 
protestantism." When a man comes to die, the 
true feelings of his heart are apt to burst forth ; 
and the main argument to prove King Charles 
II. a Catholic, is, that he had Hudleston, a 
priest, smuggled, as it were, into his apart- 
ment, which was in general the rendezvous of 
Protestant bishops ; and having succeeded in 
obtaining his priest, confessed, and died a true 

' Thb will be related hereafter. 

* Extract from Dalrymple's Memoirs, Appendix, part i. 
p. 96, et nq, : — ^' What the Duke of York said was not 
heard ; but the King of England said from time to time very 
loud, * Yes, with all my heart.' — * The King wills that every 
body should retire except the Earb of Bath and Feversham.' 
The physicians went into a closet, the door of which vras 
immediately closed, and Chi£Sns brought Mr. Hudleston in. 
The Duke of York, in presenting him, said, ' Sir, here is a 
man who has saved your life, * and is now come to save your 
soul.' The King answered, ' He is welcome.' He after- 
wards confessed himself with great sentiments of devotion 
and repentance/* 

* After the battle of Woreester. 


In November/ 1684, Mr. Rosewell, a dissent- 
ing minister, a gentleman of sufficient conse- 
quence to be panegyrized by a funeral sermon/ ' 
came within the grasp of the chief justice, and 
by a good fortune quite remarkable for those 
times, ultimately escaped. He was taken in his 
own house, and carried by water to a coffee- 
house near Aldermanbury, where Jeffreys lived. 
Jeffreys received him '* like a roaring lion, or a 
raging bear;" and, amongst other questions, 
asked him where he preached on such a day, 
naming it. Rosewell answered in Latin, that 
he hoped his lordship would not insist upon hi» 
answering that question, as he might thereby 
accuse himself. The judge, in a passion, said,, 
he supposed the prisoner could not speak an- 
other sentence in Latin to save his neck. The 
parson thought it civil to try another language, 
and so he spoke in Greek. Jeffreys was asto- 
nished at this, but soon ordered him to be taken 
away ; and at night there came a warrant for 
committing him to the Gate-house on a charge 
of treason. The next morning his wife begged 
admittance to him ; but meeting with a refusal 
she petitioned the great man for an interview,, 
who loaded her husband with the most severe 
invectives, calling him a great knave, a great 

' By Mead, 1692. 


villain, and so on, and bade her petition the 
King/ This she did, and the King read her re- 
quest, the chief justice standing near him ; upon 
which leave was given that she should visit the 
prison at the discretion of my lord chief justice, 
who, nevertheless, huffed very much when he 
heard of His Majesty's kind speech, and kept 
her fix)m her husband for several days after- 
wards. Roger North, always railing at those 
to whom he was politically opposed, informs us, 
that Rosewell had made his peace with the 
chief justice, whence wme corrupt motive is 
drawn as a natural inference. He would make 
us believe, that a bribe was taken in this affair ; 
but confesses, in another place, that when Jef- 
freys was pleased to be impartial, no one became 
a seat of justice better. We shall presently see 
that there is no ground for imputing corruption ; 
though it may be very true, as North asserts, 
that the judge was '' tickled with mirth and 
laughter at the King's counsel," and " openly 
rejoiced at the accident." This accident was a 
flaw in the indictment. When Sir George came 
upon the bench, he seemed to have sat down 

' When Mrs. Rosewell discoyered some uneasiness at thia 
abuse of her husband, '* Mind him not/' said the friend to 
whom she was speaking, ** you'll be able to hold up your 
head with comfort, when he will look down with shame." 


with the most impartial resolutions, and seeing 
Mr. Wallop, an advocate, always obnoxious to 
him because he was retained for the dissenters, 
he asked him what business he had there. Wal- 
lop alleged a curiosity to hear the trial, and 
moved a short distance from the bar. But 
Jeffreys declared that the trial should not pro- 
ceed whilst he was in court, and so he was 
obliged to retreat. He was afterwards em- 
ployed to argue in arrest of judgment on Rose- 
wells behalf. As the case proceeded, the 
dreadful magistrate was softened, and gave the 
accused a very fair and patient hearing ; but, 
notwithstanding, the jury pronounced him 
guilty. Jeffreys behaved with more gentlemanly 
manner to this jury, who were persons of very 
good station, than he was accustomed, and evi- 
dently repressed the coarseness so familiar to 
him. The fact was, that the principal wit- 
nesses against the minister were three women 
ofinfamous character, common informers against 
conventicles; one of whom was convicted of 
perjury, and pilloried in the next reign, and 
another whipped at the cart's tail for some bad 

Rose well made a very admirable defence; 
and, happily for him, there was present a baro- 
net. Sir John Talbot, who though not friendly 



to dissenters, highly appreciated what he had 
said, and thought the verdict wrong. From 
the trial he posted away to the King, and de- 
clared; that he had seen the life of a person, 
who appeared to be a gentleman "and a scholar, 
in danger upon such evidence as he would not 
liang his dog on ; and, " Sir,** s^ays he, " if your 
Majesty suffers this man to die, we are none of 
us safe in our houses." This addresis had a full 
influence upon the royal ear ; and whilst it was 
operating, in came Jeffreys, overjoyed, and 
vaunted of the signal service which he and the 
Surrey jury had done ;* when to his utter confu- 
sion the monarch replied, under a strong feeling 
of sympathy, that the prisoner must not die, 
and that he, Jeffreys, must find out some way 
to bring him off. In due time judgment was 
moved for against the preacher by Sir Thomas 
Jenner, the recorder, to whom Rosewell attri- 
butes his persecution ; and the attorney-general,* 

1 Rosewell was tried at Kingston -upon-Thames. 

* Sir Robert Sawyer. He conducted the court prosecu- 
tions 'with sufficient violence ; but was turned out by James 
the Second for his objections to the dispensing power, by 
which James proposed to introduce the Catholic religion. He 
was an old friend of Mr. Pepys, who expresses himself very 
much pleased on one or two occasions to find his old cham- 
ber acquaintance in such good practice at^e bar. Sir Ro- 
1)ert's daughter was married to a son of Lord Pembroke. 


who was pres^it, €ohJ4 not have had any ppe- 

'Seiltitpeiit of (iie comiog scene. The eonvict 

-did what wag ^ery coiiibmhi, bul; aimosjt always 

^nstftceessfiil n thofie times — he looved to ai*r^ 

the Jitdgifievlb. The King 3 counsel of «<Mifi3e 

expected a fi^f^ jreply from the chief, overturn- 

ijatg ^1 the objf ^tionf withoiit seruple, and jEhe 

usual submis^re ood (wm the puisne ju^es ; 

but ittsitead— ^^ Whfft say you to it, brotlM&r Jan- 

ner, and Ih^ -Kings cofnsel?" inquired tibe 

|udge. ** I eanfiot 8ee«"4o]ed forth Mr. Serjeant 

J^mer/ <he t^corder, '' thflt he has aUieged a^y 

I Thomiis J^nner« made a hciron of the Exchequer in 1680, 
when honest Gregory was tunijed out ; and judge of , the Com- 
mon Pleas in 1688. He was the judge who punned upon 
Dr. Hough's name, during the famous controversy between 
the King and Magdalen Coikge respecting the election of a 
president. ** Sir/' said Jenner to the doctor, ** you must 
not ihHik ta ktfff^ Us.^' Hough w^ afterwards. Bishop of 
Woroester. This Baron Jenner was a mere tool of the court, 
and was afterwards ,€^eepted put of King William's bill of 
indemnity. There is reason to believe that he was one of Uie 
judges who tried the Duke of Monmouth's adherent^ in the 

Fr&m Sir Thama$ Jenner*$ Speech to his Wife and Children, 

A wise ksamed oeigeant^ftt^law I was mMe^ 
And « fine dainty QOtfwiu»«pat:onriny head, 
Whidh is heavier by fiirthan an -hundred of load. 

This it is to be learned and witty. 


objection, which here requires an answer from 
any of us that are of counsel for the King." Ho- 
garth, or some such genius, could alone have re- 
presented to us the countenance of the person thus 
addressed, when he archly and drily returned, 
*' Yes, brother, methinks he does." And again, 
after some words from the attorney-general, 
there was the same tenderness. " But if I 
take the gentleman right, (for I tell you before- 
hand justice must be done to all people im- 
partially. The crime is a very great crime that 
he stands accused of; and the jury have found 
him guilty of the crime laid in the indictment. 
But if I take him aright,)" &c. The attorney 
was thunder-struck, he had never dreamed 

But soon after thb I was made the recorder. 
To keep the worshipful rabble da order, 
And wore a red gown with long sleeves and border. 

This it b, &e. 

By great James I was raised to the Common Pleas 

*Cause he saw I had exquisite politic sense, 
Which his wisdom perceived in the future tense. 

Thb it is, &c. 

At Saruin five hundred pounds have I gotten. 
To save malefactors from swinging in cotton. 
For which they were hang*d, and are now almost rotten. 

This it is, d-c. 


of such a human kindness, nevertheless he mus- 
tered up courage to say, ** All this, my lord, is 
only in delay," — " Mr. Attorney ! De vitA hamims 
nulla est cunctatio longa.''^ Rosewell, finding 
how the tide had set in, exclaimed, '' I pray 
God to bless your lordship !" — Lord chief jus- 
tice. " Nay, you have no need to thank me; 
for I desire to do justice to all men/* And then 
he thundered against conventiclers, concluding : 
'' I could not forbear giving that hint that I did, 
that this might be a warning to people, how 
they trangress the law in going to such meetings." 
Rosewell was afterwards pardoned ; the court 
inclining strongly in favour of his objections. 

The struggle respecting the recusants was 
not the only contest between Lord Guilford, the 
chief of the trimmers, and the lord chief justice, 
the managing tool of the high party. In reality, 
it seems to have been understood that Jeffreys 
was to have the seals as soon as the lord keeper 
could be displaced; and death, which overtook 
that great man shortly afterwards, probably 
saved them the odium, and him the mortifica- 
tion of delivering them to his rival. The pro- 
motion of Bedingfield,* who became chief jus- 
tice of the Common Pleas in James the Second's 

' We can't linger too long, when a man 8 life is at stake. 
* This chief justice died suddenly whilst he was receiving 
the sacrament, in 1687. 


time oo the removal of poor honest Jones^ gave 
Sir George an opportunity of trying hw strength 
against the old statesman. The lord keeper 
wished to make this tnan a jtidge> and he told 
him of such his intention. With a thousand 
acknowledgments^ the serjeant bowed down^ 
and poured forth what is common when a great 
mail speaks, . adding, that he should own his 
preferment from that quarter, and no otheri ai» 
long as he lived. Now the serjeant had a bro- 
ther, 9 woollen-draper in LondoUi who was one 
of the chiefs companions. No sooner had Jef- 
freys discovered the channel through which the 
pliant counsellor was to reach the bench, than^ 
he sent for this draper, and plainly told him, 
that his brother must be judge through my lord 
chief justice's interest^ or not at all ; fw that he 
should be opposed if he presumed to owe his 
elevation to any other. North tells us, that 
Bedingfield was glad to compound for his pro* 
motion in any way rather than affront the power- 
ful favourite, and the lord keeper had the gene- 
rosity to overlook this want of resolution ; so that 
the serjeistnt had his place in due time, though 
not during the life of Lord Guilford, whom he 
avoided ever after this incident.* 

■ He got his place iii the Common Pleas, Feb. 13, 1686, 
and was made chief justice, April 21, in the same year. 

JUDO& J£FFR£TS. 151 

Another story of the same kind belongs to the 
history of Chief Justiee Wright/ When this per* 
son was a seijeant, he brought himself, through 
a prodigal style of living, into a state of the 
deepest distress ; sd that, as he declared, unless 
he were made a judge, his ruin was sealed. 
But he was not nice about trifles, and had the 
particular good fortune to have made Sir George 
Jeffreys acquainted with his easy character, 
which led to as much friendship as Sir George 
was capable of. On a vacancy, therefore, Wright 
was to be judge. But all powerful as his patron 
was at court, another person must be consulted — 
the lord keeper ; and with this upright man he 
had little hope from the following circumstance :-^ 

t Sir Robert Wright was descended from a good family 
atThetford, in Norfolk, and bore a character for eiLtrayagaaee 
and licentiousneas. He was ** of a handsome person, voluble 
tongue, and plausible behaviour;" which ensured him some 
very fair practice, although he seems to have been but super- 
ficial in his profession : for he frequently came to his friend 
North, when he had an opinion to give, got his advice, and 
then wrote it down as his own. When North was in town» 
he contrived the business by post, and meanwhile, put his 
clients off on pretence of more serious consideration. He 
married a daughter of Dr. Wren, Bishop of Ely, which set 
him going on the Norfolk circuit. He died at last miserably 
in Newgate, in the beginning of King William's reign, being 
chaiged w}ih an end(9aTour to subvert the government. 

152 jvi£MoiRs or 

When they both went the Norfolk circuit toge- 
ther, they became very intimate ; and the Ser- 
jeant finding his purse empty, availed himself 
of his brother North's friendship, by borrowing 
his money. These loans became at last so con- 
siderable, as to induce North to take a mortgage 
of his friend's estate, which he charged with 
1500/. However, it was not long before the 
Serjeant desired some more money, and bor- 
rowed 500/. accordingly from Sir Walter Plum- 
mer on the same estate, making an affidavit that 
it was free from all incumbrances. Plummer 
brought the affidavit to Sir Francis North, while 
he held the original mortgage, but he said 
nothing on the subject, and the Serjeant had his 
pockets filled a second time out of the estate. 
When the King asked his lord keeper whether 
this gentleman was not a proper person to be a 
judge, the case assumed a very different fea- 
ture ; his lordship said, " he knew him but too 
well : he was satisfied that he was the most unfit 
person in the world to be judge." — " Then," said 
the feibg, " it must not be.'' But then came 
the influence of Jeffreys. Again and again the 
King pressed the lord keeper, saying, " Why 
may not Wright be a judge ?" And, at length. 
Lord Guilford told His Majesty every thing, 
the perjury not excepted j and it was very ere- 

JUt>G£ J£FFR£YS. 153 

ditable that he would not speak ill of his old 
acquaintance till his duty overpowered him. 
^' And now," said he, " I have done my duty to 
your Majesty, and am ready to obey your Ma- 
jesty's commands, in case it be your pleasure 
that this man shall be a judge." — " My lord," 
said the King, '' I thank you :" and went away. 
Soon after came the warrant, and the keeper 
isealed it." 

Such events as these may be called the vic- 
tories of the chief justice over the head of the 
Chancery ; and it had been well if the former 
could have been content with his triumph, and 
had not chequered it with the blemish of arro- 
gance. Vain and upstart, he shook forth his 
new plumage for the public wonder; and, decked 
with the bewitching influences of a court fa- 
vourite, stalked out supreme. This was one 
way by which he vented himself. There vras 
formerly a side bar below in Westminster-hall, 
where the King's Bench judges used to robe ; 
while the court of Chancery sat a little above» 
but within view of the judges. Jeffreys saw 
Wright walking in the hall, his promotion being 
determined on, and beckoned him. The Ser- 
jeant approached very humbly ; on which the 

' See North's Lives, 4to. pp. 246, 247, 248. 


chief took him by the shoulders, whiiipered in 
his ear> and flung him ofl*, holding out his arms 
at the same time, and leaning over the bar in 
the sight of Lord Guilford, who observed the 
motion^ and was hurt at it. It was as much as 
to say, says North, that in spite of that man 
there, Wright should be a judge. 

One instance more of his hatred to this emi- 
nent individual, and we have done. There hap- 
pened to be a dispute between the Duke of 
Norf(dk and his brother^ which was heard in 
Chancery* The chief justices, of whom North 
was one, and the chief baron, were asked for 
their opinions, which they gave; but Lord Not- 
tingham, the chancellor, decreed the contrary, 
without canvassing their reasons. When North 
became lord keeper he reversed this decree, on 
which ui appeal went up to the House of Lords ; 
and Jefireys, chi^ justice, indulged himself with 
a fbrmid abuse of this latter opinion, which he 
loaded with every censure, and hesitated not to 
affrctot his lordship himself, which was a rude- 
ness quite unheard of in that august assembly. 
He procured, however, the keeper's decree to 
he reversed, for a papist was aiF<^ted by it ; and 
just then it was the interest of court suitors to 
support popery. 

This heedless judge would come down to the 

JUDG£ J£FFR£TS. 155 

counGil sometimes quite drunk, and inveigh 
against trimmers. The justices, of Stepney and 
Wapping once fell out, and by the violence of 
two parties, headed by Smith and Bailey, the 
sessions were disturbed. One of these factions^ 
that of Smith, was patronised by Sir George; 
and he came to the board quite furious, telling 
the King, that he had trimmers in his court, 
and would never be happy while trimmers were 
there. The lord keeper drily answered, (for he 
knew that all this outrage was levelled at him, 
the principal trimmer,) that the chief justice 
seemed so well informed on the subject of these 
quarrels, it would be advisable to refer the whole 
matter to his arbitration. This was agreed to ; but 
the fracas continued fw some time, till Bailey's 
pairty was overturned. It was so ordered, says 
North. This fertile and lively writer lets fly 
another arrow at our chief justice for helping off 
one Hayes with liie jury, who was tried for treason 
about this time, adding, '* upon what terms who 
knows ?'' Hayes came to his trial tovvrards the 
close of the year 1684> and certainly was act 
quitted; but on examining the report in the 
State Trials, it appears, that the judge rather 
leaned against hitii when the evidence was 
summed up: so easy is it to entertain and 


create a prejudice against men who have be- 
come obnoxious. 

In February, 1686, the King died ; it was at 
a very critical moment, for measures had been 
adopted for reconciling him with his son, the 
Duke of Monmouth, and his brother was about 
to visit Scotland by the royal command. It 
was the policy of Charles to keep himself un- 
shackled, and that of his brother to spread such 
toils round the monarch as should secure him 
from the approach of those he in reality loved 
the most. The parliament, the cabal, even the 
fair chamber counsel, had failed to enchain this 
master of dissimulation ; but his heart had one 
avenue open, and there natural affection lived 
and throve. Very important were the changes 
which' ensued upon his decease ; and favourably 
so, according to the probability of all human 
events, for Jeffreys. Had the liberal party, 
with Monmouth at their head, been blessed 
with the royal countenance, the day of retribu- 
tion had sooner overtaken the judge who had 
robbed them of their best associates, and gibed 
at their love for freedom : as Providence willed 
it, there was for him a change from suspense 
to a triumphant certainty ; from the prospect of 
a headsman and axe, to' the stillest whisperings 


of the royal closet. The Duke of York was 
King, and Jeffreys his prime minister. 

On the 15th of May, 1685, the honours of 
the peerage were conferred upon the ambitious 
favourite : it was the second instance of enno- 
bling a chief justice which we find in our his- 
tory.' Probably, as Mr. Nichols suggests, he 
composed or dictated the preamble to his own 
patent ; and as it tends to illustrate the intention 
of parties at that time, the original and transla- 
tion are here given : — 


Quum nihil magis re- Since nothing can be more 

gium sit, quam eos, qui se worthy of a king, than to en- 

vel in tog& vel in armis cla- rich with rewards and dignify 

ros et insignes reddidenint with honours such as have dis- 

turn premiis augere turn ho- ting^ished themselves in civil 

noribus illustrare ; quum- and military achievements; and 

que predilectus et perquam since our much loved and right 

iidelis consiliarius noster faithful counsellor George Jef- 

Georgius Jeffreys, eques freys, knight and baronet, hath 

auratus et baronettus, per advanced through the degrees of 

omnes jurisprudentiae gra- jurisprudence with such dili- 

dus, e^ industri^ et felici- gence and success, as that, when 

tate processerit, ut nos. We were Duke of York, we 

. I Hubert de Burgh, a very considerable judge in the rei^ 

of Henry the Third, was the first who attained to the ho- 




cum dux EboraoeiiAs esse- 
musy eum pro solicitatore 
nostro generali elegerimus» 
ejusque fidem et fortitudi- 
■em in omnilnis qme vel 
penoiuaa Tel lai iMNrtxas 
«pectAraiit flenper ezplora^ 
tarn habtterimuBy iUo pne- 
aertim tempore cum pravi 
quorundam maleyolOTum 
instigatioiie noa a pneda- 
risBimo fratre nostro domino 
Carolo secundo, nuper 
Magnte Britanniae, Scotise, 
&c. ipio licet invitissimo, 
ayuUi fuimug, et a suayis- 
aim& ipaius prKsentift, pri- 
aum in Flandriam, poatea 
in Scotiam, tantum non re- 
legati ; quae omnia peipen- 
dens frater noster amantis- 
.mmus, et aingularia Georgii 
Jeffreys ' merita aliquo mo- 
do n^oscere i^upiens, eum 
ad summa juris dicundi tri- 
bunalia evezit, unde prim5 
capitalis Cestriae justicia- 
rius CTasity deinde capitalis 
josticiarius Regii Banci a- 
pud WestaMMMMtefium, ttbi 


chose him to be our solicitor- 
general, and held his fidelity 
and courage undoubted in all 
things which touched our person 
or our affaksy espectaliy at -that 
time* nben by llie vid^ed lasti- 
;gation of some faet^us peraam. 
we were torn from our most 
illustrious brother, our Lord, 
Charles the Second, late of 
Gkieat Britain, Scotland^ &c, 
against his will, and scaroeiy 
less than banished from his most 
kindly presence, first into Flan- 
ders, tlien into Scotland ; duly 
considering all which, and de- 
sirous in some way of acki¥>w- 
ledging the merits of the said 
Geoige Jeffreys, our most be- 
loved brother raised him to the 
highest judicial benches; first to 
be chief justice of Chester, then 
chief justice of the King*s Bench 
at Weiltminster, where he even 
now sits, resolutely and faith- 
fully administering justice and 
protection to our subjects ac- 
cording to the law : in conside- 
ration of whose merits, and 
which oar brother tfbove men- 

' '* Dicti " should have been here. 


etiailuittfli aedei, j wdliamet iioiied intended, wkilat he Ihred, 
tuteiam -subditis nostria ad we, of our own will, and from 
normam legis intrepide et that regard which we bear the 
iideliteradministrans: qua- said George Jeffreys, are of 
rmn ejus virtntum intuitu, opinion that he should be ad- 
id quod sapra naemorktoB milled amongst the peers of 
Irater noster, dum adhnc this lealln. Kmiw tfwrefoie, 
vireiet, in animo habuit, &c. &c. 
Boa jam aponte nostra, et 
pro e& quft dictum Georgium 
Jeffreys benevolentii pror 
«equini«ir, earn inter p«trei 
liii|U8 fegni cooptandom 
ease censnimuB. Sciatia 
igitur, &c. &c.' 

He vrBB created Bafon Jeffreys of ^em, in 
tte county of Salop. This title was derived 
irifA his property in that county. He held the 
barony of Wem, and the manors of Wem and 
Loppington, besides other lands and tenements 
in those partis. Evelyn, who seems to have been 
on pretty good terms with every one, wished 
him joy on his creation ; and he says, that the 
'new peer was very civil upon the occasion. 

Whatever may be the real secret of the " hor- 
rid popish plat;'' whether a real conspiracy to be 

* From ihe original in the 
Esq, ^ * ° "^^ 


From ihe original in the posaesaion of James Bindley, 
[., F.A.S., given in Nichols's Leiceatershire, Vol. ii. 
1 1. p. 110. 


executed with screwed guns and silver bullets ; 
(by the way, the management was most clum- 
sy; at one time the assassins had their flints 
loose, at another they charged their screwed 
guns with all bullets and no powder, then with 
no powder in the pan, and again with aU pow- 
der and no bullets ;) or whether it was a mere 
treasonable bauble to dazzle the eyes of the 
populace, — we of this day care very little : but 
it becomes our duty to mention Oates,' the 
great hero of the piece, in this place, since the 
day for expiating his unlucky jest upon Jeffreys 
was come : he stood at the King's Bench bar 
charged with perjury, the prince on the throne 
against whom he had whetted his tongue, and 
the judge on the bench whom he had stung 
with his untimely wit ; a judge too not given to 
be very impartial when he viewed his prisoner 
through the mirror of political hostility. How- 
ever, an appearance of indifference and fairness 
was evinced by the court, till they found that 

' OateSy Bedlow, Dugdale, Prance, whose breath alone, 
Cou*d almost states subvert, and kings dethrone ! • 
To sculp their shadow 's in the poVr of art : 
Ink may be black enough to act that part. 
Drawn to the life would you their souls behold, 
That work requires a more infernal mould. 

Memoirs of Titus Gates, 1688. 

JV DOE ^J^F^RKTS. 16j[ 

and even then the rules of evidence w^re re- 
spept^dy and there was a little fracas between 
the ^bief ^d the thing's couni^el respecting 
thi^m. ^\kt Jeffreys became yery tur^uleiit 
occa^ion^ly, and once his temper broke out 
{^yqpd a}l djscretipn. Oat^ wished to knoif; 
IfiTd Csptlpiftftine s religiop, md Siy G^^rgc; 
ts«id, ths^t eyery we ^new |4iat. ^i}t P«{tpa 
would haye it told in cour^, ^j^d, said h^ 'f T W^ 
not the point, my lord ; I ip^st Iji^ve ijt declared 
in evidence." 

Ld. Ch. Just. — I wonder to see a^y ^an that 
h^ the £^ce c^ a in^^, P^urry it ^t l^is rate, 
^Jfpn ^le ii^, siipl^ ^. jBvid^Wce bjrought jn ^^^ma^ 

Oat^^.« — I i^fqi^ei: that Mr. -Attorney Y^U oflTer 
to bping th^ eyid^nce; iqie^ that ii{i,i}st ^{^ve 

i^ice ^8^ me- 

Ld. Ch* Just. — Hold your t9Pg4e; y^ ,^e j| 
^^e iff m^kind. 

Oate^* — No, wy lordi I am peijl^pr ^ staple ^9 
myself oj mankind. W^%^ I have $>yQrA is t^I^e, 
and J will stand by it tp n^y last bre?#> ^n^ 
seal it, if pcpasion be, with ^ t^Iopd. 

Ld. Ch. Just. — 'Twere pity bpff that it toare tq 
b^ done by tf^ blood. 

A very sanguinary ?pe,ec^i ! lju|; Pafe^ .^ fto| 


regard it ; he went on wrangling for some time 

The doctor (but Jeffreys could not endure 
that he should be called so) was convicted upon 
two indictments, and was visited with such 
floggings as might have made him wish himself 
most cordially within the pale of the Roman 
church with all her penance and stripes: he 
had such a punishment as should have chased 
perjury from England for a century afterwards, 
from the mere dread of it. 

1st. He was to pay a thousand marks upon 
each indictment. 

2nd. To be stripped of all his canonical ha- 
bits (a sentence which belongs only to the 
courts ecclesiastical). 

3rd. He was to stand twice in the pillory. 

4th. To be whipped fit)m Aldgate to New- 
gate one day, and two days afterwards frx>m 
Newgate to Tyburn. 

And 6th. He was to stand in the pillory on 
five days in every year as long as he lived. 

Yet, notwithstanding this, (and the sentence 
was executed with great severity,) " there are 
thousands," says his biographer in 1685, " of 
those unthinking, unconverted animals, that 
have that veneration still for their darling Titus, 
that they pay him even a wild Indian adoration. 


and make a god of the devil himself.*' An un«* 
successful attempt was made to reverse this cruel 
judgment ; but he was pardoned at the Revolu^ 
tbn, and lived to publish several things after* 
wards. It is not a little singular that so slight 
a mention has been made of the harsh conduct of 
other judges dilring these times, whilst many of 
the chiefs, and Jefireys among the number, have 
been set down, for monsters, though all their 
brethren were doing the same thing. No doubt 
they cannot be excused ; but the plea of comwU' 
nis error will avail much, when it is considered 
that an age of faction is never remarkable for 
delicacy. In the trial which has been men* 
tibned. Sir Francis Wythens,' a puisne judge^ 
was full of these indecent railleries against the 
prisoner, and the close of his speech im passing 
sentence b very memorable: — ''And I must 
tell you plainly, if it had been in my power ta 
have carried it Airther, I should not have been 

* He was of no great value. Being called before the 
House of Commons to answer for his courtly opposition to 
petitioning^ (for he was an abhorrer,) he cringed and sneaked, 
and said he knew he had done wrong, but feared to offend 
the king ; on which. North tells us that even his own friends 
▼oted with the country party against him, and so he was 
unanimously kicked out of the House. He was also ex- 
cepted out of King WilliamV act of indemnity. 

104 icsMoiKs or 

unwiUng to have gitea lodgment c^f dettk upon 
Y&u^ fov I am save you deaense it." Thk Wy-t 
thens vraa perpetually indulging ia levitieft and; 
humour at the expense of pmonera. WlMa 
Fernley was tried {or treason, theie vas a speei') 
men of this judge's propensity. A ivitness was 
called for the prisoner. Officer* '^ He ia S) great 
whig." — Judge Wytheaa« ^ If he be a, whig^ he 
can't be a little one.'^'TTrWitneas. '^ I fenuMfy* 
knew the man ; he was a luurber, and used ta 
trim me. I always looked upon him to be a gotod 
sober man.** — Wythena. " A Wapping mafti 
a sober Wapping man ! '' Soon after he fouMl 
room for a pun upon Trimmers^ The prisoner'a 
witnMg^es were asked if they went to cWdu 
Wythens. ^' There weie a parcel of them tfaa* 
went cpBBtantiy to ohurch trimmifigly^'' Evett 
C^Mef lustiee Jones, who, by con^arisim ia 
highly eftifnated, was harsh en occasion ; ^aA 
on the trial of Alderman Ceniish will be ibnod 
not tp hav^ treated him too tenderly. 

About thia time Grispe, the copimonn^jeantj. 
whA, we maty remember, dissdved tb^ tumul*- 
tuotts common4kall by order of the co«irt lord 
mayor, had the misfortune to displease Lord 
Jeffreys, and# thougb the partiqular nature of 
his offence has not b^en coiamunicated to us^ 

^ fell tttiAer %b«ie cxMure, fboo^ he foiiiMl 
ineans t6 %itk6tAi<d the prcrftldiee itgainflt Mm, 
"and to fcrattmue k office tnti 4ii8 dealk/ lie 
ii sj^ken <tf ivfih high )[Mds^ % Norths 

HitberCo ^v«« !have alMaicted "from spsdoDg iif 
4tib UfAfictbi this «ti&iiidt M a ju^ te eMl 
toattcM ; yeH ft feiSmbcX been ftbm a&ar of ^^ 
^tftiitiiig him ih thfift J^apaeity ; Mifce, hdvrercr 
lib migbft kave heefa denied ttie veptttatfon df 
legal liiov^dge by tbe ftfriott6 iifid isuceedkfifl 
Whig;s df ^e femAtXkm, it Meid6 Bor«r {fraOjr 
w^l b^reeA tbsft 9ie birottgli^ ia conquerable 
share of experience, and a very rare acuteness, 
to the ^isi l^rms 'Bench. In&eed^ through the 
idilig^ioe and fidelity of Aose learned and la- 
4^0rfdHfi nmrn^, ^ho fwm time to itime t^Uige ub 
^wiAi'the atgmnents "and ^dgitenfte ^^viiksh take 
jplabe hi our courts, ^<he toetribel's of the la'^r we 
enabled to jform a fair estimate of the proficiency 
-wbioh tbeiju4ge8 of Nisi Prius have attained in 
Utersdiincfa* *As iar tuB rekrttt (to J^iejrd, ifve 
must have recoi:A%^ t^ 4$ie <f c^^fmte of Sir S«Ftl^ 
lomeW Showfer;* 'ahd Mr. SkmHet,^ Who *«rrote 

' About the year 1700. 

!D8^rdioIom&% Sfadw^, %h)th^ to Jdiibflhtfwi^r,idi emi- 

^lietit £viiie, att^ineb to cotisid^rat>le practice iit^HlelMLr. 

He was constituted recorder of London in ttKfJl, in tile 

tooia of Iftr. Tate, who suce^ffitea'Sir VlSbtn tML He was 


while he piresided in the, King's Bench; and 
to isome parts of the '* Modem Reports." Sir 
Bartholomew was recorder of London ; said if 
Sir Robert Wright, the chief, jusitice when the 
seven bishops were tried,. is to have credit, the 
learned gentleman was vc^ fond of a speech, 
the judges at the same . time not being over 
partial to too. much oratory. Several counsel 
had been already heard in the case of the 
l)ishops, (a pruriency which perhaps will now 
receive a check in the. Court of Chancery, if the 
new act^s^,/ when the recorder rose to 

obliged to yield hia place, io 1688, to Sir George Treby, 
when the city cbarter was restored ; and Wood says that he 
stood in cbrnpetition for the recordership, in I6OI9 with Sir 
John Hawlea, who lost it.. But the fact was, that as soon 
as Treby bi^came phief justice of the Common Pleas, Sir 
Sathajiel Lovell, afterwards a baron of the Exchequer, suc- 
ceeded to the city honours ; and thus both must have been 
disappointed. He was Sir John Fenwick's counsel, and 
pleaded yehemently against the bill of attainder. In 1701 
he died, and was buried at Harrow*on-the-hill. His poUi- 
calions were law reports and pamphlets. 

^ Robert Skinner, father of Matthew Skinner, King's 
ancient serjeant, and chief justice of Chester, in 1742, who 
died in 1749. 

^ An act to amend the practioe of the Court of Chancery^ 
Introduced at the end of the session of 1826 into the House 
of Commons. 

We cannot forbear inserting Lord Nottingham's elegant 


apeak to some point which had been started. 
Ld. Ch. Just. " What again ? Well, go on. Sir 
Bartholomew Shower, if we must have a 
speech." However, the learned counsel gave 
way ; but soon after, there being a pause till 
isome one arrived who was to give evidence, the 
judge began his raillery again : — " Sir Bartholo- 
mew Shower, now we have time to hear your 
speech, if you will." Soon afterwards a great 
many more speeches were delivered, and Sir 
Bartholomew grew restive again ; " Will your 
lordship be pleased to spare me one word ? " — 
Ld. Ch. Just. " I hope we shall have done by 
•and by." — Mr. Recorder. " If your lordship 
don't think fit, I can sit down." — Ld. Ch. Just. 
No, no; go on. Sir Bartholomew Shower, you'll 
say I have spoiled a good speech." Then Ser- 

compliment to Mr. Somen, afterwards the chancellor. Six 
or seven counsel had been heard to what was understood to be 
motion of course, when Mr. Somers rose, and said, " that he 
was of the same side ; but that so much had been already 
said, that he had no room to add any thing ; that therefore 
he would not [NPesume to take up his lordship's time, by 
repeating what had been so well urged by the gentlemen 
that went before him." *' Sir," said the chancellor, ** pray 
go on ; I sit here to hear every body. You never repeat, 
nor will you take up my time ; and therefore I shall hear you 
with pleasure." It often happened in those days, that riz; 
eight, or even ten advocates on a side were heard in the 
Court of Chancery. 

1^ MkJdOIlkS OF 

je&ht trindifei- fcegan, " My lord, I hive bbt dne 
Word-" — Ld» Ch. Ju^t. How uhreasondfoiie fe th» 
no^, thai we laiist ftave 60 khany tspe^eV^heis ^t 
this tiihe of day \ But wfe Mst li&ir it ; gdm, 
brother t 

But t6 returi to Jeffreys. The tieatder need 
not be apprehensive that We are going to inflict 
k criticsd d&quisitfon on this judge's legal merits 
\ik)p6n him; no one doubts th^ni at this day, as 
Serjeant D^Vy, of faceti6u6 memory, said oh the 
\M 6f filizabelh Canning. '' The chief jtistiee, 
witl^ 'ill hts falilW, h^ ^Ver Y^ei eibtgemed a 
great feWyer." 

TW6 very rebiarkatA)e bccasldyns pi^dbentefd 
tiiMseWes \^hilst Ke Vemdi^d oh the €!6ifkmoA 
^kW Ibei^ch, which gaVe hSiii dppoifunlties'df di^- 
jpY&yidg his le^fhg and shrewdness "t6 ^at 
advantage. The first is styled, par excellence, 
" the great caise of monopolies :" the next was 
Lady Ivy's monstrous attempt to possess herself 
€f vkiciable pi^operty in Shadwell, through the 
taieditim of Mse Vnritings. fh the latter case 
ikbme little incidentlft happei!ied, Wificli we '£(ha6 
aliso give, as they tend to prove Jeffreys*s near 
acquaintance with the world m small things. 
. The East India Company quaorrelled with 
Thcntttto ^aiKiyi» f!br invading their ezclui^ve 
tight iif ^raide; Tie Saffl, that the feea'veas oj^ti 
for all merchants to pass with ^eir mefch^- 

disSs tt^ei^ tliBy iple^ed, W!ieteupon t!h^ boitt^ 
party were ^lea^ed t6 deiiiur, as it is tfechnicaliy 
called ; that is to s4y, they would not allow Mr. 
iSandys'^ plea to be t stifficiebt ans^i^er in point 
X)f law to their actiob, imd they referred the Ae- 
tcfeion to the Cotirt of King's Bencli. Jeffireyft 
VlefiVeffed a very elaborate judgment. Hfe made 
tV^b points : l^t. Was the gtot g^odd, ^idh 
libelised the ccfthptitiy to ti^e t6 the ttfdi^s tb 
the exclusion of others t "rhf^. Was iihe ^tfon 
maftitainabie ^ Re began by compfinlien^n^ the 
Kmg for bi^ tiobidescensioih in ^afid^tmg %tis 'pi^ 
'i>o^tiVe to t)k '^^tmSb&i in W^tminsCer-lniA, 
^e^ mdwm^ ihe -ejcample -of liord ^^ 
Bardti Tlettiit^. AH thiii^ tad "theSr cobi-- 
l^en'cement by royal -^uk, ito that six arifibciet 
'Ih tbe city of tiOhdon conld 'no^ use Wo ifrade^ ; 
aeai^nter cdxAA *nOt t>e a joiner, tior a'bVtekr- 
layer a pladtfereir, &c., arid yet ^efe ''Was ibdre 
If^'r^ for inlknd tbaA foirfeign *trade. ^^ ^thfe 
W in^r(/bant ^evailed ih most ma^r^'^WeV- 
xiHandize/dsiiecially .^eb 'the ^OoflsHlr^Ve uj^ 
the high seas ; iso thkt'eVen Ify the ialR)WaSioe of 
the cotomdh laV, a ^kt dflTei^nce Was "(rfBfteiV- 
'atjle between the rtistditis and rights <tf *ti^eii, 
kiid 'those of drdinary 'pcttfeons. fieydftid'quc^Ai, 
"it vra* a juSt ineafeure of ihe priero^^ to 
Ye'&imn foreign trade. WelWtiM*s ^isiTe 'IM 


been quoted, who spoke of Yindicating the con- 
servancy of the seas in favour of all loyal tra* 
ders: Westminster-hall was not the place for 
quoting epistles or authorities; but Welwood 
doubtless little dreamed of interlopers, when he 
spoke of loyal subjects. Foreign trade being 
introduced by the laws of nations, ought to be 
governed and adjudged by those laws; whence 
springs the Court of Admiralty. Therefore, as 
the restraint of such trade was ever reckoned 
inter Jura regaUa, and uncontrolled by any act of 
parliament, and as it was agreeable to the law of 
nations, the royal prerogative was clearly effi- 
cient in the case at bar. Again, with regard to 
an injurious monopoly, which had been insisted 
on by the defendant's counsel, such would not 
be the case, for an exclusive privilege would 
only be granted upon good cause, and for the 
public advantage. The infancy of an under- 
taking like the present would be most effectively 
protected by a society, who, whilst they risked 
the possible loss, should be entitled to the 
undisturbed profit. It was prohibited by the 
States-general, on pain of death, and forfeiture 
of ship and goods, that any, save the Dutch 
India Company, should for twenty-one years 
pass eastward of the Cape of Good Hope. And 
surely, continued the judge, the Dutch have 


ever been our greatest and moat dangerous rivals 
in trade. The King» by his charter^ makes the 
]daintifis, as it were, his ambassadors to concert 
a peace with the Indians, and Mr. Sandys has 
complained that he is not one of them. Because 
the King may pardon every offender, but will 
not pardon any highwayman now in Newgate, 
must those gaol-birds, therefore, think themselves 
injured in their liberty and property ? The mast 
flourishing trades have begun by united stocks 
and policies. The company have been at the 
trouble of discovering places, of erecting forts, 
of keeping forces, of settling factories, and. of 
making leagues and treaties ; and it would be 
against natural equity to vnrest the benefits from 
them which they have thus earned. Let the 
plaintiff take his judgment.' 

On the 3d of June, 1684, the claim of Lady 
Ivy for some property in Shadwell came to be 
investigated before a judge as intelligent and 
keen as ever enlightened the bench at Westmin- 
ster, or a special jury assembled upon an occa- 

' The other judges who concurred, were 8ir Fraacii 
Wythens, Sir Kichard Holloway, Sir Thomas Walcot A 
paper in the Mss. Lansd. 1210. folio, contains the introduction 
of Sir George Jeffireys's speech, which is not in the State 
Trials, but is otherwise imperfect. 

172 MisMEdiRg dr 

HdA m fichpditant. ^6 ^fn in poBgessieii ; die 
'^dtidb, tterefoi«> ^;rte l^iijgfat against h<ec, and 
% eiee&i^ t&at the pttiSlitiiBr had been once fadfUre 
%ttsilkcceteful'. tlie judge plainly showed liis 
€ii^)i>o^ioA fti the diitset to sifl tli6 cause in pe- 
H^rdlibuss and, itc(x»rditigiy, 'showed the bouB;Biel 
oh etther rtdfe vety Itttle taercy. They begain 
^th fth ^d book fe«^d aisfbiig the evidcJiK^eB of 
kli6 itiela aM dhftptef of St. Paurs, in wttcfa 
Irofhe aitteratioii UnA beeft made, the ^oloifeet of 
'^liHy^h did hot ap^^aSr. ** It is plain,'' 'Mid tbe 
'j!;lfidf justice, ''thatwChis Slippery age we Ut^ 
^,{t'is veiry ^^asy tb mnke ^ book look w old ias 
fot HWtQd have it.*' iNdW the attomey-genfemd, 
Vefa6 mOivtct^ liady tvy's ease, Wte bbrewd 
-eriongh to ^l!ake advantage of this im.U <^d 
knowing that his was die side ob which ibvgdry 
was sus^ted, lie declared^ seemingly ^rtdth 
touch itocteetftfe, *' They ihirealsn us wiA for- 
'^etiiB,iitoA 1 lcn«\^ mft what; I believe tk wifl 
tir6 "feuhA oh Ittr. Neade's side/' However^ tbe 
tide Wks s66ii to tui% agafanft his^olient. J^firelfB 
festened himself upon Lady Ivy s first witness ; 
^tBHd imietss a msin were* the y&ry image of -truth, 
^e haii but Hetle bhahce under Iniclh an ^nrdeal. 
Tftut Wre was a math^ho niidertoc^ to tell the 

contents of a ieecl he had never looked xhfo, 

■ ■ 

and who swore that he knew its owner on first 

JUDfiJK iJiFFEJiys. 1,7ft 

^x4hg it, from a siipersfiriptkWjL ^hkh mik 

t^y^ to hnYQ bqen vritteQ long «l6lerMiffdit 
'< J aiji wir^" quoth U&p judge, '* thou sYKuus^ti 

i^ldly." Aftd the next vativBi» m^. m Hlttfe 
aocQunt o| time, th»| he veered m lamentably 
from one day to igiotbe^ 9» to ^tsm upm hin^ 
a most fofn^idable lepture froon thj^ judge. And. 
the solicitoTrgeaeral was plmaed tp n»ke. t^w 
very polite addr68s to the I^tdy Ivy, hv' djes!, 
tiieli ip court', — '^ Your witseei^ i» drunk, i)(U^4am ^^ 
Every step in this cause was ajg^ainst the defeuadr 
ant ; and not only did the jury Qsd a ve^rdie^ 
d]«alb)wing her elaim, but i^e h«d tbe mis^wr r 
%me to mePUAter twt^ ijafi^i^atiws fijf fprgingi 
and publishing indentures, which weve vergF 
mfm ifcfi^rwards filed %g^st he^ The ummI 
ingenious device in this angular cause was % 
plan which suggested itself tP a Mi'* Bf^tdn 
hury Iw tibe develep^pftent of thsse igran^eirt 
ymetices. The ind^tMie reUed up0» by l4d|r 

ivy was stated »$ of such a day in such ywm. 
** i^ i|he reigns of qut ^pv^neign ]U)rd ^i^ 
iady Philip and Mary, by the Q^me ^ QqAp 
King and Qveen of EngliMid* Sp»ip^ Fnaqfle^ 

both Sicilies, Jerusalem, and Jrelandh PefiindM^/ 
&««, Aiichdukes pf Au^tifia, Dukes of Qttrjgundy, 
ICUan, and 3ra^at, tos.'- ^Bxadfbiu^ iHr|(sdt 
and he brpugbi records m prW* pf hi« ^l^gft* 


tion, that Philip and Mary were nerer then 
called King and Queen of Spain and both the 
Sicilies, but King and Queen of Naples, and 
that Burgundy never stood before Milan. The 
judge was extremely pleased with the demon- 
stration of this theory, while the attorney-gene- 
ral, who felt the shoe pinch, was vainly striving 
to silence an interloper so dangerous. How- 
ever, the contriver of this detection was so much 
elated by the encouragement he met with, that 
he could not help interfering again on one or 
two occasions, which brought the wit of JeflFreys 
upon him, seasoned vnth that admirable know- 
ledge of the world and of human nature, for 
which the judge has never had sufficient credit 
vrith posterity. Probably Mr. Bradbury had 
been diving into all the old rat-eaten records for 
days and nights before the trial ; ** for," cried he, 
'* I dare affirm that there are none of the rolls 
<^ that year so till after Easter Term ;" and 
then he was stopped with *' Lord, sir, you must 
be cackling too; we told you your objection 
was very ingenious, but that must not make 
you troublesome; you cannot lay an egg but 
you must be cackling over it." 

Nor did the chief of the court use his brother 
judges with much greater respect, if he thought 
they deserved a lesson. We shall give an in- 


stance of this kind here in the treatment of Mr. 
Baron Gregory, " who was subpoenaed as a wit- 
ness upon this occasion. When the learned 
baron came into court, the counsel were pleased 
to behave very civilly to him, and proposed that 
he should be examined forthwith; whereupon 
Sir William, whose delicacy exceeded his fore- 
sight, declared himself very unwilling to inter- 
rupt the course of the evidence. ** Nay, we 
will take you at your word," said the chief, 
whose notions of such scruples were very con- 
tracted ; " but if it be long, pray remember we 
would have eased you, but you complimented 
yourself out of it ; now you are likely to abide 
by it a while, I assure you, brother." The baron 
waited some considerable time, and his evidence 
at length was not wanted ; upon which he re- 
tired, with another friendly hint from the bench : 
" Well, brother, we cannot help your staying 
now; but remember you had an offer made you 
at first, and you are punished for refusing it/* 

' William Gregoiy was chosen speaker of the House of 
Commons in 1679, by the recommendation of Lord William 
Russel, the King absolutely refusing to confirm the nomi- 
nation of Mr. Edward Seymour. In 1679» he was made a 
baron of the Exchequer, but made way for Jenner, the 
recorder of London, early in the reign of James II. Being 
a man of integrity, he was immediately placed judge of 
the King's Bench at the Revolution, and died in 1686. 

176. HJ^ajoi^s OF 

Hq^ Yf^ a sure ajud ^pui^d priuci]^ in humw 
lifi^ T^ogni^pd by th^ chief justice, s^id false 

4eiic^y justly i^hjed. 

Yf^t^ whatever respect he might have phowa 
to tfie pommpn law^ he had up prejudice ijx 
favour of settled forD?is : and, indeed, it is aq, 
o^flP^tioQ common to those tim^s^ that whpu 
a judg^ desired a precedent, he would l^ve it* 
JpffreyS; the last of these worthies, was heard 
tp ^^Y'f that if there wqtb no precedent fo^ what 
be d^d^ bf did npt ^ee why he had not as gqo^ 
a figb^ (Q make one as any of his pr^deiQ^- 
Sjors- Ai^d, SQ little respect did he pay 
to the great oracle^ Sir Edward Cp^e^ that he 
i^ed to stop the cpims^l who were wonjt to 
quote him, aad grujPy tell tbem, that if Lord 
Cojke re^Iy h^d /;^id W(ha.t they were urgipg, 
hi3 opmioa va^ iv>t law: 

Had b^ how^ver^ aliyay^ persis^ted ip eista- 
Uishigijg precedents a^ hppourable 9^ Ifip conr 
dujct to the m^yor {ind porporation of Bristc^> 
his name had been immortalized for philan- 
thropy. A very roguish practice had obtained 
in that moaey-^etting city. The m^pr, s^ldsirr 
men, and justice^, had ^e^ in the habit of seJJr 
ing their transported cEimina^ for slaves into 
the American plantations ; and finding the barter 
very lucrative, they only regretted that crime 


was not more on the increase within their good 
territory. So they hit upon this expedient. 
When any little pilferers got into a scrape^ all 
the horrors of hanging were held out to them ; 
and through the officers, who were creatures of 
the corporation, they were induced to pray for 
transportation ; and then each alderman had his 
turn to sell one, about which, by the way, they 
sometimes quarrelled. Jeffreys knew how to 
protect the rights of men as well as any ; and 
having received a hint of this custom, which had 
passed unnoticed for ye^rs, he instituted an inr 
quiry, whence it appeared that the mayor was 
equally criminal with the rest of his brethren. 
He gave out publicly to the citizens, that he 
had ^' brought a broom to sweep them." This 
was a crisis which exactly suited a man of our 
judge's temperament. There was no state po- 
licy to interfere with him, and even-handed 
Justice was therefore to be exalted in all her 
magnificence. Slowly, in all his scarlet and fur 
robes, did the chief magistrate descend from 
the bench of justice, by order of Jeffreys, and 
having reached the common bar, he stood there 
like a criminal to answer for his misdeeds. At 
first, indeed, he hesitated, and slackened his 
pace, but he was quickly overawed by the resolute 
ehief, who, stamping, called for his guards, for 


he was ''geaeral by commission." And surely 
justice might have overtaken him and his friends, 
had not the Revolution introduced a general 
amnesty, by which the informations against 
these persons were cancelled. They had been 
compelledr however, to give large security that 
they would answer the chargei^, and doubtless 
thought themselves amply fortunate to come off 
so easily/ with all their unrighteous gains secure 
in their pockets. The mayor. Sir Robert Cann, 
was so much terrified, that he employed some 
friends in London to appease the great man, 
who at length yielded, saying, " Go thy way, 
sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto 

Before we speak of the great western tragedy, 
the conduct of this hot-headed judge to Richard 
Baxter, the celebrated nonconformist, who re- 
fused the see of Lichfield and Coventry at the 
Restoration, shall be just adverted to. His real 
offence was expounding some passages of the 
New Testament in his paraphrase rather too 
strongly against the Roman religion, for which 
a prosecution was instituted against him as a 
seditious libeller of the Church of England 
bishops. The passages selected for the charge 
were picked out by Sir Roger L'Estrange and his 
companions. Baxter asked for time. — ^Jeffreys. 

JUDG£ J£FFR£rS. 179 

*^ I will not give him a minute's more time to 
save his life. Yonder stands Oates in the pil* 
lory, and says he suffers for the truth ; and so 
says Baxter ; but if Baxter did but stand on 
the other side jcX the pillory with hkn, I woiald 
say, two of the greatest rogues and rascals in 
the kingdom stood there/' Oa the 30th May, 
1684, he came to trid. Wallop, Williams, 
Rotheram,' Atwood, and Phipps,' were his 
counsel. The clerk was reading Uie title of a 
cause. — " You blockhead you," cries the judge, 
''the next cause is between Richard Baxter 
and the King.'* Wallop said, that those wha 
had drawn the information were the libellers, in 
attributing the defendant s words to the English 
bishops, which he evidently meant for the 
Roman hierarchy. " Mr. Wallop," quoth my 
lord, ''I observe you are in all these dirty causes; 
and were it not for you gentiemen of the long 
robe, who should have more wit and honesty 
than to support and hold up these factious 
knaves by the chin, we should not be at the 
pass we are at*" — ^Wallop. " My lord, I humbly 
conceive that the passages accused are natural 
deductions from the text." — Jeffreys. " You 

* Afterwards a baron of the Exchequer. Evelyn mentions 
inm as a trustee for Boyle's Lectures. 

^ Afterwards Sir Gonstantine, and chancellor of Ireland. 


humbly conceive, and I humbly conceive ! swear 
him ! swear him !" Wallop went on again. Jef- 
freys. "Sometimes you humbly conceive, and 
sometimes you are very positive: you talk of 
your skill in church history, and of your under- 
standing Latin and English; I think I under- 
stand something of them as well as you ; but in 
short must tell you, that if you do not under- 
stand your duty better, I shall teach it you." 
And this silenced Wallop, for he sat down. 
Then Rotheram began ; and Baxter added, that 
he had incurred the censure of many dissenters 
on account of his moderation. " Baxter for 
bishops !" saith Jeffreys ; " that 's a merry con- 
ceit indeed ! turn to it, turn to it." On which 
Rotheram pointed out a place where Baxter 
had declared that great respect was due to those 
who were called to be bishops. But he was 
interrupted with, " Aye I this your presbyterian 
cant ! truly called to be bishops ! that is himself 
and such rascals called to be bishops of Kidder- 
minster, according to the saying of a late author, 
* and every parish shall maintain a tithe pig 
metropolitan.' " Baxter was beginning again, 
but — " Richard ! Richard !" ejaculated the judge, 
"dost thou think we'll hear thee poison the 
court? Richard, thou art an old fellow, an old 
knave ; thou hast written books enough to load 


a cart. Hadst thou been whipt out of thy wri- 
ting trade forty years ago, it had been happy ; " and 
with many other such observations he closed his 
harangue, which had the effect of putting down 
Rotheram. But it was now Mr. Atwood's turn : 
and he was going to read some of the text. — > 
'^ You shan't draw me into a conventicle with 
your annotations^ nor your snivelling parson 
neither," exclaimed Sir George. However, Jef- 
freys met with his match, for the counsel would 
go on ; and so the one inveighed, and the other 
urged his client's defence, till he had made an 
end. And then the chief justice finished with — 
** Well, you have had your say." Williams and 
Phipps were quite confounded, and so were 
silent ; and Baxter soon had his quietus also : 
on wWch Jeffreys turned -to the jury: — "'Tis 
notoriously known," said he, ''that there has 
been a design to ruin the King and nation : the 
old game has been renewed, and this has been 
the main incendiary: he is as modest now as 
can be ; but time was, when no man was so 
ready at, ' Bind your Kings in chains, and your 
nobles in fetters of iron;' and, * To your tents, O 
Israel I' Gentlemen, for God's sake, don't let us 
be gulled twice in an age." Of course the jury- 
found him guilty, and he was fined £500, and 
bound to his -good behaviour for seven years. 


But through the mediation of Lord Powis^ 
a Roman Catholic nobleman, he had great kind- 
ness shown him : his fine was remitted, and he 
soon afterwards was left at liberty to preach,, 
which he did ta a separate congregation unto 
the day of his deadi in December, 1691. 

Here,, however,, is an opportunity of telling 
something much to the credit of Jeffreys,, and the 
more so, because a dissenter is our theme. 

Philip Henry, a man of unblemished charac- 
ter, a nonconformist, had refused to pay a fine 
which some Shropshire justices had imposed 
upon htm for attending a conventicle; upon 
which his goods were distrained,* and carts were 
even pressed upon the road for the purpose of 
carrying them away. This minister was the 
only nonconformist in Flintshire,, which was 
Jeffreys's county ; but he always remained unmo- 
lested, although this great foe to dissenters was 
chief justiee of Chester, and came that circuit. 
And upon the occasion we have above men- 
tioned. Sir George withheld his s^probation of 
the measure, and even inquired jocularly, by 
what new law the gentry pressed carts to re- 
move goods distrained for the ofience of going to 

* The ooniactiaB ww certified horn Shropshire into- Fliol- 


meeting. He spoke with respect of Mr. Henry, 
declared that he knew him and his character 
well, and that the preacher was his mother's 
great friend. Mrs. Jeffreys was a very pious 
good woman ; and, as her son openly acknow- 
ledged, had sometimes requested Henry to exa- 
mine him when a school-boy, who, moreover, 
was in the habit of commending his proficiency. 
There is something of filial regard and a respect 
for old acquaintance in this. 

There is a stronger instance still of the judge's 
forbearance towards the same man. Mr. Henry 
was in the habit of attending a meeting for 
prayer every Monday morning ; and this assem- 
bling, having created some notice, was men- 
tioned very innocently to some person in Lon- 
don by means of a letter. This communication 
fell into the hands of a busy-body, or malign 
nant of some kind, who laid an information 
against the writer and receiver of the letter* 
which greatly pleased Jeffreys, who imagined 
that it might be a branch of the presbyterian 
plot. He, accordingly, '' rallied the parties 
very severely ;" and then it came out, that the 
project had its rise with Mr. Henry, which 
occasioned the most serious fears for his safety. 
But the whole matter was suddenly dropped, 
and no inquiry made, which astonished the 


Tulgar : whereas it only proves the consistency 
ef Jeffreys when he knew that a man of high 
i^haracter was in the right, and remembered him 
in h^ppy youth&l days, of which the impressions 
are so kind and so lasting. 

When Jeffreys had left Mold (the assize 
town), after the distraining we have talked of, the 
enemies of Mr. Henry began again, and pre- 
sented him for keeping conventicles ; but all the 
parchments against this favoured minister had 
been cast into the dead sea with as good success, 
for the chief justice frowned upon them, and 
they were never more heard of. It is proper 
that we should give Mr. Henry's opinion of this 
mercy. His son, Matthew, who wrote his life, 
says, that he ** acknowledged the hand of God, 
who turneth the hearts of the children of men, 
as the rivulets of water." 



The Wbstbrn AiiAiZBS— Duke of Monmontb^s mi 

cial commissioD and Jeffreys at the head of it — CounteM of 
Pomfret-^The Bloody Assizes, to eaUed — The number execu* 
ted — ^Trial and execution of Lady Alicia Lisle — Henry Pollex- 
fen, afterward lord chief justice — Conduct of Jeffreys — Cruel pr(>- 
mise of James IL — Salisbury — Church senrice at Dorchester-^ 
Intemperate speeches of the judge— Many transported or sold 
as s1a?e»— Weakness of the Monarch — Case of Battiscomb— 
Sentence for the whipping of Tntchin^Trials at Eteter— State 
of the West during this assize— Cruelties at Taunton — Lord 
Stawell's indignation — Warrant to the mayor of Batb^Boasta 
of Judge Jeffreys— Further executions — Bishop Ken— The 
judge's obarge to the grand jury at Bristol — ^Anecdote— Case 
sf^ the brothers ^* Spekes "-—Tory Tom's shrewdness— Dr* 
Oliyer— Edmund Pridaux — ^Enormous bribe paid to saTO 
his life — Reception of Jeffreys at court — Anecdotes of 
Colonel Kirk — The dissenters — Observations on the charac- 
ter of James II. and Judge Jefireys— Execution of the Duke 
of Monmouth— Mrs. Gaunt burnt— The Lords Grey, Stamford^ 
and Brandon Gerrard are pardoned— Bigotry of the King- 
Lord Jeffreys is appointed lord chancellor— Trial of Hampden 
before Sir Edward Heibert— Dangerfield killed in a private 
quarrel — Satire on Jeffreys. 

Evert one is familiarized with the history of 
Monmouth's invasion in the early part of the 
second James's reign, with his fallen fortunes. 



his luckless capture, and his luuch-Iamented 
fate. To punish his adherents, a special com- 
mission was issued by the crown, at the head of 
which was placed Lord Jeffreys, and, in addi- 
tion to his rank as prime judge, he had, by a 
second commission, the authority of general. 

The conduct, moreover, of this powerful minis- 
ter in the execution of his dangerous trust, is, 
as it were, naturalized in our minds, and, per- 
haps, it cannot be very much palliated ; although 
we do not profess to be governed by the raving 
invectives of historians, or the teeming abuse of 
copying scribes. For the foregoing reason, there- 
fore, the reader shall be but scantily troubled 
with stories which he can trace the mention of 
from his childhood, and, consequently, the seve- 
rity of executions, the dying speeches and con- 
fessions, the clamours of distressed relatives, 
and, above all, the lugubrious dirges of contem- 
porary writers, will be rarely introduced. 

We have no concern with the fury of the 
famous little ale-house woman in the west, 
whose rage kindled instantiy at the name of 
Jeffreys ; a passion, be it said, en passant, which 
she caught from a mother, who was an eye- 
witness of that dreadful personage: nor with 
that tenacious feeling of the rabble which urged 


them to insult the Countess of Pomfret, grand- 
daughter to their hated judge, when passing on 
the western road.' 

Possibly, Sir Bartholomew Shower's mode of 
treating the subject might be, after all, the best : 
it is excellent for it's brevity. " In Trinity term 
Monmouth's rebellion in the west prevented 
much business; in the vacation following, by 
reason of that rebellion, there was no assize held 
for the western circuit; but afterwards five 
judges went as commissioners of oyer and ter- 
miner and gaol-delivery, and 351 of the rebels 
were executed, <§*c." 

Something, however, for the sake of justice 
or humanity, must be said concerning these 
three hundred and fifty-one* persons ; and some- 
thing for the judge's sake, whether he were the 
avenger of sedition, or the brutal navigator in 
a sea of blood. 

In the autumn of 1685, Jeffreys went forth, 
guarded by a party of Colonel Kirk's soldiers, 
taking with him as his assistants, the lord chief 

' We might add, nor with poets; especially when they 
write thus : — 

«< This demy-fiend, this hurricane of man. 
Was sent to butcher all i* th' west he can/' 

* Some books speak of 251, but the number is differently 
sUted from 330 to 350. 


baron' and three puisne judges;* although it may 
be said, that these last were mere cyphers, for 
all the fierce deeds are imputed to the chief, 
and all the odium rests singly upon him. He 
acted up to his commission, gave daily the word 
and orders for going the rounds, and ordered 
what party of troops he pleased to attend him. 

Winchester was the first place where the 
ministers of justice halted; for here was the 
Lady Alicia Lisle awaiting her trial, — ^a very ob- 
noxious lady, for her husband had been no other 
than the great John Lisle,* one of King Charles 

* William Montague, Esq. He was one of the judges 
whom James turned out afterwards for resisting his attempted 
power of dbqpensation. He lived in retirement to a great 
age ; and from his known uprightness of character, it is to 
he presumed that he had little share in these scenes of blood. 

* One of whom was Sir Robert Wright, a baron of the 
Exchequer, and afterwards chief justice of the King's Bench 
at the trial of the seven bishops. He was one of the true 
butcher-birds, and was the man who promised to hang the 
poor soldier for deserting hb colours upon Hounslow-heathi 
If he were promoted, which was done by moving Sir Edward 
Herbert, and the promise was performed. Judge Jenner 
was another. 

' He was son of Sir William Lisle, Knt., of Wootton, 
Isle of Wight : went to Magdalen Hall, and thence to the 
Temple, and soon distingubhed himself at the bar. He was 
returned for Winchester in 1640, and became master of the 
hospital of St. Cross near that city, which he gave up to 


the Firsts judges, a zealous republican, some 
time lord president of the high court of justice, 
and joint commissioner of the great seal. Her 
offence was the harbouring one John Hicks, an 
alleged traitor, who was hung afterwards at 
Glastonbury, and who fled for shelter after the 
defeat of the duke. One of the most singular 
incidents, however, which accompanied this 
trial, was the appearance of Henry Pollexfen" 

Mr. Solicitor Cook in 1649. JeffireyB told his wife pretty 
clearly how well his presence at the condemnation of Ring 
Charles was remembered. He was one of the council of 
state » sometime president of the high court of justice, and 
was yery instrumental in making Oliver the loid protector. 
He was excepted out of the act of oblivion at the Restora- 
tion, and fled into Switzerland, idbere, at Lausanne, he had 
great respect paid him, and was treated as chancellor of 
England, being clothed with the robe of that high officer. 
In 1664, some Irishmen, angry at his kind reception on the 
continent, thought proper to shoot him with a musquetoon^ 
whereupon he was honourably buried. 

' Henry Pollexfen, or Polixphen, was a native of De- 
vonshire, the family being settled at Kitley, near Plympton. 
His business at the bar was very steady and considerable ; 
and it is observable, that he was in all the principal cases in 
the latter part of Charles the Second's, and in the succeed- 
ing reign. In 1688 he was returned for Exeter, and at the 
Revolution made attorney-general, whence he was presently 
removed to be chief justice of the Common Pleas. He died 
in 1602. Roger North calls him " the veriest butcher of a 
judge ;^ but Burnet vouches for his honesty. He was the 
author of some Reports. 


as counsel for the crown. Tliris lawyer Jiad 
been deep in the coi^dence of the country 
party, or, according to North, ** in all the de- 
sperate designs against the crown/' and yet was 
selected for the King's advocate up<m this emer- 
gency ; and, which is yet more strange, consent- 
ed to the employment. Fanatic as he is called, 
he had contrived hitherto to preserve a great 
character for consistency ; and in spite of his new 
retainer, was made chief justice of the Common 
Pleas on the accession of King William.' 

But to return : Hicks and one Nelthorp, both 
of Rye-house Plot notoriety, were found in the 
house of the prisoner under these circum- 
stances : they had escaped from Weston Moor, 
and entreated an asylum at the hands of Lady 
Alice. When the application was made to her, 
she entertained it with great civility, being en- 
tirely ignorant of the route which her guests had 
taken. Hicks either had the candour or the teme- 
rity to acquaint her with the truth, on which she 
instantly dispatched her principal servant to a 
justice of the peace with information concerning 
them, but gave especial orders that they might 

1 The conciliation of PoUezfen upon this occasion was no 
indifferent stroke of policy, since the writers who have under- 
taken to defend the conduct of King James, rely upon that 
lawyer's appointment to be the crown counsel, as a proof that 
the monarch wished to adopt a course of moderation. 


be suffered to escape. At this crisU a party 
entered^ and made the fatal discovery. Jeffreys, 
bitter foe as he ever showed himself to the dis- 
senters, was transported with rage beyond him- 
self at this trial; for in addition to a prisoner 
who had been harbouring dissenters, he had 
a very reluctant presbyterian witness to deal 
with. It would seem, in fact, that this judge 
had worked himself up to a lunatic pitch 
of frenzy against nonconformists, and that he 
could scarcely be said to command his senses 
when one of such a persuasion was brought be- 
fore him. And yet he displayed his usual know- 
ledge of men's characters by the use of many 
religious admonitions, and even imprecations of 
the divine wrath against liars, which greatly 
tended to alarm the presbyterian witness, who 
in reality did shuiRe in his testimony for the 
purpose of screening the culprit, but was en- 
tirely mastered by the chief justice. The ex- 
pressions used towards him were such as he 
would be most likely to have heard in the 
places of worship which his creed taught him 
to attend, and the repetition of them in so 
awful a place as a court of justice would render 
them the more formidable to his mind. 

One part of Jeffreys's conduct at the trial 
has been strongly reprobated. He told the jury 


that Nelthorp had privately informed him of the 
whole conversation which took place between 
the prisoner^ Hicks, and himself, when they 
were together at supper. And although it might 
have been a very flat and just contradiction of 
the witness, who was then swearing most out- 
rageously for his mistress, the judge had clearly 
no right to mention it from the bench. *' I would 
not mention any such thing as any piece of evi- 
dence to influence this case,'' said he ; but the 
jury must have been shamefully biassed by such 
a statement, because the Lady Lisle was clearly 
made out to have been cognizant of the rebellious 
designs of those she sheltered, by evidence of 
that conversation. 

The Lady Lisle said, that had she been tried 
in London, several persons of quality would 
have testified how strongly she had condemned 
the rising of Monmouth ; that she had shed more 
tears for King Charles than any woman; that she 
apprehended the object of Hicks's visit to be no 
more than an anxiety to escape the general war- 
rant against nonconformists ; and that her' son 
was actually in arms against the rebels through 
her advice. 

The good woman, seventy years of age, is said 
to have slept during great part of the charge to 
the jury ; and, beyond doubt, she was well pre- 


pared for the scene which was to follow, and 
well apprised of her judge's outrageous preju- 
dice. But the jury betrayed a feeling which 
did them some credit. They asked, whether 
the prisoner could be found guilty of concealing 
a person who had not been convicted of any 
offence, for Hicks was not as yet tried ; and a 
very sensible question it was. Jeffreys said, it 
made no difference, and this opinion of his was 
one ground for reversing the judgment afler the 
Revolution. However, the jury were still dis- 
satisfied ; they thought that there had been no 
proof of Lady Lisle's knowledge that Hicks had 
been in the army. Nothing more palpable, 
according to the judge's opinion ; and at length 
the death-sealing verdict was obtained.' 

" If I had been among you, and she had been 
my own mother, I should have found her 
guilty," said the satiated Jeffreys, who now had 
his victim bound to the horns of the altar ; and 
then he passed judgment on her, in common 

' Oldmixon, in his History of the House of Stuart, telb 
118 that the jury brought her in twice ** Not guilty ;'* and 
Rapin says that this happened three times; and further, 
that Jeffreys threatened an attaint of jury : the report, how- 
ever, in the State Trials, is widely at yariance with this ag- 
gravated statement, and Hume adopts the more moderate 


194 MfKO^RS OF 

with, tb^ <^^ cFUBipala lyho had been capitally 
convicted at the assizes. Moreover, the sheriff 
was ordered to prepare for her execution on 
that afternoon ; but Jeffreys threw out thi^ hint, 
'' We tYksX ate the judges shall stay in town an 
hour or two. You/' addressing himself to th^ 
prisoner, '' shall have pen, ink, and. papec 
brought you ; and if, in the mean time, you em- 
ploy that pen, ink, and pap^r, and this hour ov 
twp welj (you understand what I me^), it may 
be yq^ maj ^a,; furtfeer from, ua, in » deferiing 
^l^e execution," This intimation might hacK« 
]^n applied to a discovery of moi^ state-pris(m-> 
ers, or, it is possible that th^ gr^at m^n loQk^ 
l^enly fox a bribe. For, altboi^h writens may^ 
have been incorrect iji attributing venality tfh 
our qhief justice upoii all occ^sipos^ it Qiust be 
Qop£es^eA that he began a system pf corruption: 
on this circuit, to say the least ; and: being himr 
si^}f. origingUy without aiu estat^> now spared qq 
nR^^BS.^rf acquiring one. 

At the intercession of some Winchester clergy- 
men, the lady waa respited for a few. daya ; and 
it was revenge, probably, at his pecuniary dis- 
appointment; that induced the inexorability of 
Jeffreys against petitions for a final reprieve. 
There was, however, one more turnpi]kie*gatQK 
before the aged prisoner had fully arrived at the 




close of her suflferings. Access to the throne was^ 
osteosibly open ; and very considerable interest 
was made at court to pi^eserve so blameless a 
life. One thousand pounds were offered to 
Lord Feversham, the King's general, if he should 
succeed in saving ber ; and the noble lord went 
to His Majesty, and begged her life, but heard 
from the mouth of royalty, that the King ka^ 
promised Jeffreys not to pardon her. 

Although this latter story comes from Burned, 
who, in spite of his vivid phraseology and occa- 
sional want of correctness, has been morti and' 
more confirmed of late in his principal state- 
ments, James's want of clemency has been 
established by other accounts. When he was 
petitioned for a reprieve by two tory peeresses,' 
he declared that he would not respite her for 
one day ; and these news we have from one who 
was bent upon excusing the whole transaction ;* 
and we are assured again, that Jeffreys had 
acquainted His Majesty that Lady Lisle's pre- 
tensions to loyalty were feigned. She was 
accordingly beheaded' as soon as her brief re- 

' Lady St. John and Lady Abergaveiiny. 
^ Tbe autber of the '' Caveat." 

' Mr; Jawes Maepberacm would have us beli«re Uwt' ao 
application w«8 ev«r mtade to the King^ fbr a pardon ; and h^ 



spite expired, declaring, with her dying breath, 
that the judge omitted to recount her defence to 
the jury, which, indeed, was but too true. Her 
guests, Nelthorp and Hicks, soon followed. 
When Hicks's brother, then dean of Worcester, 
was importuned on behalf of his relation, it is 
said he coldly answered, that " he could not 
speak for a fanatic." Some intemperate expres- 
sion might have fallen from that very learned 
and religious man,' but a total want of feeling is 

attributes the changing of her sentence * to Jeffreys. This, 
however, is a prerogative which the King has always exer- 
cised in person, and there are many authorities which prove 
that a request for mercy reached the highest quarter, and that 
it failed, though the causes of that failure be variously repre- 

' George Hicks, dean of Worcester, the author of '' Jo- 
vian," was a very learned, but intolerant man. He indi- 
rectly reflected upon Tillotson, whose pupil, Edmund Pri- 
deaux, was supposed to have been implicated in the rebellion 

* From baming to beheading, not hanging, according to Mr. Mucpber- 
•on. Thifl gentleman has another incorrect passage in a page or two after 
the above statement ^ fur he m js that the unhappy Mrs. Gaunt was tried 
before Sir Edward Herbert, who was, in feet, a mild, clement man ; where- 
as chief justice Jones presided at the trial, and treated the prisoner with a 
sexrerity as fully deterving of censure as any violences of the Lord Jeffreys i 
and, which was worse, he mixed inddiousness with his behaviour. But 
this Jones had established a character for honesty, and Uras escaped the 
lash of the whig writers, and the traditional anger of historians. 


highly improbable, since his brother acknow- 
ledges, in a letter written just before his death, 
that the dean was gone up to London to see 
what could be done for him. 

The only disquisition, (and that as short as 
need be,) to which we feel disposed to ask the 
reader's patient attention, is, whether the chief 
justice did actually incur an undivided respon- 
sibility respecting the career which he pursued 
against the western malefactors; or, whether 
he was the instrument, willing enough it may 
be, of his Royal Master. This very serious in- 
quiry shall be postponed a little, while we pro- 
ceed in the history, or, as lawyers would say, 
go the circuit. 

Having dispatched their business at Winton, 
the judges advanced to Salisbury, where their 
proceedings were so light, in comparison of the 
memorable punishments then in inmiediate 
prospect, that they might almost have demanded 

of 1685, as though the divine were answerable for his pupil*s 
future prejudices ; not reflecting, at the same time, that his 
own brother had suffered for the same fault. He could not 
take the oaths at the Revolution, and therefore was ejected 
from his deanery. William Talbot, kinsman to the Ear! 
of Shrewsbury, was his successor. Hicks was, moreover, a 
very considerable author. 


tke pair of white glovw, the pure and iimo- 
(4Qt emblem of a maidea assize/ Some few of 
the rebel whigs were whipped and imprisoned, 
but there was no political execution/ 

The good people of Salisbury have not to this 
day forgotten the remarkable loyalty which was 
manifested by their townsmen in this struggle, 
as they reason from the sparing of blood within 
their city ; and truly, it is no small confirma- 
tion of their professed love for the then sceptred 
monarch, that King James was do way back* 
ward to trust himself within their walls at the 
commencement of his troubles. The only set*off 
against their claim is, that Jeffreys had made 
Dorchester his head-quarters, and that he had 
been gleaning prisoners from the time he first 
entered Hampshire, whom he carried along with 
him like oxen to a general slaughter-house, as 
t})e enemies of our judge would say. 

And now the fearful cavalcade moved on tq 
Dorchester, where the first great thunderbolt 

< A maiden aasiie is said to be, when there is not a single 
prisoner for trial at a circuit town. 

* According to one account, there was a single execution 
at Salisbury ; but by another, no prisoner was there hidicted 
for high treason. Possibly the ezecuti<M might hav^ Mkda 
place for some other offence. 

Was destined to fall on tlie ill-fkted sons of rebel- 
lion. These might indeed say : 

Omnes lB6deDi cogimbr, omniiim 
YeraatuT urna, aeriiisy ocyiis 
Sors exitura» et nos in aetenium 
Exilium impositura cymbs/ 

which may be thus paraphrased : 

" We are all in a trap at the mercy of the 
same man ; for each of us he shakes his raffle ; 
and sooner or later i^ll the lot leap forth, the 
signal of our journey on the sledge to an eternal 

It is customary for the judges to attend divine 
service before they proceed to the business of an 
assize town, and Jeffreys was not the nlad to 
neglect a ceremonial so customaty, an well as A6 
imposing ; for he would, if possible, do all things 
with due form. 

It was on Friday, the 4th of September, that 
he proceeded to St. Mary Dorchester, having 
dpened his commission on the preceding day. 
Here the clergyman spoke of mercy ; but It wa£ 

' Thus all must tread the path of fate ; 
Thus ev^ shtikeft the mortal urn» 
Whose lot embarks ns, soon or late. 
On Charon's boat, &h ! never to retiim. 



observed that the Lord Jeffreys laughed both 
during prayers and sermon;' a pretty plain 
sign that he was (according to the singular con- 
ceit of an old writer,) about to " breathe death 
like a destroying angel, and to sanguine his very 
ermins in blood." 

The minister finished, and the chief went 

I One is irresistibly reminded of the fine pictures which 
the " Great Unknown " has given us of the famous Claver- 
house and General Dalzell, just before the battle of Both- 
well Brig. Henry Morton had gone out to propose terms 
on behalf of the covenanters to the gentle Duke of Mon- 
mouth ; Colonel Claverhouse (afterwards Viscount Dundee), 
and General Dalzell (a guest, by the way, of James Duke 
of York), stood beside the Duke. The Duke received the 
tern)s with courtesy. " Here Morton observed Dalzell 
shake iiis head indignantly, and whisper SMuething into Cla- 
verhouse's ear, who smiled in return, and elevated his eye- 
brows, but in a degree so slight as scarce to be perceptible." 
The Duke dismisses the plenipotentiary with these words : 
** I earnestly entreat," speaking of the answer, *' it may be 
such as to save the effusion of blood.'' *' At this moment 
another smile of deep meaning passed between Dalzell and 
Claverhouse. ' Yes, gentlemen,' repeated the Duke, * I 
said I trusted the answer might be such as would save the 
effusion of blood. I hope the sentiment neither needs your 
scorn, nor incurs your displeasure !* Dalzell frowned, but 
made no answer. * It is not for me to judge the propriety of 
your Grace's sentiments,* said Claverhouse, his lip just curled 
with an ironical smile. The subsequent carnage was im- 
mense.'* — Tales of My Landlord. 


forth^ inoculated (as we shall prove hereafter) 
with the royal unction, and attended by his 
judicial brethren. The court was hung with 
red clothe '' a colour suitable to such a succeed- 
ing bloody tragedy," as our writer says ; and in 
due time their lordships entered with the flower 
of the west, the gentry of Dorset, Somerset, and 
Devon. Then came the charge to the grand 
jury, a vehement and ear-piercing harangue, 
which astonished and alarmed all who heard it, 
cognizant as they must have been of the man's 
character who was addressing them. Not only 
after " principals" was their most strict inquiry 
to be bent, but after ** aiders and abettors." 
And who might not have been an " aider or 
abettor?" for the jury had sheltered many of 
their relations, which made them accessaries to 
high treason after the fact. The court then ad- 
journed until eight the next morning. 

The panic-struck jury, moulded, as it were, 
to the will of the court by the well-timed threats 
which had been held out, soon found bills of 
indictment against thirty persons ; and in the 
course of the assizes they implicated more 
than three hundred in the great transaction. 
But does the reader imagine that it had ever 
been the intention of JeflFreys to give all his pri- 
soners the benefit of a long and patient hearing? 

202 «[J:xioirs of 

Wblt did that sagacious Uwydf osculate that 
lie might have i9at in judgment until the spring 
ai^izeii if he had been vexed with th<i ''^ay'^ of 
all thme unhappy tnen. Nk^W^ therefore, came 
th^ f%is^ 4t guerre. He held out the white flag, 
and pmdMmed that, '' if any one of them there 
indicted Would relent from their conspimcies, 
4and plead guilty to the same, they should find 
him to be a merciful judge." It is very im- 
portant just to mention here that which we 
«hall show rather more bt large presently, that 
th6 kind of people Who were to be dealt with 
were such as by no means inclined to '' relent 
from their conspiracies ;" they were men of cott- 
spicuous hardihood and resolute daring, even 
while the cloud of death was overshtidowing 

But) moreover, that there might be iben&fce 
as well as encouragement, the prisoner weri 
informed, at the same time, that thone who put 
themselves on their trials should, if found guilty, 
have Very little time to live ; indeed, Jefireyfi 
did not ecruplei to say^ at Once, fhM theii* eoti^ 
fessionfe would Mive him trouble. And the mat^ 
ter was afterwards mdnaged in this way : two 
officers took a list of the accused, and Went td 
them with the sistct promii^s of pardon o# tt- 
ecution ; and aA many were induced to Accept 


the proffered swrcy, these officen wen iti a 
condition to appear as witnesses of their confes- 
sion, (as the law was then administered,) in the 
case of their retracting. This artifice was not 
forgotten when the judge was lampooned some 
years after as a fallen chsncellor, to the tune of 
" Hey brave popery !" 

The prisoseii to plead to hk lordship did ory^ 
But fltill he made answer, and thus did xeply, 
We '11 bang you up first, and then after we 11 try. 
Sing hey brave Chancellor 1 O fine Chancellor ! 

Delicate Chancellor ! O I 

However, the first thirty, not so easily caught 
by the sham bleating of the wolf, were 
minded to venture upon the defensive, and so 
they pleaded not guilty. The result of this 
boldness is soon told. It was on Saturday that 
these prisoners came to the bar, and the same 
evening Jeffreys signed a warrant to hang thir*^ 
teen on the Monday following, which was punC'^ 
tually performed. The rest followed very soon 
afterwards, save one Saunders, who had been 
acquitted for want of evidence. But it is not 
to be supposed that all these died without a 
word of supplication to save their lives, nor that 
they were convicted without an effort to pro- 
cure a different verdict. There waei a constable 

204 >I£2tfOIRS OF 

of Chardstock who, having some money in his 
hands for the use of the militia, was deprived 
of it by the Duke's friends, and this was his 
offence. The evidences against him were a 
woman of bad fame, and a catholic, whose house 
had been searched for arms by Monmouth's 
party. The prisoner objected to the testimony. 
" Villain ! rebel !" exclaimed the judge, " me- 
thinks I see thee already with a halter about 
thy neck ;" and he was ordered specially to be 
hung the first. Very considerable interest was 
made to preserve Matthew Bragg, an attorney, 
whose crime was walking home without his 
horse, of which the rebels had deprived him, 
and thus became an aider and abettor accord- 
ing to the then prevailing construction. People 
of the best quality sought a reprieve, and even 
a respite of ten days for him ; but he was put 
to death on the Monday, in company with the 
twelve others who have been mentioned. Jef- 
freys, indeed, was disposed to be facetious, for 
he jestingly declared, " that if any lawyer or 
parson came in his way, they should not escape 
him." This might be a jocose saying, but it 
was no joke, for the judge kept his word. 

The business now proceeded, but the great 
point which Jeffreys aimed at was gained. He 
had intimidated the culprits, who pleaded guilty 


by dozens; but the ire of their judge was 
kindled, so that their time-saving plea stood 
them in little stead. 

Two hundred and ninety-two received judgment 
to die, besides the sacred band of thirty ; and 
of the second batch seventy-four* were con- 
signed to the hangmen of Dorchester, Bridport, 
Lyme, Sherborne, &c. The remainder were 
transported, severely whipped, or imprisoned. 
Indeed, the most extraordinary whippings which 
Jeffreys ordered were little thought of at the 
instant amidst the more heavy inflictions of 
justice. Many of the transports were sold for 
slaves. The whole county was adorned with 
the gibbeted quarters of the factious, which 
were distributed up and down as was thought 

Yet the principal terrorist was indulging him- 
self in luxuries during these alarms, solaced by 
the company of his favourites, who were keen 
id discovering the sources from whence they 
might, jackal-like, bring plunder to their lion. 
The fountain of mercy fell in muddy drops. 
There was one John Lawrence, who managed 
an estate near Dorchester ; the Duke of Mon- 
mouth's party came and took three horses from 

* Some accounts say, eighty-seyen. 


hia care» on which he remonstrated with that 
Bobleman, and at last recovered one. The giving 
up of the two others was deemed an abetting, 
and so he was drawn into the plot. Jeffreys 
would have had his master in the scrape ; but 
that being impracticable, this poor fellow, who 
had the temerity to stand his trial, was ordered 
to be hung at Wareham; and surely so it 
would have happened but for one of the judge:» 
courtiers, who found that money was to be had, 
and who got a reprieve upon the payment of 
200/. down, and a security by bond for 200L 

After all, the greatest hardship which, befel 
any man at these assizes was the sad end of a 
Major Holmes, who sufi*ered at Lyme. He had 
lost one of his sons in the battle, and an arm 
besides,' when he was captured, and brought 
up to London. King James, as Father Orleant 
acquaints us, desired to^see him; and the pri- 
soner boldly said upon the interview, that it 
would be more advantageous for the King's re- 
putation to grant him his life, than beneficisd to 

■ W^ich he hioMelf is said to have struck off in a kitcbea 
immediately after the battle. He is called Colonel Holmes 
in the accounts of the condemned persons, and is probably 
the same with Major Holmes, who was engaged with Ai^le 
in Scotland in tfie sane cause. 

hupself to receive it. ''No one wa» more fre^ 
quently ia the Kiog a antichamjber/^ till he wu 
seot down into the west as a kind of king's evi<- 
dehce^ (at least Father Orleans would have it 
9O9) for the purpose of pointing out the fittest 
pbjiects for mercy or for punishment, that he 
might '' doe some service ere he receiv'd hid 
pardon/' Other accounts state that Jeffrey&i 
caused him to be privately seized ; but certain it 
ia, that he was 'hanged ; and the King, according 
to the bic^rapher just mentioned, called Jeffreys 
iato judgment for this harsh act, but was soon 
satisfied perforce on the ground of necessary 
justice, which " the King having made him judg 
of, knew not how to contradicts" 

We have se^x. that Jeffreys was once capti- 
vated by a woman's generosity; but he had^ 
learned a most cruel disregard of the fair as- he 
advanced in life, of which the second Lady Jef- 
freys might, to be sure, have been partly the occa- 
sion, as we shall see by and by. Mr. Battis- 
comb, amfin of very tolerable estate and engaging 
manner, was so ill-fated as to become an inmate 
of Dorchester gaol, and so ill-advised as to de- 
fend the equity of his cause, which had like to 
have choked Jeffreys, who furiously ordered him 
to a place of e;^ecution, thwe " to be hung by the 
neck till he n^iould be dead." All the ladies 


in Dorchester were interested in the fate of the 
young man, who, by the way, when the judge's 
fit was over, had offers of life him on the 
condition of his betraying some friends, which 
he resolutely repelled ; and thus, having shut 
out the last hope of mercy, had become doubly 
an object of admiration : several girls, one es- 
pecially, went to Jeffreys, and asked his life, but 
he is said to have repulsed them quite en brute/ 
There are some lines written upon this un- 
happy damsel, ^and some of them sufficiently 
curious.* The prisoner suffered at Lyme, and 

' Kalph, in his review of James the Second*s reign, gives 
a story which is too gross to repeat here. It is a most brutal 
reply of Jeffreys to this young lady. Page 802 of Ralph. 

* A poem on a lady that came to my lord chief justice to 
beg Mr. Battiacomb's life, sister to one of the sheriffs in the 
west, which he denied. 

Harder than thine own native rocks, 

To let the charming Silvia kneel, 

And not one spark of pity feel : 
Harder than senseless stones and stocks ! 
Ye gods ! what showers of pearls she gave ! 
What precious tears ! enough to save 
A bleeding monarch from the grave. 

By every hapless virgin curst : 

Winter blasts not more unkind, 

Deaf as the rugged northern wind ; 
By some Welsh wolf in murders nurst. 


Ills character is thus given usr ''All that knew 
or saw him, must own Mr. Battiscomb was very 
much a gentleman. Not that thin sort of ani- 
mal that flutters from tavern to playhouse, and 
back again, all his life made of wig and cravat, 
without one dram of thought in his composition ; 
but one who had solid worth, &c. His body 
made a very handsome and creditable tenement 
for his mind; and 't had been pity it shou'd 
have liv'd in any other ;" and so on. 

Here is another instance of the judge's brutality 
to females. Two persons named Hewling were 


Hast thoU eyes? or hast thou Bone ? 
Or are they worse than marble grown ? 
8ince marbles weep at Silvia's moan. 

■ ■ 

Rebels stiff, and supple slaves, 

All the frantic world divide ; 

One must stoop, and toother ride ; 
Cringing fools and factious knaves : 
Tho' falling on the loser's part, 
Oently Death arrests my heart. 
And has in honey dipt lus dart. 

Life, farewell ! tliou gaudy dream. 
Painted o'er with grief and joys. 
Which the next short hour destroys ; 

And drowns them all in Lethe's stream. 

What blest mortal would not die^ 

Might he with me enbalmed lye. 

In precious tears from Silvia's eye ! 



among the condemned at Taunton, who had two 
sisters, and they hung upon the state coach im- 
ploring mercy at his hands; whereupon the 
incensed magistrate bade his coachman lash 
their fingers with his whip. And he moreover 
refused one of these sisters a respite of two days 
only for her brothers, though she offered him 
one hundred pounds for that little favour/ 

The miseries which were inflicted upon the 
inhabitants of this county shall be concluded 
with an account of a most horrible sentence of 
whipping which was pronounced upon one Tut- 
chin, a young man of Hampshire. This fellow 
(who, after all, was but a saucy rogue,*) appeared 

' Sir John Dalrymplehas confounded those Hewlings with 
one Simon Hamling, of whom we shall presently speak. — 
See his Memoirs, p. 78. 

* This person was a great promoter of sedition by his 
writings. He was tried in the reign of Queen Anne for a 
tibel published in 1703, in his '* Obserrator/' but escaped, 
through some legal difficulties which were started after the 
verdict. He died in 1707, through some violence which hb 
scurrility had brought upon him.— See TotUmin's Taunton Jy 
SavagCt p. 510, in the note. 

Careless, on high, stood unabashed De Foe, 
And Tutchin, flagrant from the scourge, below. 


This man had the assurance to visit Jeffreys in the Tower, 
after his disgrace. 


to a charge of rebellion under the assumed 
paune of Thomas Pitts/ and was acquitted for 
want of evidence. This happened at Taunton ; 
but as Tutchin was a man of Dorset, and was to 
be punished in that county, we mention him 
here. Jeffreys soon found out his true name, 
and asserted, that ** he was never so far out-> 
witted by a young or old rogue in his life." He 
then tried to fish out of Mr. Tutchin the names 
of some of his confederates, but failed ; upon 
which he grew furious, and not being able to 
hang him, issued forth the following sentence : 
*' Imprisonment for seven years, and once a 
year to be whipped through all the market- 
towns in Dorsetshire : to be fined one hundred 
marks, and find security for his good behaviour 
during life." This was a blow indeed; and the 
ladies in court immediately burst into tears; 
but Jeffreys called out, ** Ladies, if you did but 
know what a villain this is, as well as I do, you 
would say that this sentence is not half bad 
enough for him." And the clerk of the arraigns 
was so much astonished, that he could not help 
observing upon the number of market*towns in 
Dorset: he said, that ''the sentence reached to 
whipping about once a fortnight, and that Mr. 

■ Thomas Pitts, gent, was the author of the ** Western 


Tutchin was a very young mto." — *' Aye, he \i 
a very young man, but an old rogue," retorted 
the invincible judge; ''and all the interest in 
England shan't reverse the sentence I have 
passed on him." Tutchin himself had that keen 
regard for his bones, and was so fully sensible 
of the discipline intended him, that he actually 
petitioned the King to be hanged with his fel- 
low-prisoners. It seems that the court felt the 
enormity of the chastisement proposed ; but all 
that transpired was, " Mr. Tutchin must wait 
with patience." Then the young man tried to 
buy a pardon, but in vain ; and then came the 
small-pox, a day or two before his first lashes 
were to have taken place, and reduced him so 
low, as to occasion a reversal of the sentence by 
Jeffreys himself. Most probably, as in Rose- 
well's case, the King had peremptorily com- 
manded the change.' 

The docHn of the Dorsetshire men being fixed, 
the judged went forward to Exeter. Jeffreys 
was beset on all sides by petitions from the mha- 
bitants of the places through which he passed, 
that he would compassionate their relations. 
But a little incident occurred, which had like to 

' We are told also, that a boy of Weymouth, about ten or 
twelve yean old, was most cruelly whipped for being in 
possession of some popular pamphlet. 


have driven away the veriest shade of mercy. 
The cavalcade had stopped to sleep at the house 
of some honourable gentleman, when in the 
midjit of a disorder, occasioned, it is said, by the 
servants, some pistols were fired in the night. 
The great man took the al&rm instdntly, for he 
had a suspicion that a design was on foot against 
him ; and, at parting, he declared, that '^ not a 
man of all those parishes that were of that vici- 
nitude, if found guilty, should escape." 

However, the severity exercised in Devon- 
shire fell short of that which had occurred 
ivL Dorset, as did the dreadful punishments, 
which awaited the next county : yet the same 
method of economising time was resorted to, 
fiUd with much success. There was one John 
Foweracres who had sufficient nerve to stand a 
trial, but by no means the fortune of gaining his 
acquittal ; and the pi'ecedent of going before a 
jury was considered so obnoxious, that the pri- 
soner was ordered for instant execution. This 
had the desired effect, for the rest of the culprits 
immediately pleaded guilty, which saved " fur- 
ther trouble.*' Nevertheless, thirty-seven were 
hanged in different parts of the county, and 
several transported, whipped, and imprisoned. 
The number of accused amounted to two hun- 
dred and forty-three. 


We cannot forbear to insert here a descrip- 
tion, which was given at that time, of the beau- 
tiful western country. 

" He'' (Jeffreys) " made all the west an 
Aceldama ; some places quite depopulated, and 
nothing to be seen in 'em but forsaken walls, 
unlucky gibbets, and ghostly carcases. The 
trees were loaden almost as thick with quar- 
ters as leaves : the houses and steeples co- 
vered as close with heads, as at other times fre- 
quently in that country with crows or ravens. 
Nothing could be liker hell than all those parts ; 
nothing so like the devil as he. Caldrons hizzing, 
carkases boyling, pitch and tar sparkling and 
glowing,' blood and limbs boyling, and tearing, 
and mangling, and he the great director of all ; 
and in a word, discharging his place who sent 
him, the best deserving to be the King's late 
chief justice there, and chancellor after, of any 
man that breath'd since Cain or Judas." If this 
be an exaggerated picture, it must be confessed 
that there is imagination in it. The prisoners, 
however, received great kindness from the city 
of Exeter. " Most sorts of provisions, as hot 
broth, boyled meat, roast meat, divers sorts of 

' It was Kirk who is said to have ordered the boiling 
the rebellious carcases in pitch. 


pies, were daily sent into the prison ; the persons 
that sent them unknown to them." 

Five hundred unfortunates still lingered in 
the county of Somerset, and thither Jeffreys 
was now come, determined upon expedition, 
and in no wise abated from his zeal. He began 
at Taunton, so lately the scene of boughs, herbs, 
and flowers, in honour of Monmouth, where 
twenty-six virgins had presented the invader 
with colours made by their townsmen ; the cap- 
tain of the young women going forth to meet 
the duke with a naked sword in one hand, and 
a Bible in the other. Some of these were chil- 
dren, ten or twelve years old ; and yet their little 
frolic cost their parents dear ; for when all was 
hushed, and the circuit over, the girls were ex- 
cepted out of the act of amnesty for presenting 
the rebel chief with the standards. But then 
the knavery peeped out; for on payment of 
certain small douceurs according to ability, their 
pardons came out piecemeal, and they were 
delivered from a public trial which was threat- 
ened. Some gave £50, some £100; and the 
money went, not to Jeffreys, but to the Queen's 
maids of honour as a Christmas-box. They sent 
an agent into the country to discriminate, as it 
should seem, and complained at first of the 
small sums which were extorted, for they ex- 


pected seven thousand pounds; but they were 
compelled to be satisfied^ and the matter 
dropped. ' 

On the first night of the chief's arrival at 
Taunton, he not only opened the commission, 
but gave his charge, which was furious enough; 
and Ralph tells us, that he declared ^' it wotdd 
not be his fault if he did not depopulate the 
place/' A sad omen for the men in Taunton 

' The affair did not paaB away without a struggle^ for the 
Duke of Somerset interfered on the behalf of the court ladies. 
He wrote to Sir Francis Ware/ urging him to secure some of 
&e rebellious girls, and, above all , the schoolmistress. Another 
letter from his grace to the baronet, recommended the giving a 
power of attorney to some one, which the maids of honour 
were to sign ; but Sir Francis represented thbt the teacher 
was a woman of low birth, and that the scholars woAed the 
banner by her orders, without knowing any offence, upon 
which the greater severities were abandoned. One Miss 
Mary Blake, who worked the colours, died in Dorchester 
gaol, as some say, of the small-pox, whilst her sister received 
a pardon* Aiipther girl Surrendered herself in court, when the 
judge looked so furiously upon her, telling the gaoler, at die 
same time, to take her, that she pulled her hood over her face, 
and fell to weeping, and not many hours afterwards died 
through fear. — See Toii/fhm't History of Taunton, p. 162; 
and die same book, edited and enlarged by J. B. Savage, 
where the original letters may be seen* Taunton, 1022, p. 

* Baronet of HeBtercombe. 


Gctfttle. But ihb old gam^ i¥as, notwithstand^ 
ing, very available for confessions. This- is cele-* 
brated in a poem called " JeflFreys's Elegy :" — 

He bid 'um to confess, if ere they hope 

To be reprieved from the fatal rope : 

This seem*d a favour, but he'd ncme foigive ; 

The favour was, a day or two to live ; 

Whith those had not that troubled him with tryal. 

His business blood, and would have no denyal. 

Two hundred he could sentence in an hour. Sec, 

One Simon Hamling, a dissenter, had gone 
to Taunton to advise his son to remain neuter; 
but as the Duke of Monmouth was at that time 
in the town, the father was taken before a jus- 
tice on suspicion. Now, it seems, that the ma* 
gistrates loved a bribe as well as the chief 
justice ; and as the rage of the day waxed Very 
hot against sectaries and conventicle preachers, 
Handing, who would not, or did not know how 
to attack the justice's weak dide, stood no 
chance of escaping a committal. William Gat- 
chett, or Gatchell, a constable, had been com- 
pelled to execute a warrant for bringing provi- 
sions to Monmouth's army, on pain of having 
his house burnt. Sec, and was accordingly 
sent to gaol as an accomplice. Now these two 
men had most excellent defences, but unhappily, 
perhaps^ had the courage to make use of them ; 


they therefore gave in their pleas. Not guilty. 
Of course the jury convicted them, and thus 
secured them the advantage of being hung first : 
so they were sent to the gallows the morning 
after their trial. The constable was a very de- 
cided character ; for as he went to execution, he 
looked upon the Taunton men very calmly, and 
said, " A populous town, God bless it !" But 
Hamling'^s case was the most hard. The evi- 
dences against him were profligate fellows, who 
would do any thing for the committing justice ; 
and the prisoner proved that fact, but in vain. 
And what was still more remarkable, the justice 
himself was there, and could not help telling the 
judge that there certainly was a mistake con- 
cerning that man. And now, unless we had 
positively told the history of his execution, the 
reader would have looked for an instant acquit- 
tal. Jeffreys was made of sterner stuff. — " You 
have brought him on ; if he be innocent, his 
blood be upon you!"' exclaimed the judge. 
What a scene does all this bandying reveal to 
us I The magistrates were corrupt, and cared 
little or nothing for justice, and Jeffreys despised 
the magistracy. As far as appearances went,. 

■ That was a dry speech of Nero, who, when he was told 
l^at the wrong man had been executed, coolly replied, 
'' Doubtless he deserved to die as well as the other V* 


he did not respect any one on the earth who 
differed from his gigantic opinicms. There was 
a tory nobleman in those parts. Lord Stawell, 
who was so much displeased with the severity 
which had been exercised, that he refused to 
see the chief justice. The peer resided at 
Cotheleston at that time ; and very soon after* 
wards came forth an order that one Colonel 
Bovet, of Taunton, should be executed close by 
my Lord Stawell's residence. Indeed, there 
was but little scruple or delicacy as to the place 
of death ; for it was not by any means impos-» 
sible in those days to find a man hanging by a 
rope out of a chamber window ; and in fact, 
such an event is said to have happened at 
Taunton, and the hanging to have been accom- 
plished by an executioner of Exeter. 

It is not practicable to be correct to a man ; 
but we have authority for saying, that one hun- 
dred and forty-five were adjudged to die at the 
assizes held for Taunton, and that one hundred 
and forty-three of these actually suffered. The 
follow^ warn.. w« «n. bj U>e sheriff of 
Somerset to the mayor of Bath : — 

" Edward Hobbes, esq. sherreiffe of y® coun- 
tie aforesaid, to the con*^*** and other his Ma*^** 
officers of the cittie and burrough of Bath, 
greeting : Whereas I have rec^ a warr* under 


the faabd and seale* of the right hon^^ the Lord 
Jefireys for the executing of several rebells 
within yo* said cittie. These are therefore to will 
and require yo^ immediately on sight hereof to 
erect a gallows in the most publike place of yo' 
said cittie to hang the said trayto'* on, and that 
yo^ provide halters to hang them with, a suffi- 
cient number of faggotts to bume the bowdls 
of fower traytors, and a furnace or cauldron to 
boyle their heads.and quarters^ and salt to boyle 
therewith, halfe a bushell to each trayt', and 
tarr to tarr y™ with, and a sufficient number 
of speares and poles to fix and place their 
heads and quarters : and that yo^ wame the 
owners of fower oxen to be ready with a dray 
and wayne, and the said fower oxen at the time 
hereafter mentioned for execusion ; and yo"* yo' 
pelves, tc^eather with a guard of fortie able men 
att the least, to be present oh Wednesday morn- 
ing liext by eight of the clock, to be aiding and 
tasisting to me, or my deputie, to see .the said 
rebells. executed. Given under my seal of 
office this 16th day of November, A* !• Jacobi 
Secundi, 1685. 

** Edward Hobbes, Vic. 


" Yo^ are also to provide an axe and a cleaver 
for the <iuartering the said rebells. " 


If mercy had been suffered to enjoy even the 
triumph of a moment, Jeffreys's great boast had 
been idle ; for he vauntingly puffed forth, on his 
return, that '^ he had hanged more men than all 
the judges of England since William the Con«- 
queror/' Colonel Kirk was left far behind by 
this seasonable brag. Jeffreys once asked a ma^ 
jor how many the soldiers had killed ; the officer 
said one thousand. *' I believe I have condemned 
as many as that myself," returned the peer. 

Two hundred and eighty-four were ordered for 
transportation at this town, and forty-three were 
recommended for a pardon. There was another 
little list of fifteen yjery lucky beings who werfc 
intended for execution, but were accidentally 
omitted in the warrant. The whippings went 
on as usual. '* I will pay my excise to Kin^ 
Monmouth," said one Mrs. Brown, an unfortu^ 
nate gossip of Lyme, to an officer of excise, but 
quite jestingly. This tattling occasioned her 
some smart floggings through the maiket-towns 
of her county. There was a Captain Madders^ 
who bore the character of being a good Chris- 
tian and an honest man, and was, moreover, 
positively instrumental in giving due and loyal 
notice of the duke's rising. All this was told 
Jeffreys ; but whether the captain had refused 
to pouch the chief, as we say at Eton, or otherr 


wise howsoever, as the special pleaders say, is not 
quite capable of solution. " Oh ! then," cries my 
lord, when he had heard the recommendation, 
" rU hold a wager with you he is a presbyte- 
rian: I can smell them forty miles." He was 
faung. There is a great triumphing with some 
writers about the death of John Hucker.* Sir 
John Dalrymple says that this execution es- 
caped censure. Hucker,* vrho gave the alarm to 
Feversham s army, pleaded his treachery in mi- 
tigation. " He deserves a double death," said 
the impartial judge ; '' one for rebelling against 
his sovereign, and the other for betraying his 
friends." However, Hucker had no mind to 
die under so gross an imputation ; for in a letter 
which he wrote a few hours before his execu- 
tion, he thus complains : — ** I also lye under a 
reproach of being unfaithful to an interest that 
I owned, which I utterly deny and disown." 
Men sometimes go to the gallows under false 
colours, if they think that their reputation will 
be saved by the disguise. 

The carts with prisoners were now put in 
motion again, for there was to be another visi- 

* Dalrymple calls him Robert, which was the name of his 
son, who had no concern in the matter. 

* It has been asserted, that he did this because the duke 
refused to make him governor of Taunton. 


tation for Somerset at Wells ; and to foe short, 
after the accustomed manoeuvring to gain con* 
fessions, and menaces to enforce verdicts, one 
hundred capital convicts were obtained, of whom 
ninety-seven died by the executioner. There 
was a general settlement of accounts here; 
three hundred and eighty-five were delivered 
over to different people for transportation, a 
few were pardoned, and about five escaped, who 
were fully destined for the other world, but left 
out of the warrant. Upwards of one hundred 
more were bound, each for the other, to appear 
at the next assizes, in the penalty of 100/. And 
then the chief justice proposed to jog towards 
home, taking Bristol in his way. 

We must stop for an instant to speak of the 
excellent Bishop Ken, of Bath and Wells. 
This prelate had checked the severities of 
Feversham, (who was anticipating Jeffreys very 
ably,) by hintmg that persons were entitled to a 
trial by jury after the first heat of victory had 
subsided. And, afterwards, he spared neither 
expense nor pains in soothing the truly wretched 
state of the accuiQulating prisoners in Wells^ 
who were gnawed by despair, fear, and disap* 

This divine was a remarkable man in other 

224 ja£MOiRs OF 

respects : he was one of the seven bishops who 
came under the lash of the privy-council for 
opposing the King's declaration^ and yet lost 
his see at the Revolution^ because he could not 
subscribe the new tests. 

We left Jeffreys on his road to Bristol, where 
it was really intended to make some examples, 
for that city had shown some readiness to open 
tiie gates to Monmouth, though such lengths 
were not gone. It will be recollected, that a 
severe usage of the mayor and aldermen has 
been already told, and a magnificent harangue 
against slavery with all the consequences de- 
tailed ic the reader in a former page* It is to 
be feared, that the merit of arresting the evils 
of kidnapping ninst be considerably lessened^ 
when we find that the whole affair was a poli-^ 
tical attack upon the place for its inclination to 
^rebellion, and not a pure emanation of justice : 
not but that a more heavy penalty would have 
been inflicted than the mere bullying and fining 
of the corporation, had it been practicable ; but 
as Ralph says, " Jeffreys, to his great mortifi- 
cation, found no traitors to fajtten upon here 
(Bristol)." So that he was obliged to content him- 
self with pulling their strong holds to pieces,— 
the pride and ostentation of their magistracy. 


which he certainly found means to mortify in a 
very painful degree ; and as he never could endure 
that any one should be greater than himself^ he 
was delighted beyond measure at the oppor- 
tunity. He began by putting himself at the 
head of the commission before the mayor, which 
had not been usual, and this must have displeased 
the Bristol men not a little ; but they were too 
much terrified by the fame of his exploits to 
show their teeth. They received him, therefore, 
with great state and l^plendour, and this was 
meant to soften him ; but, '' Lord !" said he, 
" we have been used to these things ;'* and very 
coolly proceeded to business. His charge is so 
precious ^morceaUy that it cannot be entirely 
omitted, because it so plainly bespeaks the man ; 
nor can we give it quite at its length, for fear of 
wearying those who read. Here are some 
extracts : 

** Gentlemen, I am, by the mercy of God, 
come to this great and populous city ; a city that 
boasts both of its riches and trade, and may 
justly indeed claim the next place to the great 
and populous metropolis. Gentlemen, I find 
here are a great many auditors who are very 
intent, as if they expected some formal or pre- 
pared speech ; but assure yourselves, we come 
not to make neither set speeches nor formal de- 


clamatioDSi nor to follow a couple of puffing 
trumpeters ; for. Lord ! we have seen these 
things twenty times before : no, we come to do 
the King's business/' — 'VBut I find a special 
commission is an unusual thing here, and relishes 
very ill ; nay, the very women storm at it, for 
fear we should take the upper hand of them 
too : for, by the by, gentlemen, I hear it is much 
in fisushion in this city for the women to govern 
and bear sway." Then he told them that he 
should give them nc/trouble about points at 
matters of law, but only mind them of events 
which had happened, ^* for I have the calendar 
of this city in my pocket," said he ; and he then 
complained of the stone, and the unevenness of 
their roads, which was a bad om^en for them. 
After this came a long sermon about the blessed 
martyr. King Charles, and rebellion the ^n of 
witchcraft, a panegyric on King James, and an 
funple acknowledgment of his absolute power 
as God's vicegerent on earth : and then he 
opened on the Duke of Monmouth, by way of 
antithesis : — " On the other hand, upsterts a 
puppet prince who seduces the mobile into re- 
bellion, into which they are easily bewitched; 
for, I say, rebellion is like the sin of witchcraft. 
This man, who had as little title to the crown as 
the least of you (for I hope you are all legi- 




timate), being overtakea by justice, and by the 
goodness of his prince brought to the scaffold, 
he has the confidence (good God! that men 
$hould be so impudent !) to say, that God AI* 
mighty did know with whatjoyfulnesshediddie 
(a traitor !)." — *' Great God of heaven and earth I 
what reason have men to rebel ? But as I told 
you, rebellion is like the sin of witchcraft : fear 
God and honour the King is rejected by people, 
for no other reason, as I can find, but that it is 
written in St* Peter. Gentlemen, I must tell 
you, I am afraid that this city hath too many of 
these people in it; and it is your duty to search 
them out." — [Here the grand jury were in as 
many words directed to the mayor and alder- 
men.] — " For this city added much to that 
chip's loading; there was your Tylys, your 
Roes, and your Wades, men started up like 
mushrooms, scoundrel fellows, mere sons of 
dunghills : these men must forsooth set up for 
liberty and property ! A fellow that carries the 
Qword before Mr. Mayor must be very careful 
of his property, and turn politician, as if he had 
as much property as the person before whom 
he bears the sword, though perchance not worth 
;a groat. Geatlemen, I must tell you, you have 
atill here the Tylys, the Roes, and the Wades : 
I have brought a brush in my pocket, and I 


shall be. sure to rub the dirt wherever it is, or 
on whomsoever it sticks. Gentlemen, I shall 
not stand complimenting with you : I shall talk 
with some of you before you and I part, I tell 
you ; I tell you, I have brought a besom, and I 
will sweep every man's door, whether great or 
small. Must 1 mention particulars? I hope 
you will save me that trouble." — " I do believe it 
would have went very hard with you if the 
enemy had entered the city, notvnthstanding 
the endeavours which were used to accomplish 
it. Certainly they had, and must have great 
encouragement from a party within, or else why 
should their design be on this city ? Nay,' when 
the enemy was within a inile of you, that a ship 
should'Jbe set on fire in the midst of you, as a 
signal to the' rebels, and to amuse those within ! 
when, if God Almighty had not been more gra- 
cious unto you than you was to yourselves, (so 
that wind and tide was for you,) for what I 
know, the greatest part of lliis city had pe- 
rished; and yet you are willing to believe it 
was an accident. Certainly here is a great 
maViy of those men whom they call trinmiers : 
a whig is but a mere fool to these; for a 
whig is some sort of a subject in comparison 
of these ; . for a trimmer is but a cowardly and 
base-spirited whig ; for the whig is but the 


journeyman-prentice that is hired, and set over 
the rebellion, whilst the trimmer is afraid to 
appear in the cause." — " Gentlemen, I tell you, 
I have the calendar of this city here in my 
hand. I have heard of those that have searched 
into the very sink of a conventicle, to find out 
some , sneaking rascal to hide their money by 
ni^ht.' K Come,. come, gentlemen, to be plain 
with you,. r£nd the dirt of the ditch is in your 
nostrils." — [Now he opens upon the chief of- 
fence, alluded to by his having the calendar in 
his pocket, — ^the selling convicted criminals for 
slaves.] — " Good God ! where am I — in Bristol ? 
This city, it seems, claims the privilege of hang- 
ing and drawing amongst themselves ! I find you 
have more need of a commission once a month 
at least. The very magistrates which should be 
the ministers of justice, fall out one with another 
to that degree, they will scarce dine with each 
other ; whilst it is the business of some cunning 
men that lie behind the curtain, to raise divi- 
sions amongst them, and set them together by 
the ears, and knock their loggerheads together : 
yet I find they can agree for their interest, or if 
there be but a kid in the case ; for I hear the 
trade of kidnapping is much in request in this 
city : they can discharge a felon or a traitor, 
provided they will go to Mr. Alderman s plan- 

230 M£JirOIRS JOT 

tation at the West Indies. C(Hne, cc»ne, I find 
you stink for want of rubbing. Gentlemeny 
what need I mind you of these things ? I hope 
you will search into thetn, and inform me. It 
seems the dissenters and fanatics fare well 
amongst you, by reason of the favour of the 
magistrates : for e:^ample9 if a dissenter, who v& 
a notorious and obstinate ofiender, comes before 
them to be fined, one alderman or other stands 
up, and says. He is a good man (though three 
parts a rebel) ! Well then, for tiie isake of Mr. 
Alderman, he shall be fiined but fire shillings. 
Then comes another, and up stands another 
good man alderman, and says, I ktiow him to 
be an honest man (though rather worse than the 
former). Well, for Mr. Alderman's sake, he 
shall be fined but half-a-crown ; so, marms ma- 
nam frkat : * you play the knave for me now, 
and I will play the knave for you by and by. I 
am ashamed of these things : and I must not 
forget to tell you, that I hear of some differences 
among the clergy, — ^those that ought to preach 
peace and unity to others: gentlemen, these 
things must be looked into." 

The scope of this tirade, peculiar and without 
precedent, was to alarm the jury, to extort 

' They tickle each oiher's palms. 


mutual criminations and confessions, and thus 
build up a calendar of malefactors. The mayor 
and aldermen of Bristol would have fiUed Jef- 
ireys's purse most marvellously, if their necks 
could have been drawn within the hempen 
circle ; but the experiment was idle, and ail 
that remained was to make a due inquisition 
into the slave trade. Much of the result of this 
charge has been related : to be yery brief, there- 
fore, the cc»poration were presented as kidnap- 
pers ; and as they descended from the bench to 
the bar, Jeffreys bawled out, ** See how the 
kidnapping rogues look T' 

This was not, however, the first time that our 
judge had mortified a sleek citizen. Sir James 
Smith, lord mayor of London in 1685, bitterly 
ccMnplained to Sir John Reresby of the super^ 
ciliousness which he met with from the great 
man: he declared, that he was but the mere 
ombre of a lord mayor, the authority being en- 
tirely usurped by another chief magistrate ; and 
he added, in a tone of pity, that hau^tiness 
would be the ruin of my Lord Jeffreys. Good 
easy man ! he thought of acquainting the King 
with it, and Reresby even advised him to do so ; 
but Monmouth and Argyle, then in arms, gave 
way, and other matters supervened. Sir Ro- 
bert Geffery, some distant relation to the then 


new chancellor, sat in the civic chair the next 

But both Smith and Reresby agreed together 
that this judge had a method of ejecting as many 
as five aldermen at a time (which was done at 
York), without hearing their defence. Such was 
the virtue of the ** ring," — such its giant-rearing 

However, six men were convicted of treason 
at Bristol ; and three of these were executed, 
although they have been considered ever since 
as ** martyrs to political revenge." ' 

The work was now fully done, and the 
horses' heads were turned towards the metropo- 
lis. Most writers have declared, that JeflPreys 
hastened home to, pounce upon the great seal, 
which had become vacant by the death of Lord 
Quilford. And there seems to be very good 
reason for belie^ng that the King wrote a letter 
with his own hand to the chief justice on the 
circuit, urging him to return home and receive 
the seal, for that he was obliged to be chancel- 
lor himself in the meanwhile. But it is quite 

* See Bristol, by Corry and Evans, vol. ii. p. 8. The 
names of the persons executed in the west may be found in 
" The Life and Death of George Lord Jeffreys." London, 
1603, 8vo. p. 54. and in ** Proceedings against the Rebeb 
in 1686, &c." Lond. 1716. 


clear that the vacancy happened at a most fa- 
vourable juncture^ for the commission had been 
opened at the last place, and three or four hun- 
dred men hung, and what more could be done 
for the King's service ? The men of Cornwall had 
not involved themselves in the disaster, being 
quite satisfied, perhaps, with the resistance which 
their ancestors had made to King Henry the 
Seventh, and with the unlucky fate which at- 
tended them in that rebellion. As it therefore 
suited the convenience of our judge to go home^ 
the purse and insignia of the chancery were 
very agreeable things in prospect for him after 
his sanguinary labours. Indeed, according to 
Evelyn, it was the common talk of the time» 
that the seal was to be bestowed in this man- 
ner as a reward for the rigorous prosecution of 
the rebels. A great blunder, which has been 
frequently imitated, is that of ascribing Jef- 
reys's peerage to his services in the west, where- 
as he had been created baron of Wem in the 
May preceding, of course before the landing 
of Monmouth. 

A cry for mercy harassed the returning ma- 
gistrate, as might be expected ; for those who 
pleaded guilty were not sacrificed quite so soon 
as the people who dared to say that they were 
innocent. When the cavalcade was passing 



from Somerset into Wilts (Jeffreys still in the 
quality of lieutenant-general, with a body of 
dragoons as his life guard), a major in the regi^ 
ment took the liberty of saying to him, that 
there were two Spekes, and that one of these, 
being left for execution, was not the man intended ; 
and that, perhaps, favour might be shown him. 
" No, his family owe a life," replied the gene- 
ral-judge; ** he shall die for his namesake." The 
mayor of Taunton also interceded for this per- 
son, but Jeffreys silenced him with the same 
reply, and a violent motion of his arm. These 
Spekes were brothers, and he who had been 
intended for the rope had escaped. There is 
an old fable, which warns us never to adven- 
ture ourselves within reach of the lion's mouth, 
if we can by possibility escape; and there 
was a man of those days called Tory Tom, 
who knew the moral of this very correctly. 
The major, above-mentioned, had sent this 
fellow to the guard-house at Wells for sauci- 
ness, and, after some time, Tom begged for his 
liberty; but while he sent a letter with this 
view, he took care to procure some people to 
intercede with the major that his name should 
not be mentioned to Jeffreys, for that, right or 
wrong, Tory Tom would be hanged if any one 
gave him an ill word in that quarter. Upon 


submission he got his discharge, and was not 
left *' to the mercy of his own tory judge/' 
How great men are sometimes outwitted by 
their confidants and underlings! What would 
the embryo chancellor have said, or rather 
what would he not have sworn, had he known 
that one of Monmouth s professed and dear 
friends was travelling very safely to London, 
nearly about the same time with himself? And 
yet nothing is more certain ; for Dr. Oliver, a 
physician to Qreenwich Hospital, (the man who 
advised the duke after the battle to seize a pas-* 
sage-boat and make for Wales, where he might 
have been concealed,) was safely stowed with 
the judge's clerk, to whom he had been re* 
commended by a tory, and both were moving^ 
on towards the east in company. 

But if it should be imagined that all the rigors 
and penalties were now over, we must bring again 
to remembrance the mulcting of the poor Taun- 
ton children, who were long vexed with threats 
of punishment, and demands of heavy fines : and 
the most remarkable instance of exaction still 
remains behind. Edmund Pridaux, Esq.," of 

■ Son of Mr. Attorney-General Pridaux. Mr. Attorney 
was of the Inner Temple, and sat in parliament for Lyme ; he 
was a busy man '* in examining the King's cabinet of lettersy 


Ford Abbey, Devon, was brought to London in 
June by Lord Sunderland's * warrant, and com- 
mitted to the custody of a messenger : this was 
two days after the Duke of Monmouth s land- 
ing. He was kept in imprisonment for a month 
without examination, and was then discharged 
upon his habeas corpus, giving security to the 
amount of 10,000/. for his future appearance. 
On the 14th of September, he was again sent 
prisoner to the Tower, charged with high trea- 
son* The agents on the circuit had by this 
time satisfied themselves of his capacity to ran- 
som his life, and all hands were at work to 
hatch an accusation, while Jeffreys boldly de- 
clared his resolution to hang; and this he 
would ; have done with . the greater pleasure, 

taken at Xaseby, and in the bustles of those times made a 
very conspicuous figure. He was sometime a commissioner 
of the great seal, and was made a baronet by Oliver, who 
made him post-master for all the inland letters. He was also 
recorder, of Exeter, and practised within the bar. At the 
Restoration he managed to make his peace, and died, tery 
rich, August 19, 1669. The great Archbishop Tillotson was 
employed to instruct his son ; and he so far ingratiated him- 
self with the attorney-general, as to obtain 1000/. out of the 
Exchequer for the improvement of his college (Clare Hall). 
This money, however, was seized by the parliament forces, 
and applied towards the fortifying Cambridge Castle. 
' Then secretary of state. 


because Edmund Pridaux, the commonwealth 
attorney-general, was the father of this hardly* 
beset gentleman. 

Pridaux applied to the King, but received 
tliis damning answer, — *' That the King had 
given him to Jeffreys." Mrs. Pridaux, who 
was refused access to her husband, until she had 
consented to remain with him in confinement, 
found the case very desperate, for the altema* 
tive of instant execution or pardon was holden 
out to many of the western prisoners, if they 
persisted in a refusal to accuse him on the one 
hand, or would come forward and impeach him 
on the other. So being informed that His Ma- 
jesty's gift had been conferred for the eminent 
services which had been rendered to the crown, 
she ventured . to ask the terms on which the 
agents would guarantee her husband's temporal 
salvation. 10,000/. she received for answer. 
There was a demur to this extravagant de- 
mand. It has happened not once nor twice to 
men who have been extremely anxious to pur- 
chase estates, that on their hesitating to give the 
sum required, a considerable advance has been 
forthwith propounded in place of the expected 
abatement; and thus it happened here. The 
price was raised to 15,000/. and actually paid, a^ 

238 ii£uaiRS OF 

set-off of 240/. being allowed for the prompt pay- 
ment of a part. The prisoner had been in duresse 
for seven months^ and without knowing the par- 
ticulars wiiieh had occasioned his misfortune. 
Another person of respectability in that country 
laid down fifteen or sixteen hundred guineas 
which came into the same coffers/ With part of 
this money the chancellor bought the manor of 
Broughton^ or Nether Broughton, in Leicester- 
shire, in 1687. He gave 3A,000l. for the property, 
which he mortgaged in the course of a year after- 
wards*^ Some disposition was manifested, on the 
accession of William III. to compensate Mr. Pri* 
daux for his losses ; and a bill was accordingly 
brought into the Commons ''for charging the 
manors of Dalby on the Woulds, and Nether 
Brougbton in Leicestershire, with the repay- 
ment of 15,000/. and interest, extorted by him 
from Mn Pridaux." It was unsuccessful, and 
one of its most strenuous opponents was my Lord 
Chief Justice PoUexfen, the same maa who 
conducted the crown cases in the west, and who 

1 Jeffreys certainly received 14X6/. 10s, for the job in the 
West from Graham and Burton, the crown solicitors, as 
appears from the parliamentary inquiry which was instituted. 

* He bought two estates of the Duke of Albemarle 
this money. 


became a trustee, with others, for the children 
and creditors of the deceased peer. 

These lands were sold, however, about the 
year 1709, by virtue of an act which was passed 
for that purpose, it being found impossible other- 
wise to satisfy Certain settlements made by the 
first Iprd in 1688.' Thus the rude untutored 
boy, who came up from Wales in 1658, without 
an acre of ground, is found in possession of 
capital messuages, woods, pastures, manorial 
rights, and royalties. But an old writer applies 
the saying of Juvenal to him : — 

Crimmibus debent hortos, pnetoria, mensas, 
ArgeBtum vetus, et stantem extra pocula caprum. 

Great men to great crimes owe their plate embost. 
Fair palaces, and furniture of cost. — Dryden. 

' It was an act for '' vesting the barony of Wem, and 
manors of Wem and Loppington, and several lands and tene- 
ments in the county of Salop ; and the manors of Dalby and 
Broughton, and lands thereunto belonging, in the county of 
Leicester ; and the manor of Fulmer, and several lands and 
tenements in the county of Bucks (amongst which was Bul- 
9trode), late the estate of George, late Lord Jeffirejrs, deceased^ 
in trustees, to be sold.'' — ** George Jeffreys died seised of 
the manor of Broughton, with its rights, members, and ap- 
purtenances; and also of all that capital messuage, mansion-' 
house, park, and all those menuages, woods, lands, meadow^ 


No sooner had Jeffreys regained the court, 
than he was strictly questioned upon his con- 
duct, according to Father Orleans, the great 
apologist for James ; but he palliated and ex- 
cused himself so ably by reason of the King's 
welfare, that no further notice was taken ; and so 
the manes of the innocent sufferers, if any such 
there were, remained unpropitiated. 

Now is the fittest time, were we so disposed, 
to recount all the bitter imprecations which men 
have poured forth against the subject of this 
memoir, and then, in the true strain of panegy* 
ric, to palliate his faults, till they first slide gently 
into failings, and presently ascend mto the scale of 
virtues. There must, however, be some exte- 
nuating circumstances in the conduct of every 
one, be it never so reprehensible in the general ; 
for nature can hardly be so depraved, as not to 
let in good at some time or another. But there 
will be no elaborate attempt to excuse or ex- 
plain away in these pages, and the very sting of 
the transaction will be suffered to remain as 

and pasture, parcel or reputed parcel of the manor of Dalby, 
in poflseasion of Timothy Hemsby, at the yearly rent of 157/. 
10#. and also of Brandriffc's tenement, parcel of the said 
manor, in possession of Christopher Hawley, at the rent of 
14/. &c."— See Nkhollit Lncettenh. toI. ii. part 1. p.^ 119. 


acute as the judge's severest eensurers can wish. 
But it must just be told what sort of people the 
special commissioners had to deal with, and in 
doing this, no disrespect is intended to any class 
or sect in religion. They were not a broken- 
down« repentant, spiritless race, who had pluck- 
ed up their muskets in a moment of excitement, 
and then laid them quietly down again in pa- 
tient expectation of punishment, like wayward 
schoolboys who await the lash. Archdeacon 
Echard, who speaks very strongly against the 
effusion of blood, admits that the behaviour of 
the prisoners was such as rather tended to exas- 
perate the judges, than to encourage a feeling of 
compassion for them ; and this was a highly dan- 
gerous exploit, if it be considered that a patient 
under a raving fit of the stone was to try them. 
Kirk' had determined to know their temper 

* Colonel Kirk was a soldier of fortune, and bad acquired, 
by a long command at Tangier among the Moors, a coma- 
derable appetite for military execution. Amongst other 
4!nielties which he practised at Taunton after the battle, was 
a massacfe of thir^ persons, whom he caused to be hung 
whilst he was feasting. Ten went off in a health to the king, 
ten to the queen, ten to Jefireys. Some say that he caused 
the drums to beat, when the crimiuab were struggling in 
death, that ** they might have music to their dancing.'' 
Others doubt the cruelties altogether, and contend that such 
A man could never have been employed at the Revolution as 

^4d SMTEMotRs or 

a^f tke tettte whteh had matired all their 

h([>p^> «6d ]»d hadged a knah on the White 

m^jer-general, if he bad been guilty of such enormities. But 

William, only three days after his landing, would hardly 

have troubled himself with the character of a man, wlio was 

a brttve atad nctive soldier, and iready to serte him, to Kirk 

dilASk^ and deseited Che fottunes of i^imk. Ittdeed, ac- 

cording to the «okmel% o|)(tcon, the moAaich knew so tittle 

how to profit by his yictory at Sedgmoor, that when ho took 

leave of a Mr% Harvey at Bridgewater, who had been very 

civil to him, he said, *' I believe it will not be long before I 

se^ ydtt kgain :'* itnd tliere V^as something about his manner 

^Mkh intimated ^hi it WoaM not be <m the same -side. 

Khik, as wett as Jieffireys, always sttid, tlmt tte did nothing 

but by express orders from the King and hi* getieral, and lliat 

he put a restraint upon the power and instructions given him. 

tl^hen James wanted him to turn papist, he very drily said, 

thftft he was ** really very sorry, but that he was pre-enga- 

^ged.'* tlie Kifeg^imiied, and asked him what he meant. '^Why, 

tnly, nAien I VIub abioaNi/' answered Kirk, " I promised 

the Emperor of Morocco, that if ever I changed my religion, 

I would turn Mahometan; and I nevcir did break my word 

•n ny life, and mast beg ieav<e to say I never will." As tl> 

iike fataom 8t6ry of Kirk*s ill-uflage of a yoUlBig lady^ there 

4Mffng mady doubts and mncli atgoment upon ^ snbject, w^ 

^oaKaot do better than to refer the reader to the Histoiy ^ 

Taunton, by Dr. Toalmin, the new edUaoii by J. B. Savage, 

jpp. '54^^-^640. A story tending io^^Ecalpate Kirk Is givek 

atete. When he was standing ift a balcony with 4ii8 ^oen 

'to view the execution t>f twen^ rebels, a Mra. Be^i^ heggeil 

tfie life of one; Kbk turned to Bush, a stupid tieuteBant, 

«iid aaid,. << Go bid the exeeittioner cut him do^wn.** 


Uart sign-^pcwtj at Taunton, three t^e§» to see 
if ke wonl^ own his fftult. Tb^ n^ao laffirpi^d, 
t])«t if it wfi^ iQ do ag^M^i, he would engagcf iji 
ih» i^fiqi^ Cftui^. Ai|d ^natiher refused Ixis life, 
^hich was oflfi^r^d hiqai 09 Gqn4ifion of his cry- 
ing ^^ CM bles9 l^iag Jan)^ !" Some of them 
fi89ert«d th^ r)gbteQ»saes« of th^r enterprise in 
open eourt ; and wch a$ th^ae, with fill our 
m&fey and clemency, vjrouW t>e hung ijqw if they 
^^hotfld h& ^ste^m^d of sufficient eonsequiei|Lce. 
A ^^at nun^f of the disaffec^ted were dissent- 
^ers j aod this wi^s a ra^ th^ J^ifreys i^oi^)d call 

A^yjtr 9»kfd .4jie joan's ^itnie irbo 97«b to 1^ cut fo^n^ * .90 
jtllflt ^viieB i^ (Oune to do bis l^^ddUng;^ — '^ Cut jbim down ?*' 
.qiiotb K<s^^b» *' whj<^tK hiin ? fgr there are twenty.*' The 
culprit to be saved was pi:ay;injB; i^ost devoutly, and heard 
none of all this ; but another, who was thinking of something 
else 'besides his prayers, told Mr. Bush that he was the naa. 
BiidbiJtook ills word ; lifi was sM 4owQ« fkpd fwt^y b^ w/bU- 
l^hjr should jnQt (this be ft ^iff^jcenit story* and so bolji be 
.)iV^,9Mthentic, AMioeithere has always been An unsuspecting 
tradition of the other J Siee also Holt*s Characters of the 
Kings of England, p. 203. 

'^ ^awjK^tikxnf^f Ibvi^jcefeial^les ^ pM«i^ in " Corioljinus !" Cq- 
riplaauB is begging the freedom of hU host, with whom he had sojoarned 
%a CorioK. Coniniiis, the genertl, agieet instSBtly to 4he re^pest. Then 

lylsrcius, hit nsme ? 
CorioUmua. — By Jupiter, forgot : 
I MBk wsary ; yes, j^y nempxy j# tiiy^. 


** stiff-necked, " and hated as sincerely as he 
loved power : and truly there had been some 
very furious fanatics among them, the fifth mo- 
narchites, for example. The judge Was not to 
be blamed, if he kept a very jealous eye over 
people who were not backward to introduce in- 
novation under an appearance of the most godly 
sanctity, or unbridled enthusiasm. There were 
some good well-meaning Christians among them ; 
but we say that Jeiffreys had met with a great 
deal of detestable and snivelling hypocrisy, and 
that he was led away by his passions to con- 
demn the general body. God forbid, that there 
should be any persecution for conscience sake ; 
but let those beware who would remove the an- 
cient land-mark, and thus endanger the security 
of a well-compacted and firm constitution. They 
may gratify the visionary ideas of liberty which 
are splendid and efi*ulgent enough for regions of 
fanciful romance, but by far too intoxicating for 
the heads of sober citizens. Slow, and tardily 
moving with the opening intellect of the times, 
should be the pace of improvement, neither ex- 
cited by passion, nor overawed by menace. The 
clinging crusts which clothe the rock, mark truly 
its years and strength : the naked oflFspring of v<J- 
canic fire is spouted wildly from the ocean, soon 
to sink back into its bosom. The judge was in- 


Tol ved with sons of violence^ and it was not more 
than his duty, pledged by oaths, to crush them. 
At the justice of the execution the more moderate 
writers have not cavilled ; the source of regret is, 
that the divine attribute of mercy was not imi* 
tated. ** I have indeed sometimes thought," 
says the author of a Caveat against the Whigs, 
" that in Jeffreys's western circuit, justice went 
too far before mercy was remembered, though 
there was not above a fourth part executed of 
what were convicted. But when I consider, in 
what. manner several of these lives then spared 
were afterwards spent, I can but think a little 
more hemp might have been usefully employed 
upon that occasion." For this he is most un- 
mercifully censured by Ralph, which is not sur- 
prising ; but it shows the resolution of the insur- 
gents, and explains the zeal of the high tory 
judges. Even Tutchin, who had been excused 
his manifold scourgings, went off to the Tower 
to see the old persecuting judge in his dark 
hour ; and as it no where appears that his visit 
was charitable, it would not have been amiss, if 
he had been whipped out of that garrison for 
his intrusion. And if we should find, moreover, 
that orders had been issued from the seat, of 
royalty to spare none, the case of Jeffreys will 

1246 MiMoiR$ Of 

Mfetttiie a very different complexion, eerpeoiaUy 
if it should appeal* that h6 w^ *' snubbed At'" dA 
his return for not doing more. A vifwi and good 
inah >vonld have resigned his pltioe mther than 
have obeyed sut^h orders, bdt tm ambitious cMil'*- 
ti^r w^nld probnbly i^tain it ; and sd did Jef*- 
freybi >^ho itas befaitad no mto in pnshittg his 
own advslneeAent. 

But althou|fh thus mneh has been said to ex*- 
tenuate^ or (if that be trki kind an expression) to 
explain this (conduct oh the pMt of Jefflreys^ it 
is impossible to say otherwise than that he 
either wHs ih infuriated maniao^ or had a very 
inhutn^ thirst Ibr blood The rigours of tardy 
justite could hevef hate fallen at onOe for the 
same crime upon thH^ hundred and fifty per*- 
sons, unleM the minister of their fate had been 
moit painfully sivetse to mercy. 

One mom ^nsidt^ftiti^ remaans-^it is that 
which y^ have ptt>fnised ; but^ murtbbus reader! 
be hot aiartned^ we have voached for itb bvevity. 
Was the ta^^onarah ^iltless of this bloody or did 
he remain plausible but reckless in his eastern 
metropolis ? Wais Jadies the wairelenting tyrant^ 
or did he ^ty as a fatiier the sad punishmeni 
bf his sub$tecti ? If he were coguistot of the un- 

^ His own expression. 

spftriag rope» and calmly pArri«(i \i9^k l^e 
written plea for »«rcy, th^ epntroY«r»y ii no 

The King, the Ring 's to blame! 

If, a$ ^t the Boype, he hwl wid, " Qk ! spar^ 

my ]&riti*b subje^Jt* !" theji ha^ th? royal head 
been a^amped wUb roost unsightly blemisbeftr 
and the angry page of both prie»t* and layflxw 

rnwt be tarnished with one gprowoi^ blot» 

There are several evidence in favpur of the 
Monarch; firi^t, --r 

l^effield, Duke of Sucks. — Speaking of <be 
King s sudden and silent retreat to the continent, 
he tells us, that '^ the mysterious carriage of this 
absconding, cost the Lord Chancellor Jefferies his 
life, (a thing indeed of little value to any body 
besides himself,) fee.**— -^* This proceeding of his 
was imputed to neither ill-nature nor careless*^ 
ness, two faults His Majesty W9is not guilty of, 
but rather to his generosity ; which miade him 
compassionate his 'very enemies so «mv^, ^fi 
never to forgive that lord^s cruelty in eKec«1iBg 
such multitudes jof them in the west agaiiiM 
his express orders.** 


' The Hm. Roger North. — " Upon the news re- 
turned of his (JefireyB s riolent proceeding)^ his 
Lordship saw the King would be a great suflferev 
thereby, and went directly to the King, and 
moved him to put a stop to the fury, which was 
in no respect for hii^ service, but in many respects 
for the contrary. For though the executions 
were, by law, just, yet never were the deluded 
people all capitally punished ; it would be ac- 
counted a carnage, and not law or justice: 
and, therefore, orders went to mitigate the pro- 
ceeding ; but what effect followed, I know not. 
I am sure of his Lordship's intercession to the 
King on this occasion, being told it, at the very 
time, by himself/' 

Frcm the Stuart Mss. edited by the Rev. X S. 
Clarke. — '' His imprudent zeal, (speaking of 
Jefireys), or, as some say'd averice^ carrying 
him beyond the terms of moderation and mercy, 
whidi was always most agreable to the King's 
temper ; so he drew undeservedly a great oblo- 
quy upon His Majesty's clemency, not ooly in 
the number, but the manner too of several exe- 
cutions, and in showing mercy to so few, parti- 
cularly an old gentlewoman, one Mrs» Alice 
Lisle, who was condemned and executed (Sept. 
2,) only for harbouring one Hicks and Nelthorp, 


both ill men enough indeed ; and the latter in a 
proclamation; but as pretended, was ignorant 
of it, and therefore perhaps might suffer for a 
common act of hospitality." The case of Major 
Holmes is then mentioned, and the palliating 
circumstance of PoUexfen's appointment to 
be the leading counsel. Speaking of the chan- 
cellor, it is said, — ** Certainly His Majesty had 
acted more prudently, had he refrain'd from 
heaping such distinguishing favours upon a per- 
son, who had by an imprudent zeal (at best) 
drawn such an odium both upon his master and 

. Again : ^' Though this was made one of the 
popular topicks to decry His Majesty's govern- 
ment, 'tis certain, the King was hugely injur'd 
in it : his inclinations were no ways bloody, but 
ever bent to mercy ; and after all, he pardoned 
.thousands on this occasion, who had forfeited 
both life and estate." The escape of the peers 
who were involved in the rebellion is then ad- 
verted to; and great stress laid upon the few 
^cecutions which took place in London, by com- 
parison with those in the west. 

Phre d'OrUans. — " Beaucoup d'autres furent 
punis, et en plus grand nombre m^me que le Roi 
n'avoit pr^tendu. On en accuse la s^v^rit^ du 

2&0 MEMOIRS or 

Chevalier Jeffreys leur juge, depuis chanceHer 
d'Angleterre, la cruaut6 du Colonel Kirke, et en 
g^n^ral I'avarice des commissaires proposes 
pour exercer envers les rebelles ou la s^^rit^ 
des lois, ou la mis^ricorde du prince : car on dit 
que le plus ou le moins de part dans le crime 
commis, ne fut pas en cette occasion le motif de 
la peine ou de rindulgence, que les moins en 
6tat de racheter leur r^volte ftirent ceux qui la 
pay^rent plus cher, et que si beaucoup de gens 
perdirent la vie, ce fut parce qu'il s'en trouva 
pen qui eussent assez d 'argent pour la con* 
server. Le Roi fut trop tard averti de ce dfe* 
ordre, mais on ne Ten eiit pas plutdt inform^, 
qu'il en t^moigna de Tindignation ; et si des ser«- 
vices importans, qu'il avoit re^u de ceux qui en 
£toient accusez, Tobligea de les ^pargner, il i^ 
para autant qu'il put leur injustice, par le par^ 
don g6n6nii qu'il accorda k ceux des r^oltez, 
qui ^toient encore en ^tat d'^prouver les effets 
de sa cl6mence.'' 

"* Notwitiistanding the rigour generally ascri- 
bed to the government of James/' says Mac^ 
pherson, '' there is great reason to believe that 
the chief justice ^lowad more the beat of his 
own mind, than die comm«ndji of his sovereign, 
in his behaviottt* in the west. The terrors of 


Others for Jeffrey8*s power preveoted any im* 
partial account to oome to the ears (rftbe King*" 
Thidn cofnea Major Holmes's story* 

Very dilSerent accounts are given by writers 
on the opposite side of the question. The first 
we give tnore for its curiosity, than for any use 
we desire to make of it. 

*' How can we choose but see, unless we have 
winkt ourselves blind, that the hand of the same 
Joab has been in all this ? that 'twas the fiunous 
D. of Y. who was at first as deep in Godfrey's 
murther, as in the fire of London; the same 
who was at helm all along after, and as good as 
managed the executioners axes and halters for 
so many years ?** 

'' He who shew'd so much mercy to the poor 
west country men, women, and children, de- 
stroying so many hundreds in cold blood, and 
hardly sparing one lAan that cou'd write and 
read, by his chief hangman, Jefireys." 

Gilbert Bumet, bMop ^ Sarmu—^' That which 
brought all his (Jeffreys's) lexcesses to be im* 
puted to the King himself and to the orders 
given by him^ was^ that the l^M\fi had a patti* 
cular account of his proceedings writ to him 
every day : and he took pleasure to i^late them 


in the drawing-room to foreign ministers^ and 
at his table, calling it Jefferies's campaign : 
speaking of all he had done in a style that 
neither became the majesty nor the merciful- 
ness of a great prince. Dykfield was at that 
time in England, one of the ambassadors whom 
the States had sent over to congratulate the 
King's coming to the crown. He told me, that 
the King talked so often of these things in his 
hearing, that he wondered to see him break out 
into those indecencies." 

Jeffreys^s declaration when Tutchin visited him 
in the Tlwer.— He said, that " his instructions 
were much more severe than the execution of 
them ; and that, at his return, he was snubbed 
AT COURT, for being too merciful." 

Jeffreys's declaration to Dr. Scot on his death- 
bed. — Scot told it to Lord Somers, Lord Somers 
to Sir Joseph Jekyll, and the last to Onslow. 
The divine was drawing the attention of the 
dying man to the famous expedition, on which 
Jeffreys thanked him, and said vnth some emo- 
tion, — " Whatever I did then, I did by express 
orders ; and I have this further to say for my- 
self, that I was not half bloody enough for him 
who sent me thither." 

What ! desire a man who had been embruing 


his hands in blood against the will and in viola- 
tion of the honour of his sovereign , to come back 
and take the seals of England, to become keeper 
of his prince's conscience! yet so did James. 
What is the meaning of giving one subject up 
to another ? And yet such an event happened — 
for the King had oivex Pridaux to Jeffreys. 
What shall we say, if we find the very fountain- 
head of mercy dried up at the suit of a subject ? 
And yet we hear, that the King had promised 
Jeffreys not to pardon the unhappy Lady Lisle. 
Who went shares in the extorted bribes of which 
those who could ransom were despoiled ? The 
Queen, — ^the maids of honour. There was an 
act of amnesty which the royal apologists most 
loudly applaud. Who were excepted out of 
the indemnities ? The poor Taunton children of 
twelve years old, that their parents might en- 
rich the coffers of the court fistvourites. 

" We must rely upon great facts,*' said Parr, 
whilst he was asserting that all history was obscure 
in the detail. We are content to follow the advice 
of that considerable scholar, and we have great 
facts to adduce. The Duke of Monmouth came 
before his uncle, and begged for mercy : the King 
extorted a signed declaration from him o( his 
illegitimacy, and then left him to the insults of 

264 M^Moms OF 

the Quee3i« and to bin &t6. Tbe duke ro^ from 
his knees with th^ scorn which h^c^me a hrav^ 
rmn^ and died tmdef the axe. Here w^ no 
chief justice, tt W9s the pure ^ct of the monarch, 
who had decided upon death s^ hi$ nephew s 
portion* If it be said, in allusion to the senti- 
ment in Euripides^ that in defence of empire a 
iLing may shed blood at his liking, 1^ it be ne- 
menofaered, that the principal object intended, 
is to remotre from the memory of Jefif eys ^om 
coatanzinatiofis which have marked him 9S Itbe 
cffiDtriverof those dreadful scenes. Af^> Mrs. 
israunt, the good anftbaptiist, (or baptist^) a 
qroman of known beneficence, was Inimt for <x)iv 
^Dealing one Barton ; and this happei^ed m Qcto- 
9>er^ when Ihe King had t^een of jBieeessity ac- 
«quainted with the past ^transactions^ aJid had 
been dealing ont his thjieats a»d reproaches, 
if we pay aory^nedit: to the Mss. B^^ jwlge 
was Sir Thoaias J^mn, a persw of » jepfrt;ation 
the very x^pposite to Jeffi^ys, yet §h0 ifonnd no 
fneicy« CSomish foUowed^ whose fate is sa^ 
to h»re been afierwards commiserated ^y the 
«UMKKreh, his accoisers bemg condemned to per- 
ipeteai imprisonment ; but these isi^s of kipd- 
«fass and repentance mrere hardly idsible 1^ ithe 
^kingdom was passing away, and the last hopp 


of safety was fiist flitting with the tide of popular 

The iDercy ghown the great peers is relied on 
as a proof of James's clemency. These noblemen 
were the Lords Orey, Stamford, and Brandon 
Gerrard.* The first played the part of treachery 
at Bridport, and at Sedgemoor£ght ; so that» when 
the Duke of MoniiMuth iflked Cok»e1 Mat- 
thews, after <^e former actioo, what he should do 
with the Lord Grey, the answer was : " That 
tliere was not a general in fiurope that woii'd 
have asked such a question but himself." No 
wonder that a man was pardoned who had done 
such essential service to the King'-s farces under 
the disguise of a maleeontent. 

Stamford was imprisoned so Jong without a 
tria^, that he petitioned die House for aa inquiry 
into his conduct, and it was finally fixed for the 
&rst df the followkg December^ but instead «f 
^9ustaining the prosecution, his adversaries wene 
•content to hare his name inserted in the (general 
pardon, certainly becatise they had no eridenc® 
ngainst him ; and he was glad to avail himself of 
their vaunted clemency, being sensible bow 
much a day might bring forth. 

Lord Brandon, according to Ediard, cmir 

"* Lord Delamere wad actuaHy brought into jeopardy for 
'bis life, 'but acquitted. 


trived to obtain a pardon by some means ; and, 
considering that the archdeacon was not over 
favourable to rebels, it is little short of a clear 
proof that he came off, not from the compas- 
sionate bowels of the King, but by much the 
same manoeuvre which saved Hampden, — 
that is, by a good round bribe. Jeffreys had 
6000/. from the patriot as the price of his ransom ; 
and yet, in the Stuart Papers, we find Hampden 
mentioned as a remarkable object of clemen- 
cy ; but North says, that his brother told the 
King of the game which was going on, and 
that it was instantly checked. Whether the 
wary old courtier had waited until the last mi- 
nute, that is, until the country could not be bur- 
dened with more gibbets, we cannot pretend 
to say ; but the facts are rather in opposition to 
any very successful opposition on the side of 
my lord keeper. Upwards of eighty were hung 
at Dorchester, one hundred and thirty-nine at 
Taunton, and one hundred at Wells. If the soft 
distilling dew of mercy had fallen so early, we 
should have had a converse ratio of the con- 
demned and executed ; less than eighty would 
have died in Somerset, in place of the numbers 
who suffered. 

And with respect to Bristol, it was found im- 
possible to " rear the bloody hand " in that 


place, for the duke had left the city rich in all 
her loyalty. If, therefore, my Lord Guilford 
had represeated the matter when very young, 
it militates still more against His Majesty that 
Jeffreys did not return in custody for such an . 
outrageous disobedience, the executions being 
at once suspended : if it was mentioned late to 
the ears of royalty, Roger North is hardly borne 
out, in saying that '^ orders went to mitigate the 
proceeding;" and his brother scarcely escapes a 
suspicion of having connived at the great punish* 
ment. He says indeed^ '' What effect followed, 
I know not* I am sure of his k>rdship's in- 
tercession to the King on this occasion, being 
told it at the very time by himself." The most 
that can be made of the whole proceeding is, 
that the lord keeper, though at the point of 
death, had discovered the sanguinary measures 
which were going forward^ and had advertised the 
King, who knew better than himself what was 
in hand ; and that ^e monarch made a show of 
vronderful mercy when some hundreds of his 
most obnoxious subjects had been consigned to 
the halter^ and when Jeffreys had ^thing left 
but to say, as Monsieur Le Sage did after- 
awards, when Charles XII was killed at the 
siege of Frederickshall, — " The game is up ; let 
us be going/' And when we are told, that 


James declared when his throne was in danger, 
that " Jeffreys was an ill man," making a com- 
pensation at the same time to some person at Sa- 
rum ; let it not be forgotten, that this King would 
have sacrificed his favourite chancellor at that 
time ; first, because, being unpopular, he had no 
fiirtiier use for him ; and next because he refiised 
to go all lengths in establishing popery. And 
he actually did sacrifice the judge, for he stole 
off privily at night without acquainting the un- 
lucky chancellor, who fully counted upon going 
with him, whweby he left the keeper of his con- 
science behind, soon to become a captive, and 
at the mercy of an infuriated multitude. If he 
oould have exterminated the name of Protestant 
from his dominions, and erected the triumphant 
host in all his cathedrals, James had attained 
his wish : the prince made but a mere tool of 
his chief justice, who, hating dissenters, cut 
them off joyfully with the august permission 
which accompanied him ; but seceded most in- 
opportunely, when he found that the Catholic 
religion was to reign *^ lord of the ascendant." 
No sooner was it the policy of the court to con- 
eiliate the dissenters, dictated by that subtle 
courtier William Penn,' than Sir Edward Her- 

* King James was heard to say to some one, " William 
Penn is no more a quaker than you are." 


belt went down into the west, a meek, kind 
judge, who healed all the wounds of the prece- 
ding year, issued forth the most ample promises 
of pardon, and strove to unite the dissenters 
against the church establishment. But long 
disquisitions are odious ; we have therefore de- 
termined to stop, merely chaining together the 
few facts following, — 

Which nobody can deny. 

King James put Monmouth to death, and then 
sent out his chief justice to punish some western 
rebels. He refused to respite Lady Lisle for a 
day, because he had promised the said judge that 
he would not do so. Either he sent out an order 
to save the prisoners after three hundred and fifty- 
one had been hung, — or he made a judge, who 
had disobeyed his orders, lord high chancellor of 
England, tarnished as that person must have 
been with a very massacre, if he had no orders 
for his conduct. The King, moreover, made a 
present of a rich man to the said judge, and 
permitted tiie members of his court to enrich 
thetnsieltes at the expense of some poor western 

After the stfong collateral confirmation wbich 
hM been supplied ; the testimony of Burnet, 
and^ the dying words of Jeffreys will bear a 


stamp of authenticity which no kii^Iy apologist 
can explain away. 

From the London Gazette, Oct. 1, 1685. 

Windsor, Sept. 28. 

** His Majesty, taking into his royal considera- 
tion the many eminent and faithful services 
which the Right Honourable George, Lord Jef- 
freys, of Wem, lord chief justice of England, 
had rendered the crown, as well in the reign of 
the late King, of ever-blessed memory, as since 
His Majesty's accession to the throne, was 
pleased this day to commit to him the custody 
of the great seal of England, yf\\h the title of 
Lord Chancellor." 

In December, John Hampden came to his 
trial, not before Jeffreys, according to the report 
in the State Trials, but Sir Edward Herbert, 
who had succeeded. The prisoner's petition 
for mqrcy was so abject, and his fee of 6000/. 
to the chancellor so softening, that he obtained 
his pardon ; but, it is said, that shame haunted 
him ever afterwards, and in about ten years he 
cut his throat. About this time, also,* Danger- 
field came to his end. He had been tried be- 
fore Jeffreys shortly after Oates's sentence, and 
had judgment to receive such terrible whippings. 



that he chose a text for his funeral sermon. 
But that which concerns Jeffreys in the affair 
of his death, is the resolution which that noble- 
man persevered in to punish the author of it. 
The truth seems to be, that Mr. Frances, a bar- 
rister of Gray's Inn, incontinently, and certainly 
indecorously, accosted him after his flogging 
with these words : — " How now, friend ! have you 
•had your heat this morning V Dangerfield spat 
in his face : Frances then thrust a bamboo cane 
into bis eye, which, according to the evidence 
of a surgeon, occasioned his death. There are 
different representations of the whole business, 
which became at length a popular affair : it is 
said, in one place, that the wounded man died 
directly; but Bevil Higgons tells us, that he 
lived sa long afterwards in Newgate, as to occa- 
sion a doubt among the surgeons who attended 
the coroner 8 inquest, whether he did not die by 
reason of his punishment. Attempts were made 
to influence the widow of Dangerfield to con- 
sent that the prisoner should be pardoned ; but 
ghe refused, although the application was backed 
by a bribe, and she even had an appeal ready. 
She would have had occasion too to press her 
appeal, had it not been for Jeffreys, there being 
a strong disposition at court to overlook the 


matter; but he posted to Whitehall as soon as 
he learnt the chance of mercy, and declared 
firmly that Frances " must die, for the rabble 
was throughly heated." And so the poor '* state 
martyr was hanged." Yet with all this anxiety 
on the part of Jeffreys to avenge Dangerfield 
(the better opinion is, that Frances was a pdi- 
tical mpjTtyr), the ghost of the whipped sufferer 
arose, and poured forth a lamentation in print, 
in which the judge, who sentenced the body to 
be scourged, is not spared. It begins with 

Revenge ! reyenge ! my injured shade begins 
To haunt thy guilty soid, and scourge thy sins. 

A little further on, are these lines : — 

The trembling jury *& verdict ought to be^ — 
Murdered at once by Frances and by lliee. 

There was also a long wild elegy published 
upon Thomas Dangerfield, where Jeffreys is 
dyed still blacker than the deepest plungings 
mentioned in the DunciacJ would make him- A 
most unmerciful sentiment is contained in it :-r- 

But since nor friend nor poet can invent 
Deeper damnation for his punishment. 
May he be Jeffreys still, and ne're repent. 


The Jews are held to be mild m oomparkson 
of the judge, 

Tho' milder Jews far more good nature baye ; 
They forty stripes, Jeffreys four hundred gave. 

Poisoning is then imputed to the chief justice : 

Two strings to 's bow» for fear one should not do ; 
Stellettos sometimes fail ; take poison too. 

This reproach is ridiculous, for the body of 
Dangerfield might have appeared bloated after 
his punishment from the severity of the stripes. 

The whip, so unfeelingly dealt, while it re- 
flected great discredit upon the person who pro- 
moted its use, no less disgraced the monarch 
who could have arrested its terrors. There 
might soon have been a mandate a little more 
controlling than the poor solace which was sent 
to Tutchin, " that he must wait with patience ; "' 
when, but for an acute disease, he had been 
whipped a morning or two afterwards. 

The elegy concludes with such a mountain of 
curses as might weigh down the loftiest head ; 
but as they came probably from a near relation 
who must have written so fierce a declamation, 
there is some slight palliation of the matter. 

Posterity will now admit, probably, that truth 
could hardly have shone forth amidst such a 


vapouring; and we hope, therefore, to gain a 
better evidence for any good qualities we may 
find in the vilified chancellor, whom we are 
about to introduce, fraught with purse and mace^ 
in the next chapter. 



The great seal-^loiidaot of the lord chanoellor in p&rliunelit— « 
Lord Delamere arraigned before the Lords Triers at West- 
minster—Ecclesiastical high commission court — ^Dr. Sharp— 
Compton, bishop of London — ^The chancellor's cause-room — 
Aneodotes of the lord chanc^lor — ^Account of Sir John Trevor- 
Doctrine of passive obedience-^Trialofthe seven bishops — 
James throws off the mask with regard to his religion — Dr. 
t^eachell — ^University refractoriness— Determined conduct of 
the mayor of Arundel — Duke of Ormond — ^The royal dispen- 
sing powei^— Domestic life of the lord chaneellor-^Scandalous 
stories of his second lady — Evelyn — Lord Clarendon— Mr. 
Jeffreys's father— Sir John Trevor^ speaker of the House of 
Commons — Anecdote of Tiilotson — Lord Castlemaine's mission 
to Rome— Father Petre — ^Earl of Tyrconnel— Acquittal of the 
bishops — Birth of the Pretender-^Privy-counsellors present—'' 
Legal character of the lord chancellor discussed— Sir Basil 
Firebrass — Gathering of the political storm — Religions contest 
—The city obarter — How far Lord Chancellor Jeffreys is per- 
sonally involved in the national and civic dissensions-^Landing 
of William UI. — The court of James in conlhsion* 

** Here, my lord, take it, you will find it 
heavy/' said the prophetic King Charles to his 
lord keeper North, when he delivered the seal 
to that statesman. And Roger North relates a 
confession made by his brother when dying, 
which was> that '' he had not enjoy 'd one easy 

266"^ MXMOltLS OF 

and contented minute since he had had the seal." 
Jeffreys was enjoying himself over his bottle with 
some friends soon after his new preferment, 
when one of them told him that he would find 
the business heavy. " No/' said he, " I'll 
make it light." What would my lord of Eldon 
give if he could as uxicaiicanaedly thsow into 
the balance his huge tribunal of bankruptcy, 
his cabinet and parliamentary toils,, with the 
superincumbent weight of equity juiiadiction, 
dragging its slow length akmg ? 

So strongly was the charge of corruption en- 
tertained against the new chancdUor, Lord Jef- 
freys, that his uawiUiagness to take office has 
been absolutely asserted ; and, farther, that a 
bribe was necessary to induce the relinquish- 
ment of his scraples. Perhaps this is saying 
teo mach ; but, whether chief justice, or chief 
judge in the Chancery, his promotion was so 
much feared and disliked by the comiBiuuty 
at large, that no difficulty was made of propa- 
gating any insidious stories to his disadvantage. 
And now we find binv £adrly seated in the great 
chair, quite resolved to be *' top fiddler of the 
town." It was by no means th^ scope of his 
ambition merely to vindicate his court from Lord 
Coke's imputation, who- called it, OJkma jm- 
titice, a wcNrkshop to frame writs in ;. Jeffmys 


had beeo a discoatented man, if, in his own 
estimation, he could not have controlled the 
common, statute, and equity law by a single 
effort. Bani judkis est amplian jwisdktimiem^* 
was an old maxim, which was destined to oome 
into frei^ remembrance upon this event: so 
that, even in matters within their own province, 
the judges of the common law courts ceased to 
receive the courtesy and decorum which were 
due to their stations. Sir Th(Hnas Jones^ then 
chief justice of the Common Pleas^ soon felt the 
power which was above him.^ S(»netimes a 
chancellor will direct an issue to be tried in a 
court of law that he may have the verdict of 
twelve men as to some particular fauct,. and this 
is called a feigned issue. A case of this kind 
came to be heard at the bar of the Ccnnmon 
Pleas, on which the plaintiff obtained a verdict 
with the approbation of Sir Thomas, the chief 
justice, and of the whole court. The defeodant 
asked fi3r a new trials saying, that same of the 
jury had been tampered with ; but his suggestion 
failed to meet with the countenance whicfa he 
desired, and his motion was there£3re ^msmi* 

* It is the part of a skilful judge to enlarge his jurisdiction. 

^ Jones had obtained this place in defiance of Jeffreys who 
coveted it, as one of mote profit than the chief phSce in the 
King's B«ich. 

268 M2M0IRS OF 

mously refused, as being made merely for the 
purpose of delay* It was a matter of some con- 
sequence, and the defendant was not so easily 
persuaded to remain quiet. He accordingly 
ventured into Chancery to ask for the same 
thing, and on the same grounds, where he gained 
a very different reception, for he had his motion 
granted presently, and a new trial was " roundly 
ordered." Yet this proceeding, which, if suffered 
on the sudden, was at best a little disrespectful 
to the otiier court, was intolerably seasoned 
with sallies of wit against the learned persons 
who had delivered the judgment, so that there 
was a plain design to mortify them. With a 
due degree of deference to the high authorities 
from whom he might dissent, a chancellor of this 
day might arrive at a similar conclusion, and in 
so doing, he would not transgress the practice of 
liis court ; but the keeper of King James's seals, 
steering quite clear of all common civility, was 
pleased to indulge in the most free personalities, 
and never hesitated to accuse his brethren of 
carelessness in the distribution of justice. But 
the admirable part of the affair was its issue ; 
for when the defendant came to his second 
hearing, the plaintiff got a great accession of 
damages from the new jury. 
The conduct of this magistrate of equity shall 


now be laid aside for a time, whilst we give some 
account of him upon other occasions. And first 
with regard to his carriage in the House of Lords. 
No doubt he imagined that the august assembly 
would bow down before him, and that he might 
soon overawe his co-peers by his bluff figure and 
well-appointed swagger. He had an oppor- 
tunity of making the experiment before he had 
held the seals two months. The King had ad- 
dressed his parliament in very courteous terms ; 
but in the course of the speech two very awk- 
ward propositions were developed: one was, 
that the militia were not sufiicient, and thence 
came the dilemma of a standing army. The 
next was, an admission that some of his 
officers had not conformed themselves to the 
tests, and that he would not deprive himself of 
their services on that account, after the efforts 
they had made on his behalf: whence the dis- 
pensing power might easily be detected in its 
most odious forms. Both Houses were alarmed 
at this avowal ; but they rendered back their 
thanks to His Majesty: the Lords in totidem ver- 
bis^ the Commons with a proposition to indem- 
nify the popish recusants, (most unsavoury words 
£6r the . ear. of royalty,) and a modified grant. 
James was warm in his answer ; upon which 
both Loi:ds and Commons proposed to take the 


King's speech into consideration. The latter, 
however, were terrified into an adjournment: 
for Coke (of Derby) was sent to the Tower for 
saying, '^ I hope we are all Englishmen, and 
not to be frighted out of our duty by a few high 
words/' He was the seconder of the moti<Hi. 
But the thing took a very different turn in the 
Lords. Compton, bishop of London, introduced 
the subject there ; and the courtiers forthwith 
took the alarm, saying, that as the House had 
thanked the King for his speech, the sentiments 
contained therein had been adopted as of 
course. This ingenious snare was soon laid open 
and rejected ; and the test was manfully com- 
mented upcm as the bulwark of liberty. And 
then came on my Lord Jeffreys. He answered 
the popular speakers as though he had been ad- 
dressing an obstinate jury, or menacing a ter- 
magant prisoner ; a carriage so entirely out of 
place, that all his frowns and arrogance were 
unable to beat down the uncompromising argu- 
nient which the other side had made use of: and 
so, out-voted and '' out-argued," as Ralph has 
it, the minister gave way, and ^ day was fixed 
tor investigatmg the subject. But it was to the 
infinite mortification of Jefireys that such a crisis 
happened; and Burnet delights in recounting 
the defeat which he endured. Soon afterwards. 


the parliament was prorogued ; and as the great 
seal was thrown into the Thames before the 
meeting of another^ the chancellor had no room 
for improving himself in the tact and method of 
senatorial eloquence.' Butthis smart re buffseems 
to have had some slight effect upon him; for being 
appointed to preside at the trial of a peer for 
treason, he managed, though still very tenacious 
of authority, and intoxicated with his power, to 
deport himself before the assembled lords with 
a decency quite remarkable : yet, it was evident, 
that after this the peers regarded him with 
jealousy, and mainly suspected that he took ^'his 
law from the King," according to his motto, as 

Although the western circuit had been pretty 
thoroughly travelled, there remained some men 
of noble blood in the Tower charged with the 
late transactions, reserved, as it were, to grace 
tibe greater triumph, by ransom, or by death. 
The escape of these lords has been already ex-^ 
plained ; but as Lord Delamere stood his trial, 
the manner and method of it must have some 

' His civility may be compared to that of a bailiff towards 
a man of rank under his arrest, such bailiff having been 
lately kicked for insolence upon a similar event. 

* John JeiireyB, probably his son, was member for Brecon 
Town, in this parliament. 


mention here, as they involve some strange 
actions of Lord Jeffreys, white staff upon the 

It had very early suggested itself to the 
favourite, that if he could cause the noble pri- 
soner to be conveyed into Cheshire, he would 
have him most conveniently within the sphere 
of his local influence. The main accusation 
rested on a proposal for a rising in that county ; 
so that by the course intended, a conviction 
might be quietly obtained in the very territory 
of the accused, to the sore mortification of his 
high blood. Besides this, the people would be 
awed, the trial by peers averted, and the in*- 
fluence of Jeffreys in the neighbourhood would 
have done the rest. Indeed, some disrespect 
which had been shown him when chief justice 
of Chester, might now be amply avenged — ^a gra*- 
tifying crisis not to be sacrificed without an 
effort: therefore it was boldly declared, that 
the treason having happened within a County 
Palatine, the prosecution must be there. This 
was said by Jeffreys under the King's command 
to the assembled peers, who were indignant that 
the Lord Delamere should be absent, and had 
addressed the King upon the subject. The bill 
of indictment was then presented and found in 
Cheshire, and so far the plan had succeeded ; 


for had the prisoner been tried in. the King's 
Bench^ which it is but fair to say would have 
amounted to a breach of privilege, Sir Edward 
Herbert, a more mild judge,' would probably 
have marred the prosecution, by conceding every 
indulgence, and ratifying every excuse consist- 
ent with the law. But it was soon determined 
to remove all the proceedings by certiorari be- 
fore a select body of lords at Westminster, 
called Lords Triers.* Jeffreys, the lord high 
steward, was somewhat out of his element, for 
he now no longer addressed " mean men," but 
spoke in the presence of the first men in his 
country, who very little regarded his newly- 
fledged nobility, and would utterly scorn any 
menace if he dared employ any. The King and 
Queen, moreover, graced the solemn occasion, 
an unusual degree of polish and courtesy was 
therefore observable in. the judge's deportment 
towards the whole court : yet, in the course of his 
first speech to the accused, he could not help 
thinking how comfortably he would be spared 

' Yet this Herbert was the man who first proposed to. dis- 
pense with the tests. He had urged the matter to King 
Charles, who was too shrewd to give any encouragement to 
such a dethroning fantasy. 

* This selection is abolished by 7 Will. Ill,, so that 
a nobleman must now be tried by all his peers. 



any further pains, if a plea of guilty could be ob* 
tained ; and to this end, with a very crafty insi- 
nuation of mercy, he begged of my lord at the 
bar, that if he were guilty, " he would give glory 
to Grod, and make amends to his vicegerent, the 
King, by a plain and full discovery." But Lord 
Delamere was engaged upon any other subject 
rather than a confession, and indeed, what 
seemed to trouble him the most just then, was 
whether a peer was bound to hold up his hand 
at the bar like a commoner, but this was re- 
solved to his satisfaction: and then he asked 
another question, which he doubtless considered 
mainly important : — " I beg your Grace would be 
pleased to satisfy me, whether your Grace be one 
of my judges in concurrence with the rest of the 
lords V 

Lord High Steward. — No, my lord, I am judge 
of the court ; but I am none of your triers. 

The song of the siren could not have en- 
chanted the ears of her captives more deli- 
ciously. Some delay then arose before the 
prisoner would plead, and at length he put in a 
special plea which contained two objections to 
the course then pursued : first, he said, that 
being summoned to parliament, he ought to be 
tried by all the peers of parliament; and, se- 
condly, he claimed this privilege still more 
strongly, because the parliament was still con- 


tinuing, and not dissolved. Sir Robert Saw- 
yer, the attorney-general^ answered the dif* 
Acuities which were started, on which Lord De- 
lamere prayed the aid of counsel ; but not having 
any ready, the plea was rejected : although, in 
the case of Edward Fitzharris^ four days were 
allowed that prisoner to procure and instruct 
advocates. Jeffreys's temper was rising once. 

Lord Delamere. ^* I hope your Grace will be 
pleased to advise with my lords the peers here 
present." — Lord High Steward. *' Good my 
lord, I hope you that are a prisoner at the bar 
are not to give me direction who I should advise 
with, or how I should demean myself here." On 
which an apology was made him. He was ne 
vertheless somewhat confounded in his new 
state, and had a little committed himself, for he 
let slip that he thought the plea frivolous. 

Lord Delamere saw the blunder at once. '' I 
hope, my lord, that the privilege of the peers 
of England is not frivolous." — ** Pray, good my 
lord," returned the disconcerted judge, ^^do not 
think I should say any such things that the pri- 
vilege of the peers is frivolous." He then gave 
his charge to the peers in a very fulsome ha- 
rangue ; in the course of which the expressions 
** fierce, fro ward, and fanatical zeal of the late 
House of Commons," "Arch-traitor Monmouth/' 


'* hellish and damnable plots,", could not fail to 
have pleased the royal auditors. The chief 
evidence for the crown was a man who swore 
that he was introduced to Lord Delamere and 
two others, with a recommendation from Lord 
Brandon, and that he received money from 
them. This reward was for carrying a message 
to the Duke of Monmouth, respecting a sum of 
40,000/. which was wanted to maintain ten 
thousand men, to be levied in Cheshire against 
King James. But however this may have been, 
he made a decided blunder in the date, which 
gave Lord Delamere an opportunity of calling 
witnesses to prove an alibi. 

This was done most satisfactorily, and the 
peers gave an unanimous verdict of acquittal. 
They evinced, however, a strong dislike to the 
control of the lord high steward, who, on his 
part, was equally obstinate in insisting upon his 
own supposed rights. The accused desired an 
adjournment, that he might have time to pre- 
pare his defence: the matter was referred to 
the judges, but some lords were determined that 
the court should withdraw to debate the ques- 
tion amongst themselves, alleging that their 
privileges were concerned, though Jeffreys de- 
nied that privilege was in any way at issue : 
and they withdrew accordingly. The judges 


were against the adjournment, and the lord 
high steward then chose to discourse of his own 
power : — 

" My lords, I confess I would always be very 
tender of the privilege of the peers wherever I 
find them concerned; but truly I apprehend, 
according to the best of my understanding, that 
this court is held before me : it is my warrant 
that convenes the prisoner to this bar : it is 
my summons that brings the peers together to 
try him ; and so I take myself to be judge of the 
court. My lords, 'tis true, may withdraw, and 
they may call the judges to them to assist them, 
which shows they have an extraordinary privi- 
lege in some cases more before the high steward, 
than juries have in inferior courts in cases of 
common persons." He then went on to say, 
that he could not withdraw with the lords if 
they desired to consult him, but that all ques- 
tions must be asked of him in open court. "This, 
I confess, my lords," added my lord high stew- 
ard, ** has a great weight with me ; and I know 
your lordships will be very tender of proceeding 
in such a case, any way but according to law : 
for though you are judges of your own privi- 
leges, yet, with submission, you are not judges 
of the law of this court ; for that I take to be my 
province." He ended with a wonderfully cle- 
ment speech. 


279 scEMOiBs or 

'^ Certainly, my lords, your lordships and I, 
and all mankind, ought to be tender of commit- 
ting any errors in cases of life or death ; and I 
would be loth, I would assure you, to be re- 
corded for giving an erroneous ju^;ment in a 
case of blood ; and as the first man that should 
bring in an ill^;al precedent, the consequence 
of which may extend I know not how far.'^ 
However, with all this fair language, the old 
heresy was broached again, that the testimony 
of one witness to an overt act of treason, corro- 
borated by other substantial circumstances, was 
sufficient proof of a treason • And this opinion was 
mentioned in the House of Commons some years 
afterwards, upon the bill for attainting Sir John 
Fenwick. "It was told him [Jeffreys] then," 
said a member, '' that if ever they met him in 
the House of Lords, he should answer it with 
his head." 

James was exceedingly exasperated against 
the poor witness : the day after the trial he 
declared that Saxon should be first convicted 
of perjury, and then hanged for high-treason. 
This last threat was not put into execution ; but 
the man was twice pilloried, tvidce whipped, 
and fined besides for his mistake.^ 

' According to the Stuart Papers, it seems that the court 
really believed Saxon's story, and that his discomfiture arose 
from ^ mere slip in the date. 


JU1>GS J£FFRfiTS. 279 

This was the despotic treatment which the 
new monarch loved : his minister was one whom 
*' he delighted to honour/' because he was con* 
tent to take his cue so obediently from the court ; 
and all things were now arranged so as to pro- 
mise the English a speedy change from freedom 
and liberty of conscience to the papal and any 
other obnoxious yoke which it might please the 
Sovereign to impose. 

The pulpits were now teeming with dis- 
courses against popery, for the nation had be- 
come seriously alarmed at the King's determined 
inclinations; and the clergy already fancied 
that other hands would soon shear the fleeces 
of their flocks, while they themselves would be 
compelled to own a divided allegiance. The King 
was not backward to perceive, on his part, the 
arising temper of the times : he had not forgotten 
the flaming preachments of the forty-one, nor the 
stem hum of the Cromwellians, nor the sacred 
hurricanoes of the covenanters. So there went 
forth letters mandatory to the bishops, forbid- 
ding their clergy to attempt controversial dis- 
cussions in public ; and having promulged the 
order, James decided also on prescribing the 
punishment of disobedience. 

The ecclesiastical high commission court, a 
name lost to the British annals since the reign of 


Charles the First, was erected, and seven . com- 
missioners ' were appointed to superintend and 
enforce its powers. The crown expected that 
some severe animadversion would be pa^ed 
upon this new creation, and an answer was 
therefore at hand. It was said, that in the new 
commission no power was given to fine or im- 
prison or tender the oath tx-officio, * and that 
its judges were enjoined to keep within thia 
bounds of ecclesiastical censures ; that the ordi- 
nary power of the archbishops and bishops had 
been revived at the Restoration, although the 
high commission court of Charles, which per- 
mitted fine and imprisonment, and the tender- 
ing the oath ex-officio, was indeed abolished; 
that this was therefore a legal constitution, even 
more* so than Doctors' Commons and the bishops' 
courts, where the proceedings would run in 

' George, Lord Jeffreys, lord chancellor ; Sancroft, arch- 
bishop of Canterbury; Crew, bishop of Durham; Sprat, 
bishop of Rochester; Chief Justice Herbert; Lawrence 
Hyde, Earl of Rochester, lord treasurer ; Robert, Earl of 
Sunderland, lord president. The following were afterwaids 
added : the Earl of Mulgraye ; Cartwright, bishop of Chester, 
in the room of Sancroft, who declined to act ; Chief Justice 
Wright ; Sir Thomas Jenner. 

^ A perfect inquisition, by which they compelled a man to 
swear that he would answer all questions put to him. In 
default of obedience, he might have been tortured. 


the names of the episcopal judges, whereas 
this . mandate ran in the King's name. Most 
people were obstinate enough, however, to 
think, that the law had . been invaded upon this 
occasion ; but in a country where four judges 
had been turned out at once (a circumi^tance 
just then of recent occurrence) for questioning 
the royal competency of dispensing with the 
laws ; and where again, a great verdict had just . 
been obtained by a defendant, * whose defence 
was that the monarch could waive a penal en- 
actment, as supreme lawgiver ; it was not to be 
expected that public opinion would be re- 
garded with any very^ particular respect. 
Amongst other capabilities with which these 
great commissioners were invested, they were 
enabled to summon such as ^' seemed to be sus- 
pected of offences ; — to cwrect, amend, and 
alter the statutes of . the universities, churches, 
and schools ; or, where the statutes were lost, . to 
devise new ones," &c. It was no small aggrava- 
tion of the horrors which the clergy had already 
attached to this junto, that it could not as- 
semble without the lord chancellor. Jeffreys, 
consequently, with all his grandeur and ma- 
jesty, was the awful genius of the place. Nor 

' Sir Edward Hales, prosecuted in an action of debt by a 
coachman, for not taking the test. 


did he long remain unemployed ; and very plea- 
sant it seemed to him, that he was again so 
highly elevated as to mortify great dignitaries 
at his capricious pleasure. Sharp, the rector 
of St. Giles's, who is called the ** railing par- 
son/' ' had expressed his contempt of such as 
could be converted by Romish arguments. He 
was constantly inveighing against popish errors ; 
and Gompton, bishop of London, who had so 
obnoxiously moved the consideration of the 
royal speech, was his diocesan. These were 
fit subjects to begin upon. The King sent 
forth a mandate to the bishop to suspend 
Dr. Sharp ; the bishop very civilly declined, 
on the ground of his inability to condemn 
any man who had not been cited, and heard in 
his defence. This happened in August, 1686 ; 
and the high court had been formed in April. 
It was deemed proper that the new terrors and 
penalties should be inflicted upon these two 
holy offenders, though Sharp had been the 
bearer of the bishop's letter, and had made an 
eflEbrt to save himself by very tame submissions. 
Accordingly, on the 4th of August, the lord 
chancellor was at his place in the Commission 
Court, and the bishop made his appearance. 

r - 

' Father Orleans. 


There was but one question, ** Why did you not 
obey the King?" But Compton was disposed 
to procrastinate, and so he asked for time till 
November, as counsel were absent on the circuit. 
^* Hah ! that's unreasonable/' quoth Jeffreys ; 
** His Majesty's business cannot admit of such 
delays ; methinks a week should be enough : 
What say your lordships, is not a week enough ?" 
And their lordships said that a week was enough. 
The bishop complained that he could not get a 
sight of the commission; but the answer was, 
that *' all the coffee-houses had it for a penny a 
piece." On the ninth day, the business was re- 
sumed, when the bishop declared, that a whole 
week's search had, with difficulty, put him in 
possession of the authority which had been men* 
tioned as so common in every coffee-house. 
^* My lord, when I told you our commission was 
to be seen in every coffee-house,** says my lord 
chancellor, ** I did not speak with any design to 
reflect on your lordship, as if you were a haunter 
of coffee-houses : I abhorred the thoughts of it ; 
and intended no more by it, but that it was 
common in the town." 

This vaunt of the chancellor's got the bishop 
a fortnight's further indulgence. But, at lengthy 
the day must arrive for an answer to " Why 
did you not obey the King ? " And at the ap- 

28.4 MEMOI&S OF 

pointed time the spiritual peer came, attended 
by four doctors of the law as his counsel. But 
the civilians made a very left-handed defence 
for their client : indeed^.the first. Dr. Oldish, ven- 
tured beyond the precincts of his scarlet tribe, 
and was rash enough to affirm, that '' if an attor- 
ney takes a man's word for his appearance, there 
would lie no action against the attorney." — 
*' Cujus contrariumy\ (which means, only just, the 
contrary,) exclaimed Jeffreys, who was pleased 
to advertise the doctor of the existence of ac- 
tions for escapes. Some of the commissioners 
were disposed to accept the bishop's submission, 
but the King plainly told Rochester, that unless 
he gave way, his treasurer's white staff was 
gone. Most of the others would have agreed 
upon the question being put, that the bishop 
had done treason, if the King pleased ; and he 
was forthwith suspended by a formal ajid solemn 
sentence, together with his subject rector. Dr. 
Sharp, both during the royal pleasure. They 
dared not meddle with his revenues, notwith- 
standing ; for that being a measure affecting tem- 
poralities, the matter would have been trans- 
lated into the Kings Bench, where Herbert 
presided ; and as he was not satisfied with the 
sentence of suspension, he might probably havfe 
rendered the bishop justice, which at that time 


would- have been a precedent highly inconve- 

The parson of St. Giles's was soon re- 
lieved, but the prelate remained under the ban 
till the fright about the Prince of Orange be- 
came very considerable, and then all the great 
rough riders were unhorsed : Jeffreys was sent 
to the corporation of London with their long-lost 
charter, and the people of London saw their 
bishop very civilly restored to his episcopal 

The chancellor showed himself quite equal to 
Serjeant Bradshaw, who presided at King 
Charles's trial. Both the accused desired to 
speak, the bishop before, the monarch after sen- 
tence; both were repulsed most unceremo- 
niously : — 

Lord Bishop. — My lord, may I have leave to 
speak before sentence is read ? 

Lord Chancellor. — My lord, we have heard 
you and your counsel already. 

King Charles to Bradshaw.— Will you hear me 
a word, sir ? 

Bradshaw. — Sir, you are not to be heard after 
the sentence. 

King. — No, sir? 

Bradshaw. — No, sir. By your favour, sir. 
Guard, withdraw your prisoner. 

King. — I may speak after sentence, by your 


favour, sir ! I may speak after sentence, ever. 
By your favour ! — Hold ! the sentence, sir : I say, 
sir, I do — I am not suffered to speak. — Expect 
what justice other people will have. — And then 
he was carried away by the guard. 

And now, not as suitors, but as admiring 
reporters of the greatness and dominion of our 
Jeffreys, we must return to the court of Chan* 
eery, from whence so many think themselves too 
happy to be emancipated. 

He held his court at Dr. Shepherd's Chapel 
in Duke-street, Westminster, and made the ad- 
joining houses towards the park his residence. 
But just before we relate the judicisd extrava- 
gancies of this legal despot, it will not be thought 
out of place, as we are upon the subject of 
houses, if a specimen of his dealings respecting 
them, and of the treatment with which he would 
annoy persons who had an equitable claim upon 
him, be briefly told. Moses Pitt, a bookseller, 
brother of the Western Martyrologist, complains 
very strongly against his tenant, the chancellor. 
This gentleman had been captivated by the 
boundless promises of building ; and amongst 
other dwellings which he established in the vi- 
cinity of the Park, was one at the south end of 
Duke-street of a superior order, which he let, 
with coach-houses and stables, to the judge at 
300/. per annum. Jeffreys came with the rich 


Alderman Duncomb to see the house ; and ob- 
serving a vacant piece of ground adjoining, he 
said, he would have a cause-room (by which he 
meant a chancery tribunal) built upon it." Pitt 
said, that the ground was the King's property ; 
but it was agreed that James should be impor- 
tuned for the gift of it, and that it should be 
made over to the builder by grant for 99 years 
at a peppercorn rent, in consideration of which 
the builder would erect the desired cause-room. 
It seems, that in addition to the court which was 
required, Mr. Pitt raised two large wings on 
either side of the chancellor's house, which cost 
him altogether abou,t 4000/. and that his tenant 
never paid a farthing for the fitting-up of the 
new erections, and the necessary offices which 
appertained to the cause-room.* 

* << It is easily known/^ says Pennant, *' by a large flight 
of stone st6[)s, which his royal master permitted to be made 
into the park adjacent, for the accommodation of his lordship. 
These steps terminate above in a small court, on three sides 
of which stands the house. The cause-room was afterwards 
converted into a place of worship, called Duke-street Chapel^ 
and b on the left. When Jeffreys found it inconvenient to 
go to Westminster or Lincolns'-inn, he made use of this court.** 

* ** In three or four months' time I built the two wings of 
that great house which is opposite to the bird-cages, with the 
stairs and tarrass, &c. which said building cost me about 
4000/. with aU the inado work," &c.— Pitt's Qy of (he 
OfpresHdf p. 22. 


However, when the whole was finished, the 
promised grant was looked for very anxiously, 
and very respectfully demanded ; but Jeffreys 
found means of evading the fulfilment of his 
pledge from time to time till the. architect's pa- 
tience was exhausted, and King William had 
approached too near to render the chancellor s 
downfall by any means equivocal. Finding his 
ruin at hand, and a speedy flight necessary, he 
sent for several tradesmen ; and Mr. Pitt, the 
landlord, who had ever found him quite inac- 
cessible, although a near neighbour, contrived 
to get into the great man's parlour, and there 
renewed personally his long neglected claim. 
" I shall leave your house," quoth Jeffreys, 
" and I shall not take away the ground and 
building with me." This was the utmost in- 
dulgence of the answer. Half a year's rent was 
then nearly due, but Pitt expressed himself 
much more anxiously respecting the grant, than 
the payment of the arrears. The next day the 
chancellor departed to the Jesuit Petre's lod- 
ging at Whitehall. * It turned out, that Sir Ed- 
ward Hales, a vast favourite at court, the same 
who gained so great a triumph in behalf of 

> 1688, Not. 29. " In the morning, I went to see my 
lord chancellor: he now lodgeth at the duke's old little 
chamber at Whitehall." — Clarendon's Diary. 


the dispensing powerj had begged away this 
ground from Jeffreys ; so that the judge^ percei- 
ving how impossible it was to complete his con* 
tract, shuffled out ci it in the best manner hie 
was able. ' The learned counsel who attend the 
high court of Chancery at tibe present day, 

* The history of the case was this : Pitt, when he received, 
this promise fromr Jeffreys, discovered that John Webb, the 
King's fowl-keeper, had a grant of the land from Charles II. 
daring life ; and thereupon gave him a consideration for a 
great part of it. Then Sir Edti^rd Hales got it from the' 
King, which overturned the chancellor's pledge ; and though' 
Sir Edward seems to have paid half a yearns rent to Mr:. 
Pitt for a parcel of this land, which was used as garden- 
ground, he, in common with some others who had recc^ised 
Pitt as the landlord, refused all subsequent payments. This 
utifortun^te architect and bookseller, after having spent' 
l%MOii in the improventent of buildings at Westminster, w*a£( 
thrown into prison, where he remained long enougli to be 
sensible of the dreadful enormities which ninere perpetrated on 
the persons of poor debtors at that period. — See his Cry of the 
Oppressed, in two parts. He was a man of considerable en- 
tftrprbe, as may be collected from the statement already 
given ; ahd n&orebver, he took the theatre at Oxford for the 
purposeof printing his Atlas,, in twelve vohim<es, fotio : an un- 
dertaking which was fraught with ruin. Jeffreys's large 
hoose' wtkrlet to the three Dutch ambateadOM, who chme from 
Holland to ooBgratdlstB King William ujpon his acbession in 
1689; It was aSfterwards used for die adttiifalty-oSce, until 
the middle of King William's reign. 


290 . M£M0IR5 OF 

who rather gire than take the law from the 
considerable individuals who preside there, can 
scarcely form an idea of the disrespect with 
which their quondam brethren were treated in 
the reign of James. We have seen how JeflFreys, 
\^hen chief of the King's Bench, disregarded 
their just pretensions to a courteous reception ; 
how he set at naught their high blood and birth, 
and held as valueless the honourable stock from 
whence the larger number sprang. And truly 
no greater share of civility was reserved for 
the advocates in equity : the furious lecture of a 
quarter or half an hour, proportioned to the of-* 
fence of the patient, was of daily occurrence. 
There was no room for boasting on the part of 
those whom he occasionally spared. — " This is 
yours/* they would drily say ; " my turn will be 
to-morrow."' His angry opposition, however, 
to one custom would probably be ' lauded by the 
public press of this day. Six, eight, or ten of 
the best counsel would be retained ' on a side, 
and of course each would^indulge the court with 
a view of the case. This, doubtless, was a tire- 

' Sir John Trevor, the master of the rolls, treated the 

counsel with equal freedom. He said something to his 

nephew, a very promising young lawyer, which cut him so 
severely, that he died in consequence. 



some practice^ and called for the most trying 
patience ; but the liew chancellor soon decided 
against it. " It was troublesome — it was im- 
pertinent — ^he could not bear it — it was all repe- 
tition ; and, therefore, he would not hear it/" 
Yet in the progress of these sallies, he some- 
times broke loose so wildly as to be obliged to 
beg pardon, -which he would do to the great 
satisfaction and amusement of the audience. 
But if the ornaments of the court met with 
this unsightly violation, what might not the un- 
fortunate attornies expect ? What might be the 
situation of the still less respected suitor ? Here 
Jeffreys was indeed himself ; and often verified 
his own observation, that he would " give a lick 
with the rough side of his tongue." 

A city attorney had a petition filed against 
him; and whether or not he had done wrong, 
it appears that some one had threatened him 
with my lord chancellor ; an admirable bugbear 
beyond question at that time of day. " My 

' In the new act of parliament which has been propounded 
for the amendment of the Chancery practice, a proposition 
has been introduced to limit the number of counsel on either 
side. The evil ailluded to rarely occurs in the King's Bench ; 
and in the court of Common Pleas only two Serjeants are ac- 
customed to address the bench. 


lord chancellor!" returned the citizen; " I made 
him." This very natural vaunt was put care- 
fully into an affidavit, and read over to the judge. 
" Well," says that nobleman, " then I will lay 
my maker by the he^ls." And the patron of 
the ypung Hicks s-hall pennyless advocate was 
sent to gaol. Another very sharp decision 
s^gainst a solicitor is recorded. The lawyer was 
ordered to give up certain papers in a caiise, 
some of which, had got into the hands of his 
client, and, in fact, were quite out of his reach; 
but, fi^nding that the qiaster in Chancery had re- 
ported him for disobedience, he made an appli- 
cation to the court, stating the hardship, and 
his readiness to do any thing that could be rea-> 
sonably required of him. This was^ neyert^e-* 
lass^ a trifling with the high order, and the 
unlucky solicitor Ipund his way to the Fleet. 
Sut half an hour afterwards the chancellor 
called the registrar, and bade him inform t&e 
master that some arrangement must be loade 
for the performance of the order, and that the 
master should exercise his discretion. On this 
the counsel for the prisoner took courage ; and 
after several wily insinuations for his client, 
such as that the end of the motion for papers 
had been obtained, and that the solicitor had 


acted as wdl as he couid under the ctrcumstto*- 
oes, he begged that the rule for the coimnitment 
might be rescinded. Jeffreys. ** Sir, I make no 
tiew order : I only add to what I have already 
pronounced." And the man remained in cus- 
tody* Ini^tances have been remembered of his 
fdaciag even counsd themselves in the safe 
gi^ardianship of the Fleet prison, and this, for 
errors in judgment ; whilst he sent men, women, 
and children promiscuously to the warden,. in a 
.prop(»rtion of ten to one as ccnnpared with the 
commitDHents of his predecessois. 

His bare threats, however^ were no small 
punishments ; at least in this nervous age we 
should be apt to think so: and although the 
great judge made a common practice of uttering 
them, it is agreed that his countenance be- 
tokened most fearfully the likelihood of their 
execution. A poor scrivener felt this awful in- 
fluence, when he opposed a petition for relief 
against a bail bond. The plaintiff's bill was 
about to be dismissed, and the scrivener would 
have gone off triumphant ; but one of the counsel 
against him very waggishly said, that this man 
was a strange fellow, sometimes going to church, 
sometimes to conventicles ; in fact, '' it was 
thought he was a trimmer." Jeffreys's old re- 


collections revived in a moment. ''A trimmer?" 
said he ; ''I have heard much of that monster, 
but never saw one. Come forth, Mr. Trimmei»; 
turn you round, and let us see your shape.** 
The defendant was frightened out of his senses ; 
and lucky it was for him when the bill against 
him was dismissed with costs, so that he could go 
his way from the court. " How did you come 
off?" said a friend of his, as he came into the 
hall. *' Come off! I am escaped from the terrors 
of that man's face, which I would scarce undergo 
again to save my life ; and I shall certainly have 
the frightful impression of it as long as I live." 
The sequel of the history will show how true 
this saying was, and how fatal this tirade had 
been to the chancellor's welfare. It cost him 
his life. 

Sir John Trevor had now succeeded Sir John 
Churchill as master of the rolls : he had been 
foistered by Jeffreys, and owed his elevation to 
that powerful favourite ; but far from bending to 
the vnll of his patron with the abject submission 
which was expected, he was bold enough to turn 
again when trampled upon, and had even the 
hardihood to look with an ambitious eye towards 
the great seal. Strange to say, he had some 
chance of supplanting his master ; but as he is 


connected, in some measure, with the chancel- 
lor's private life at this time, a more full account 
of him, and of the disputes which he maintained 
in defence of his jurisdiction, shall be deferred, 
till we come presently to detail the little that 
can now be ascertained of the judge's domestic 

In 1687, Jeffreys had another opportunity of 
indulging his master's spleen against the church, 
and of upholding the dispensing power which 
was the darling aim of his sovereign. To attain 
this end he had laboured extremely in the pre- 
vious year; indeed, the monarch himself has 
informed us of the zeal with which his chancel- 
lor acted, how he summoned the judges, and 
enforced the doctrine of passive obedience as 
part of the English law, till all the twelve, saving 
one,' declared themselves converts to his argu- 

' Sir Thomas Street, judge of the Common Pleas. He 
was first made a baron of the Excheqiier, and thence ad- 
vanced to the Common bench. Lord Clarendon attempted 
to patronize this judge at the Revolution, and intended to 
have presented him to the prince ; but meeting with Lord 
Coote, he was dissuaded from doing so. ** While I was in 
the outward room/' says the noble journalist. ** my Lord 
Coote came to me, and told me he was sorry to see me pa- 
tronize Street. I told his lordship I had long known the 
judge, and that 1 took him to be a very honest man. My 
lord answered to this effect : — I know he did not join in the 


ments, or, which was m^re piEsol^^b)^, bow&A 
before an influence which could mreae^l^ly uixtp 
off their ermine/ 
Devoted to the Catholic tenets^ James now 

judgment for the dbpensing power : he has married my rela- 
tion ; but he is a yerj ill man, I have given the prince a 
true character of him/' &c. When Street came the next 
day to Lord Clarendon, he was told that tiie prince had ill 
impressions of him, and was advised to wait a little; wUdk 
he did long enough, as far a^ related to the re^torati^ of J^ip 
place, for he was never made a j>udge again. 

' It should be kept in miud, that in delineating jthe extra- 
ordinary character of Jeffreys, we say decidedly that he would 
go nearly all lengths for the sake of his place ; but that be would 
never desert his religion, though, under the ^iprebeasion of 
disgrace, he certainly persecutod ijts functionaries upon oooar 
sion< In the course of an inqijury which took pl^ce before the 
House of Commons in 1689, this power of stripping off the 
ermine was most strictly proved in the cases of Baron Nevil 
and Judge Powell. The speaker asked the reasons of &ieir 
discharge. Nevil said, he was sent for to Chiffins's 
chambers, when the King came in with a paper in his hand, 
and asked his opinion upon the dispensation. The baron 
said, he thought the King could not dispense with the 
penal laws, but that he would consider of it. Jeffreys then 
took up the affair, and sent for the judge several times ; but 
received a positive declaration from him against the King's 
wishes. Street and HoUoway were with Nevil at different 
times upon the subject ; and notwithstanding the chancellor's 
long harangues, and disapproval of the reasons, they main- 
tained the same resolution. When Judge HoUoway con- 



resoiired to bear the liffiusik no longer ; the pie* 
cept8'<rf his mother chaeck swayed ihim with an 

ourxed, it was ki ih^ pMsence of the King , JeffiwjFs, SiMid«r- 
land, Rodttflter, aad 6odoipluA« The ohaaoellor at length 
•ent for Baron Nevil to his houae» aad said, that if he per* 
sbtedy he must expect to be discharged ; and seven or eight 
daya after he had his qaietns. To n, a nh s eq uegt question, 
the baron replied, that the ohaacellor managad the whole 
thing. Sir John Powell thought he was tuined oi|t Ant his 
opposition to the dispensing power, and an opinion against 
the crown in the case of a quo warranip. He said, dial 
Jeffreys was present at Ihe consideration of these deoiiions 
in privttte, and took an actiTe part in bringing the judges 
over to the royal will. But Powell was unezorable-; and ha 
had the honour of being acquainted with his discharge in the 
first instance by the chancellor, who told him, at his house, 
that he was sorry for it, but would not send the patent of 
revocation till the end of the term.—'' And I sat oufc the 
whole term," added Powell. 

Sir Edward Nevil seems to have been a very honest judge : 
|>e contrived to e«ape i. tho« day. with very littk ob«r^ 
tion, and was rewarded with his old place in the Eicchequer 
when King William returned. He was afterwards pro* 
moted to the bench in the Common Pleas, and died in 1706, 
at Hammersmith, August 8. 

We have had three judges named Powelt, and they, were 
pontemporaries. The first was the gentleman alluded to 
above; a man of considerable abilities and integrity. He 
once laid a blame on a brother judge (Holloway), whieh 
the latter denied, and retorted the charge upon Powell. It was 
upon the much worn subject of the dispensing power. Powell 
said he was at some distance fipom his brother, and thought 


absolute dominion, and these prompted him to 
bring back his backsliding subjects to the pure 

that he assented to the King^s demand; HoUoway, on the 
contrary, asserted that he had never agreed to such an opi- 
nion, and he is certainly acquitted of this by the testimony 
of others. 

. Powell was in disgrace for the resoiuticm he displayed at 
the trial of the seven bishops, where he zealously and suc- 
cessfully strove in their favour. The following curious in- 
terference is related to have taken place on the bench on 
that occasion. The Solicitor-general Williams was advert- 
ing to the dispensation, upon which Powell spoke aside to the 
chief justice, — *' My lord, this is wide, Mr. Solicitor would 
impose upon us : let him make it out, if he can, that the King 
has such a power ; and answer the objections made by the 
defendant's counsel.'* 

. Wright, chief justice—'' Brother, impose upon us ? He 
shall, not impose upon me ; I know not what he may upon 
you : for my part, I do not believe one word he says/' 

Sir [John Powell was the only judge of the twelve in 
Westminster-thall when this famous libel case was contested, 
who was restored to the bench. But he was called to ac- 
countfor. the sentence passed' upon the £arl of Devonshire ; 
and severely questioned by the House of Lords. The noble 
earl struck Colonel Culpeper in the King's palace with a 
stick, for some affront which had been given him : upon which 
he was compelled to give bail in the King's Bench to the 
amount of 30,000/. personally, with four sureties bound in 
penalties of 6000/. each. He pleaded guilty to the informa- 
tion exhibited against him, and was fined 90,000/. ; and 
Powell was implicated in this exorbitant mulct. The judge 
declared he was very sorry ; that he had been misguided by 


faith of the Virgin. It had been discovered that 

books; that he conceived 3000/. fine enough, and begged 
Lord Devonshire's pardon. 

Sir Robert Wright followed in the same mercy-begging 
strain, saying, that the large fine came, according to the 
course of the court, from the puisne judge first. Holloway 
tried to show that all four judges were equally guilty. 
Allibone was dead. But the lords had pofloooood themselves 
of certain information, which induced them to ask whether 
this enormous fine had not been privately cogitated and agreed 
upon before they came into court. Wright denied it flat. 
Holloway prevaricated, and said, they had no orders from 
the King or the chancellor about it. — '* But," said Mr. 
Justice Powell, *' Sir Richard Holloway may remember, 
there was a discourse of the fine, ^ye or six days before, at 
the lord chancellor's, where Sir Robert Wright, Sir Richard 
Holloway, Sir Richard Allibone, and himself, were.'* Then 
Holloway declared he did not remember that; and 
Wright said, they did not meet about the fine. However, 
upon thb. Sir John Powell told the discourse ; and it was, 
that Jeffreys first proposed 20,000/., but afterwards said, it 
had better be 30,000/., and then the King might abate 
10,000/. Sir John added, that he expressed his dislike to this 
before the other judges, but not before the chancellor. The 
lords voted the sentence a breach of privilege; but Powell 
was allowed to retain his place in the Common Pleas, which 
he held till the summer circuit in 1606, when he died, at 

Thomas Powel came up from the Exchequer, to succeed 
his namesake in 1688 ; but continued a few months only, 
and was entirely laid aside. 

John Powell, junior,'called, by way of distinction there,of 


Dr. Lightfoot' had mot taken the oaths when he 
was admitted to his master's degree at Cam- 
bridge ; and this afforded a very convenient pre- 
cedent for sending a candidate to that univer- 
sity for the degree of M.A., who should be shel- 
tered against the usual ceremonies by the King's 
dispensation. Accordingly, Alban Francis, a 
Benedictine monk, armed with a letter under 
the sign-manual, presented himself at Cam- 
bridge, for the purpose of having the degree 
conferred upon him. But the vice-chancellor. 
Dr. Peachell, or Rachel, as some call him, find- 
ing that the mandate required not only the dig- 
nity which was sought, and to which no objection 
would have been offered, but that it was to be given 

Gloucester, (tiiere being two John Powelk in the Common 
Pleas at the same time,) was a judge very eminent for his 
learning. He came up successively from the Exchequer and 
Common Pleas into the King's Bench^ where he sat a great 
many years, and proved a most able assistant to the lord chief 
justice Holt. He died at the latter end of Queen Anne's 
reign. These are but mere samples of the promotions of 
puisne judges, so much objected against of late. It b not 
for the author to presume or suggest any thing here ; but such 
as Mrill take the trouble to examine the elevations of judges, 
will find the custom of advancing them entirely identified with 
the constitution. 

' Most probably the great rabbinical scholar and^leamed 
writer. He was a prebendary of Ely, and rector of Much 
Munden, in Hertfordshire. 



without the administratxKi of an oath^ quickly 
determined iqH>n a respectfiil opposition to a 
meamire so novel and insidious. So, after various 
expressions (tf their dislike to the proceeding, the 
members of the university, after admitting some 
one to the degree of doctor of physic, who took 
the oatlis, sent to Mr. Francis, and declared 
their readiness to admit him also, on condition 
of his submitting to the same.ordeaL But Father 
I^rancis of course dedined to do this, insisting 
as he did upon the King's dispensation ; and, 
therefore, he was refused, upon which he went 
to Whitehall to make his complaint in form; A 
second letter came down some time afterwards, 
upon. which Dr. Peachell wrote to the Duke of 
Albemarle, then ch&ncelloc, begging him. to 
represent the ill^^ty of the proposed admission 
to the King. His Majesty highly resented thas 
obduracy as he considered it; and the coiise^ 
quenee was a summcms from tiie awftd eoefe- 
siastical. commission to. Use vice-chancellor and 
senate, commanding the former to appear in per* 
son, the letter by themselves, or their deputies* 
The sting of this body was the all-powerful) 
chancellor : he was so admirably calculated^ 
intitnidate ofienders^ that, as we have elsewhere 
mentioned, the court could not be. convened 
without him. The vice-chancellor, according 


to Biimet, was an honest, but a weak man ; in- 
deed his imbecillity is evident by his starving 
himself at the Revolution after a rebuke which 
Archbishop Sancroft gave him for drunkenness ;' 
so that a more unfit man could scarcely have 
been found at this juncture, when the rights 
and privileges of so venerable an assembly 
were to be called critically into question. — 
Nevertheless,' every thing was to take place 
with due ceremony, and a show of as much 
respect as the commissioners could make use of; 
and the Head was in decency compelled once 
again to throw the lambskin over the wolf's 

On the 21st of April, the judges andf tiie 
parties summoned made their appearance, and 
the burden of the questions on that day was 
simply, " Why did you not obey. the King's 
command ?" However, the vice-chancellor ob- 
tained with some pains the delay of a week. 
At the next meeting the university delivered in 
an answer to the charge, and in about ten days 
from that time all met again for the purpose of 
deciding the subject. Jeffreys, terrible even in 
smiles, scared all the wits of Dr. Peachell with 
the first question, — " Pray what was the oath ?" 

' He tried to resume his eating functions, after three days 
of abstinence ; but nature refused, and so he died. 


The Doctor had forgotten the oath which he 
took when he was made vice-chancellor. At 
last he stammered out: — ''I camiotcall to mind 
the very words of the oath^ but the substance of 
it is this ; — that I should well and faithfully 
prastare, or administrare nmnus, or officium Pro- 

Lord Ch. — *' Ay, muniis, or qfficuim'; weH 
what then ?" 

Then the vice-chancellor said that the office 
was declared by the laws of the land. Jeffreys 
was desirous of establishing the fact, that mas- 
ters of arts had been made without taking 
oaths, with the sanction of vice-chancellors who 
had taken the same oath as Dr. Peachell ; and 
he pressed the doctor with Lightfoot's case. 

Lord Ch. — " Don't you remember any master 
of arts made without oadis?" Dr. Cook (a 
doctor of the civil law who interposed now and 
then, and seemed to be the main stay of the 
vice-chancellor) — " Not under the quality of an 
university nobleman, my lord." 

Lord Ch. — " Nay, good doctor, you never 
were vice-chancellor yet; when you are,. we 
may consider you." 

The civilians had no chance with Jeffreys. 
Cook was soon at his post again. " My lord. 


Dr. Lightfoot did subscribe."— Lord Ch. " What 
subscription; do you mean?" — Dr. Cook. • ** To 
die thirty-nine articles, and the first of them is' 
flie King's supremacy." — ^Lord Ch. *' Is sub- 
scribing swearing,, doctor?" And so he was- 
silenced for that time. Then Mr. Stanhope 
began, but he was stopped in the outset. 

Lord Ch. — " Nay, look you now, that young 
gentleman expects to be vice-chancellor too; 
when you are, sir, you may speak ; but till then, 
it will becoine you to forbear." It was impos-* 
sible for etny man tt> have a feiver object for hisr 
raillery than this Dr. Peachell. After a strict 
examination of the unfortunate Head, the noble 
lord feU upon Dr. Stnoult, the professofr of 
casuistical divinity, who had carried up the opi- 
nkm of die non-regent house regstrding Frauds. 
—Lord Ch. " And pray, sir, who are you that 
yon should be thought fit to represent a whole 
house ? why should they choose you rather th»n 
wary body else ?"— Dr. Smoult: " My lord, I sup-- 
pose because I was' one of the seniors;'^ — Lord 
Ch. ** One of the seniors ! if you come to 
timty.why was not the very senior chosen?" 
Dr. Smoult. " I cannot telU my lewd; they 
came to me." — ^Vicc-Ch* ** My lordybe is one 
of our professors." — Lord Ch* " Nay, yAien I ask 


you questions, they prompt you, and now you 
prompt them ; but I must tell you, Mr. Vice- 
Chancellor, you ought to take an account of 
what is done in the house yourself and not from 
others." Soon afterwards Jeffreys became tired 
of all argument and explanation ; and having 
made a blunder which was corrected in open 
court by the bishop of Rochester, one of the 
commissioners, a circumstance which by no 
means improved his temper, he cut short an- 
other deputy from the university, who was try- 
ing to elucidate some act which took place 
there, with — *' Ay, sir, we took both what was 
done, and what was not done ; therefore with- 
draw." Poor Dr. Peachell was turned out of 
his high office, and suspended from the head- 
ship of Magdalen College ; but, notwithstand- 
ing. Dr. Balderson, the new vice-chancellor, 
being a very spirited man. Father Francis was 

The chancellor had now established himself 
not only as the head, but the bull-dog of his 
party : he was ever zealous to worry all who 
were not within the sacred fold, and approved 
himself a most fitting successor of that worthy 
person, — 

Who still his clenched argument would end 
With this home thrust> — he is not Caesar's friend* 



The courtiers soon turned their wrath against 
the other Magdalen College in the sister univer- 
sity, where the temperate Dr. Hough had been 
acknowledged as president by a large majority^ 
in opposition to the royal mandate, which di- 
rected that one Anthony Farmer should be 
chosen. This was a man of so ill a reputa- 
tion, that his patrons were at last ashamed of 
him, although he professed the utmost affection 
for the popish cause. To say that the invete- 
racy of the Fellows in adhering to their choice 
would be the means of bringing them before 
the ecclesiastical inquisition, and that Jeffreys 
would be at his post, prepared to repudiate the 
new Head, and to punish the disobedient frater- 
nity, is to relate a history most consistent with 
the arbitrary wishes of the Sovereign. But the 
angry peer transcended himself upon this occa- 
sion ; for in place of a weak and watery vice- 
chancellor, he met with a doctor who bearded 
him on the throne of his holy office. The name 
of this college champion was Fairfax, and the 
manner of his resistance presented a scene 
which cannot but be classed with the ridicu- 
lous ; though the countenance of the judge, in- 
deed, changed from an expression of the most 
fawning benignity to the sternest threatenings 
of vengeance. 


We are told, that the university put in an 
answer to the charge of disregarding the King s 
recommendation, but that Dr. Fairfax's signa- 
ture to this defence was wanting. Jeffreys, 
imagining no less than that he had found at 
le8ust one man who had separated himself from 
the bed of heretics, was in ecstasies ; and on 
the doctor's applying to him for leave to explain 
his reasons for declining to subscribe the answer, 
said on the instant, '* Ay, this looks like a man 
of sense and a good subject : let 's hear what he 
will say." — '* I don't object to the answer," said 
Fairfax, " because it is the vindication of my 
college : I go further ; and as according to the 
rules of the ecclesiastical courts, a libel ' is given 
to the party that he may know the grounds of 
his accusation, I demand that libel, for I do 
not know otherwise wherefore I am called here ; 
and besides, this affair should be discussed in 
Westminster-hall." — " You are a doctor of di- 
vinity, not of law," exclaimed the disconcerted 
judge ; that smile, which had bewitched so many 
hapless defendants into an unavailing though in- 
genuous confession, being now pursed up. " By 

' The same writing as a declaratiou at common law, intima- 
ting the nature of the charge against the defendant, or party 
libelled against. 


what commission or authority do you sit here ?" 
rejoined the undaunted Fellow. As long as Jef- 
freys could enjoy the pleasure of indulging his 
pretensions to special pleading by quibbling at 
the weaknesses of defendants, he could preserve 
a tolerable share qf humour, though at the ex- 
pense of those upon whom he might exercise 
it ; but here was a man, not only emancipating 
himself from the answer which would be a 
favourable subject for the judge's raillery, 
but absolutely questioning the very right and 
essence of his dominion. So he broke out : — 
*' Pray what commission have you to be so 
impudent in court ? This man ought to be kept 
in a dark room. Why do you suffer him with- 
out a guardian ? Why did you not bring him to 
me to beg him? Pray let the oflBcers seize him,"' 

1 King James was not more polished in his behaviour than 
his chancellor. He very officiously went to Oxford in per- 
son , to expostulate with his rebellious college; and after 
remonstrating with the chief men of it, he addressed them 
thusy while they were kneeling to him, and begging for 
mercy and liberty of conscience : — 

"Ye have been a stubborn, turbulent college; I have 
known you to be so this six-and-twenty years: you have 
affronted me in this. Is this your Church-of-£ngland loy- 
alty ? One would wonder to find so many Church-of-£ngland 
men in such a business! Go home, and show yourselves 
good members of the Church of England : get you gone! 


The college continuing contumacious, it was left 
to the Bishop of Chester, Chief Justice Wright," 
(a creature and prcaSgS of Jeffreys) and Baron 
Jenner, of punning memory, to subdue them; 
and the matter ended with the expulsion of 
seventy-five Fellows, and the installation of pa- 
pists in their room. 

Yet, notwithstanding this turbulence and v?l- 
pouring on the part of Lord Jeffreys, no man 
better knew the world, and the particular re- 
spect which one member of society, whether 
public or private, owes to another. The follow- 
ing is as brilliant an example as can be fur- 
nished, not only of this strong sense of propriety, 
but of the command of passion in a man who 
commonly allowed no bounds to his resentment. 

Know, I am your King ! I will be obeyed, and I command 
you to be gone. Go, and admit the Bishop of Oxon Head, 
principal, what d'ye call it of your college ; (one that stood 
by said, President,) I mean president of the college. Let 
them that refuse it, look to it ; they shall feel the weight of 
their Sovereign's displeasure." 

' Like master like man. And so the chief justice fol- 
lowed, longo sed proximus intervaUo, at the heels of the 
chancellor. Mr. Pulham, one of the Fellows, receiyed this 
repartee from Wright : " Pray, who's the best lawyer, you 
or I ? Your Oxford law is no better than your Oxford divi- 
nity : if you've a mind to a posse comiiatus, you may have 
one soon enough.'' 


There being a contested election for Arundel, 
the government showed great anxiety that the 
court candidate should be returned, and Jeffreys 
went down to further this object. The mayor, 
an attorney of good character and fortime, was 
the returning officer, aad he did not fail to notice 
the busy interfering chancellor intriguing at the 
hustings for every feasible vote. But he deter- 
mined on concealing his knowledge of the great 
political person present. With inviolable firm- 
ness he impartially scrutinized the pretensions 
of every man who came up to poll ; till, at length, 
having rejected one of the court voters, Jeffreys 
rose up in a furious passion, and declared that 
the vote should be admitted ; *' I am the lord 
chancellor of this realm," said the enraged no- 
bleman. The mayor, surveying him with scorn, 
thus replied : " Your ungentlemanlike behaviour 
convinces me it is impossible you should be the 
person you pretend ; were you the chancellor, 
you would know that you have nothing to do 
here, where I alone preside. Officer, turn that 
fellow out of court," The crier proceeded to 
do his duty ; and my lord, not over desirous of 
proving at that moment that he actually kept 
the King's conscience, retired to his inn. The 
popular candidate was elected. In the evening 
Jeffreys begged the favour of the mayor's com- 


pany at his lodging ; but the independent magi- 
strate declined this suspicious honour: upon 
which, nothing daunted, the chancellor pro- 
ceeded to the house of his antagonist, and intro- 
duced himself with this winning speech : '' Sir, 
notwithstanding we are in different interests, 
I cannot help revering one who so well knows, 
and dares so nobly execute the law ; and though 
I myself was somewhat degraded thereby, you 
did but your duty. You, as I have learned, 
are independent, but you may have some rela- 
tion who is not so well provided for ; if you have, 
let me have the pleasure of presenting him with 
a considerable place in my gift, just now vacant." 
The mayor could not resist this flattering bait ; 
and having a nephew to whom such a place 
would be very acceptable, he named his relative, 
and the appointment was immediately signed by 

It must not be supposed that the universities 
would easily forget the carriage of the high eccle- 
siastical commission judge towards their great 
men : the indignation against him was like that 
which the Koman senators manifested when the 
Gauls plucked their beards ; and occasion was 
not wanting to gratify the resentment which 
had been aroused. On the 21st of July, 1688, 
the Duke of Ormond, chancellor of Oxford, died. 


and it was the royal intention that the chancel- 
lor of England should succeed to that rank, in 
the room of the deceased duke. But the col- 
lege had shrewdly suspected an interference in 
this matter ; and, accordingly, on the 23rd of 
that month, James, the late duke's grandson, 
was elected in convocation without a dissentient 
voice. On the next day came a mandate from 
court to choose George, Lord JeflFreys ; but let- 
ters being sent for the purpose of satisfying His 
Majesty that the election could not be revoked, 
the favourite was obliged to rest contented ;* and, 

' Jeffreys was outwitted more than once, as every man ne- 
cessarily must be who is striving for all things. In 1684, 
Dr. Grenvill was made dean of Durham, and proposed to 
resign his prebendal stall. Jeffreys got a promise of this 
preferment : but the affair got to the Earl of Bath's ears, and 
he contrived to make Grew, bishop of the see, acquainted 
with it. So it was agreed, that while the instrument of the 
dean*s elevation was passing the broad seal, the dean himself 
should give up his prebend : upon which Sir George Wheeler, 
who had married his niece, was forthwith installed ; and the 
chief justice was balked by speed, in the same way as he 
lost the university honours. 

He was rebuffed on the northern circuit by a coroner 
about the same time. Mr. Baddiley was the person, and he 
had been fined by my lord for a misdemeanour of some kind. 
After dinner he got admittance to the judge. — ** How now," 
said Jeffreys, who expected to pocket what he could get, " 1 
suppose you are come to beg off your fine !" — ** No, my lord. 


moreover, the King, though displeased at first, 
delivered to the new Duke of Ormond the George 
and Garter which had been worn by his late 

We must now go back to the year 1686, for 
the purpose of recounting a defeat which the 
chancellor sustained at the Charter-house, where 
he acted occasionally as a governor. It seems 
that the King's first experiment in favour of the 
dispensing power was tried at this institution, 
although it was not concluded till after the 
quarrel with the universities. Andrew Pop- 
ham, a papist, was recommended for an out- 
pensioner's situation. The master ' desired the 
applicant to wait till the governors had met to 
consider his case. At this meeting Jefireys 
attended ; and the business being propounded, 
he proposed a ballot for the man's admission 
without discussion. But it was ordered other- 
wise, and the master was heard upon the im- 
propriety of receiving any person into the hos- 

haye a care of that," was the reply ; " for as you have laid it 
on, it belongs to me to take it off." Fines and amerciaments 
were excepted out of the King*s commission as belonging to 
the see ; and Jeffreys perceiving the drift, was plaguily dis- 
concerted at it. These two anecdotes are from Crew*s Me- 
moirs, in Nicholses Leicestershire. 

* Dr. Burnet, author of the " Theory of the Earth." 


pital, who would not take the oaths of alle- 
giance and supremacy. He cited the clause in 
the act of parliament expressly relating to the 
Charter-house, " What 's that to the purpose ?" 
said a governor. " I think it is very much to 
the purpose," answered the Duke of Ormond ; 
*^ for an act of parliament is not so slight a thing, 
but that it deserves to be considered." So the 
question was put, and Popham was refused. 
However, several governors were anxious to 
have a letter written in answer to the King's 
message; but, as Oldmixon says, Jeffreys 
" flung away ;" and he carried so many with 
him, that the rest were not sufficient to consti- 
tute an assembly. The letter was eventually 
sent, notwithstanding, on which the King gave 
it to his chancellor, saying, ** Find out a way 
that I may have right done me at that hospital.'* 
This produced the grand threats of the quo 
warrantOy and the ecclesiastical commissioners ; 
but whether it was that the governors* had too 

■ The Agnatures of the governora were these : — 

W. Cant.* Danby. 

Ormond. Nottingham. 

Hallifax. H. London.t 

Craven. T. Burnet*! 

* Williun Sancroft. t Henry Compton. X The nuuter. 


much influence, and too good a cause, (which 
they had spirit enough to defend,) or that the 
court discovered their weakness in attacking 
Oxford and Cambridge, it is clear that the 
Charter-house was left in peace, as it had been 
once before in the time of James the First, when 
the great chief justice Coke stood forward as 
its champion, and pronounced a decisive judg^ 
ment against the party who had ventured to 
claim it. 

But it is time to look homewards for a while, 
and to see whether any thing more than ordinary 
was passing at this time in the chancellor's 
family. Nevertheless, it is rarely, indeed, that 
we can approach a man'd domestic circle ; and 
proud is that national feeling which tells us we 
are so safely sheltered from the crowd ; yet, how 
gratifying is the little whispered story of private 
life, got even at the twentieth hand with all its 
discrepancies and ambiguities! What a trea* 
sure for a newspaper's proprietary is the early 
offspring of some well-turned scandal t Our 
principle is in brilliant proof at the present mo- 
ment, when all the fond records of antiquated 
memories are brushed up for the general plea* 
sure of a peep behind the curtain. And shall 
we be silent, if we can by any m^ans gain a'ccess 
to the family of that remarkable chancellor. 


whose private bearing has already been described 
as. so frolicsome and licentious, and whose beha- 
viour in the marriage state (but that we know how 
contrary the course of human nature will run on 
occasion,) might be supposed as full of com- 
mand as his judgment-seat ? To be short, such 
domestic tales as can be gathered, shall be given 
at once, according to Dr. Johnson's liberal re- 
commendation, '' tell all ; " and considering that 
the parties have been in their graves for a cen- 
tury and a half, the value of the history will 
suffer no depreciation from its scantiness. 

The second Lady Jeffreys was a dame of most 
slippery courses, if we are to credit rumour: 
indeed, the words, "I dare be sworn she 's 
honest," could never have been predicted of her 
without a fearfully reminiscent blush. To say 
truth, the common notion at the time of Jef- 
freys's marriage was, that Sir John Trevor, of 
whom more account shall be presently given, 
was the favoured gallant of the lady's widow- 
hood, ,and that he left, — who knows what ? as 
the satirist speaks. However, there happened 
to be a great quarrel between Scroggs, the chief 
justice, and Sir George, the then newly mar- 
ried recorder, while they were at dinner. 
Scroggs found out that his friend's wife had got 
into the straw only thirty weeks after marriage. 


which, considering that there was already an 
odd story afloat about a Hansen-kelder, and 
that Trevor's attentions were no secret, afforded 
a high treat to the judge. So, while Scroggs, 
who had got out his almanack, was proclaiming 
this, Jeffreys was raging and denying, which, as 
the story goes, " set him hard as Wakeman's 
trial." At last, like rival counsellors who have 
been all day clamouring at each other, they 
went off very quietly together to pass sentence 
upon poor Harris, the bookseller. And really, 
these pleasantries were not confined to Sir John 
Trevor ; for, soon afterwards, a man named Mont- 
fort, a licensed parasite of the chancellor, (who 
dearly loved flattery,) appears upon the stage. He 
seems to have been a successful candidate for 
the lady's future favours ; so that when the bruit 
of the young Prince's birth went abroad, and 
created so great a sensation, — ^the Peter Pindar 
of that day, singing of the great achievement, 
and of the chancellor's belief in it, exclaims, — 

And he believes the prince is real too, 

But not so certain, nor, 'tb fear'd, so true, 

As he wears horns, that were by M — fort made. 

Peter is not content till he has entirely ruined 
the fair one's good name : — 


For he of Hear'n is lure whene'er he dyes : 
Thanks to the care of fond indulgent wife. 
To make atonement for his wicked life ; 

D s her own soul, * • * 

• * * • « t 

Sir John Reresby affects to have been quite 
surprised at the freedoms which the chancellor 
indulged in before this Mr. Montfort^ who had 
been a comedian. ** I dined with the lord 
chancellor," says he, " where the lord mayor of 
London was a guest, and some other gentlemen. 
His lordship having, according to custom, 
drank deep at dinner, called for one Mountfort, 
a gentleman of his, who had been a comedian, 
an excellent mimic ; and to divert the company, 
as he was pleased to term it, he made him 
plead before him in a feigned cause, during 
which he aped all the great lawyers of the age, 
in their tone of voice, and in their action and 
gesture of body, to the very great ridicule, not 
only of the lawyers, but of the law itself, which 
to me did not seem altogether so prudent in a 
man of his lofty station in the law ; diverting it 
certainly was, but prudent in the lord high 
chancellor, I shall never think it." 

To resume for a moment my Lady Jeffreys, 
whose husband may truly be said to have 

Mist of the maid and caught the dragon, — 


she seems to have kept quiet possession of heg 
home, though not much encouraged at court. 
She was not present at the birth of the young 
chevalier ; but she had the curiosity to ask Dr, 
Hugh Chamberlayne whether he had any com- 
mands to attend Her Majesty; to which he 
briskly answered, he thought he should, unless 
their btains were in disorder. 

The chancellor never abated his vivacious, 
though intemperate courses. He was always 
jollity personified. One day, at Alderman Dun- 
comb's, he, the lord treasurer,* and some others, 
worked themselves up to so high a pitch of loy- 
alty, that it was whispered they had stripped 
to their shirts, and, but for an accident, would 
have got upon a sign-post to drink the King's 
health. Nevertheless, this furious debauch cost 
Jeffreys a fit of the stone, which had nearly 
ended all his convivialities for ever. He " vir- 
tuously" brought it upon himself, says Reresby. 
Sometimes, however, he kept very good society. 
Evelyn, the author of Silva, notes in his Diary, 
that Jeffreys had always been very civil to him, 
and that he went to dine with the great man 
on one occasion. On another day he writes, 
^^ I return'd home, when I found my lord chief 

I Kochester. 


justice [Jeffreys], the Countess of Clarendon, 
and Lady Catherine Fitzgerald, who dined 
with me." 

Another of the chancellor's high acquaintance 
was Henry, earl of Clarendon ; but that noble 
lord had a purpose to serve by ingratiating him- 
self at Bulstrode, having some concerns at issue, 
which needed countenance from the King. He 
was treated with great civility ; and invited to 
dinner, a gentleman, named Graham, having 
" prepared my lord chancellor," After a dis- 
appointment, occasioned by Lord Clarendon's 
illness, the parties met accordingly ; and Jef- 
freys promised to take all opportunities of ser- 
ving his guest, begging that he might sometimes 
see him. And he showed a similar partiality on 
many subsequent occasions. Li fact, the noble 
earl had done well to acquire a judicial friend ; 
for he was at one time involved in litigation. 
He had embroiled himself with the queen dow- 
ager in the court of Exchequer, and with a Mr. 
Dockmanique, about a New River affair; in which 
latter case, Jeffreys interested himself highly to 
effect a satisfactory settlement. One day they 
came to Bulstrode for this purpose ; but all 
business being delayed by the default of some 
absentees, the chancellor was determined to 
amuse his friend. This is the note in the Diarv : 


^' I went in his calash with him. He talked ' 
very freely to me of all affairs; called the 
judges a thousand fools and knaves ; that chief 
justice Wright was a beast : he said, the King 
and Queen were to dine with him on Thursday 
next; that he had still great hopes the King 
would be moderate, when the parliament met. 
When we came to Dr. Hickman's, my lord was 
inclined to be merry ; saying, he had papists and 
9pies among his own servants, and therefore 
must be cautious at home." 

We have a picture of the chancellor's self- 
love from the author of his " Life and Character," 
which exhibits a most inordinate vanity. It 
would seem that he affected this acquaintance 
with learned men from a pure feeling of conceit, 
which his flatterers had found it their interest to 
foster even in its utmost extravagances : so that 
he would discourse of religion, philosophy, in- 
deed of any subject which he had been compli- 
mented on knowing, and would even delight in 
pointing out errors in the principal works of 
art which appeared in his time ; though it often 
turned out that his opinions were not classical, 
and his conclusions inaccurately drawn. It is 
related, that the grossest adulation, such as 
would disgust and affront another man, was the 
sweetest homage which could be paid him; 



whether it came from the press in " fustian'^ 
dedications, or from the lips of those who would 
'* fool him to the top of the bent" for their din- 
ner and wine. These worthies, like all base- 
bom parasites, repaid him with a silent laugh 
at his vanity ; whilst men of taste and learning, 
who heard his solutions of philosophical and 
mathematical problems at second-hand (for he 
dared not adventure them in the face of science), 
were amazed, when they discovered his want 
of skill. One would have thought that the fol- 
lowing specimen of dedication had been a mere 
mockery and sarcasm, but for his reported love 
of the most fulsome harangues. It is prefixed 
to the " History of Oracles, and the Cheats of 
the Pagan Priests," published in 1688. 

'* Nor can the unthinking and most malicious 
of your enemies reproach your lordship with self- 
interest in any of your services, since all the world 
knows, when they were thought criminal, nay 
even punishable, (for such miserable times we 
have seen) when it was enough to have for- 
feited your fortune, and almost your life ; then, 
I say, there was found in your lordship that 
undaunted bravery, that spirit and fire of loyalty, 
that true concern for the royal cause, that 
you were the first destined victim for the 
slaughter, the first to be sacrificed to the associa- 


tion rage, even when you had nothing left you 
but honour, justice, and innocence, for your 

This character for bravery was sadly at vari- 
ance with the spectacle of Mr. Recorder on his 
knees before the parliament ; and his justice or 
innocence might have been bitterly contrasted 
with the western horrors. 

Jeffreys was considered a good judge of music ; 
and during the rivalship of those two famous or- 
gan-builders. Father Smith and Harris, he was 
one of the umpires chosen to decide on their re- 
spective merits. An organ was placed by each 
artist in the Temple church ; one at the east, the 
other at the west end : Blow and Purcell played 
for Smith, and Lully, Queen Catherine's organ- 
ist, for Harris. Then Harris challenged Smith 
to make within a given time the additional stop 
of the vox humana ; the cremona, or viol stop ; 
the double courtel, or bass flute, &c. The chal- 
lenge was accepted, and each party laboured to 
the utmost. Jeffreys decided for Smith, and 
Harris's organ was withdrawn. Smith, or 
Schmidt, was a native of Grermany; Harris came 
from France.' 

1 See Granger's Biographical History of England, by 
Noble, Vol. ii. p. 363. 


Sometime after his elevation to the chancel- 
lorship, Jeffreys bethought himself to visit his 
father ; it is to be hoped through a desire of 
seeing his parent once more, and not for the 
purpose of displaying his new glories in the 
neighbourhood of his birth, whence he had been 
so cavalierly dismissed before by the old gentle- 
man. However this may be, Mr. Jeffreys of 
Acton, conscious how odious his son's character 
had become in the nation, was so much ashamed, 
that he refused to see him. This respectable 
man survived all his sons : and Mr. Yorke speaks 
of a picture at Acton which represents the &- 
ther in mourning for his seventh and young^t, 
the canon of Canterbury. 

But it is time ths^t we should turn for a while 
• to the fortunes of Sir John Trevor, who was po 
long intimately connected with Jeffreys. He 
was also allied by blood to his patron, being a 
consin,' and like him arose from the smallest 
beginnings. A clerk to Arthur Trevor, another 
kinsman, and a lawyer in the Temple, — ^he was 
allowed to learn, as his relation said, ^* the 
knavish part of the law," in chambers. Afiter 
this he courted the society of gamesters ; and 

* Descended from Tudor Trevor, earl of Hereford. 


brought his knowledge of law to bear well with 
them, so that he was their point iTappui, when 
they had involved themselves in any gambling 
difficulties, solving their doubts, and playing 
the judge much to their satisfaction. Whether 
JeflFreys interested himself for this lawyer by 
reason of his relationship, or because he was 
resolved that the acquaintance between his wife 
and Trevor should appear reasonable, by intro* 
tiueing him as his own personal friend, we need 
not inquire (both grounds would entitle the 
young man to t favourable consideration) : it is 
certain, that a silk gown, and the mastership of 
the Rolls, on the decease of Sir John Churchill, 
were the rewards or the advantages of this 
friendship : and in July, 1688, he was swora 
of the privy-council • Henry, earl of Claren- 
don, remarks upon it thus : — " July 6, 1688. Sir 
John Trevor, master of the Rolls, Colonel Tytus, 
and Mr. Vane, Sir Henry Vane's son, were 
sworn of the privy-council. Good God bless 
us ! What will the world come to ?" 

He had certainly supplanted the chancellor, 
according to Roger North, if King James's do- 
minion had lived longer, for he never held his 
superior in much awe ; and in Cornish's case, 
he had the fearlessness to say, '' That if he 
[Jeffreys] pursued that unfortunate man to exe- 


cution, it would be no better than murder." 
Matters, truly, had gone so far in dispute be- 
tween them, as to produce mutual scoldings and 
- upbraidings at Whitehall. The effort to unseat 
his master, if true, appears to be ingratitude of 
a sufficiently black description on the part of 
Trevor ; but a writer informs us, that Jeffreys, 
most probably through jealousy of his newly- 
raised favourite, perpetually reversed his de- 
crees, and discharged his most common orders. 
Nay more, he set up officers of his own appoint- 
ment to affront the master by questioning his 
authority, and insulting him publicly on his 
seat, without learning or credit to sustain their 
objections.' Sir John boldly maintained his 
ground, and baffled the attempts which were 
made to humble him ; but it is by no means so 
clear that he would have succeeded to the seals'. 
There was more than one anxious aspirant to 
this dignity so soon as it was known tliat Jef- 
freys's attachment to the Protestant religion had 
diminished his influence at court; and but for 
the firmness of a British jury, it is probable that 
Mr. Solicitor-general Williams would have had 

■ Yet on consulting Vernon's Reports, many of Sir John 
Trevor's decrees will be found to have been eonfirmedhy the 
lord chancellor. 


them for his zealous service against the seven 

However, the good planet of Sir John Trevor 
did not set at the Revolution ; for he was chosen 
speaker of the House of Commons in 1690, 
having filled that high situation before in King 
James's parliament. He was constituted first 
commissioner of the great seal in the same year, 
and presided in Chancery till the elevation of 
Lord Somers. He met, indeed, with some re- 
verses ; which must occasionally happen to every 
** bold and dexterous man," as Burnet calls 

The mastership of the Rolls, for example, 
was given to Henry Powle on the accession of 
William ; but Trevor recovered that place in a 
few years on the demise of the master, and 
continued to dispense equity to the day of his 
death. This dignity was restored to him while 
speaker, and first commissioner in Chan- 

' Philip Yofke, in his '' Royal Tribes of Wales," tells this 
story, which he heard from Lord Hardwicke: — ^' When 
Jeffreys, who was sitting in the court of Chancery, heard the 
immense shouting for the bishops' acquittal, he was seen to 
smile, and hide his face in his nosegay. This was as good as — 
' Mr. Solicitor, I keep my seal ;' for he knew that Williams 
had been promised it, if he could get a verdict against the 


eery. But the worst difficulty he ever fell into, 
was the discovery of a bribe which he took from 
the city of London, for patronising a bill to sa- 
tisfy the orphanage debts: no master of the 
Rolls ever ran nearer a lee-shore for 1000/. 
After hearing a variety of personal reproaches 
for six hours, he was actually necessitated to 
put the question against himself; and, conform- 
ably with the sense of the House, having made 
the comfortable declaration, that " Sir John 
Trevor was guilty of corrupt bribery, by recei- 
ving, &c." he departed ; and, sending the mace, 
did not care to obtrude himself agftin as speaker. 
In a few days he was expelled, but no impeach- 
ment followed to deprive him of his legal rank, 
so that the wags cried out : " Justice is blind, 
but Bribery only squints." He squinted abomi- 
nably. And he was not troubled with any 
qualms of political integrity ; but the absence of 
these, indeed, has shown a strong digestion in 
very many of his fraternity since, and in others, 
too, as well. Burnet says, that he b^gan the 
practice of buying off men: a circumstance which 
would alone demonstrate the virtue of a national 
debt, and the righteous appropriation of loans ; 
and, being a tory himself, he was of course 
deemed the fittest to manage that party in par- 


Not to be too hard upon him, he certainly was 
a man of great acuteness who could so well 
recommend himself to every government, and 
enjoy an office which requires a singular purity 
in its administration, himself under the galling 
imputation of bribery, and the sad punishment 
of being turned out from a post of th6 highest 
worth. — ** He died at his house in Clement's- 
lane, May 20, 1717; and was buried in the 
Rolls' chapel."" 

' Collins's Peerage. Trevor was once the yictim of a re- 
partee from Tillotson, who was in general sparing of his wit. 
Soon after the archbishop's great promotion^ and Sir John's 
unlucky adventure of the 1000/., the latter meeting the church- 
man near the House of Lords, muttered loud enough to be 
overheard, *' I hate a fanatic in lawn-sleeves.*^ — ** And I 
hate a knave in any sleeves/' returned the doctor. 

The bribery spoken of was quite in keeping with his cha- 
racter. He was a decided economist. One day he dined 
alone at the Rolb, and was taking his wine/ when hid cousin^ 
Roderic Lloyd, was ushered in from a side-door. — ''You 
rascal," said Trevor to his servant, "^and you have brought 
my cousin, Roderic Lloyd, Esq., ptbthonotary of North 
Wales, marshal to Baron Price, and so forth, land so forth, 
up my back 9tair$. Take my cousin, Roderic Lloyd, Etoq. 
prothonotary of North Wales, marshal to Baron Price, 
and so forth, and so forth; take him instantly back, down my 
hack 9tdir$, and bring him up my front siairg" Roderic 
kicked against this excessive exhibition of respect, probably 
anticipating the plot ; for while he was being conveyed away 


Except in Granger^ it is difficult to say, where 
George, (Jeffreys) Eail of Flint, Viscount Weik- 

down one, and up another flight of stairs, his Honour removed 
the bottle and glass. This same Roderic was once dread- 
fully frightened in Chancery-lane. Coming home rather 
fresh from his club one night, he ran against the pump there. 
Thinking he had received a blow, he whipped out his sword, 
made a lunge, and passed it into the spout. The pump being 
somewhat crazy, fell down. Roderic concluded the worst, 
left his weapon sticking, and made off to Sir John's house in 
the Rolls under the dreadful apprehension of haying killed 
a man. There he was kept close by the servants for the re- 
mainder of the night. In the morning, a faithful valet, who 
had been sent to learn the condition of the fallen, made his 
report; and forth came the ju^ge to deliver his kinsman from 
his horrors and confinement in the coal-hole. The above 
anecdotes are from ** Yorke's Royal Tribes of Wales.'' 

There were two other judges of the same family. All 
tliree owed their immediate descent to Edward ap David, 
who died in 1448. John, of whom we have been speaking, 
had the eldest son of this Edward for his ancestor; while 
Thomas, whom we shall now introduce, was derived from 
the third (Richard), whose fifth son he was. Thomas waa 
born July 6, 1586 : he was observed to smile as somi as he 
was botn (an augury as well applicable to a. tailor as a 
judge) ; went to the Inner Temple, and became seijeant-at- 
law. Collins informs us, that he was successively judge of 
the Common Pleas and lord chief baron ; but from the au- 
thorised law reports of the period in which he lived, it ap- 
pears, that he was made a baron of the Exchequer in the 
early part of King Charles's reign ; and we find from history, 
that he continued in that station till the death of his mas- 



ham, is mentioned. The reverend biographer, 
once thought that this title was b, ** ridiculous 

ter, when, in common with five others, he refused to act under 
the new commission. He was impeached during the trou- 
bles of 1641 ; and though he escaped the vengeance which 
fell upon his contemporary Berkley, who was fairly taken 
off the bench, he was obliged to pay 10,000/. After this, 
he was, at one time, the only judge who sat upon the E^sche-. 
quer bench, when certain messengers delivered the King's 
writ to him and Judge Reve, for an adjournment of the term 
from London to Oxford : he caused the person who served 
him to be apprehended, and so did his fellow judge. One of 
these men was hanged as a spy. He married, first. Prudence, 
daughter of Henry Boteler, £sq. ; and secondly, Francesi 
daughter and heir of Daniel Blennerhasset, of Norfolk. 
By his first wife he had Thomas, who was made a baronet, 
but died without issue male, in Charles II.'s reign. The judge 
himself died December 21, 1656, aged 83 ; and was buried 
in Leamington Hastang, in Warwickshire. 

Thomas Trevor, the first Lord Trevor, and ancestor of the 
Viscounts Hampden, was nephew of Baron Trevor. His 
father was Sir John, of Trevallin, Flintshire ; and his eldest 
brother was Sir John, principal secretary of state to King 
Charles II. This gentleman studied the law with such effect^ 
that he became solicitor-general in 1602, and attorney sooi^ 
afterwards. When Treby died, he was advanced to be chief 
justice of the Conunon Pleas, and in 1711 was made a 
peer. He was a tory at this time, and so met with little 
mercy at the Hanover succession ; for he was compelled to 
quit his place in favour of Sir Peter King. 

Had the question, whether the judges were removable on 
the demise of the Crown been new, Trevor would have 


sarcasm/* till he was shown a book entitled, 
*' Dissertatio Lithologiea^ auctore Joanne Groe- 
nevelt^ Transisalano, Daventriensi, M. D. E CoL 

tried iiy 6a the principle of his being appointed during good 
behaviour ; but Holt had been alarmed on the accession of 
Queeki Anne, and had procured & new commission ; and Sir 
John Trevor, the master of the RoUd, had followed his ex- 
ample. Archer had attempted the same thing, in the reign 
of Charles II.; and so had the Chief Baron Walter, in the pre- 
ceding reign. Yet Sir Joseph Jekyll, chief justice of Chester 
at the death of Ring William, boldly set the court at defiance ; 
and though he was threatened with a prosecution, and great 
interest made for the place by Mr. Conyers, he prevailed. 
Lord Trevor had started a whig, and had been attorney some 
years before he deserted his party ; he then gradually with- 
drew himself, and signally dissented from them, by voting 
against Sir John Fenwick's attainder. However, he came 
back to them, and in 1726 was made lord privy seal, one 
of the lords justices in 1727, and president of the council in 
1730. ** He was," says Onslow, ^* the only man almost 
that I ever knew, who changed his party as he had done, 
that preserved so general an esteem with all parties as he 
did.'^ We learn from the same authority, that he loved being 
ki court, but was very awkward there, having been a most 
'' reserved, grave, and austere judge.'' Vet the speaker 
gives him a character for ability and uprightne^ as chief 
justice ; and adds, that he had found him sufficiently com- 
municative in conversation. Holt was accustomed to ** dis^ 
parage his law.'' He died, aged 71, June 19, 17d0. He 
was a fellow of the Royal Society, and a governor of the 
Charter-house. He was twice married. Three of his sons 
became successively Lords Trevor ; and another was made 

jupa£ JSFFHfiYS. 333 

Med. Lond. Editio secunda. Loudini, 1687| 
8vo." It had this dedication : — '' Honoratissimo 
domino, D.Gfeorgio, Comiti Flintensi, Vicecomiti 
de Weikham, baroni de Weim> supremo An* 
glise cancellario, et serenissimo Jacobo Secundo, 
Regi Angliae, a secretioribus consiliis."' 

But let him that thinketh he standeth take 
heed lest he fall." Just at the moment when our 
chancellor's prosperity seemed to have attained 

Biflhop of Bt. Dayid'Sy and translated to Durham. The el- 
dest ion by the SQCood wife> who also inherited the barony of 
Trevor, was the first Viscount Hampden. 

* There would be no room for astonishment on finding that 
King James had gratified his minister with an earldom ; but 
why was the advanced rank abandoned by his son ? The 
creation could hardly have been made for life only : possibly 
it might have been fully intended, but never executied ; ox, 
which is most probable, the patent might never have been 
sued out (Nichols says it never was), and the young lord was 
clearly in a bad condition to ask for aggrandisement. A 
correspondent in the Gentleman's Magazine seems to treat 
the promotion altogether as a fiction ; and, referring to the pic- 
ture by Sir Qpdfrey Kq^jiler, which represents the judge in 
his baron's robe^, asks, if the painter would have drawn him 
twice ? But though the portrait by Sir Godfrey was executed 
in 1687, why should not the tiUe have been granted later in 
that year, and the dedication by Groenevelt made in an- 
ticipation of it? Here is a book which bears the intended 
honour upon the face <rf it, and a print to confirm its au- 


an eminence, which men might look up to with 
wonder, thefe was a danger at hand, of that 
fatal description which ever awaits such as 
stand too confidently upon their imagined influ- 
ence. We have come to the month of Decem- 
ber, 1687 ; and although it was not mentioned 
in due course, it is sufficient for us to allude to 
the well-known historical fact of Lord Castle- 
maine going ambassador to Pope Innocent, 
some two or three years before. With the op- 
portune fits of coughing which afflicted bis 
Holiness as soon as business was mentioned, 
with the strict requisitions of ceremonials which 
troubled the diplomatist, hi^ failure in the main 
object of his mission, and the doubts thrown 
upon Welwood s narrative, by such as have 
said that the pope never coughed at all, we have 
no concern ; our object being to reveal the com- 
bustibles in this mine which was to be sprung. 
In the midst of this it is to be observed, that 
Castlemaine's journey to Rome was high-trea- 
son ; and that Jeffreys was alarmed at it beyond 
measure, it being his duty, as a cabinet minister, 
to entertain an opinion upon the subject, to ad- 
vise the King, and be ready to answer for the 
consequences. His lukewarmness was detected 
by the sharp-sighted priests with a facility 
very natural to them ; and they followed up this 


imputation against him throughout the reign. 
Father Petre, Sunderland's tool and vehicle, had 
moreover discovered, that in the proceedings 
against Magdalen College, a moderation, quite 
obnoxious to the papists, had been recommended 
by the chancellor to his sovereign. Now the 
received maxim was, that " all court merit con- 
sisted in promoting the Catholic cause," and 
the King was well-pleased with the application 
of it. Jeffreys would not promote the cause, 
therefore Jeffreys must be sacrificed. The 
matter stood thus: Tyrconnel, deputy of Ire- 
land, was fearful he should be obliged to yield 
his place to my Lord Castlemaine ; Petre was 
his friend, and at this father's hands, he asked 
for assistance and continuance in his office. 
Castlemaine viras attached to the pope, and had 
a promise of great interference from him, which 
went so far, through the nuncio, as to gain over 
the monarch in his favour. If the Lords Powis, 
Bellasis, and Dover, then lords of the Treasury, 
could be made lords commissioners of the great 
seal,' Castlemaine might be lord treasurer, 

' Horace Walpole tells us, in his Catalogue of Royal and 
Noble Authors, of a report, that Jeffreys was nearly super- 
seded by the Eaxl of Anglesey, in 1686 ; but adds, he could 
hardly suppose that the minister would be so easily unseated. 
The event was nearer at hand in 1687. 


and 80 Tyrconnel remiun in Ireland, both lord- 
ing it over the "dirty roads of power." The 
Protestant keeper of the seals was thus in a 
fair way of returning the purse and mace ; for« 
on the 17th of December, it was resolved in the 
cabinet, that this alteration was feasible, and 
should be made. However, just at the time 
there broke out a quarrel between the French 
King and the Pope : Tyrconnel, Petre, and Jef- 
freys, were of the French faction ; and Castle- 
maine followed his Holiness. Father Petre, now 
able to save Tyrconnel, dared not alter the ba- 
lance of the court by introducing Lord Castle- 
maine ; and so Jeffreys profited by the turn of 
luck, and was thoroughly re-established." 

As far as appearances went, the chancellor 
showed the most manifest eagerness to deserve 
his continued favour, though it may be shrewdly 
wspected (and the moineatous case of the seven 
bishops^ affords a remarkable example of this,) 
that he never persecuted the establishment but 

* OldMxon says, that his restoration was effected by Sun* 
derland and the Queen. 

* William Sancroft, archbishop of Canterbury; William 
Lloyd, bishop of St. Asaph ; Francis Turner, bishop of Ely ; 
Thomas Kenn, buhop of Bath and Wells; John Lake, 
bishop of Chichester; Thomas White, bishop of Peter- 
borough ; Sir Jonathan Trelawney, bishop of Bristol. 


with an aching and disapproving heart. Indeed, 
at that trying crisis, he was actually in great 
trouble, and spoke freely of the apprehensions 
he entertained that their public trial would be of 
ill consequence to the King. ** It will be found," 
said he, '* that I have done the part of an ho- 
nest man ; as for the judges, they are most of 
them rogues." And at another time he said, 
that the King had once resolved to let the busi- 
ness fall, but that some people would hurry 
him to his destruction. And after the trial he 
declared, that the King himself was vexed at 
it; that he was in a milder temper ; and, "now," 
said he, " honest men, both lords and others, 
(though the King have used them hardly,) should 
appear often at court : I am sure it would do good." 
All this smoothness, however, was behind the 
curtain : we give his public conduct beneath. 

The bishops, after having incensed the monarch 
by their famous petition, (when he declared, 
as he did oftentimes afterwards, that be would 
be obeyed,) were summoned before the privy 
council, where the great examinant and interro- 
gator was present. The point was soon arrived 
at. ** Do you own the petition ?" said Jef- 
freys. It is to be noticed, that hitherto no 
evidence of libel had been acquired on the part 
of the crown ; these dignified persons must, there- 



fore, be coDdemned by their own admissions, 
drawn warily forth by the wily judge. But not 
so easily: they evaded at first; and at length, 
out of mere shame at the fear of acknowled- 
ging their own, the archbishop said that he wrote 
it, the bishops that they had signed and de* 
livered it. But this was only half the campaign. 
" Did you publish it ?" continued the chan- 
cellor. This they flatly denied ; they had no 
knowledge of the publication. Then a lecture 
was commenced upon the wickedness of their 
disobedience ; the disturbance of the general 
peace ; and many menaces were interspersed to 
alarm the bishops for their safety. Finding 
that he was wasting his breath, Jeffreys de- 
manded their recognizance to appear before the 
Court of King's Bench, and answer the high 
misdemeanour. Upon this, they insisted on the 
privilege of their peerage, which rather terrified 
the council, the rights of nobility being serious 
stumbling-blocks to all innovators ; but the lord 
chancellor soon relieved these apprehensions by 
threatening to commit the defendants to the 
Tower, as public delinquents. They were ready 
to go, they answered, whithersoever His Ma- 
jesty was pleased to send them. They hoped 
the King of Kings would be their Protector and 
their Judge. They feared nothing from men ; 


and having acted according to law and their 
consciences, no punishment should ever be able 
to shake their resolutions. This being felt as a 
struggle for victory on one side or the other, a 
warrant was drawn and signed by Jeffreys, and 
handed round to the board, who all subscribed, 
save Petre, and he was exempted by the royal 
order.' The acquittal of these great men is 
familiar to every school-boy ; but the difficulty 
of proving the publication of the libel is not so 
well known. It is one thing to write a libel ; 
another to make it public : it is again one thing 
to publish a libel, another to obtain evidence of 
that publication according to the forms of justice. 
In the bishops' case it became necessary to 
show a publication in Middlesex. It was proved 
that they had owned the writing of the petition ; 
but their open tender of it was by delivering it 
into the King's hands. And here was the de- 
fect. One witness said, that he did not remem- 
ber what the bishops owned respecting the de- 
livery ; another halted upon his opinion ; and a 
third thought that they had confessed the pub- 
lication to the lord chancellor, of which opi- 
nions and conjectures not a tittle was good 

I Kennet and Echard declare, that some of the judges de- 
clmed to sign it. The account we have given is according to 
Burnet and Ralph. 


testimony, while great shouts were set up 
in the hall. *^ Here's wonderful rejoicing that 
truth cannot prevail !" cries Mr. Solicitor. At 
length, after prodigious pauses, came my lord 
president of the council, * and he declared, that 
the bishops had told him on the day in question, 
that they were about to deliver a petition to the 
King, and that they offered him the paper ; and 
he added, that they tiien went into the King's 
chamber. Upon this the court said, that after 
such proof, it lay upon the bishops to show that 
the paper so supposed to be delivered was not 
that charged in the information. The whole matter 
was subsequently left to the consideration of 
the jury ; who, much to the mortification of Sir 
William Williams,^ then hungering for the great 
seal, pronounced the defendants not guilty, ha- 
ving sat up all night without fire or candle. 

And now we come to a very royal scene, at 
which the chancellor was present in his official 
capacity, and in a very advanced post. This was 
the birth of the Pretender, otherwise called King 
James III. On the day of the bishops' com- 
mittal, the Queen intimated her intention of re- 
moving from Whitehall to St. James's, for the 
purpose of lying-in, and the next morning was 
the first of the Chevalier's existence. 

The entrie was not quite so indiscriminate as 

> Sunderland. ^ Solicitor-General. 


at the French ceremonial/ but there were men 
in the room sufficient to distress a woman in 
that situation, whether delicate or robust. At 
eight o'clock His Majesty was sent for, and on 
his arrival, he summoned the Queen dowager 
and all the council. 
The satirist describes the grandees thus : 

Then comes great George of Englaud, chanceUour, 
Who was with expedition call'd to th' labour : 

' Madame Campan gives a lively description of the motley 
assembly at an accouchement of Marie Antoinette. All the 
royal family, princes of the blood, and great officers of state, 
passed the night in a neighbouring chamber; but on the 
instant of the midwife's exclamation, ** La Reine va s*ac- 
coucher/' the etiquette of general admission was so literally 
observed, tiiat had it not been for some tapestry- screens, 
corded, by the King's foresight, near Her Miyesty's bed, the 
torrent of persons would have fallen upon her. Two Sa- 
voyards mounted the furniture, that they might have a full 
view of their mistress. In fact, it was like a place of public 
amusement. At length, the Queen fiainted from disappoint- 
ment, the softer sex of the infant being discovered to her, and 
the accoucheur bawled out for air and warm water, and for 
the chief surgeon to bleed her in the foot. The joy on her re- 
vival was so great, that the utmost confusion followed ; and 
the valet8-de>chambre took the opportunity of removing divers 
persons from the room by the collar. This was the last of 
the legitimately indiscriminate etiquettes. ^ 


Lord P— ^ent' comes next, thai*8 now cashier'd ; 

Then A del* of W — dour, privy seal ; 

Then comes my lord' All pride with modesty ; 

with a great many more, some of whom were 
not of the council, besides many ladies of 

'* The feet curtains of the bed, and the two 
sides were open." The Queen was in great 
pain, and the King called for Jeffreys, who 
" came up to the bedside to show he was there," 
upon which the rest of the privy counsellors did 
the same. 

Her Majesty was exceedingly annoyed at 
this, for all the nobles were close to the bed, 
and the chancellor upon the step. She begged 
her consort to hide her face with his head and 
periwig, for she declared " she could not be 
brought to bed and have so many men look on 
her."* However, the affair then took place, 
the child was taken into an adjoining chamber, 
followed by the council, who having been ad- 
vised in dumb show by the midwife's sign, that 
it was a son, retreated. 

A writer of the last century, no doubt a vio- 

* Sunderland. 

* Lord Arundel of Wardour. 

' Earl of Mulgrave. State Poems, vol. 3. p. 268. 

* See Appendix to Sir John Dalrymple, part 1. p. 308. 


lent whig» who thought no reproach too bitter, 
and no imputation too severe, declares, that 
however ill qualified he might have been for 
his high office, Jeffreys well understood the 
value of it. Very anxious to attain riches and 
an estate, he is charged with selling places at a 
rate the most extravagant, so that art and dex- 
terity were called very considerably in aid to 
gain purchasers. To promote the traffic, which 
his demands had rendered difficult, he enlarged 
the perquisites ; and while he was disposing of 
a situation at five times the usual price, his 
courtesy and kindness were dispensed with un- 
usual liberality. Although there is such a be- 
labouring in the pamphlet, as must inevitably 
remind us of the ass who kicked the dead lion, 
it must be owned, that the acquisition of fortune 
was a very main object with this nobleman ; 
though, where the author attributes his exactions 
to avarice, we should lay them to the pressing 
necessities which must have so closely waited 
on his careless habits and lavish expenditure. 

A circumstance occurred while he filled the 
equity bench, which amply proves the calumny 
of satirists, and the prejudices of a multitude 
There was a cause before him, which involved a 
large sum of money to be paid, as his lordship's 
judgment might be given, to Lord Pembroke's 

344 M£M01RS OF 

creditors^ or to his heiress. The opinion of the 
court was against the creditors, and John Jef- 
freys, the chancellor's son, was married to the 
lady very speedily after the decree, " Loud 
and deep reflections were made upon the judge's 
honesty and honour/' says the martyrologist, 
and the greedy ear of slander could have been 
scarce ever satiated with such a goodly tale : 

Old Tyburn must groan ; 
For JeflFrejs is known > 
To have perjur'd his conscience to marry his son : 

says the Pindar of the day ; but the outcry was 
quite unfair, the decree being founded on the 
most equitable and approved principles, sanc- 
tioned by cases, and by several judges in open 
court.' Nay, which is more, an appeal was 

' Lord Pembroke, on his marriage, demised lands to 
trustees for ninety-nine years, who redemised them to him for 
ninety-eight years and eleven months, he agreeing that a 
peppercorn should be paid during his life ; after his death, a 
jointure for his wife*s life ; and at her death, a peppercorn for 
the rest of the term. This term, being raised for a particular 
purpose, was holden not liable to any debts which would not 
affect the inheritance, as bond debts, &c. and, therefore, not 
capable of being charged with simple contract debts. And 
this was determined by the lord chancellor. Sir John Trevor, 
M. R. Mr. Justice Luitwich, and Mr. Baron Powell, and 


brought after the Revolution, and heard before 
the lords commissioners ;' when " every thing/' 
says the author of the " Life and Character," 
^* was heard greedily that tended to impeach 
the chancellor's integrity/' and all the influence 
of the Pembroke family was used against the 
judgment ; but it stood its ground, being sus- 
tained by the force of just principle, and. the 
authority of precedents. The appeal was car- 
ried still farther, even unto the last tribunal, the 
House of Lords, but shared the same fate, for 
that high assembly did not think fit to reverse 
it. Nevertheless, no acuteness was wanting to 
make the bargain sure, for the lady being a 
Roman catholic, the marriage was solemnized 
two ways ; first by a priest, and next by a di- 
vine of the establishment. 

Mr. Justice Thomas Powel was known to be of the same 
opinion. After the second hearing, the decree was, to pay 
all the bond creditors of Lord Pembroke with the proceeds 
of the sale of these terms, and to vp^j the goods, &c. to the 
liquidation of 8ii]^>le contract debts, not barred by the statute 
of limitations. . The bond debts were 9000/. the book debts 
and debts by simple contract 18,200/. The independent 
personal estate was 6000/. but the terms in question wens 
granted, to secure 1800/. a year. — See Vernon*s Reports, in 
8yo. Vol. 2. part 1. pp. 52 and 213. 
* Sir John Trevor, Mr. Keck, Serjeant Rawlinson. 


It may be stated, without fear of contradic^^ 
tion, that this was not the only appeal against 
a judgment of Jeffreys, which failed of success 
upon consideration, nor was it a solitary case 
upon which he might have arrived at a just con- 
clusion, through the interest which he possessed 
in its result : for though many of his decisions, 
after the Revolution more particularly, came a 
second time to be canvassed, they had so strongly 
the virtue of good law to uphold them, that few, 
if any, were overturned ; and if we consult the 
able annotator of Vernon,' it seems, that most of 
those determinations would be admitted as autho- 
rities at this day, except the state of equity 
practice were inconsistent with them. 

The perception of the chancellor was espe- 
cially vivid, and his opinion moulded in an in- 
stant: if succeeding lawyers, then, have ac- 
knowledged the ability of his impressions, and 
courts of review the righteousness of his judg- 
ments, we need no* more evidence to prove that 
he was an admirable judge of equity. Nor is 
this commendation a mere result of our opinion ; 
for, were it so, it would be expressed with much 
more modesty; it is the unanimous testimony 
of judges and lawyers, at least of such as lived 

' The late Mr. Raithby. 


sufficiently distant from his day to be free from 

Burnet declares, that '* he was not learned in 
his profession;" but Speaker Onslow says, on 
the contrary, " I have heard Sir Joseph Jekyll* 
say otherwise." The Speaker goes on: — "He 
had likewise great parts^ and made a great chan* 
cellor in the business of that court* In more 
private matters he was thought an able and up- 
right judge wherever he sat; but where the 
crown or his party were concerned, he was as 
he is here represented,* generally at least."' 
'* He was a very ill chancellor," says an author, 
who must have had a Chancery-suit decided 
against him by the judge; since he commits 
every kind of malediction upon the memory of 
that considerable person. It is next to impos- 
sible that an unskilful jurist should have been 
able to unite so much accuracy with so great a 

' Master of the Rolls. 

^ That is, by Burnet, as very violent. 

^ In the great case of the attorney-general against Vernon, 
a patent of lands granted by the crown was set aside, as ob- 
tained for a very inadequate consideration, and under colour- 
able proposals. The lord chief justice Jones, and the lord 
chief baron Montague, men of acknowledged integrity, 
assisted the chancellor in the inquiry, and gave their judg- 
ments in accordance with his. 


share of quickness. — Semper ad eventum festi* 
nat, might have been well said of him. There 
was, moreover, a sense of justice in his proposi- 
tions so striking, as almost to induce a wish 
that he had lived in these days to contribute 
lu8 share of improvement to that fund of alte- 
ration which has been so ably collected by the 
Chancery commissioners.' Almost as soon as 
be mounted the bench, he awarded a defendant 
such costs as he should swear he was out of 
pocket on the plaintiff dismissing his own bill, 
instead of the customary but inadequate allow- 
ance of twenty shillings. — " t will do all I can," 

' We give an instance of his zeal for just improvement. 
People acquainted with the affairs of Chancery, aie aware 
that there is some considerable difficulty in drawing up the 
minutes of the judge's decree ; that such minutes are liable 
to be varied ; and that no settled time is fixed for applications 
for that purpose, whereby delay and vexation are created. 
Jefireysy in 1687, observing the evil which was prevalent then 
also, promulged an order, by which the suitors were bidden 
to pay strict attention to the reading of his judgments* in 
order that the officers of the court might not be complained 
of in future for mistakes ; and he ordained, that no petition 
or motion should be entertained on the subject, unless it were 
thought right to alter the decree. And not many yean 
afterwards, the time for objecting to the decree was fixed ; 
but this good economy of business hours seems of late to 
have been much neglected. 


said he, on another occasion, '' to help an heir 
that is disinherited." And he sternly resisted 
the vice of gambling. Sir Basil Firebrass, a 
citizen, had lost three thousand four hundred 
and fifty guineas at play with one Brett, at the 
same sitting; but being satisfied that he had 
been cheated, he and his servant retook two 
thousand guineas from the winner by force. 
The successful gamester brought an action of 
trespass, and Sir Basil went into Chancery to 
stop him, and to have the residue of the losings^ 
being one thousand four hundred and fifty gui- 
neas more. He declared in his bill, that a chain 
of fraud had been used to inveigle him ; that the 
defendant Brett had mixed his own wine with 
water, while he plied his antagonist, the unlucky 
plaintiff in Chancery, most abundantly; that 
Mr. Brett had not above ten guineas in his 
pocket to begin the contest ; and, in fact, that 
he, the plaintiff, was quite unconscious of his 
own actions. Jeffreys said, that, as fiar as he 
was able, he would discourage such extravagant 
gaming ; that the sum of money lost was enor* 
mous for persons of their rank ; and that the lord 
chief justice Hale had checked a horse*race 
wager, by threatening to allow the defendant, 
the loser, to put off the cause from time to time.' 

1 By perpetual imparlances. 


This alarmed Brett ; and he agreed to a com- 
promise, swearing that he took but eight hun- 
dred and sixteen guineas away with him. So 
it was arranged, that each party should keep the 
money he had got, and give general releases of 
all actions, suits, and demands. 

It is no small testimony to the legal acumen 
of this judge, that he was considered to be the 
writer of Vernon's Reports, authorities which 
have ever borne a very high estimation ; but it 
is said, that his unpopularity was so overwhelm* 
. ing, as to exclude all hopes of their being justly 
appreciated, if his then obnoxious name had 
appeared as the author. So sadly true is it, that 
a man's slippery character or uncourteous de- 
meanour will mar the deepest knowledge and 
the finest talents. 

The year 1688 was now passing away, but 
great events were in store for the people of Eng- 
land before its close. The acquittal of the bishops 
had served to show the independence of the 
country, and their prosecution the obstinacy of 
James. Finding that his obdurate resolution of 
forcing a religion upon his subjects was not to 
be shaken, the public looked earnestly for a de- 
liverer, and the Prince of Orange soon planned 
his wonderfully successful expedition to en- 
sure their wishes. But the Sovereign was not 


without a counsellor of ability : Jeffreys, who 
had secretly striven most anxiously to moderate 
the royal temper, now urged the calling of a 
parliament, and penned a declaration to allay 
all jealousies before the meeting. The King 
was really struck, but his good feeling did 
not last. 

On the 22d of September, Lord Clarendon 
met the chancellor at the levee, and heard that 
the declaration had been altered at the privy- 
council board; that the Lord Godolphin had 
*^ broke loose from him, and endeavoured to 
trim in the new wording some clauses ;" but that 
King James had sent for the archbishop of Can- 
J;erbury, and some of his old friends, to confer 
upon the posture of affairs. In less than a week 
the chancellor was in despair ; some rogues, as 
he expressed himself, had changed the King's 
mind, who would not yield a point to the 
bishops : the Virgin Mary was to do all : so that 
the day was lost. 

There was a great fluctuation, notwithstand- 
ing, in the royal chambers, as two parties were 
very earnestly contending for the balance ; the 
priests on the one side, the bishops on the 
other. The monarch would not act decisively : 
he issued a general pardon, but he put off the 
parliament. And now it fell to the lot of the 


poor crest-fallen chancellor to go within the 
city gates again, and in most humble mood to 
yield up the spoils of his triumph. It was re- 
solved at court, that the charter should be re- 
stored : yet it is fair to assert, that he was the 
adviser of that honest proceeding ; and why may 
we not conclude, that, for the evil he had done, 
he was now seeking the most effectual atone- 
ment, though he might value himself upon his 
influence over the royal mind? It was with 
great satisfaction that he told the Earl of Cla- 
rendon on the 2d of October, how several of 
the old aldermen were to be carried to court 
on that evening, and to be presented by their 
old recorder ; indeed, he did not doubt but that 
he should bring more good things to pass. 

The magistrates came ; they received a pro- 
mise that their charter should be returned, and 
tiie corporation placed in the same situation as 
when the depriving judgment was given. When 
we hear, then, that the King commanded his 
chancellor to yield up the city writings in his 
own person, we must give the penitent minister 
credit for his good counsel, while we attribute 
the humility which accompanied the restoration 
to his just apprehensions. 

James, indeed, who knew that the bishops 
were on the point of importuning him for this 



act of justice^ professed to make a great merit 
of his concession. He told the mayor and alder- 
men, that he was mightily concerned for the 
welfare of their body ; and that at a time when 
invasion menaced the kingdom, his gracious 
boon was a mark of the confidence he enter- 
tained of their loyalty. Accordingly, on the 
day following this courtly reception, Jeffreys 
proceeded to the Guildhall, in great pomp, and 
delivered the instrument which put the cor- 
poration in possession of their privileges : long 
and loud were the acclamations which wel- 
comed the deed; though the author was saluted 
with a reception which his gorgeous entry had 
been calculated to evade. " The sight of the 
man," says Dalrymple, ' " took away the merit 
of the concession." He had witnessed, in fact, 
an earnest of that strong feeling which the po- 
pulace held against him, which they were ready 
to let loose upon him at the earliest moment 
of impunity. He met with treatment as severe 
as could then be shown him ; conduct, which, 
while it evinced a sense of his former tyranny, 
no less revealed a ripening contempt for the 

' Dalrymple declares, that Sunderland prompted these 
measures of grace. They were all cowards together, except 
the monarch, vrho, whatever might have heen his devoted 
bigotry, can never be suspected of personal fear. 

354 MEMOi us OF 

weak. government. Trebywas made recorder ; 
and Sir John Shorter^ a churchman^ lord mayor 
in the room of Eyles, 'who was an anabaptist. 
A simultaneous retribution was ordered in fa- 
vour of other corporations about the same time. 

The fall of the great minister may be dated 
from this time : he seems, indeed, to have been 
very sensible of his approaching fate, and, in the 
recent city transactions, he appeared far less 
florid or frolicsome than he was wont to be ; 
which, for him, was considered a very bad 
omen. Soon after this a petition was proposed 
by some of the bishops, and other lords : it 
was to implore the King, that he would save 
the 'shedding of blood, as the Prince of Orange 
had landed. Lord Halifax was asked to sign 
it; but he inquired of Lord Clarendon, whether 
it was fit that the chancellor's name should be 
put to it : that noble earl answered, that, 
whether Jeffreys signed or not, it was no con- 
cern to him, he should not decline on that ac* 
count to become a party to it. — " Then," said 
JLord Halifax, " I will not join with any who 
have sat in the ecclesiastical commission." 

The last official act, which fell to the chan- 
cellor's lot, was the calling of a parliaments 
This was agreed on, in the King's dinner^room, 
towards the close of November, and the writs 


were issued on the next day. Lord Clarendon 
spoke with great freedom at the meeting of the 
council, where this was determined, laying open 
the principal miscarriages which had embroiled 
the kingdom ; but the King was displeased at 
his candour. The earl called soon afterwards 
upon Jeffreys at his chamber in Whitehall, 
when he was made acquainted with the royal 
displeasure ; but the chancellor added, that he 
hoped, now the writs were out. His Majesty 
would be reconciled to his old friends. 

The alarm, however, had become general, 
every one was shifting for himself; and after 
this all was confusion, till the assembling of the 
convention parliament, and the accession of 



Flight of James II ^"fhe lord chanceUor is ill spoken of by the 

Ibgitive monarch— The great seal is consigned (o the Thames, 
and is found by a fisherman— Jeffreys conceals himself on board 
a collier — A scrivener, whom the chancellor bad browbeat at a 
former time, discovers the fallen judge — He is seized and 
carried before Sir John Chapman, lord mayor — He is sent to the 
Tower, on a charge of treason— Petition of the widows and 
orphans in the west of England afpiinst him — Four questioBs 
propodnded by the peers to the ex-cbanccUor — Death of 
JeiBreys — Causes of his demise— His place of sepulture — 
Aneodotesr-Curious writings in vituperation of the fallen 
chancellor at the time of his imprisonment — His good and ill 
qualities—His splendid talents — Attainder of Jeffreys and his 
heirs attempted — His landed possessions — His portrait by Sir 
Godfrey Kneller — Some account of his son, John, Lord Jef- 
freys — FahU supposed to have been written by him— He 
espouses a daughter of the earl of Pembroke — Conclusion. 

It was now no secret, that sauve gui peut was 
the ruling principle that prevailed at court. In- 
deed, it was in operation every where, save in 
the camp of the invader. 

James, who held the Roman faith dearer than 
his dominions, hastened to escape from the land 
of protestantism, and to exchange his forlorn 


State for the splendid asylum which his brother 
of France had proffered. Yet, deserted by his 
children and friends, abandoned by the nobles, 
and disliked by the multitude, he had not ex- 
perienced these reverses, till he had himself for- 
gotten the remembrance of past services. When 
Duke of York, he had a solicitor who advanced 
his interests, and counselled him in the hour of 
necessity : when he mounted the throne, he had 
the same man for a chief justice, Mibo put down 
rebellion by his order, though at the expense 
of deep popular odium; and when the seals 
were to be disposed of, there was still the same 
judge for his minister, whose advice, if followed, 
would have ensured the sceptre to his posterity. 
Jeffreys was not remembered in the day of dan- 
ger ; for when the monarch left his throne, he 
also left a faithfal, and to the crowd an ob- 
noxious chancellor. But that the King's un- 
doubted courage is of universal acknowledg- 
ment, it might be that personal anxiety would 
be offered in excuse for such conduct; yet, 
even then, time enough had elapsed in which 
the minister might have been warned of his fate, 
and assured of a safe shelter. No such inten- 
tion was held at court ; for there it seemed to have 
been well understood that a victim was to be 


sacrificed, and that the unfortunate Jeffneys was 
marked for the atoning scape-goat. When 
James was seized at Feversham, he acted most 
consistently with this policy. . He called for his 
landlord, and asked his name.. . On inquiry, this 
man turned out to be one who had been fined 
at the chancellor's instance. Finding this, the 
crafty prince bade the host draw a discharge as 
effectually as he chose ; and he then signed it 
with this jj^uitical address : /' I am sensible 
that my lorn chancellor hath been a very ill 
man, and hath done very ill things." That 
nobleman was in the Tower when this hap- 
pened ; so that he was not only betrayed, but 
even reproached by his master for services, in 
the execution of which he had been too com- 

The royal fugitive departed from Whitehall 
on the 11th of December; and it is remark- 
able, that he gave Father Petre and Lord Mell- 
fort notice of his flight, leaving his keeper of the 
seals to share those miseries of which he had 
in part been the instrument. Yet there was, 
in truth, no keeper of his conscience at this time ; 
for the great seal had been takeji from Jeffreys 
some days before ; and far from appointing an- 
other, the monarch ordered that the insignia 


should be thrown into the river :* they were 
discovered by a fisherman, and brought to Lon- 
don : which gives Sir John Dalrymple occasion 
to observe, that *' Heaven seemed by this acci- 
dent to declare, that the laws, the constitution,' 
and the sovereignty of Britain, were not to de- 
pend upon the fmilty of man." Had Sir John 
witnessed our unprejudiced days, he might have 
heard of a great seal being defaced, and a new 
one made, without the least apprehension for 
our great charters. During the short interval 
which passed between the escape of James and 
his capture, the populace took their opportu- 
nity, and rose, as all mobs do, for the sake of 
plunder and pillage.* Their fury was mainly 
bent against the papists : they committed every 
feasible outrage on the priests, whom they held 
in abomination ; and '' they rifled the houses of 
several popish ambassadors." 

Indeed, the King owed his arrest to the ha- 
tred which prevailed against these Romish con- 
fessors; for some fishermen had been out "priest- 
codding," as they called it, that is, endeavouring 
to intercept the flying clergy, and so got sight 

■ Reresby says, that Jeffreys took the broad seal along 
with him. 

* Order was given by the lords at Whitehall to lire on 
them with bullet, in case of necessity. 


of His Majesty, while the ballast was getting 
ready for his bark. 

And there was one other person whose face 
the mob most earnestly desired to see : they had 
a most awful longing for the great terrorist, and 
used every exertion to get the late chancellor into 
their power. Need the reader be told, that of all 
men he was at this time the most execrated ? that 
of stories the most absurd concerning him, there 
was not one which would not have met the * 
greediest credit? that he was, in a word, the 
very same devil whom they burnt in effigy in 
the reign of Charles II. V 

Equally clear it is, that the persecuted noble- 
man was fully conscious of the mercy he should 
experience from such a multitude; that he 
knew well the justice of hanging him first, and 
examining his conduct afterwards, or, perhaps, 
not considering it at all ; and that Whitehall was 
of all places the least safe for one so notorious. 

^ The following is an admirable specimen of mob cow- 
ardice : — 

Now may you bear the i)eople as they scoure 
Along, not fear to damn the chancellor : 
Then women too, and all the tender crew. 
That us'd to pity all, now laugh at you. 
The very boys, how they do grin and prate. 
And giggle at the bills upon your gate ! 


And) indeed^ the public feeling was high ia 
favour of James for leaving such a signal victim to 
the general fury : for the duke of Buckingham 
relates, that this act was held to be generous, 
and that the King was for ever compassionating 
his subjects who had died in the west. However, 
the duke freely says, that this " mysterious abs- 
conding" cost the minister his life. 

The crowd had but a slender hope of laying 
their hands upon this principal malefactor, as he 
was reputed; for perceiving how the tide had 
turned, he left his lodging, and hid himself at a 
little house at Wapping, whence he might escape 
beyond sea ; upon which it was very naturally 
rumoured, that he had gone with the King. 

And now " George Jeffreys, who boasted his 
face was of brass," was compelled to clothe him- 
self in the best disguise that he could. He was 
not merely running from the mob, though that 
had been wise enough ; but from the Prince of 
Orange, and the lords of the council : he had an 
equal dread of all the factions. When a cour- 
tier asked him, soon after his expedition to the 
city, what the heads of the Prince's declara- 
tion were, he answered, " He was sure his was 
one, whatever the rest were." 

The person now marked out for destruction 
was rather above the middling stature ; his 


complexion incNning to fair, and of a comely 
appearance. His face showed briskness, but 
mixed with an air which might breed a suspi- 
cion of some little lurking malice and unplea- 
santness. He had a piercing eye, and a brow 
most commanding ; in the management of which 
he showed a great accomplishment, whether 
it pleased him to terrify or to conciliate. Some 
say, that he was bloated by intemperance; 
and if so, he required a most wary conceal- 
ment,' and a faithful guide upon an emergency 
like the present. However, he had the sense to 
cut off his fierce eyebrows, and to wrap himself 
in the garb of a sailor, or a collier : as the poet 
sings concerning him ; — 

He took a collier's coat to sea to go : 
Was ever chancellour arrayed so ? 

and again : — 

i ) 

Jeffreys was prepared for sailing, 
Iq las long tarpaulin gown.' 

His plan was to go to Hamburgh by a coal- 
barge, which pretended to be bound for New- 
castle, spies being ordered at all the ports by 
Admiral Herbert. However, the mate of this 

■ James, in his Memoirs, merely says, that my lord chan- 
cellor was seized in the confusion, and being committed to 
the Tower, died soon afterwards. 


vessel was a man of treachery, and gave^ pri- 
vate information of his retreat: upon which 
some people applied to a magistrate for a war- 
rant» which the justice refused. Bafiied in this, 
they went to the council-board, and told their 
story to the lords, who forthwith gave them the 
authority they desired. Off they went to search 
the collier ; but Jeffreys had some doubt of his 
security there, and on that night he thought 
proper to lie in another .ship which was near 

at hand, by which means he escaped the execu- 
tion of the warrant for a few hours: yet he 
had the extreme indiscretion to make his ap- 
pearance the next morning at a little ale-house, 
with the sign of the Red Cow, in Anchor and 
Hope Alley, near King Edward's Stairs, and 
there he had a pot of ale. He was in his sail- 
ing accoutrements, with a seaman's cap on ; and 
he put his head through the window to look out. 
Most unhappily, there passed by at that instant 
the same miserable scrivener who had been so 
struck with his face when he came to be re- 
lieved from the " Bummery" bond. — " I shall 
never forget the terrors of that man's face while 
I live," said he, at that time, to his friend, and 
now he started at the ominous recollection. 
This scrivener, and the clerk in Chancery men- 
tioned by Kennet, may be fairly considered 


the 6ame person. Nichols tells us, that the 
attorney came in to look for a client ; and Ken- 
net, that the clerk caught the peeping chancel- 
lor at the window. Most probably, havings 
noticed the remarkable visage, Mr. Trimmer ' 
came in, under pretence of business, that he 
might satisfy himself. Jeffreys seems to have 
known the scared lawyer as well ; for he feign- 
ed a cough, and turned to the wall with his 
beer in his hand. But, alas for the poor ex- 
chancellor ! his hour was come ; the inexorable 
trimmer proclaimed him aloud, and the rabble 
burst in upon him. The occasion of this sad 
disaster is said to be, that he waited too long for 
the tide.* That the discovery was not instantly 
crowned with murder ; in effect, that the fugi- 
tive was not tofn in pieces, limb by limb, — ^must 

* This was the name which made Jefireys call for him in 
open court, and express the desire he had to see a trimmer, 
which frightened him so seriously. 

^ There' is still another account in the London Courant : 
that Mr. Gaunt, whose wife was executed for high-treason, 
two or three years before, caused the judge to be appre- 
hended, as having passed sentence upon her ; but, unluckily 
for this statement, Chief Justice Jones was the judge who 
gaye the sentence upon that occasion. Mr. Bumham was 
the name of the solicitor ; and the master of the house was 
Mr. Porter, the master of a Newcastle sloop.^ — ^See Nichols's 


be attributed to a kind Providence which inter- 
fered to give him a few months' respite ; for 
(and we cannot be astonished,) the mobile, as he 
would call them when chief justice, was dis- 
posed very summarily to whip and hang him. 
A few doggrel verses written at the time very 
sufficiently explain the meaning of the crowd : — 

The mobile and rout, with clubs and staves. 

Swore that his' carcass ne'er should lie in graves ; 

They'd eat him up alive within an hour ; 

Their teeth should tear his flesh, and him devour; 

Limb him they would, as boys at Shrovetide do : 

Some cried, I am for a wing, an arm ; for what are you ? 

I am for his head, says one ; for his brains, says 't other ; 

And I am for his nose ; his ears another : 

Oh, cries a third, I am for his buttocks brave. 

Nine pounds of steaks from them I mean to have : 

I know the rogue is fleshy, says a fourth. 

The sweetbreads, lungs, and heart, then nothing worth ; 

Yes, quoth another, but not good to eat ; 

A heart of steel will ne*re prove tender meat. 

Considering the desperate treatment which 
Cinna met with from the Roman vulgar when 
mistaken for the conspirator of that name, and 
the instant punishment which fell upon the un- 
fortunate Dr. Lamb' in the days of Charles L, it 

* A creature of the Duke of Buckingham, who was mur- 
dered by the mob in 1628. The rabble declared, that if hia 
master, the duke, had been there, they would have given 
as muoh. 


is rather beyond mere hypochondriacal wonder, 
that this man was not mutilated on the spot. 
Nevertheless, it was determined to carry him 
before the lord mayor, which, as we shall see, 
occasioned another tragedy. He was conveyed 
ip>his blue jacket, with his hat flapped down 
upon his face, in a coach guarded by several 
blunderbusses. When he came to the mayor's 
house, the crowd became immense, and their 
vociferating cries of " Vengeance ! Justice ! Jus- 
tice!" were so numerous, as to create some ap- 
prehension. The chief magistrate came out into 
his balcony with his hat in his hand, and begged 
that the people would retire; he said, justice should 
be done them, and that their prisoner should be 
secured till the lords of the council should de- 
termine upon his destiny. But the mayor lost 
his life through this event. He was Sir John 
Chapman, whom we have already mentioned ; 
and who had a tolerably amicable understanding 
with Jeffreys. When the hat was lifted up 
which concealed that minister's face, and he 
beheld a countenance which was wont to in- 
spire terror into all beholders, — the shock was 
so great as to occasion a fainting or convulsion 
fit ; and the next day so many fits came on, as 
to end his life by palsy very soon afterwards." 

' He died March 17, 1689 : some say he died of apo> 
piexy. It is supposed that the panic with which this worthy 


Ralph writes thus, alluding to the time of Jef- 
freys s capture : " Every face that he saw was 
the face of a fury : every grasp he felt, he had 
reason to think was that of the demon that 
waited for him : every voice that he could dis- 
tinguish in so wild an uproar,- overwhelmed him 
with reproaches ; and his conscience echo'd ^ 
within him, that he deserved them all. In this 
miserable plight, in these merciless hands, with 
these distracted thoughts, and with the horror 
and despair in his own ghastly face, that was 
the natural result of all, he was goaded on to the 
lord mayor." Notwithstanding this impressive 
charge of cowardice, it is by. no means so certain 
that this high individual was bereft of a due 
presence of mind. Fancy will frequently de- 
pict the most melancholy appearances, which 

citizen was afflicted had so great an effect, as to depriye him 
of all reason and resolution ; so that Jeffreys was. actually 
obliged to assist in drawing the warrant for his own com- 
mitment. This was the first warrant. Truly, the lord mayors 
-da not seem to hare figured much in those days ! Sir Thomas 
Bludwortb, for example, who was so dreadfully scared at 
the great fire of London ! At the tumultuous assemblies for 
the election of sheriffs in the latter part of Charles the 
Second's reign, the chief magistrate had screwed his nerves 
up most painfully before he could do any thing, and was 
even then backed up of necessity by Jeffreys in all his terrors : 
and in 1780, living memory can testify that the^ riots, in the 
city astonished the very worthy man who presided there. 


are but shadows, merely because the occasion 
seems to call for them. When the seizure was 
made, he was asked if he were not the chan- 
cellor. He said, " I am the man." He begged 
that he might be kept from the enraged popu- 
lace, and thus came protected by a strong 
guard. This account varies in no way from the 
former, except that it omits the coloured inter- 
pretations of a. rabble. 

It was dinner-time when the extraordinary 
guest was announced at the Mansion-house ; 
but the hospitalities of the city were not want- 
ing, for the lord mayor begged his old acquaint- 
ance to sit at the upper end of the table, where 
he received a very honourable entertainment. 
Still the people pressed from without ; and it was 
suggested, that the peer might be dismissed by a 
back-way ; but a gentleman made his way into 
the room, declaring that the chancellor was the 
mayor's prisoner, and that the magistrate must 
answer his forthcoming with his own blood.* 
Upon this two regiments of the train-bands 
were sent for to move him to the Tower; a body 
most necessary to ward off the increasing vio- 
lence of the mob. The Lord Lucas received him 
on his request : for such an imprisonment was a 

I Which he certainly did, if he died of apoplexy. 


deliverance from instant death ; and soon after^ 
wards, a legitimate order was received from the 
lords to commit him on a charge of high-trea- 
son." There was; however, considerable diffi- 
culty in rescuing the state pHsoner, even vrith 
so powerful a guard, so sternly did the people 
press against him, at the peril of their very lives. 
Jeffreys was so sensible of the danger which 
menaced him on all sides, that be held up his 
hands, sometimes on one side of the coach, 
sometimes on the other; and observing the open- 
mouthed wolves, who were pushing on all sides 
with whips and halters, exclaimed, " For the 
Lord's sake keep them off! — For the Lord's sake 
keep them off!"* Oldraixon, who tells us of his 

' Before the warrant, the following words were ordered to 
be inserted : — *' Whereas the Lord Jeffreys was seized and 
bron^l to the house of the Idid mayor, and wtfs there in 
great -danger by the insults of the- people: to secure him, 
therefore, from the said violence, and at his desire to the 
Lord Lucas to remoye him to the Tower, the following order 
was made, &c." Then the warrant. After the warrant, these 
words followed: — ''The lords appointed to examine the 
Lord Jeffreys, were desired by the Lord Jefireyv to return 
to the lords hia humble thanks for their care in preserving 
him ttom viblence." Thfe lords appointed to examine Lotd 
Jefireys were. Lord North and Grey, Lord Chandos, and 
Lord Ossulston. 

* This fury was not confined to the rabble ; for we 
find Mr. Harbord, a member of the House of Commons, 

2 A 


own habits of compassion for malefactors in ge- 
neralf declares, that he saw these agonizing 
alarms without pity. Surely many a brave man 
would prefer to be blown from the mouth of a 
cannon, to the fate of being swallowed up, or 
dissected alive by his own countrymen. As 
soon as it became well known that their old 
enemy was safely caged in the Tower, the good 
people of the west, the women in particular, be- 
gan to murmur loudly for redress. The same 
multitude who were too terrified to join the 
Prince for some days, lest the judge with his 
hangings of scarlet cloth* should come suddenly 
down upon them, were now transported with 
rage, and demanded that he should be brought 
down helpless and unarmed to have vengeance 
wreaked upon him. 

We give " The humble Petition of the widows 
and fatherless children in the west of England. 

*' We, to the number of a thousand and more, 
widdows and fatherless children, of the counties 
of Dorset, Somerset, and Devon ; our dear hus- 
bands and tender fathers having been so tyran-* 

moTing, ihat two of the judges who appioyed the King's di»- 
pensing power should he hanged, by way of example, at 
Westminster-hall gate. 

* Jeffreys decorated the walls of the courts with scarlet, 
during part of the western assize. 

^« ■ 


nously butcher'd, and some transported; our 
estates sold from us, and our inheritance cut off 
by the severe and harsh sentence of George, 
Lord Jeffreys, now, we understand, in the Tower 
of London, a prisoner ; who has lately, we hear, 
endeavoured to excuse himself from those ty- 
rannical and illegal sentences, by laying it on 
information by some gentlemen, who are known 
to us to be good Christians, true Protestants, 
and Englishmen. We, your poor petitioners, 
many hundreds of us, on our knees have begg'd 
mercy for our dear husbands and tender pa<> 
rents from his cruel hands, but his thirst for 
blood was so great, and bis barbarism so cruel, 
that instead of granting mercy for some, which 
were made appear to be innocent, and peti^ 
tioned for by the flower of the gentry of the said 
counties, he immediately executed ; and so bar* 
barously, that a very good gentlewoman at Dor- 
chester, begging on her knees the life of a worthy 
gentleman to marry him, and make him her 
husband ; this vile wretch, having not common 
civility with him, and laying aside that honour 
and respect due to a person of her worth, told 
her, *Come, I know your meaning; some part 
of your petition I will grant, which shall be, 
that after he is hanged and quartered, * • ♦ 


« « « • # • • 

and so I will give orders to the sheriff.' These, 
with many hundred more tyrannical acts, are 
ready to be made appear in the said counties, 
by honest and credible persons ; and therefore 
your petitioners desire, that the said George 
Jeffreys, late lord chancellor, the vilest of men, 
may be brought down to the counties aforesaid, 
where we, the good women in the west, shall 
be glad to see him, and give him another man- 
ner of welcome than he had there three years 
since. And your petitioners shall ever pray," &c. 

These furious women irresistibly remind us 
of the poissardes, who were by far the most active 
of the Parisian rabble at the Revolution ; and like 
them, they would have delighted in immolating 
a victim. And in London the people were in 
full expectation of a public execution ; nay, ac- 
cording to a poetical letter to the lord chancel- 
lor, they continued - as intent as ever upon his 
speedy fate. Having recommended the noble- 
man to cut his throat, the writer ends his epistle 
thus : — 

^* I am your lordship's, in any thing of this 
nature. From the little house over against 
Tyburn, where the people are almost dead with 
expectation of you." From such assemblages 


the composer of the " Kew Protestant Litany " 
should have said^ Libera nos, Damine! as well as 


from godfather pope, and gunpowder bonfires. 

Jeffreys was taken on the 12th of December, 
and His Majesty was conveyed back to London 
doon afterwards ; . but it does not appear, that 
between the times of thiis unlucky attempt and 
the final embarkation of the monarch for France, 
there was any favourable notice of his ancient fa- 
vourite. Glad to emancipate himself from a king- 
dom where the heretic flag was triumphant, James 
looked forward to no greater pleasure than the 
solaces of priestcraft, and lifting up of the cruci- 
fix. He had bidden a farewell' to old England, 


Farewel Petre, tarewei Cross ; 
Farewel Chester, farewel Ass ;* 
Farewel Peterborough, farewel Tool ; 
Farewel Sun land, farewel Fool. 

Farewel Milford, farewel Scot ; 
Farewel Butler, farewel Sot; 
Farewel Roger, farewel Trimmer; 
Farewel Dryden, farewel Rhytner. . 

Farewel Brent, farewel Villain ; 
Farewel Wright, worse than Tresilian ; 
Farewel Chanceller, farewel Mdce; 
Farewel Prince, faret^el Race. 

• JeffreyB. 

George Jeffireyt who bottstcd his face was of bnws, 
Is DOW metamorpbos'd into a Welih W9, &c. 


and to most of bis friends who were not of the 
Roman communion^ leaving behind him a cha- 
racter which would to God the people of this 
land would hold deeply in their memories ! — a 
prince of bravery, of virtue, and of kindness, 
where no priest or Jesuit interfered ; but one 
whom no tie, moral or political, could restrain^ 
when a zeal for his religion came in question. 

It was thought fit to examine Jefireys on 
the day after his commitment; and for this pur* 
pose a deputation of lords was appointed. 
Four questions were agreed on to be asked of 
him. First, What he had done with the great 
seal of England ? To this he answered, that he 
had delivered it to the King on the Saturday 
before at Mr. Cheffners, no person being pre- 
sent, and never saw it since. He was next 
asked, Whether he had sealed all the writs for. 
the parliament, and what he had done with 
them ? To the best of his remembrance, he 
said, the writs were all sealed and delivered to 
the King. Thirdly, Had he sealed the several 
patents for the then ensuing year ? He declared 
that he had sealed several patents for the new 

Farewel Queen, and farewel Paadon; 
Parewel King, farewel Nation; 
Farewel Priests, and farewel Pope ; 
Farewel all deserve a rope. 


sheriffs, but that he could not charge his me^ 
mory with the particulars. It was, lastly, in- 
quired. Whether he had a license to go out of 
the kingdom ? And to this he replied, that he 
had several to go beyond sea, which were all 
delivered to Sir John Friend, &c. He sub- 
scribed these answers thus :— ^^' I affirm all this 
to be true upon my honour. — Jeffryes." 

An order came on the 22d for keeping him in 
a closer restraint ; but he had, nevertheless, the 
courage to demand his habeas corpus, in order 
to his being bailed, but was not successful. 

After he had been in confinement for a few 
days, he was most cruelly tantalized by the 
arrival of a barrel as a present, which appeared 
to contain oysters : ' seeing this, he said to the 
bearer, ** Well then, I see I have some friends 
left still," and opened the barrel. The gift was 
a gfood able halter. 

And now we have arrived at the consumma- 
tion of this great man's destiny, his lingering 
struggles in the Tower being little regarded 
amidst the din of warfare which was sounding 
without. For James was about to land at Kin- 
sale with the French supplies, when Jeffreys 
died. It is curious to note the various causes 

I Some refine upon this, and say, ** the best Colchester 

3.76 . MjyaoiBs QF 

assigiied by historians for his deceafie. Some 
kill Jiim in his own .way^ by excessive and in- 
temperate drinking; but his commonly bibacious 
habits might have given an easy foundation for 
this opinion, as it is moat difficult and most un- 
wise too for aay lover of the bottle to descend 
suddenly into the vale of abstemiousness . Odiecs 
will have it, that the chiefs of the modbility did 
him great injury^ and that terror, lest he should 
iall into their hands, completed the shock he 
had received. Then again, we hear of his dying* 
furiously and wildly like a raving beast; a report 
which must have greatly gratified the super- 
stitious vulgar, who were probably the creators 
of it, and doubtless conjured up his unquiet 
spirit as a bugbear for a quarter <^ a centnry 
afterwards. A much more sensible conjecture 
would be, that. from an unusual imprisonment 
he had aggravated an ill habit of body, and 
heightened his chronic disorders. Accordingly, 
there appears to he great fidelity in the account 
which states that fits of the. stone came on with 
such violence, as to baffle the skill of his physi- 
cian. Dr. Lower/ an ingenious ifian, attended 
him ; but although his patient was but forty-one 

' Richard Lower. Probably the ingenious medical writer 
who wrote the ** Universal Medicine," which was published 
in France and Sweden.- He was also the axitfaor of many 

other treatises. 


yearts :of age, be Jbund nAfeure eLdiaiifited be^oaA 
the reach of medical skilL — ** It is :generally 
Feportedt" n^ Echaxd^ '' that he ahortened hia 
days, and in a manner diapatdhed himself, by 
drinkiog of the most spirittious liquclrs; but I 
have been assured to the cxmtrary by a very 
credible person/ who was often with him in his 
confinement, who said, that the stone was the 
only bodily distemper that kiUed bim/* 

Anguish of mind and disappointment are also 
among the probable bitternesses which harassed 
him ; so that he is said, in some milder relations, 
to have perished by a broken heart. And far 
from leaving the stage in a state of frenzied 
impiety, there are premises from which we may 
conclude that he died repentant, and under a 
due sense of religion. For it is said, on the au*^ 
thority of Sir Joseph Jekyli, that Dr. John Scott* 
visited the fallen judge in his prison, who pro- 
mised to pn^t by the exhortations of his minis'* 
ter, and review his past life as a seasonable im- 
provement of the situation he had come into. 
JeflFreys expressed great concern for his past er- 
rors; but for\)ne^ and that too the greatest of bis 
alleged misdeeds, he could never be induced to 

' Probably Dr. Scott, of whom we shall speak presently. 
* Author of " The Chriatian Life." Sir Joseph heard this 
from the mouth of the doctor. 

378 MXMoias or 

yield an unqualified regret. However cruel his 
western proceedings might have been thought, 
whatever the censures which had been heaped 
upon that part of his administration, he solemnly- 
adhered, in these almost his dying hours, to this 
text, that the severities had fallen short of the 
King's demand, and that he had extremely dis- 
pleased the monarch by his forbearance. It is not 
to be combated, that the men who fell by the sen- 
tence of Jeffreys died by law ; and that circum- 
stance makes the distinction between his execu- 
tions and those of Kirk. Kindness to the human 
race was scarcely better understood in those times, 
even by persons of reputation^ than mercy to 
dumb animals' in these, till the rise of Martin. 
Forbearance was then esteemed a crime, as 
rigorous justice would be at this day. And 
truly, it b to be hoped that posterity will kindly 
invent some excuse for us, when those who suc- 
ceed us shall blot out our capital punishments 
from the statute-book, and wonder, as we now 
do, at the harshness of those who have gone 

' Indeed, it is but of late that we hare learned to treat our 
own children with kindneas, and to be persuaded, that how- 
ever agreeable hardships might have been to the sons of 
giants, who wore coats of mail, we of this generation shaU be 
much wiser in fostering the little strength which is im- 
parted to this winter of the world* 


The noble penitent, moreover, complained 
that he had been urged on by one of the reve* 
rend bench,' to enforce the rigours of the eccle- 
siaJstical commission far beyond his inclination ; 
and his approved steadfastness in favour of the 
established church must strongly call upon us 
to believe that this palliation also has some 
Veight. Indeed, to say that the chancellor had 
no religion in the days of his prosperity, would 
be an outrage upon history ; since we know that 
he stood firmly by the Protestant standard, and 
that the threatened loss of his place had no 
power to wean him from his native creed. To 
assert then that he died a reprobate, is a gra- 
tuitous slander of his whig enemies, containing 
as much truth, perhaps, as the pages of those 
speculative voyagers, whose adventurous travels 
have been concocted and accomplished by their 
own firesides. ^* God knows how often all of us 
have taken the great name of God in vain, *' 
said Jefireys one day, in all the plenitude of his 
chief justiceship ; ** or have said more than be- 
comes us, and talked of things we should not 
do.'' Yet some of the good-natured booksellers, 
in a few reigns afterwards, seem to have decided 

' Most likely Crew^ bishop of Durham* 


his ultimate deatiny very unfavourably, piacing 
bim ia a situation far worse than purgatory. 
There was published, about the year 1714, " A 
Letter from Hell, from Lord Ch^— r Jeffreys to 
L— - G— B — W d, relating to James Tay- 
lor s standing in the pillory. 4to/' 

Although this unfortunate nobleman was thus 
employed in meditating t>n his past mistakes, he 
certainly was not quite so far lost to the world 
as to abandon all hopes of a better fortune. 
He, therefore, mad« offers of political disclosures 
to government; which, it seems, were enter- 
tained, and even courted by the parties who 
were applied to : so that had the Lord Jeffreys 
lived, he might not have been so near ^^ a place 
of execution" as his enemies desired ; and, in 
fact, it would not be hazarding a stiange opi- 
nion to say ^t once, thlt he wnuM have e^aped 
with impunity, owing to the turbulent and un- 
certain spirit of the parliatnent. Having so long: 
had the arcana impeHi at his command^ it is not 
to be Wondered at that his itifonnation would be 
deemed worthy of notice in sudi critical timesi 
Illness, however, and death supervened. — The 
great tnan died on the 19th of April, 1.689^ at 
35 minutes past four in the morning. 

Doubts htive prevailed as to th^ plate of his 


burial ; for there is a tradition that he was laid 
at Enfield, ' which seems to be utterly incorrect* 
Mr. Bayley gives the most satisfactory account of 
the last rites which were rendered upon this occa* 
sion. Hewas first interred in the Tower privately^ 
and his remains rested there in peace for three 
years, when his firiends, finding that the hot day 
of persecution was over, begged that they 
might be allowed- to remove the coffin. They 
had no mind, it seems, to risk much mention 
of the subject before, as the disgrace of Ireton 
and other Cromwellians was by no means erased 
from living memory; and whose bones so likely 
to be dug up and gibbeted as those of Jefireys, 
if the people fancied that they would have it 
so? Indeed, to gratify the multitude, the go^ 
vemment might not have scrupled more in this 
instance than the successful conquerors of 1746, 
who elevated the noble heads of the rebellion 
upon the height of Temple-bar. Johnson, walk- 
ing near that impregnable city gate some years 
afterwards with Goldsmith, slily observed, in 
allusion to their politics at that time of day, — 

Foraitan et nostrum nomen miscebitur i$ti$. 

' At the east end of the south aisle, in a vault belonging to 
the manor of Durance, His eldest daughter married the son 
and heir of Judge Stringer, who was lord of the manor. 


A warrant was given, dated the 30th of Sep- 
tember, 1692, signed by the Queen, and di- 
rected to the governor of the Tower, " for his 
delivering the body of George, late Lord Jef- 
feries, to his friends and relations, to bury him 
as they think fit." 

He was accordingly disinterred, and buried a 
second time in a vault under the communion-table 
of St. Mary Aldermanbury, on the 2d of No- 
vember, 1693. There was a story very current 
there, that the apprentices of the parish tumul- 
tuously assisted in this removal ; but Malcolm, 
in his account of London, treats this as merely 
fabulous ; adding however, that the apprentices 
might have run riot upon the occasion, as such 
conduct was by no means unconunon in those 
reigns. ^ 

One would have thought that the judge's 
bones might now be considered as undisturbed ; 
and whether his final lot were hallowed or ac- 
cursed, his remains would at least be suffered 
to dwindle .away in peace : yet curiosity has 
been more than once gratified with a sight of 
them, and the leaden coffin has been very re- 
cently found in a state of perfect preservation. 
Malcolm was told by the sextoness, in 1803, 
that she had seen it entire in its rich clothing 
of crimson velvet with gilt furniture. 


Some years afterwards, in 1810, certain 
workmen employed to repair tte church dis- 
covered the place of interment, by removing a 
large flat stone near the communion-table. The 
coffin, which appeared to have suffered little 
from decay, was closed, and there was a plate 
with the name of Chancellor Jeffreys inscribed. 
When the public had been satisfied with a view 
of these remarkable remains, a gaze which some 
would brand as unhallowed, the coffiin was re- 
placed in the vault, and the stone fastened over 
it But the body was not seen ; for although a 
sight of it would have highly pleased the ambi* 
tion of the curious, no one adventured to lay 
violent hands upon the case which contained 

When the Great Johnson died, many small 
wit, ..d h«n^ pe,» were at work o/the in- 
stant, to depreciate or to ridicule him. The 
possessors of these little weapons cared not 
whether they took aim at his personal deficien- 
cies, or supposed literary errors, provided they 
had the intense satisfaction of sending forth their 
poor puffs as speedily as might be. But one 
circumstance struck all his friends and admirers, 
and amongst others the late Dr. Parr, whose in- 
dignation was kindled at it ; — and this was, that 
many of these critics dared not to have attacked 

384 MEMOias OF 

thedoetor in his life^time. Some one made a 
slighting remark on him in Parr's presence, — 
" Ay," quoth the blunt clergyman, "now the 
old lion is dead, every ass thinks he may kick 
at him/^ And it really falls to the lot of most 
great men to be' served very much in the same 
way. No sooner- was that man in his grave, 
whom all feared alike as counsel, chief justice, 
diancellor, — ^tfaan there sprang up satires and re- 
flections upon hi» memory, which are vastly at 
variance with history, and which he could have 
sufficiently answered, but for the stroke of dis- 
ease or death. And it is observable, that tbe 
scribbling rabble commenced their operations 
against him as soon as he went' to the Tower; 
doubtless conceiving themselves secure from his 
vengeance. \ 

The two remarkable papers which we insert; 
will be found to contain charges of hypocrby ; 
of which, at least of many, Jeffreys can hardly 
be deemed guilty : — 

The first of these is entitled, ** The Chancel- 
lor's ^Examination and Preparation for a Trial." 
It was printed for W. Cademan, in 1680, and 
runs as follows :— 

** A& the long imprisonment of George, Lbrd 
Jefferies, the high chancellor of England, has 
given him ample leisure for a full and serious 


consideration of his state^ his examination of his 
fatal circumstances, and preparation for his trial, 
with all other necessary and due reflections, 
previous as well to the appearance, not only be- 
fore so great a tribunal here, but also a greater 
and more terrible one to come, have induced 
him to this timely provision of his last will and 

'' In the name of Ambition, the only god of 
our setting-up and worshipping, together with 
Cruelty, Treachery, Perjury, Pride, Insolence, 
&c. his ever adored angels and archangels, cloven- 
footed, or otherwise. Amen. I, George, some- 
times lord, but always JefFeries, being in entire 
bodily health, (my once great heart, at present 
dwindled to the diminutive dimensions of a 
French bean, only excepted,) and in sound and 
perfect memory of high-commissions, quo-war-- 
rantaSy regulations, dispensations, pillorizations, 
flc^gations, gibbetations, barbarity, butchery, 
tyranny, together with the bonds and ties of 
right, justice, equity, law, and gospel ; as also 
those of liberty, property. Magna Charta, &c. ; 
not only at divers and sundry, but at all times, 
by me religiously broken : and being reminded 
by a halter before me, and my sins behind me, 
do make my last will and testament in manner 
and form following : — 

2 B 


" Imprimis. — ^Because it has always been the 
modish departure of great men, and greater sin- 
ners, to leave some legacy to pious uses, I give 
and bequeath one thousand poimds towards the 
building of a shrine and a chapel to St. Cole- 
man, for the particular devotion of a late very 
great English zealot ; for whose glory I farther 
order my executors to bear half charges in in- 
serting and registering the sacred papers and me- 
moirs of the said saint, in those divine legends, 
* The Lives of the Saints,' by the hand of his 
reverend, and no less industrious successor. Fa- 
ther Peters : that so the never-dying renown of 
the long-sworn meritorious, though unfortunate 
vengeance against the northern heresy, (in which 
once hopeful vineyard I have been no small 
labourer,) may be transmitted to posterity by 
so pious a recorder. 

" Item^ — ^As a legacy to her late consort-ma-» 
jesty of Great Britain (my sometime royal pa- 
troness), I do bequeath two thousand crowns to 
holy mother church, &c. 

" Item. — In tenderness and hearty good-will to 
my sometime friends and allies on the other side 
the herring-pond, I think fit, as a small mite to 
the great cause, to order my executors, out of 
my late son-in-law's estate (saved by my own 
Chancery decree from the Salisbury creditors). 


as much money to be remitted over to the true 
and trusty Tyrconnel, as will purchase new 
liveries of the best Ijrish frize, completely to rig 
a whole regiment of his newly-raised Teagues ; 
as also the like quantity for the rigging of another 
regiment of French dragoons, now sending over 
to his excellency's succour ; his Gallic majesty 
having long since ordered the edict of Nantz, 
and all other the parliamentary heretic-records 
of France, to be given them gratis^ to make them 
tailors' measures of, in imitation of the English 
Magna Charta, sometime since designed for the 
same use. 

** But, above all, to take care for my own de- 
cent funeral, lest my executors, to save the 
charges of Christian burial, should drop me 
under ground as slovenly as my old great mas- 
ter at Westminster, — ^I think fit to order the rites 
and ceremonies of my obsequies as follows : 

" Imprimis- — I desire that my funeral anthems 
be all set to the tune of ' Old Lilliburlero,' 
that never-to-be-forgotten Irish Shibboleth; 
in commemoration not only of two hundred 
thousand hereticks that formerly danced off to 
the said musical notes, but also of the second 
part to the same tune, lately designing, setting, 
and composing by a great master of mine, and 
myself. The said anthem to be sung by a train 


of seven or eight hundred of my own making m 
the west ; who, in their native rags, (a livery 
likewise of my own donation, as a dress fittest 
for the sad cavalcade,) will, I am assured, be no 
way wanting in their readiest and ablest melody, 
suitable to the occasion. 

" Item. — I order two hundred Jacobuses to be 
laid out in myrrh, frankincense, and other ne- 
cessary perfumes to be burnt at my funeral ; to 
sweeten if possible •♦•♦•**** 

** Item. — I order an ell and a half of fine cam- 
brick to be cut out into handkerchiefs, for drying 
up all the wet eyes at my funeral ; together with 
half a pint of burnt claret for all the mourners in 
the kingdom. 

" Item. — For the more decent interment of my 
remains, I will and require, for the re-cementing 
ofmy own unhappy politic head to my shoulders 
again, (provided always I have the honour of 
the axe, a& it is much questioned,) that a present 
of a diamond ring be made to Madame Labadie, 
for the use of the same needle, and a skain of 
the same thread, once used on a very important 
occasion, for the quilting of a certain notable 
cushion of famous memory. 

" To conclude : for avoiding all Chancery- 
suits about the disposal of my aforesaid legacies, 
that the contents of this my last will may be made 


public, I order my executors to take care that 
this may be printed." 

The second paper is, " The Lord Chancell(M:'s 
Discovery and Confession, made in the time of 
his Sickness in the Tower ;" from which, by the 
way, we shall only give extracts. 

'' As for that damned town of London ; not 
Gataline against old Rome, was half so sworn 
a foe, as I, against that insolent proud city. 
Really and sincerely, I would willingly and 
heartily, out of my Own pocket, (though I sold 
my last rag in the world,) have been myself at 
the charge of a new monument, so I had had 
but the pleasure of a second same occasion of 
building it. Nay, verily, I envied the fate of 
the old Erostratus, and that more modern wor- 
thy, Hubart ; and could have wished my own 
name, though at the price of his destiny, en- 
graven in the room of that wisely rased-out in- 
scription, on so glorious an occasion. 

** It was then, alas ! edged and enraged with 
a mortal hate, and an avowed vengeance against 
that accursed and detested city, and more de- 
tested parliament: with two such meritorious 
(Qualifications, I applied myself to the once 
great Coleman's greater master, at that time an 
early, and indeed almost governing pilot at the 
helm ; both infallible recommendations to entitle 


me to the highes.t Slopes of the most exalted ho- 
nours. In short, I entered, listed, and swore 
myself engineer-general under that leading 
hero's banners ; and how hugged, and how em- 
braced, my succeeding almost deluge of good 
fortune, glories, and preferments, will suffi- 
ciently testify. 

" And, though the world has sometimes won- 
dered at so sudden a rise, as in little more than 
seven years, to mount from a Finsbury petty- 
fogger to a lord high chancellor of England; 
from bawling at a hedge-court bar for a five shil- 
lings' fee, to sit equity-driver with ten thou- 
sand pounds per annum, besides presents and 
bribes unaccountable, honestly gotten. But> 
alas ! to rectify the mistakes of mankind, and 
suppress their astonishment at so unprecedented 
an advance, I must assure them, that as no his- 
tory affords a parallel of such a crown favourite 
as myself, so no age ever yielded such a true 
crown drudge neither, to deserve those favours. 
Alas ! my darling fortunes moved not half so 
rapid as my dearer counsels drove ; and all the 
caresses of my glory were thought but the poor- 
est meed and reward of those services that 
gained them. But to recite my fatal particu- 
lars : upon my first entrance (as I was saying) 
of engineer-general, our first great attack was 



against the charter of London ; and, to the ho- 
nour of my premier effort, what by our terrible 
dead-doing quo-warrantos, my own invented bat- 
tering-ram, planted against them at Westmin- 
ster, and the Tower-hill guns removed and 
mounted against them on the Tower-battle- 
ments, we soon reduced that imperious town to 
almost as entire ^ subjection and vassalage, as 
our own hearts, and our Roman friends could 

" Next, for those prorogation-crampers, those 
check-mates of crowns, called parliaments, 
there our triumph was absolute : we prorogued 
or dissolved, and danced them from pillar to 
post, from Westminster to Oxford, &c. at plea- 
sure, and (Heaven knows) with timely, pru- 
dent, and wise care, to hush their too impu- 
dently inquisitive curiosity into our Coleman's 
packets, our Le Chaise and Lewis intrigues, 
and the rest of our popish plots and cabals, and 
all, (God knows) little enough to keep our clo- 
ven-foot undiscovered. 

" Who, alas ! but I, with so much unrelent- 
ing and pitiless barbarity, triumphed in the 
blood of those poor miserable western wretches, 
and sanguined my very ermines in their gore ?'* — 
" Yes, and I acted by the commissioning ven- 
geance that sent me thither, to inform the he- 


retick enemies of Rome, how much their blood 
tickles when it streams ; and to let them know 
by the sample of my hand, how keen is a popish 

'' Was it not I too, that with so much cunning 
and artifice, and by so many rhetorical high- 
treason flourishes, wheedled poor Cornish to a 
gibbet, and Russel to a scaffold ? Yes ; and it 
was a master-piece ! To give the trembling 
world a timely warning what Protestant zeal 
must trust to, when popish malice ^s pleased to 
be angry ; and to convince how easily can a 
Jesuitical engine wire-draw guilt, when popish 
rancour is resolved to destroy. 

" Who dissolved all the charters, and new- 
garbelled all the corporations, but Jefferies ? 
And why ; but to prepare them to understand 
that, (what with our qtw-warrantos and the rest 
of our modelling tools,) we were resolved, at 
last, to have parliaments h la mode de Paris, 
and their dragoon reformers too soon after ? Who 
invented that ensnaring command to the bishops, 
of reading the declaration, and put their refusal 
to the stretch of high-misdemeanour, if not 
high-treason, — ^but the chancellor? And why, 
think you, but ta satisfy them what Roman 
eye-sores are the Protestant lawn-sleeves ; and 
that they shall want neither justles nor stum- 


bling-blocks to trip their heels up, and their 
heads off too, when they stand in our way? 
Who but the great Jefferies, (in defiance of the 
very fundamentals of human society, the origi- 
nal laws of human nature, and of the face of 
Magna Chart a itself,) got the bishop of London 
silenced and suspended, without so much as 
that universal and common right, sacred even 
amongst heathens and infidels, — viz. the privilege 
of making either plea or defence ; condemned^ 
untried, and unheard ? Yes, I did it ; to instruct 
the world what feeble cobweb-lawn are the 
bonds of justice, law, liberty, common right, 
&c. in the hands of an imperial popish Samson 
Agonistes ? 

" Was it not I too, by my ecclesiastic, high- 
commission supremacy, (not only against the 
statutes and customs of the university, but the 
positive laws of the land,) turned Maudlin Col- 
lege into a seminary of Jesuits ; and in spite of 
that bulwark of the church of England, the Act 
of Uniformity, converted a collegiate chapel into 
a mass-house ? And by the same justice, might 
not every collegiate, cathedral, and parochial 
church have had the same conversion, and 
both the fountains of religion and learning, the 
mother universities, been deprived of all her 
Protestant sons, and re-peopled with the whole 
race of St. Omer and Salamanca ? 


'' Who did all this ? The chancellor \ Yes ; and 
he saved the church of England, and the whole 
English liberty by it. The nation was lulled 
into so profound a sleep, that they wanted such 
thunder-claps, and such a Boanerges, to awaken 
them from their lethargy. With these serious 
reflections, that these rapid and violent motions 
of the Roman cause, are and have been the 
destruction of it ; who has been the Protestant s 
champion — but I ? Who has pulled off the vizor 
from the scarlet whore, and exposed the painted 
Babylon prostitute — but I ? And if I drive like 
Jehu, it was only to the confusion of a Jezebel. 
Who called in the deliverer of our church and 
laws, that second Hannibal, that mighty Nas- 
sau — but Jefferies? Who has remounted the 
sinking glory of our temples, till their pinnacles 
shall kiss Heaven, — ^but Jefferies? Who has united 
two such formidable Protestant neighbours with 
that eternal link of interest, as shall render us 
once more the arbiters of Europe, and terror of 
the world — who, but Jefferies ? And Jefferies's 
conduct has joined those naval forces, those float- 
ing walls, that shall one day mew up the French 
anti-christian monster, till in despite and de- 
spair, he bursts his soul out * * * * ! 

'* In fine, who has cut off the very entail of 
popery and slavery from three happy king- 
doms — but Jefferies? Three kingdoms did I 


say ? Yes, possibly has laid that foundation to 
the Protestant cause, as perhaps shall one day 
make her overtop the seven proud hills, and 
strike her dagger into the very gates of Rome." 

All the tirade which would seem to connect 
the object of these maledictions with papal in- 
trigues are gratuitous, and the offspring of a 
malevolence which is so frequently mixed up 
with the prejudices of passing times. 

Little indeed need be said touching the cha- 
racter of a man whose actions have been so re- 
peatedly canvassed, and whom to applaud would 
be deemed a political, if not a moral crime. But 
his bright sterling talents must be acknow- 
ledged ; that intuitive perception which led him 
to penetrate in a moment the thin veil of hypo- 
crisy, and show things as they were, must have 
its meed. Like Thurlow, he had the especial 
gift of fastening on the true genius of the cause, 
eliciting its nice point, and forming a prompt de- 
cision on the right bases of equity and justice. 
And he read too at odd unsuspected times; after 
a debauch of wine, perhaps, when the share 
which would have stupefied a man of ordinary 
intellect, only served to give a zest to his ambi- 
tion, and stimulate the powers of his under- 
standing. That he must have read, appears 
from the learning displayed in his judgments : 


that he must have read thus, from the even 
tenor of his bacchanalian hours ; and that due 
credit was attached to his abilities, is evident from 
the works which were attributed to him by his 
contemporaries/ He was sufficiently kind to 
his friends and dependents, consistent with that 
acute insight into the ways of men which he 
possessed, which made him restless in the so- 
ciety of dunces, and impatient of intruding igno- 
rance. Had he lived a century and a half later, 
though his promotion were retarded or forbid- 
den by his debaucheries, he would have held a 
name for good-humour and conviviality amongst 
his acquaintance, which, however unfit to be 
aspired after to the excess of which he was guilty, 
is yet no bad recommendation to its possessor ; 
whilst his sanguinary temper would have lain 
dormant in an age when scarce any error escapes 
its just scrutiny. It is well known that he was 
extravagant, and therefore always needy and 
borrowing; but in accordance with the spirit of 
the age, every worthy and liberal action which 
he did was carefully concealed, according to 
Mark Antony s seditious text ; — 

' Vernon's Reports, which are allowed to be most ably 
drawn : ** The Magbtracy and Goyemment of England vin* 
dicated/' by Sir B. Shower, which drew forth the acrimoify 
of Sir John Hawles's pen. 


The evil, that men do, lives after them ; 
The good is oft interred with their bones ; 
So let it be with Caesar. 

Some contributor to the Gentleman's Maga- 
2ine ventured to ask, some years since, what 
baronet bore certain arms, describing them, and 
suggested that he was probably connected with 
Hertfordshire, or some adjacent county. Being 
informed that Sir George Jeffreys claimed those 
heraldic honours, the inquiring correspondent de- 
clares, that ** the historian of Hertfordshire will 
now have to record the name of that well-known 
judge as one of the contributors to the repair 
of the abbey church of St. Alban, in 1683." 
He adds, that the arms, with those of his friend 
Lord-keeper North, and fifty other persons, are 
fixed against the walls of the choir, in perpetuam 
rei memoriam:^ but, as we have abundantly 
shown, the firiendship of those two great persons 
must have been very suspicious ; it might, in- 
deed, be more correct to substitute the words, 
" political opponent," as no two ministers ever 
differed more, whether in the cabinet, the coun- 
cil, or in th^ir domestic life. 

We will now forbear any further mention of 

^' On the pillar north opposite to the third pillar, Jeffreys, 
of Bulstrode, Bart., and two others. — Clutterbuck. 


this nobleman as far as his good or ill qualities 
ar6 concerned : let such as doubt his talents 
examine the grounds and the issue of his judi- 
cial decisions ; and let those who have agreed to 
the general opprobrium which rests upon his 
memory, look, for the mere sake of charity, to 
discover some redeeming actions, and they will 
not be disappointed. 

But although death had freed Lord Jeffreys 
from public ignominy or degrading concilia- 
tions, it was determined in parliament, that 
some open mark of reproach should be fixed on 
his memory; and it was therefore moved, on 
the 16th of the following May, "That the 
late chancellor and his heirs may be excepted 
out of the indemnity, in order to attainder." 
Mr. Boscawen had suggested before, that he 
should be " attainted, and reduced to the same 
condition as when he began to offend; and, 
moreover, that his posterity should be incapable 
of sitting in the Lords' House." So that evil 
was plainly gone forth against his descendants, 
and their fortunes : yet, disliked as he neces- 
sarily must have been, the simple proposition 
to except him, as the great offender, was not 
pressed at once. ' Hawles," afterwards the soli- 

' Hawles was born in the Close, at New Saram> and edu- 
cated at Winchester-school. He then became a commoner 

JUDO£ J£FFA£yS. 399 

citor-general, rested on the difficulty of punish- 
ing the dead; and, said he, ^'when you in- 
quire, you will find the chancellor very little 
more guilty than those who lately passed the 
proclamation, little less than the dispensing 
power." The debate was adjourned ; and before 
the matter was finally set at rest, the western 
executions, Oates's dreadful punishments, and 
mention of various bribes which had come to 
the late chancellor's coffers, were brought upon 
the carpet, so that the House became better 

at Queen's, in the beginning of the year 1002 ; but left the 
college without a degree, and entered himself a student of 
Lincoln's Inn . He soon rose to eminence in hb profession , and 
found it convenient to adopt King William's whig party for his 
political friends. However, he was defeated in a contest for 
the recordership of London, in 1691; but the honours of King^s 
counsel and His Majesty's solicitor-general atoned for the 
disappointment. He continued in his high employment till 
the end of King William's reign, when Simon Harcourt, after- 
wards chancellor, superseded him: yet, quite contrary to 
the usual practice, he was not advanced to be attorney- 
general, when Trevor was promoted to the chief justiceship of 
the Common Pleas, Mr. Northey being promoted to that 
office ; and the same thing had happened to .Trevor, who 
found Ward placed over his head, after he had been solicitor- 
general. Sir John Hawles wrote ** Remarks on the Trials 
of Fitzharris and others," and '* A Reply to the Magistracy 
and Government of England vindicated." Anthony Wood 
said, that he was turbulent, and inclining to a republic; but 
Bishop Tanner erased this character of him from the Athenee. 


prepared to carry their threat into execution. 
And as several of the judges had been excepted 
in the interim/ it was not likely that any fur- 

' Wright, Herbert, Jenner, Holloway. 

Sir Richard Holloway was the son of a public notaiy at 
Oxfordf, who was very active in the business of the city. 
Wood calls him ** a covetous civilian/* In 1667, when the 
flying coach was set up jfrom Oxford to London, young 
Richard was one of the six passengers. They started at six in 
the morning, and were set down at their inn at seven in the 
evening. Ward was another passenger. It was a great thing 
for a coach to perform such an immense journey in one day, 
and public notice of the feat was given throughout the uni- 
versity. In 1677, this gentleman was made serjeant-at-law, 
there being two other Serjeants of the same name, Chailes his 
uncle, and Robert. A few years afterwards he became 
judge of the King's Bench, whence he was ejected by King 
James after the trial of th^ seven bishops, and he was not 
restored at the Revolution. 

There were Ave Holloways living at Oxford in 1667, and 
the following curious verses transpired concerning them ; 

" Sarjeant,' Barrister,* Necessitie,' Notarie,* Mercer,* 
Gravely dull,' ill spoken,^ lawless,* cum purgere,* broken.'"* 

> Old Charles Holloway, the ihicle. 

* Riduird, Hving against Blue-bore, in St. Aldave's parish. 
' Young Charles, son of the old aerjeant. 

* Old Richard Holloway, the judge's father. 

^ Frauds, brother to old Charles and old Richard. 
In his dotage* 

' So called, because bebg a barrister and no lawyer, iVecessilcs nem Jbo^l 

' This is not known. 
'^ A broken mercer* 



ther delay could arise. Sir William Williams, 
therefore, the old Welsh antagonist, declared, 
on the next consideration of Jeffreys's penalty, 
*^ that no man deserved to be excepted more 
than he ; but will you begin ' with a dead per- 
son?"* he continued. The exception was in- 
stantly agreed to. Nor did the affair end 
here, for Colonel Tipping soon afterwards spoke 
warmly upon the fates of Armstrong and Mrs. 
Lisle, and finished thus strongly : '^ He has 
raised his estate on the ruin of the law : his es- 
tate and honour are the price of your blood. I 
move, that you will attaint him." And it was 
resolved, that a bill should be brought in for the 
forfeiture of his honour and estate.' How this 

' The exceptions of the particular day's debate. 

* Williams said on a sufoseqnent occasion, when Sir Ro- 
bert Sawyer endeavoured to excuse himself from being ac- 
cessary to Armstrong's fate, that, '' all is put upon the dealt 
(Jeffreys) ; and the dead must answer for the dead, and ' the 
dead bury the dead.' " 

^ In Salop, he had the manors of Wem and Loppington, 
with many other lands and tenements; in Leicestershire, the 
manors of Dalby and Broughton. He bought Dalby of the 
I>uke of Buckingham ; and after his death it passed to Sir 
Charles Duncombe, and descended on Anthony Duncombe. 
afterwards Lord Feversham. ta Bucks, he had the manot 
of Bulstrode, which he had purchased of Sir Roger Hill, in 
1686 ; and the manor of Fulmer, with other tenements. He 

2 c 





attempt failed, we have already acquainted the 
reader ; but such was the want of due economy, 
not only in the chancellor's family, but in his son s 
also who succeeded to the title, that all is said 
to have been spent and squandered ; and some 
of the servants who saw the acquisition of a 
property no less than 12,000/. a year, lived long 
enough to hear of its total waste and dispersion. 
There are several portraits of this chancellor, 
which were taken for the most part whilst he 
held the seals ; and Nichols, referring to some 

built a mansion at Bulstrode, which came afUn/nirdB to his 
son-in-law Charles Dive, who sold it, in the reign of Queen 
Anne, to William, Earl of Portland, in whose family, now 
aggrandized by a dukedom, it still continues. And he had 
an inclination at one time to have become the purchaser of 
another estate,* but was outwitted by one of his legal bre- 
thren. Sir Jeffrey Jeffreys, the alderman, lent his namesake 
considerable sums of money, and by way of security, had a 
mortgage on his Leicestershire estate. When the second and 
last Lord JFeffreys died in 1702, Sir Jeffrey took possession of 
these lands, and filed a bill of foreclosure against Lord Vis- 
count Windsor, who had married the widow, and others : 
the issue of which was, that the noble defendant was ordered 
to pay the encumbrances, which amounted to upwards of 
13,000/. And we have seen, that other estates belonging to 
the chancellor were ordered to be sold after his son's death. 
The sale took place for the satisfaction of tlus mortgage 
and* settlements made by the first lord in 1688. 

* Oun«doD Park. 



of these, says, that '' he does not appear that 
monster of ugliness and wickedness we have 
been taught to think him." In 1687, a whole 
length, by Sir Godfrey Kneller, was hung up 
in the Inner Temple-hall. It cost fifty pounds, 
and was executed at the expense of the society. 
This painting, however, was not destined to 
remain long in its station ; for no sooner had 
those reverses taken place which caused such a 
general commotion in all societies, than it was 
removed to Mr. HoUoway's chambers ; and in 
1695, an order was promulgated from the 
benchers to the effect — 

'* That Mr. Treasurer do declare to the Lord 
Jeffreys, that, at his lordship's desire, the house 
do make a present to his lordship of his father's 
picture, now in Mr. HoUoway's chambers, who 
is desired to deliver the same to his lordship, 
or his order." John, Lord Jeffreys, having ob- 
tained the portrait, sent it to Acton; where, 
Nichols tells us, the Honourable Daines Bar- 
rington often saw it. The Denbighshire estate 
being sold to Sir Foster Cunlifie, this painting 
was again removed to Erthig, the house of Mr. 
Yorke, who possessed another likeness of the 
judge by J. Allen/ That considerable anti-* 

' The following is a description of some of the portraits 
And engravings : — 
Tke Right Honourable George, Loid Jeffreys, Baron of 


y4 MSfifoiRs OP. 

4uary» Mr. Nichols, goes on thus in his note : — » 
" The picture (that of the Inner Temple) con- 
tinues in tolerable preservation." Mr. Gough 
was informed there was in the hall at Acton a 
whole length W the chancellor's brother ; and 
that an original portrait of the former, removed 
from Guildhall in his disgrace, and sold, is, or 
Was a few years ago, at Mr. Harnage's, at 
Belsardine, near Cressing, in Shropshire ; one 
of whose ancesto;^ married his youngest 
daughter. Another picture of him is said to 

Wem, lord high chaDcellor of England, and one of the 
lords of His Majesty's most honourable privy-council, 
1686. Wig, laced band, habit of office, arms,* mace, and 
purse. " POBDAUN ODDVW.''— Ames's Catalogue of 
English Heads. 

Sir George Jefieries. R. White, sc. 8vo. — Granger. 

George, Lord Jefferies, &c. lord Mg^ chanceUor, 1660. 
Cooper, large 4to. mezz. 

George, Lord Jefferies, &c. inscribed, ^' The Lord Chan- 
cellor." J. Smith, exc. large 4to. mezz. 

The lord chancellor taken in disguise at Wapping. He 
IB surrounded by the mob. H. sh. — Granger. 

George (JeiTeries), Earl of Flint, Visooant WeUdMii, 
Baron of Weim, &c. G. ' Kneller, p. Cooper, exo. 16B^ 
4to. mezz. very scarce. 

* He bore ermme, a lion rampant, and canton, sable, with a mallet for 
difference on a canton, and the anna of UUter in an iaeicatcbecA on tfa« 
body of the lion. 


hare perished in the fire which destroyed the 
manor-house of Durance, about fifty years ago, 
at the Christmas audit, by putting too much 
wood on the hall-fire. There were at Stoke 
Pogis, in Buckinghamshire, in the possession 
of Lady Juliana Penn, his descendant, two por- 
traits of Lord Chancellor Jeffreys : one a whole 
length in his robes, holding the great seal ; in 
the other, he is in black with a band^ and sitting 
at a table, on which is a letter directed to him. 
The present earl of Winchelsea has also a por- 
trait of him ; and another is in the possession 
of Dr. Jeffreys, canon residentiary of St. Paul's. 
Whether the reader be curious to know the 
fate of other persons who have been mentioned 
in this Uttle history, or be content with th,e 
extinction of its principal character, we will 
ofier no opinion. The great novelist of our day 
has ever been willing to gratify those who 
have luxuriated in his pages with such infor- 
mation ; but as we are dealing with the plain 
simple narrative of a great man's life, it were 
far better to say, in imitation of Boswell's fare- 
well, — Such was " Jeffreys. Samuel Johnson, 
however, died childless ; whereas the chancellor 
left a son, who inherited, not only the honour of 
his title, but some of his bright parts alsQ. A 



rery short mention of this young nobleman shall 
close the chapter. ' 

Under the management of so jovial a parent^ 
it would have been surprising if John had not 
fallen into all the gaieties of the times ; and he 
accordingly inherited a love for the bottle, and 
a propensity to extravagant habits. That very 
strange story related of him at Dryden's funeral, 
although proved of late to have been the fa- 
brication of a Mrs. Elizabeth Thomas, his Co^ 
rinna, * is yet quite congenial with his conduct 
and with the custom of the age, when every 
young lord was bowed down to like a phoenix. 

' Jeffreys was twice marriecl. Hb fint wife, Sarah 
Neesham, brougtit him four sons and two daughters : John, 
of whom we are now speaking; Thomas, who died March 7, 
1676; George and Robert, who died in their infancy ; Mar^ 
garet, his eldest daughter, who espoused William Stringer, 
of Durance, in the parish of Enfield (son and heir to 
Judge Stringer); and Sarah, the second, who married George 
BamagCy a captain of marines. His second wife, the widow 
of Sir John Jones, of Funman, in Glamorganshire, and 
daughter of the Lord Mayor Bludworth, gave him two sons 
and four daughters, all of whom died infants, except Mary, 
who became the wife of Charles Dive, Esq. — See Nichols's 

* She was in prison, and in great poverty, which might 
probably induce her to become ** the mother of many in« 


When the great poet died (at least so the story 
goes). Sprat, then bishop of Rochester and 
dean of Westminster, sent to Lady Elizabeth 
Howard, the widow, with a proposal to make a 
present of the ground and all the Abbey- fees : 
Lord Halifax also offered to bury him with a 
gentleman's private funeral, and to bestow 500/. 
upon a monument to his honour. This libe- 
rality being acceded to by the lady and Charles 
Dryden the son, the corpse was ready to 
move forward, attended by eighteen mourning 
coaches; the Abbey was lighted, the choir 
attending, the anthem set, and the dean waiting 
to bury. At this moment came up the young 
lord with some wild rakes, and having learned 
for whom the funeral obsequies were performing, 
'' What shall Dryden, the greatest honour and 
ornament of the nation, be buried after this pri- 
vate manner ?" quoth Jeffreys: "No, gentlemen; 
let all that loved Mr. Dryden, and honour his 
memory, alight, and join with me in gaining 
my lady's consent to let me have the honour of 
his interment, which shall be after another man- 
ner than this; and I will bestow a thousand 
pounds on a monument in the Abbey foriiim." 
This said, the people in the coaches, who were 
ignorant of the dean's kindness as well as of 


Halifax's generosity, alighted^ and attended the 
young man to the bed-chamber of the Lady 
Howard, who was sick. All kneeled down by 
his desire, and he vowed never to rise till his 
request should be granted. The unfortunate 
woman fainted away, being frightened, but ex- 
claimed, ''No, no!" as soon as she recovered. 
'* Enough, gentlemen," said Lord Jeffreys; *'my 
lady is very good; she says, *'Gro, go." Her 
feeble voice was, however, drowned in joyous 
acclamations, and away went all the parties, 
the hearsemen being bidden to carry the 
corpse to one Russel, an undertaker in Cheap- 
side, there to be embalmed stfter the royal 
fashion. Next day, Mr. Charles Dryden en- 
deavoured to excuse his mother to the bishop 
and my Lord Halifax; but they would hear 
nothing in extenuation : and when the under- 
taker applied to Jeffreys for a fulfilment of his 
promise, he turned it off ill-naturedly, saying, 
that those who observed the orders of a drunken 
frolic deserved no better ; that he remembered 
nothing of it, and that he might do what he liked 
with the corpse. Charles Dryden then wrote 
to him, but received for answer, that he would 
not be troubled about the matter. The result 
of this extraordinary matter was, that Dr. Garth, 


of the College of Physicians, proposed a sub- 
scription ; and Dryden was at length interred in 
the Abfoey» followed by a numerous train of 
coaches. But as so<hi as the fwnerad wa^ oyer, 
Charles sought every opportunity of fighting the 
man who had so dishonoured his parents ; and 
having challenged him in vain, declared that he 
would watch and fight him off-hand, though like 
a gentleman, and with all the rules of honour; 
and then, we are told, that Jeffreys sneaked off 
out of the town, and that the meeting, though 
sedulously sought for, never took place. 

Mr. M alone, who took singular pains to dii»- 
prove this unhandsome tale, after exhibiting 
many instances of falsehood which Mrs« Thomas 
had allowed to go forth in print, g^ves the verity 
of the case thus. — ^True it was, that Jeffreys met 
the procession in the street, and that, in con- 
junction with others, he was instrumental in 
changing the private funeral intended kusn by 
Mr. Montague, afterwards Lord Halifax, into 
a public ceremony; but the histories of the 
dean, the attendance of the choir, the bed- 
chamber scene, and the challenge, were merely 
embellishments, or, to speak more to the pur- 
pose, gross fictions. The Earl of Dorset and 
Jeffreys thought that so great a poet should be 
honoured with a signal solemnity ; and having 


prevailed on the relations of Dryden to suffer 
the removal of his corpse, it was taken from the 
undertaker s on the same evening to the College 
of Physicians, whence it was carried with due 
pomp to Westminster, as we have related/ The 
truth, therefore, is far from being discreditable 
to the young nobleman, although he might have 
effected his intentions in a manner somewhat 

Like his father, he had the reputation of being 
an author, from the force of genius which he 
was known to possess; and Walpole has thought 
fit to place him in his Noble Catalogue.' The 
paraphrased fable, however, on King William, 
is considered to have been Prior's, having been 
found among his unpublished manuscripts after 

' Thb account is greatly confirmed by Ward, in his Lon- 
don Spy. He says, be saw the procession when standing at 
the end of Chancery-lane, that he heard the concert of haut- 
boys and trumpets, and he compliments Lord Jefireys on his 
pious undertaking. 

^ Not unlike Richard — 

" Stay you, that bear the corse, and set it down." 
And again : 

** Villains, set down the corse, or, by Saint Paul, 
I'll make a corse of him that disobeys." 
* But it is in a kind of appendix, where Lord Orferd de- 
signates his supplemental geniuses as persons he had hardly 
thought of noticing. 


his death in his own hand-writing, though Lord 
Jeffreys has long had the credit of it. As it is 
but short, perhaps there will be no harm in 
giving it : — 


In Meop's tales an honest wretch we find. 
Whose years and comforts equally declined ; 
He in two wives had two domestick ilb. 
For different age they had, and different wills ; 
One pluckt his black hairs out, and one his grey ; 
The man for quietness did both obey. 
Till all his parish saw his head quite bare. 
And thought he wanted brains as well as hair. 


The parties, henpeckt W* ■ m» are thy wives ; 
The hair they pluck are thy prerogatives : 
Tories thy person hate, the whigs thy power; 
Though much thou yieldest, still they try for more. 
Till this poor man and thou alike are shown. 
He without hair, and thou without a crown. 

The burlesqued epitaph on the Duke of Glou- 
cester has been always understood as the legi- 
timate production of this nobleman . The original 
by Dr, Bentley is in Latin verseJ 

On the Death of the Duke of Gloucester, by Dr, Bentley. 

Quid queror ? an proprio sub pondere magna fatiscunt ? 
£t Natura labat dotibus ipsa suis ? 


WbAt reason have. I to complain, 

Since in all times i^ has been plain. 

That great and weighty things must soon. 

Like jacks, with their own weight, go down ? 

And Nature, when upon her back 

She lays too much, will surely crack. 

So little Willy does, and cares 

Neiliier for scepters, nor our pray'rs : 

And I shall lore him long, for all 

The hopes he gaTe us were but small. 

Or rather Gt>d, whe gave us Birth, 

Being in wrath with lazy eartli. 

Takes this oceaaon, and prefers 

Illustrious souls among the stars. 

If it be so, I told a lie. 

And little Willy does not die ; 

But mounts alive, and swiftly flies. 

On airy horseback thro' the skies. 

Tis the same horse ^Id Enoch rode, 

And Asgil keeps to go to God. 

Sic moreris, Oulielme, et sceptra, et vota tuorum, 

Destituens, brevis, heu I Spes; diuturnus Amor ! 
An ^otius terras Deus indignatus inertes 

lUustres animas ad supera alta vocat ? 
Nec.morer4s, Gulielme, volas sed vivus ad astra, 

iBtheriis rectus qualis Enochus equis ; 
£t positis noTus exuviis roseo ore refulges, 

Inter coelicolas conspiciendus avos. 
Interea flendo nos frustra ducimus boras, 

iViveoti et cassas solvimns exequies. 
Sctlioet : at sine te tris^i marcesn^re 19 ^tO| 

Illud erit nobis, bis» Gidioln^^ mori. 


Now tee the youth without hisdothesj 
How like a new-born flow r he shows : 
See how his rosy cheeks do shine 
Among his ancestors divine ; 
While we poor mortals here below 
Our sighs and tears in rain bestow ; 
And em'pty obsequies are paid. 
Just-as if he were really dead ; 
Which makes it plain, that living on 
A hated life, now he is gone. 
Will be to us, aitho' our breath 
Stiould ne'er be stopi, a double death. 

There is really some ground for Mrs. Wise* 
man's praise, when, dedicating her tragedy of 
Antiochus to him, she spoke of his ** admirable 
gay humour and eternal vivacity of wit." He 
received a similar mark of honour from the au* 
tbor of Bonduca, another tragedy, altered from 
Fletcher, which was published in 1696. Yet 
while he was an enterprising, he was doubtless 
an imprudent l*d ; and through his dwth, which 
took place in 1703, averted the distress which 
treads hard upon the spendthrift, his estates 
turned out to be seriously involved and encum- 
bered. We hate seen how he became possessed 
of Lerd Pembroke's daughter, in sj^ite of «H ob* 
stacles; and, whether a state of comfort or un- 
happiness ensued upon the nuptials, certain it is, 


that the chancellor had advanced his son among 
the first people of the land, and that his grand- 
daughter allied herself to noble blood. John^~ 
Lord Jeffreys, had two children ; Herbert, who 
died an infant, and Henrietta, who wedded 
Thomas, Earl of Pomfret. The death of Herbert 
caused the extinction of the title. Henrietta, 
the countess, was an amiable and well-informed 
gentlewoman; she was the familiar and affec- 
tionate correspondent of Lady Hartford,' after- 
wards Duchess of Somerset, whom Thomson 
has justly celebrated. Both these ladies retired 
from public life in 1 737, on the death of Queen 
Caroline ; Lord Pomfret and his family went to 
reside on the continent, while the Ladv Hart- 
ford remained in England. That nobleman* 
died in 1753 ; and two years afterwards, his 
noble collection of busts and statues^ was pre- 

' O Hartford, fitted or to shine in courts 
With unaffected grace, or walk the plain. 


* He was a knight of the Bath, and master of the horse to 
the Queen, and his wife was a lady of the bed-chamber. 

» The Pomfret marbles, being part of the Arundel mar- 
bles, were bought by Sir William Fermor, Lord "PomfeeVu 
father, and deposited at Easton Neston, Northamptonshire, 
the seat of the family, whence they were removed to the 
Logic and Moral Philosophy School at Oxford. 


sented to the University of Oxford by his wi- 
dow. She died in 1761^ leaving a considerable 
family, and was honoured with a cenotaph by 
the college to which she had been so munificent 
a donor. 






AcTON-HOUSE, the birth place of Jefireys, 1 

Anglesey, Earl of, reported for chancellor in the room of 

Jeffreys, 335, n. 
Archer, judge, refused to give up his place, 332, n. 
Armstrong, Sir Thomas, Jeffreys very severe against him, 

Arundel, mayor of, spirited behaviour of his to Jeffreys, 310 

its sugular result, 311 
Atwood, counsellor, Jeffreys not able to put him down, 181 


Baddiley, the coroner, a story about him and Jeffreys, 

312, n. 
Balderson, vice-chancellor, his high spirit, 305 
Baxter, Richard, persecuted by Jeffreys, 17B 
Bay ley, Mr., his account of Jefireys's interment, 381 
Beaulieu, chaplain to Jeffreys, 140, n. 


418 INDEX. 


Bedingfieldy chief justice, how he came to be a judge, 150 
Belwood, Roger, serjeant, a candidate for the recorder'^ 
ship of London in 1677, 34 
his library, S4, n. 
Bentley, Dr., his Latin verses on the Duke of Gloucester's 

death, 411 
Berry, tried for Godfrey's murder, 46 
Bigland, serjeant, how he got into a scrape, 132 
Bishops, the seven, their case, 336 
committed by Jeffreys, 389 
acquitted, 340 
' Bludwortb, Sir Thomas, father-in-law to Lord Chancellor 
Jeffreys, 36 
his pusillanimity during the fire of London, 106, 107 
his death, 106 

praised by Dr. Freeman in a funeral sermon, 108 
another Sir Thomas, probably his son, opposed the bill 
for charging Jeffreys's estates, 109 
Boscawen, Mr., moves the attainder of Jeffreys, 398 
Bradbury, counsellor, anecdote of hb ingenuity, 173 

Jeffreys's wit upon him, 174 
Bradshaw, serjeant, his conduct to King Charles I., 285 
Brandon, Gerrard, Lord, 256 
Brbtol corporation punished by Jeffireys for kidnapping 

slaves, 176 
Broughton, manor of, the property of Jeffreys, 401, n. 
Bulstrode, bought by Jeffreys, 401, n. 
Burnet, Dr., master of the Charter-house, stands up for its 
privileges, 313 


Camden, Lord, his ofHuion in oppoaition to Jeffreys wpon 
publishing state affairs, 66 

INDEX, 419 

Cann, Sir Robert, mayor of Bristol, mortifiad by Jeffreys, 

Canterbury, Sermon-house there ; anecdote respecting it, 48 
Cartwright, bishop, one of the high commission court, !280,n. 
Castlemaine, Lord, his journey to Rome, 3M 
his promotion likely to unseat Jeffreys, 335 
Chandos, Lord, one of the lords who examined Jeffreys in the 

Tower, 369, n. 
Chapman, Sir John, dies of fear on beholding Jefireys's face, 

Charles IL, King of England, his facetious wit upon Je^ 
freys's fright, 75 
an endeavour to show that he was parliament-proof, td. n. 
what he said to his brother James, 76, n. 
what passed on his death-bed, 142, n. 
his decease, '156 

what he said to Lord Keeper North when he gave him the 
seal, 265 
Charlton, Sir Job, how Jeffreys got the chief justiceship of 
Chester from him, 60 
restored to it in James II.'s reign, 61 
Charter-house, Jeffreys interferes there, 313 
Chiflinch, father and son, closet-keepers to King Charles 

II., some account of them, 31, n. 
Clarendon, Henry, Earl of, desirous of patronising Judge 
Street, 205, n. 
but dissuaded, 206, n. 
courts the acquaintance of Jeffreys, 326 
his freedom displeases the King, 355 
Clodpate, nickname of Sir Wm. Scroggs, 30 
Coke (of Derby) sent to the Tower for a bold c^peech^ 270 
Coke, chief justice^ defended the Chavter*house, 315 
Colem^, tried for the popish plot, 44 

420 INDEX. 

CoUedge, the London joinjer, his fate, 88 
Compton, bishop, upholds the constitution in the House of 
Loids^ 270 

in trouble before the higli commission court, 282 

and suspended, 284 
Cook, Dr., a civilian, his skirmish with Jeffreys, 303 
Corinna, Mrs. Elizabeth Thomas, the friend of John, Lord 

Jeffreys, 40C 
Cornish men, their loyalty, 233 

Crew, bishop, one of the high commission court, 280, n. 
Crispe, common-serjeant, displeased Jeffreys, 164 


Dalby, manor of, the property of Lord Jeffreys, 401, n. 
Danby, Earl of, instrumental in promoting Scroggs, 62, n. 

applies to be bailed, 115 
Dangerfield, his death, 261 

lamentation oyer him, 262 
Dare, the bold petitioner, 104 
Davy, Serjeant, praises Jeffre3rs as a lawyer, 168 
De Burgh, Hubert, chief justice in Henry III.'s ieign> the 

first judge who was made a peer, 167 
Delamere, Lord, his speech in dispraise of Jeffreys, 66 

his troubles and trial, 271, &c. 
Devonshire, Earl of, severe tine upon him condemned in par- 
liament, 298, n. 
Dissenters, they incur the displeasure of Jeffreys who shuts 
them out from serving on grand juries, 86, SG 

the strange gestures they formerly made, 97, n. 
Dockra, Wm., inventor of the penny-post office, 63 

prosecuted for hia pains, ib. 

INDEX. 421 

Dockra^ Wm.> manages matters badly, and the crown g^ts 

posBession of his office, 63 
- but he has a small pension at last, 64, n. 
Dolben, Sir Wm., some account of him, 83, n. 

anecdote of him, 44, n. 
Dry den, strange occurrence at his funeral, 407 
Dugdale, Sir Wm., Garter, what he said of Scroggs, who 

refused to pay him the knighthood-fees, 51, n. 
Dunne, a witness whom Jeffreys severely treated, 133 


East India Company*s case, 168 
Evelyn entertains Lord Jeffreys, 319 


Fairfax, Dr., his bold attack upon Jeffreys^ 307, 308 

Farewel, The, a lampoon, 373 

Farmer, Anthony, his bad success at Magdalen CoUege, 
Oxford, 306 

Feversham, Lord, intercedes with the King for Lady Lisle, 

Finch, Earl of Aylesford, some account of him, 109, n. 
an author of pamphlets, 110, n. 

Firebrass, Sir Basil, his gamblihg case, 349 

Fitzharris, how he was sacrificed, 86 

Fleming, chief bibron, would not allow the King's preroga- 
tive to be debated in Westminster-hall, 169 

Flint, Earl of, whether Jeffreys ever had this title, 330. 
404, n. 

422 INDEX. 

Frances, faaoged for the murder of Dangerfield throiq^ Jef- 
freys, 261 

Francis, Alban, the BenecbctiHe monk, refused at Cambridge 
for not taking the oaths, 900. 806 

Fulmer, manor of, the property of Jeffi^ys, 401, n. 


Gill, Dr., master of St. Paul's school, 5, n. 

Gilt cup, the drinking and fining for sheriff by means of it, 

Godfrey, Sir Edmondbury, his death, 42 

Great seal, thrown into the Thames, and found by a fisher- 
man, 359 

Green ribbon council, 97, n. 

Green tried for Godfrey's murder, 40 

Gregory, judge, anecdote of him, 175 
some account of him, ib. n. 

Grenvill, dean of Durham, curious story about the outwitting 
of Jeffreys, 812, n. 

Grey, Lord, of Werk, see Jeffreys, 98 
the leader of the gveen ribbon council, 97 
pardoned for the Duke of Monmouth's robelltoB, 255 

Gro^e tried for the po^sh plot, 45 

Guilford, Francis, Lord, a wary lawyer, 43, n. 
his opinion upon a witnen's competeBcy, 51 
modifies Jeffreys's violence against petitioning, 72 
endeavours to keep him damn, 88 
supports his brother Dudley in the city, 96 
vexed by Jeffreys, who fiduls at the pinch, 137, 138 
he is defeated in other respects by Jeffreys, 150, 151 
his acquaintance with Sir Robert Wright, 152 
a decree of his reversed, 154 

INDEX. 423 

Ouilford, Francis, Loid, his shrewd way of aTotding a quar- 
rel, 156 
whether he could have saved the western massacre, 267 
never happy after he had the seal, 966 
his arms in St. Alban's Abbey, d07 


Hale, Sir Matthew^ refused Scroggs his gerjeant's privilege, 
62, n. 
how he checked a horse-race, 848 
Hales, Sir Edward, obtains a verdict against the test, 281 

how he obtained a grant of crown land, 288, 289, n. 
Halifax, Lord, refused to join his signature with that of any 
one who sat in the ecclesiastical commission, 864 


Hamling, Simon, his hard fate, 218 
Hampden, saved his life by bribing Jeffireys, 256. 260 
Harbord, Mr., his strong speech against corrupt judges, 860, n. 
Harris, the organ-builder, contest between him and Smith, 

Hawles, Sir John, some account of him, 808, n. * 
Hayes, his trial, 166 

Henry, Philip, kindness of Jeffireys towards him, 182 
Herbert, chief justice, removed for refusing to shed blood, 
188, n. 

a mild man, 196, n. 250 

the first who proposed dispensing with the tests, 278, n. 

one of the high commission court, 280, n. 

excepted out of the act of indemnity, 400, n. 
Hicks, dean of Worcester, some account of him, 196, n. 
High commission court, revival of it, 279 

commissioners, 280, n. 
Hill, implicated in Godfrey's murder, 46 

424 INDEX. 

HoUoway, judge, whether he assented to the diapeiMiiig 
power, 297, n. 299, n. 

excepted out of the act of indenmity, 400, n. 

some account of him, ib. 
Holloways, curious verses respecting them, 400, n. 
Holmes, major, his sad fate at Lyme, 206 
Hough, bishop of Worcester, pun on his name, 147, n. 

disturbed in the headship of Magdalen, 306 
Howel, Sir John, recorder of London, presided at Wm. 

Penn's trial, 29, n. 
Hucker, John, hb strange case, 222 

I. and J. 

James the Second. Wrote a letter to Jeffreys^ offering him 
the seals, 232 

whether he promoted the western massacre, 246 

evidence in his favour, 247 

what he said of William Penn. 258, n. 

exasperated against Saxon, a witness, 278 

determmed to promote Catholicism, 296 

his violence at Magdalen College, 308, n. 

anecdotes of his departure from England, 367 

he leaves Jeffreys behind, 358 
Jeffreys, Lord, his birth and parentage, 1 

goes to Shrewsbury free-school, 4 

and to St. Paul's, ib. 

thence to Westminster, 5 

his recollection of Busby and of grammar^ ib, 

a lawyer against his father*s wish, 7 

his curious dream, ib* 

assisted by his grandmother, and entered at the Temple, 

INDEX. 425 

JeffireyBy hotd, a man of the world, 10 
joins a democratic faction who assist him with money, 14 
pleads at Kingston without a regular call to the bar, 17 
called two years afterwards, ib» / 

enters into business, 18 
his loud voice, ib, 

anecdotes of rebufis which he met with, 19—^21 
courts a rich merchants daughter, 22 
isdiscoyered by her father whodiscards the lady'soonfidattt,i&. 
marries out of gratitude, 23 
he aims at a London connexion, 24 
elected common-ser|eant, 26 
pajTS little respect to the mayor and aldermen, 26 
he changes his politics, and comes into the court interest, 30 
his acquaintance with Chiffinch, 31 , n. 
with the famous Nell Gwyn, 33 
knighted, and made recorder of London, 83> 34 
a widower, 35 

but marries again directly, 36 
reasons for thb haste, 37 
his boldness before the King, 41 
the King pleased, ib. 

some apologies for his conduct when recorder, 43 . 
yery severe against the Catholic religion, 45 
but seems disposed to allow the prisoners fair play, ib, 
engaged in the state prosecutions, 46. 40 
humane, ib. 

dreaded by the Romanists, 47 
anecdote of his dislike to popery, 48 
his strict conduct in prosecutions for libel, 51 
hit law upon the subject, 55 
against the press, 56 
his opinions on that subject reprobated by Lord Camden, Ifr. 

426 INDEX. 

Jeffreys, Lord, very severe on Smith, the bookseller, 60 

enraged at a jury for returning ignoramus, 57 

is made serjeant, 60 

chief justice of Chester, ib. 

King's Serjeant, ib» 

apd King's counsel at Ludlow, ib, 

solicitor-general to the Duke of York, 62 

rebuked by a judge, 65 

Lord Delamere's opinion of him, 66 

an abhorrer, 71 

and so comes under the displeasure of the House of Com- 
mons, ib. 

an address voted against him to the King, 74 

is reprimanded upon his knees, 75 

and the King laughs at him, ib. 

frightened, and resigns the recordership, 76 

proceedings of the court of aldermen respecting him, 77 

he is scoffed at by the mob, 79 

his removal attributed to Shaftesbury, 79, o. 

not ashamed of his country, 82, n. 

desirous of effecting a reconciliation with his old friends, 

but is unsuccessful, ib, 

stilLin great favour at court, 85 

thinks of revenge, t^. 

and falls upon the dissenters as his prmcipal enemies, ib» 

chairman of Hickes's-hall, ib, 

refuses to allow a dissenter's serving on the grand jury, ib. 

roars against Fitzhanris, 86 

is violent against Plunket, 87 

his wit at CoUedge's trial, where he bullies both the court 
and the witnesses, 88 et seq. 

but stands up for legitimate evidence, 92 

INDEX. 427 

Jeffireys, Lord, his conduct at Lord Grey's trial, 93 
determines to mortify the city, ib, 
he interferes to get a court sheriff, 96 
against sheri& Piikington and Shute for a riot in die 

common-hall, 98 
very busy about die fines, 102 
against Sir Patience Ward, ib* 
oyertums the charter of London, 103 
and the corporate privileges in the north, t^. 
gets the Ring's ring, called the blood-stone, 104 
would have supplanted Jones, 106 
his letter to Pepys, the secretary, 107, n. « 
ready for the prosecutions in the Rye-house plot, 109 
so fierce against Lord William Russel, as to tninsgms his 

usual caution on the suliject of evidence, 111 
but his shrewdness and bravado persuade the jury, 112 
made chief justice of the King's Bench, and a privy-conn- 

seller, 113 
and a cabinet minister, 115 
reasons for his promotion, ib, 
be tries Algernon Sidney, i^* 
not so blameable as has been supposed, tft. ei $eq, 
but is a thorough-paced courtier, 121 
attack upon him by Burnet, ib, 
his private life, 122 

his conduct to Sir Thomas Aimstiong, 124 
he meets with repartees, 125 
remembers former affronts, 12G 
he lectures Mr. Ward die counsel, 127 

Mr. Wallop, 130 

Mr. Stanhope^ 131 

Serjeant Bigland, 132 

and othersj 133 

428 IND£X. 

Jeffireys, Lord, bow he would treat a reluctant witness, 134 
he opposes Lord Keeper North, 137 
iiHietfaer he was of any religion, and if so, of what, 140 
he is violent against Bosewell the dissenting minister, 

but is obliged by the King to find a way for the prisoner's 

escape, 146 
how he does this, 147 
how he made the judges in opposition to the lord keeper, 

his arrogance, 153 
abuses the Iprd keeper's law, 164 
a peer, 167 

tries Oates for pegury, 160 
his impartiality at Nisi Prius, 168 
speech in the East India Company's case, 169 
not very courteous to his brethren, 176 
he mortifies the mayor of Bristol, 176 
^his abuse of Baxter, 179 
and of the counsel, ib, 

his singular kindness to a dissenting preacher, 182 
sent into the west to try the rebels, 186 
first to Winchester, where he tries Lady Lisle, 188 
misconducts himself with the jury, 192 
giyes the prisoner a hint which sayours of corruption, 194 
his head-quarters at Dorchester, 196 
he was seen to laugh during prayers and sermon, 200 
desirous of saving time, holds out hopes of mercy to such 

as may confess, 202 
he orders thirty who pleaded not guilty to be hung very 

soon after their conviction, 208 
jokes of his upon the occasion, 204 
he amuses himself with his favourites, 206 

INDEX. 429 

Jeffreys^ Lord, gets money through his favourites, 206 
how he got hold of Major Holmes, 207 
is inexorable to the mediation of the fietir sex, ib, 
his whippings, 210 
goes into Devonshire, 212 

to Taunton, 215 
his great boast, 221 
goes to Wells, 223 
and to Bristol, 224 
his speech there to the grand jury, 225 
turns homewards to take ^e great seal, 232 
importuned for mercy on his journey, which is denied, 233 
how he got money from Mr. Pridaux, 235 
buys estates with it, 238 
some of his lands enumerated, 239, n. 
excuses his conduct at court, 240 
whether he or King James had the greatest share in the 

western executions, 240. 246 
evidence in favour of Jeffreys, 261, &c. * 

lord chancellor, 260 

is instrumental in occasioning the execution of Frances, 262 
he makes light of the great seal, 266 
and tries to browbeat the common law judges, 267 
his conduct in parliament, 269 
where he is defeated, 270 
lord high steward at Lord Delamere's trial, 273 
chief of the high c<Mnmis8ion court, 281 
his rudeness to Bishop Compton, 283 
rallies the civilians, 284 
compared to Serjeant Bradshaw, 285 
Held his court in Duke-street, Westminster, 286 
his town house, ib, 
a bad tenant, 288 

430 IN^DEX. 

JefireySy Lord, very cavafier to tbe Chaneery coimsel> 289 
worse to the attorneys, 291 
he gets hold of a trimmer, 298 
upholds the doctrine of passive obedience, 295 
his influence in depriving the judges, 296, n. 
falb upon Dr. Peachell, the vice-cfaaacelkHr of Cam- 
bridge, 302 
is baffled by Dr. Fairfax, 307 

his admirable behaviour to the mayor of Arundel, 310 
loses the chancellorship of Oxford, 312 
outwitted in other matters, ib» n. 
interferes at the Charter-house, 313 
anecdotes of his wife, 315 

of his festivities, 319 
his acquaintance, ib. 
grossly flattered, 321' 
a judge of music, 323 
his father refuses to see him, 324 
* how he tried to mortify the master of the Rolls, 320 
whether Earl of Flint, 330 
mnriy loses his place through the papisis, 334 
what he did in the case of the seven bishops, 336 
he commits them, 339 
present at the chevalier's birth, 340 
rather corrupt, 343 

but his decree in Lord Pembroke's case was sustained, ik. 
his knowledge of his pvofession, MS 
different opinions upon tiiis subject, 34^ 
zealous in reforming the Chancery practice, 348 
against extravagant gaming, 349 
the supposed author of Vernon's Reports, 350 
uiges the calling of a parliament, 351 
and the restoration of the charters, 35fi^ 

INDEX. 431 

Jeffreys, Lord, goes to Guildhall for the puipose of restoring 
the charters, but is ill received by the populace, 363 

his fall, 354 

neglected by the King, 367 

disguises himself, 361 

description of him, ib. 

discovered by an old enemy, 363 

and carried before the lord mayor, 366 

he is invited by him to dinner, 368 

at his own request is seat to the Tower, ib. 

rage of the mob^ 369 

examined by a deputation oi lords, 374 

causes of his death, 376 

penitent, but always denies his guilt in the western trans- 
actions, 377 

his religion, 379 

offers to make political disclosures, but is cut off by death, 

accounts of his interment, 381 

bis remains found, 332 

satirised after his decease, 384 

his character, 396 

a benefactor to St. Alban*s Abbey, 397 

debate on his being excepted, though dead, out of the act 
of indemnity, 398 

but he is excepted, 401 

his estates, 401, n, 

bill to attaint him fails, 402 

portraits of him, 402. 404, n. 

his children, 406, n. 
Jeffreys, John, father of Lord Jeffi^ys, his character and 
course of life, 2 

refuses to see his son, 324 

432 INDEX. 

Jeffreys, Aid. John, 25, n. 
Jeffreys, Aid. Robert, t^. n. 
Jeffreys, Aid. Jeffrey, t^. ib. 

lends money to his namesake the chancellor, 402, n. 

files a bill of foreclosure, ib. 
Jeffreys, John, eldest brother of Lord Jeffreys, high sheiiflT 

of Denbighshire, 68 
Jeffreys, James, brother of the judge, a prebendary of Can- 
terbury, t(. 

but never dean of Rochester, t^. 
Jeffreys, Thomas, brother of the judge, a knight of Alcan- 
tara, and consul at Alicant and Madrid, 09 
Jeffreys, John, Lord, the judge's son, member for Brecon, 
271, n. 

his extrayagances, 406 

his strange interference at Dryden*s funeral, ib. 

his poetry, 410 

dedications to him, 413 

his children, 414 
Jeffreys, Ann, Lady, some account of h^, 316. 319. 406, n. 
Jeffreys, George, another lawyer of that name, 5, n. 
Jekyll, Sir Joseph, refused to yield the chief justiceship of 
Chester to Mr. Conyers, and prevailed, 332, n. 

thought Jeffreys a great chancellor, 347 

his authority for saying, '' that Jeffreys became penitent," 
377 , 
Jenner, judge, moves for judgment against Rosewell, 147 

his pun, f(. n. 

lampoon on him, ib, 

one of the western judges, 188, n. 

one of the high commission court, 280, n. 

excepted out of the act of indemnity, 400, n. 
Ignoramus, Jeffreys baulked by one, 57 

INDEX. 433 

Johnson, Dr., anecdote of him> 881 

Jones, chief justice, some account of him, 104, 106, n. 

hb bold reply to rojralty, 106 

sometimes harsh, 196, n. 

Jefireys slights his opinion, 267 
Ireland, Sir Thomas, maternal grandfather of Jeffreys, 2 

his works, t(. n, 
Ireland, tried for the popish plot, 45 
Ivy, Lady, her trial for great part of Shadwell^ 168. 171 


Ken, bishop, his firmness and philanthropy, 223 
Kirk, eolonel, boiled the carcases of rebeb in pitch, 214, n. 
account and anecdotes of him, 241, n. 


Lamb, Dr., torn to pieces in the reign of King Charles I., 

965, n, 
Langfaom, the Jesuit, condemned, 47 
L^Estrange, Sir Roger, in disgrace with the mob for despising 

the popish plot, 80 
his story of some booksellers, 80, n. 
Lightfoot, Dr., the great rabbinical scholar, 300 
L'Isle, John, some account of him, 188, n. 
L'Isle, Lady Alice, her trial, 188, &c, 
London, charter of, restored, 353 

Loppington, manor of, the property of Jeffreys, 159. 401, n. 
Lower, Dr., Jeffreys'ji physician during his last illness, 376 
Lucas, Lord, receives Jeflfreys into the Tower, 368 

2 Z 

434 IKDEX* 

Lun, the famous Scatter 'em witness, his puniahment of Jef- 
but is complimented in retuni, ih. 


Maids of honour, how they had fines from tfie Taunton chil- 
dren as Christmas-boxes, 216 
Marie Antoinette, account of her accouchement, 341, n. 
Maynard, Sir John, some account of him, 99, n. 
a severe thing said of him, 73, n. 
has great influence, as a lawyer, with Jeflreys, 129 
Monmouth, Duke of^ nearly reconciled to King Charles, bis 

father, IM 
Montague, chief baron, one of the western judges, 186 

some account of Um, t^. n. 
Montfort, the mimic, a parasite of Jeffreys, 317 
Moor, Sir John, lord mayor, the affair of the gilt cup, 95 
his magnanimous and learned speech, 98 
disappoints the faction of the green ribbon council, and 
others, ib. 
Morton, John, chief justice of Chester, refused to let Sir 

£ardley Wilmot have his place, 61, n. 
Mulgrave, £arl of, one of the high commisBion court, 280, n. 


Neesham, Rev* Thomas, JeSteys manies his daughter, 24 
Nevil, judge, loses his place ibr den]ring the. disp^uiBg 
power, 296, 297, n. 
some account of him, 297, n/ 
Noith and Grey, L<»d, one of the lords who examined Jef- 
freys in the Tower, 369, n. 

INDEX. 435 


North, see Guilfofd. 

North, Dudley, brother to the lord keeper, the court sheriff 
against the city faction, 95 
his admirable good humour, 96 
refused by the livery, 97 
but he prevails at last, 96 
Northey, Sir Edward, his testimoiiy to Sir Oeorge Jeffireys's 
loud voice, 16, n. 


Oates, adventures his wit upon Jeffreys, 91 

a philosopher, f^. n. 

retaliated on by Jeffreys at his trial, 161 

his sentence, 162 

pardoned at the Revolution, 163 
Oldish, Dr., Jeffireys too much for him, 284 
Oliver, Dr., his lucky escape, 235 

Ormond, Duke of, supplants Jefireys in the chancellorship of 
Oxford university, 312 

stands up for the authority of acts of parliament, 314 
Ossulston, Lord, examined Jeffireys in the Tower, 369, n. 


Palmer, Sir Geoffiry, attorney-general to King Charles il., 

some account of him, 9, n. 
Parr, Dr., anecdote of him, 383 
Payton, Sir Robert, a member of the green ribbon council, 

97, n. 
Peachell, vice-chancellor of Cambridge, sadly bullied by 

Jefiieys, 300 
starved himself, 302 

436 INDEX. 

Peachell, Tice^hanoellor of Cambridge^ 'scared by Jeffrsys, 

Pemberton, chief justice, approves of the verdid against 
Fitzhanisy 87 
ao yery moral character, 110 
his summary mode of doing bustness, i^. 
supposed to haye been turned out for his leniency^towuAs 
Lord William Russel, 111 
Pembroke, Earl of, his great case determined by Jefireys, 

343, 344, n. 
PepySy secretary, what he said of Sir Thomas Blodworth, 106 

on good terms with Jeffreys, 107, n. 
Petition of the western widows, 370 
Petre, father, opposed to Jeffreys for his lukewarmnesa in 

the Catholic cause, 336 
Phipps, Sir Constantine, Jeffreys overbears him, 181. and 

see 179, n. 
Pickering, tried for the popish plot, 45 
Picture of Jeffreys, discussion respecting a print which bore 

the inscription of JBarl of Flint, 333, n. 
Pitt, Moses, the bookseller, how Jeffreys served him in re- 
spect of a house and some building ground, 286 
his enterprises in literature, 289, n. 
Pitts, Thomas, author of the Western Martyrology, pro- 
bably Mr. Tutchin under an assumed name, 21 1 and n. 
Pdkxfen, chief justice, counsel during the western ma»> 
sacre, 189 
account of him, ib, n. 
opposed the bills for chai^ng Jefireys's estates with com^ 

pensation monies, 238 
a trustee for Jeffreys's children, &c., 239 
Pomfret, Countess of, insulted by the western populace for 
her near relationship to Jeffreys, 187 

iNt)£x. 437 

Pomfiret, Counteas of» a friend of the celebrated Lady 
Hartford^ afterwards Duchess of Somerset, 414 

Pomfret marbles, 414, n. 

Popham, Andrew, a papist, defeated in his attempt to be- 
come. an out-pensioner of the Charter-house, 313 

Portraits of Jeffreys, 402, 404, n. 

Portsmouth, Duchess of, the acuteness of her memory when 
politics were in question, 87 

PostK>ffice,' penny, history of it, 62 

Powell, Judge John, senior, inexorable agamst the dispensing 
power, and loses his place, 297, n. 
some account of him, 298, 299, n. 

Powell, Thomas, some account of him, 299, n. 

Powell, John, junior, some account of him, ib, n. 

Powis, Lord, a Roman Catholic nobleman, his kindness to 
Richard Baxter, 182 

Popish plot, its commencement, 42 

Pretender, his birth, 340 

Pridaux, attorney-general, some account of him, 236> n« 

Pridaux, Edmund, his heavy fine, 236 
not compensated at the Revolution, 238 


Queen, James the Second's, brought to bed of the Pretender, 

Quo warranto, famous judgement against the city of Lon- 
don, 108 


Raymond, Sir Thomas, account of him, 50, n. 
the father of Lord Raymond, ib. 

438 IND£X, 

Baymondi Lord, some Accoimt of hiniy 50, n. 

Rochester, Earl of, one of the high commbaioii court, ^BO, a. 

threatened with the loss of his place, 284 
Rotheram, Baron, bullied by Jeffreys, 180, see 179, n. 
Russel, Lord William, conduct of Jeffreys at his trial. 111 


Salisbury, loyalty of the citizens of, in M onmoutVs rebellion, 

Sancroft, archbishop, declined to sit in the high commisaion 

court, 280, n. 
Sanders, Sir Edmund, his good nature, 99 

some account of his wonderful rise, t^. 

a great lawyer, 101 

though not yery salubrious, ih. 

dies of apoplexy, 113 
Sandys, Thomas, sued by the East India Company for in- 
vading their trade, 168 
Satires on Jeffreys, 384. 389 

Sawyer, Sir Robert, interferes with Jeffreys in behalf of pri- 
soners, 87 

an old friend of Jeffreys, 146, n. 
Scot, a divine, attended on Jefireys during his last illness, 

142. 377 
Scroggs, chief justice, who he was, 61, n. 

his l^;al career, i^. 

abandons the popish plot prosecutions, 52, n. 

further account of him, ib. 

refused a Serjeant's privilege by Sir Matthew Hale, ib. 

lampoons upon him, t (• et $eq, 

the delusive hopes of mercy he held out to libellers, 51 

banters Jeffreys, 317 

IKDEX. 439 

Sharp, rector of St Giles's, cited before the high commission 
court, 282 ^ 
and suspended, 284 
Shower, Sir Bartholomew, some account of him, 165, n. 
reported Jefireys's judgments, 166 

humoTousbandying between him and Sir Rob. Wright, 167 
his brevity, 187 
Skinner, Robert, a reporter of Jeffreys's judgments in the 

King's Bench, 166 
Sidney, Algernon, his trial and treatment by Jeffreys, 115 
his shrewdness, 118 
and warmth, 119 
his attainder reyersed, 120 
Smith, Francis, the bookseller^ how Jeffreys treated him, 56 
Smith, Sir James, complains of Jeffreys, 231 
Smith, the organ-builder, contest between him and Harris, 

Smoult, Dr., twitted by Jeffreys, 364 
Somers, Lord, Lord Nottingham's elegant compliment to, 

167, n. 
Somerset, Duke of, interfered on behalf of the maids of 

honour, 216, n. 
Spark, Thomas, chaplain to Jeffreys, 141, n. 
Sprat, bishop, one of the high commission court, 280, n. 
Stamford, Lord, 256 

Stanhope, counsellor, reproved by Jeffreys, 131 
Stationers* Company, Jefiireys their counsel in the Psalter 

case, 40 
Stawell, Lord, refuses to see Jeffreys, 219 
Street, judge, diverse opinbns concerning him, 295, n. 
Strbger, judge, his son married Jeffreys's eldest daughter, 

381, n. 
Sunderland, Earl of, one of the high commission court,-280, n. 

440 INDEX. 


Talbot, Sir John, befriends Rosewell, 146 

-Thomas, Mrs. Elizabeth, her extraordinary fabricatioi^y 406. 

See Corinna. 
Tillotson, archbbhop, anecdote of him, 141 

instructed the son of Mr. Attorney-General Pridaux, 
236, n. 

his repartee upon Trevor, 329, n. 
Tipping, colonel, moved the attunder of Jeffreys, 401 
Tory Tom, 234 
Treby, chief justice, recorder of London, 75. 354 

some account of him and of his advancements, 78, n. 

author of several pamphlets, &c., 79, n. 

loved his bottle, 122 
Trevor, Sir John, a supposed gallant of Lady Jeffreys, 
39. 316 

very blunt to the counsel in his court, 290, n. 

by no means submissive to Jeffreys, 294. 326 

some account of him, 324 et $eq. 

his di]N;race, 328 

anecdotes of him, 329, n. 
Trevor, Baron, account of him, 330, n. 
Trevor, Thomas, Lord, account of him, 331, n. 
Trimmers, a politically obnoxious sect, hated by JeifireyB and. 

the high court party, 293 
Trinder, serjeant, 168 
Tutchin, severe judgment of whipping upon him, 210 

some account of this person, ib. n. 

goes to see Jeffreys in the Tower, 246 
Tyrconnel, deputy of Ireland, 336 

INDEX.. 441 


Terdon, an attorney , his singular resistance to the House of 
Commons, 80 
his gasconade, 8^ 

pleases Jeffreys by it, who countenances him, ib. 
Vernon's Reports, said to have been written by Jeffreys, 
350. 396, n. 



Wallop, counsellor, how Jeffreys treated him, 130. 145. vn 
Walter, chief baron, refused to give up his place, 332, n. 
Ward, Sir Patience, see Jefireys, 102 
Wardi cMef baroo, lectured Hihen cooiisel, by Jefi^ej^s, 128 
Warre, Sir JVaacis, endeavours to protect the Taunton 

children, 216, n. 
Wem, barony and manor of, belonged to Jeffreys, 1G9. 

401, n. 
Westminster Wedding, verses in honour of Jefireys's mar- 
riage with Sir Thomas Bludworth's daughter, 37 
Weston, baron, rebukes JeflBreys, 65 

his defiance of the Commons' impeachment, t^. n. 
Weston, judges, sonie aoconat of them, 65, i. . 
Widows, die wMeis, their "potion agaiMt Jeffreys, 370 
WMUmm, Sir William, no friend of Jefireys, 82 

fined 8000/., 127 

some account of him, 130, n. 

Jefireys confounds him, 181 

how nearly he got the seal, 326 

anecdote, 327, n. 

rather inclined against Uie excepting of Jeffreys from the 
act of indemnity, 401 , and ib, n. 

2 F 

442 INDEX. 

Willianiflon sets up the Edinburgh penny-post office, 03, a. 

is allowed an annuity by the crown, 64, n. 
Wilmot, chief justice, desired the chief justiceship of Obesten, 

but did not succeed, 61, n. 
Windsor, Viscount, married the widow of John, Lord Jef- 
freys, 402, n. 
Wiseman, Mrs., her dedications to John', Lord Jefireys, 413 
Wolf justice, a lampoon upon Chief Justice Scroggs, 54 
Wright, chief justice, a judge through the interest of Jef- 
feeys, 161. 153 

some account of him, 151, n. 188, n. 
' his conduct to Sir Francis North, 151 

one of the western judges, 188 

one of the high commission court, 280, n. 

his shuffling in the Earl of Deyonshire's case, 299| n. 

his repartee to a Fellow of Magdalen, 309, n. 

excepted out of the act of indemnity, 400, n. 
Wythens, judge, severe against Oates, 163 

no yery great man, ib, n. 

his wit, 164 


York, James, Duke of , hb indiscreet demand of an inyesti- 
- gstion on the rumour of the popish plot, 42 
makes Jeffreys his solicitor-general, 62. See James II, 



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