Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 29.djvu/288

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
There was a problem when proofreading this page.

after Kneller, published by E. Cooper and I. Oliver, it would seem that James had at one time some intention of creating Jeffreys Viscount Weikham and Earl of Flint (see also Luttrell, i. 325). The explanation that these titles were given satirically (Nicolas, Synopsis of the Peerage, 1825, i. 346) is obviously insufficient; but though it is stated in Seward's ‘Anecdotes’ that ‘a learned and ingenious collector in London’ had in his possession the patent for creating Jeffreys Earl of Flint (5th edit. iv. 142), no entry of such patent is to be found on the rolls or among the privy seals in the Record Office. Jeffreys is said to have been one of the umpires chosen to decide the respective merits of the two organs built by Bernard Schmidt and Renatus Harris [q. v.] respectively for the Temple Church. Jeffreys never represented any constituency in the House of Commons, and only sat in the House of Lords for a few weeks. He does not appear to have published anything. Vernon's ‘Reports,’ which were compiled from Vernon's manuscripts after his death, and published by the court of chancery 1726–8, were erroneously supposed to have been the work of Jeffreys (Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. i. 332). While recorder of the city Jeffreys resided in Aldermanbury, opposite St. Mary Aldermanbury Church. Though he appears to have taken Lord-keeper Guilford's house in Queen Street (ROGER NORTH, Autobiography, p. 195), Jeffreys, soon after he became lord chancellor, went to live in ‘a great house in Duke Street, just against the Bird Cages in St. James's Park,’ which he rented from Moses Pitt the bookseller. James is said to have ‘permitted a fair pair of freestone stairs to be made into the park’ for Jeffreys's accommodation (STOW, Survey of London (Strype), 1720, bk. vi. 64), and here on a vacant piece of ground between the house and the park Jeffreys had a cause room built, which he used as a place of judicial business when he found it inconvenient to sit at Westminster or Lincoln's Inn. This room, which was afterwards known as Duke Street Chapel, has since been pulled down, and the street has been renamed Delahay Street.

There are numerous portraits of Jeffreys. The full-length painted by Kneller in 1687 for the Inner Temple was hung only for a short time in the hall. After his downfall it was taken off the wall, and in 1697 was given by the society to the second Baron Jeffreys, who removed it to Acton. It was subsequently removed to Erddig, Denbighshire, where it is now in the possession of Mr. Simon Yorke, who also possesses a small oval in black and white, drawn by Allen for the engraving which appears in Yorke's ‘Royal Tribes of Wales.’ Another portrait by Kneller, belonging to Lord Tankerville, is at Chillingham Castle, Northumberland. It was painted for James II, and at the time of the revolution was hanging in the court of king's bench. A third portrait which was removed from the Guildhall upon Jeffreys's disgrace cannot now be traced. Possibly it may be the portrait which is now in the National Portrait Gallery, as Jeffreys is there portrayed as recorder. Mr. Frederic Fane has a portrait of Jeffreys at Moyles Court, near Ringwood, Hampshire, and there is another in the Dorset County Museum. Two portraits of Jeffreys and of one of his wives are preserved at Swell Court, Somerset (Notes and Queries, 5th ser. vi. 148), and his portrait appears in Verrio's large picture of James II receiving the president of Christ's Hospital (Pennant, London, 1814, pp. 140–1). Reference to other portraits of Jeffreys, which cannot now be traced, will be found in Nichols's ‘History of Leicestershire’ (vol. ii. pt. i. p. 117 n.) There are numerous engravings of Jeffreys's portraits by E. Cooper, T. Oliver, J. Smith, R. White, and others. Several prints representing Jeffreys taken in disguise and surrounded by the mob were published shortly after his capture. The inscriptions of two of these prints are in Dutch (Stephen, Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires, 1870, i. 723).

Jeffreys married, first, on 23 May 1667, at Allhallows Barking Church, Sarah, daughter of the Rev. Thomas Neesham. This marriage is one of the most creditable passages in his career. Having become involved in difficulties Jeffreys determined to repair his fortunes by marrying an heiress, the daughter of a certain rich merchant. Her father, however, discovered the design, forbade the marriage, and turned his daughter's companion, through whom Jeffreys had kept up a clandestine correspondence with the heiress, out of the house. In return for having ruined her prospects Jeffreys, in a fit of generosity, married the companion. By this marriage Jeffreys had four sons and two daughters, viz. (1) John, see infra; (2) Thomas, who died on 7 March 1676; (3) George; (4) Robert, both of whom died in infancy; (5) Margaret, who married at Hedgerley, Buckinghamshire, on 15 Oct. 1687, William, the eldest son of Sir Thomas Stringer of Durance, in the parish of Enfield, and was buried at Enfield on 11 May 1727 (Lysons, Environs of London, ii. 321); and (6) Sarah, who became the wife of George Harnage, a colonel of marines, the third son of Edward Harnage of Belswardyne, near Cressage, Shropshire (Burke, Peerage, &c., 1888, p. 676). Lady Jeffreys died on 14 Feb. 1678,