Biography of George "Hanging Judge" Jeffreys 1st Baron Jeffreys 1645-1689

1660 Indemnity and Oblivion Act

1678 Popish Plot

On 15 May 1645 George "Hanging Judge" Jeffreys 1st Baron Jeffreys 1645-1689 was born to [his father] John Jeffreys High Sheriff 1608–1691 (37) at Acton Park.

In 1667 George "Hanging Judge" Jeffreys 1st Baron Jeffreys 1645-1689 (21) and [his wife] Sarah Needham -1678 were married.

On 16 Jul 1673 [his son] John Jeffreys 2nd Baron Jeffreys 1673-1703 was born to George "Hanging Judge" Jeffreys 1st Baron Jeffreys 1645-1689 (28) and Sarah Needham -1678.

Around 1675 John Michael Wright 1617-1694 (57). Portrait of George "Hanging Judge" Jeffreys 1st Baron Jeffreys 1645-1689 (29).

In 1678 [his wife] Sarah Needham -1678 died.

John Evelyn's Diary 04 October 1683. 04 Oct 1683. I went to London, on receiving a note from the Countess of Arlington (49), of some considerable charge or advantage I might obtain by applying myself to his Majesty (53) on this signal conjuncture of his Majesty (53) entering up judgment against the city charter; the proposal made me I wholly declined, not being well satisfied with these violent transactions, and not a little sorry that his Majesty (53) was so often put upon things of this nature against so great a city, the consequence whereof may be so much to his prejudice; so I returned home. At this time, the Lord Chief-Justice Pemberton (59) was displaced. He was held to be the most learned of the judges, and an honest man. Sir George Jeffreys (38) was advanced, reputed to be most ignorant, but most daring. Sir George Treby, Recorder of London, was also put by, and one Genner, an obscure lawyer, set in his place. Eight of the richest and chief aldermen were removed and all the rest made only justices of the peace, and no more wearing of gowns, or chains of gold; the Lord Mayor and two sheriffs holding their places by new grants as custodes, at the King's (53) pleasure. The pomp and grandeur of the most august city in the world thus changed face in a moment; which gave great occasion of discourse and thoughts of hearts, what all this would end in. Prudent men were for the old foundations.

Following his Majesty (53) this morning through the gallery, I went with the few who attended him, into the Duchess of Portsmouth's (34) Dressing Room within her bedchamber, where she was in her morning loose garment, her maids combing her, newly out of her bed, his Majesty (53) and the gallants standing about her; but that which engaged my curiosity, was the rich and splendid furniture of this woman's apartment, now twice or thrice pulled down and rebuilt to satisfy her prodigal and expensive pleasures, while her Majesty's (53) does not exceed some gentlemen's ladies in furniture and accommodation. Here I saw the new fabric of French tapestry, for design, tenderness of work, and incomparable imitation of the best paintings, beyond anything I had ever beheld. Some pieces had Versailles, St. Germains, and other palaces of the French King, with huntings, figures, and landscapes, exotic fowls, and all to the life rarely done. Then for Japan cabinets, screens, pendule clocks, great vases of wrought plate, tables, stands, chimney-furniture, sconces, branches, braseras, etc., all of massy silver and out of number, besides some of her Majesty's (53) best paintings.

Surfeiting of this, I dined at Sir Stephen Fox's (56) and went contented home to my poor, but quiet villa. What contentment can there be in the riches and splendor of this world, purchased with vice and dishonor?.

In 1651 Gerrit van Honthorst Painter 1592-1656. Portrait of Elisabeth Nassau Beverweert Countess Arlington 1633-1718. Around 1642. William Dobson Painter 1611-1646. Portrait of the future King Charles II of England Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685. Before 1691. John Riley Painter 1646-1691. Portrait of King Charles II of England Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685. Around 1665 John Greenhill Painter 1644-1676. Portrait of King Charles II of England Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685 in his Garter Robes. Around 1661 John Michael Wright 1617-1694. Portrait of King Charles II of England Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685 in his coronation robes. Before 11 Jul 1671 Adriaen Hanneman Painter 1603-1671. Portrait of King Charles II of England Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685. 1675. Hendrick Danckerts Painter 1625-1680. Portrait of Royal Gardener John Rose presenting a pineappel to King Charles II Before 1723 Godfrey Kneller 1646-1723. Portrait of Louise Kéroualle 1st Duchess Portsmouth 1649-1734. Before 07 Dec 1680 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of Louise Kéroualle 1st Duchess Portsmouth 1649-1734. In 1670 Henri Gascar Painter 1635-1701. Portrait of Louise Kéroualle 1st Duchess Portsmouth 1649-1734. In 1673 Henri Gascar Painter 1635-1701. Portrait of Louise Kéroualle 1st Duchess Portsmouth 1649-1734. Before 01 Jan 1701 Henri Gascar Painter 1635-1701. Portrait of Louise Kéroualle 1st Duchess Portsmouth 1649-1734. Before 01 Jan 1701 Henri Gascar Painter 1635-1701. Portrait of Louise Kéroualle 1st Duchess Portsmouth 1649-1734. Before 1725. John James Baker Painter -1725. Portrait of Stephen Fox Paymaster 1627-1716.

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Indemnity and Oblivion Act

John Evelyn's Diary 05 December 1683. 05 Dec 1683. I was this day invited to a wedding of one Mrs. Castle, to whom I had some obligation, and it was to her fifth husband, a lieutenant-colonel of the city. She was the daughter of one Burton, a broom-man, by his wife, who sold kitchen stuff in Kent Street, whom God so blessed that the father became a very rich, and was a very honest man; he was Sheriff of Surrey, where I have sat on the bench with him. Another of his daughters was married to Sir John Bowles; and this daughter was a jolly friendly woman. There was at the wedding the Lord Mayor, the Sheriff, several Aldermen and persons of quality; above all, Sir George Jeffreys (38), newly made Lord Chief Justice of England, with Mr. Justice Withings, danced with the bride, and were exceedingly merry. These great men spent the rest of the afternoon, till eleven at night, in drinking healths, taking tobacco, and talking much beneath the gravity of judges, who had but a day or two before condemned Mr. Algernon Sidney (60), who was executed the 7th on Tower Hill, on the single witness of that monster of a man, Lord Howard of Escrick, and some sheets of paper taken in Mr. Sidney's (60) study, pretended to be written by him, but not fully proved, nor the time when, but appearing to have been written before his Majesty's (53) Restoration, and then pardoned by the Act of Oblivion; so that though Mr. Sidney was known to be a person obstinately averse to government by a monarch (the subject of the paper was in answer to one by Sir E. Filmer), yet it was thought he had very hard measure. There is this yet observable, that he had been an inveterate enemy to the last king, and in actual rebellion against him; a man of great courage, great sense, great parts, which he showed both at his trial and death; for, when he came on the scaffold, instead of a speech, he told them only that he had made his peace with God, that he came not thither to talk, but to die; put a paper into the sheriff's hand, and another into a friend's; said one prayer as short as a grace, laid down his neck, and bid the executioner do his office.

The Duke of Monmouth (34), now having his pardon, refuses to acknowledge there was any treasonable plot; for which he is banished Whitehall. This is a great disappointment to some who had prosecuted Trenchard, Hampden, etc., that for want of a second witness were come out of the Tower upon their habeas corpus.

the King (53) had now augmented his guards with a new sort of dragoons, who carried also grenades, and were habited after the Polish manner, with long peaked caps, very fierce and fantastical.

Around 1670. John Riley Painter 1646-1691. Portrait of James Scott 1st Duke Monmouth 1st Duke Buccleuch 1649-1685.

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John Evelyn's Diary 26 July 1684. 26 Jul 1684. I return'd home where I found my Lord Cheife Justice [Jefferies] (39), the Countesse of Clarendon, and Lady Cath. Fitz-Gerald, who dined with me.

Popish Plot

In 1685, following his accession, King James II (51) had Titus Oates 1649-1705 (35) retried. He was found guilty of perjury on two separate indictments.

His sentence read ... First, The Court does order for a fine, that you pay 1000 marks upon each Indictment. Secondly, That you be stript of all your Canonical Habits. Thirdly, the Court does award, That you do stand upon the Pillory, and in the Pillory, here before Westminster-hall gate, upon Monday next, for an hour's time, between the hours of 10 and 12; with a paper over your head (which you must first walk with round about to all the Courts in Westminister-hall) declaring your crime. And that is upon the first Indictment.

Fourthly, (on the Second Indictment), upon Tuesday, you shall stand upon, and in the Pillory, at the Royal Exchange in London, for the space of an hour, between the hours of twelve and two; with the same inscription. You shall upon the next Wednesday be whipped from Aldgate to Newgate. Upon Friday, you shall be whipped from Newgate to Tyburn, by the hands of the common hangman.

According to his sentence, Oates was to stand every year of his life in the pillory on five different days: before the gate of Westminster Hall on the 9th of August, at Charing Cross on the 10th, at the Temple on the 11th, at the Royal Exchange on the 2nd of September, and at Tyburn on the 24th of April; but, fortunately for the infamous creature, the Revolution deprived his determined enemies of power, and turned the criminal into a pensioner on Government."

The presiding judge was George "Hanging Judge" Jeffreys 1st Baron Jeffreys 1645-1689 (39). Robert Sawyer Attorney General 1633-1692 (52) acted for the prosecution.

Before 1694 John Michael Wright 1617-1694. Portrait of King James II when Duke of York. Around 1666 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of King James II and Anne Hyde Queen Consort England 1637-1671. See Diary of Samuel Pepys 24 March 1666. Before 04 Jan 1674 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of King James II wearing his Garter Robes. Around 1672 Henri Gascar Painter 1635-1701. Portrait of King James II.

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Around 1685 Godfrey Kneller 1646-1723 (38). Portrait of George "Hanging Judge" Jeffreys 1st Baron Jeffreys 1645-1689 (39).

In 1685 George "Hanging Judge" Jeffreys 1st Baron Jeffreys 1645-1689 (39) was created 1st Baron Jeffreys.

John Evelyn's Diary 06 September 1685. 06 Sep 1685. Sunday. I went to prayer in the Chapell, and heard Dr. Standish. The second sermon was preach'd by Dr. Creighton (46), on 1 Thess. 4, 11, persuading to unity and peace, and to be mindfull of our owne businesse, according to the advise of the Apostle. Then I went to heare a Frenchman who preached before the King (51) and Queene (26) in that splendid Chapell next St. George's Hall. Their Maties going to masse, I withdrew to consider the stupendous painting of ye Hall, which, both for the art and invention, deserve the inscription in honour of the painter, Signior Verrio (49). The history is Edward the 3rd receiving the Black Prince, coming towards him in a Roman triumph. The whole roofe is the history of St. George. The throne, the carvings, &e. are incomparable, and I think equal to any, and in many circumstances exceeding any, I have seene abroad.

I din'd at Lord Sunderland's (44), with (amongst others) Sr Wm Soames (40), design'd Ambass. to Constantinople.

About 6 o'clock came Sl Dudley (44) and his brother Roger North (32), and brought the greate seale from my Lord Keeper (47), who died ye day before at his house in Oxfordshire. the King (55) went immediately to Council; every body guessing who was most likely to succeed this greate officer; most believing it could be no other than my Lord Chief Justice Jefferies (40), who had so vigorously prosecuted the late rebells, and was now gone the Western circuit, to punish the rest that were secur'd in the several counties, and was now neere upon his returne. I tooke my leave of his Ma* (51), who spake very graciously to me, and supping that night at Sr Stephen Fox's (58), I promis'd to dine there the next day.

In 1687 Studio of Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of Mary of Modena Queen Consort England Scotland and Ireland 1658-1718. In 1698. Francois de Troy Painter 1645-1730. Portrait of Mary of Modena Queen Consort England Scotland and Ireland 1658-1718. Around 1685 Willem Wissing Painter 1656-1687. Portrait of Mary of Modena Queen Consort England Scotland and Ireland 1658-1718. Around 1680 Simon Pietersz Verelst 1644-1710. Portrait of Mary of Modena Queen Consort England Scotland and Ireland 1658-1718. Before 1685. John Riley Painter 1646-1691. Portrait of Francis North 1st Baron Guildford 1637-1685.

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John Evelyn's Diary 31 October 1685. 31 Oct 1685. I din'd at our greate Lord Chancellor Jefferies (40), who us'd me with much respect. This was the late Chief Justice who had newly ben the Western Circuit to try the Monmouth conspirators, and had formerly don such severe justice amongst the obnoxious in Westmr Hall, for which his Ma* (52) dignified him by creating him first a Baron, and now Lord Chancellor. He had some years past ben conversant at Deptford; is of an assur'd and undaunted spirit, and has serv'd the Court interest on all the hardiest occasions; is of nature cruel and a slave of the Court.

John Evelyn's Diary 22 December 1685. 22 Dec 1685. Our patent for executing the office of Privy Seal during the absence of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, being this day seal'd by the Lord Chancellor (40), we went afterwards to St James's, where the Court then was on occasion of building at Whitehall; his Ma* (52) deliver'd the seale to my Lord Tiviot and myselfe, the other Commissioners not being come, and then gave us his hand to kisse. There were the two Venetian Ambassadors, and a world of company; amongst the rest the first Popish Nuncio that had ben in England since the Reformation, so wonderfully were things chang'd, to the universal jealousy.

Before 1661. Remigius van Leemput Painter 1607-1675. Copy of Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680 portrait of Henry Hyde, Viscount Cornbury and his first wife Theodosia Capell.

John Evelyn's Diary 24 December 1685. 24 Dec 1685. We were all three Commissioners sworne on our knees by the Cleark of the Crowne, before my Lord Chancellor (40), three severall oathes; allegiance, supremacy, and the oath belonging to ye Lord Privy Seal (52), wch last we tooke standing. After this the Lord Chancellor (40) invited us all to dinner, but it being Christmas-eve we desir'd to be excus'd, intending at three in ye afternoone to seale divers things which lay ready at ye office; so attended by three of the Clearks of ye Signet, we met and seal'd. Amongst other things was a pardon to West, who being privy to the late conspiracy, had reveal'd the accomplices to save his owne neck. There were also another pardon and two indenizations; and so agreeing to a fortnight's vacation, I return'd home.

Around 1678 Mary Beale aka Cradock Painter 1633-1699. Portrait of George Savile 1st Marquess Halifax 1633-1695.

John Evelyn's Diary 12 February 1686. 12 Feb 1686. My greate cause was heard by my Lord Chancellor (40), who granted me a re-hearing. I had 6 eminent lawyers, my antagonists 3, whereof one was the smooth-tong Solicitor (64), whom my Lord Chancellor (40) reprov'd in greate passion for a very small occasion. Blessed be God for his greate goodnesse to me this day.

In 1666 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of Heneage Finch 1st Earl Nottingham 1621-1682.

John Evelyn's Diary 14 July 1686. 14 Jul 1686. Was sealed at our office the constitution of certain commissioners to take upon them full power of all Ecclesiastical affairs, in as unlimited a manner, or rather greater, than the late High Commission-Court, abrogated by Parliament; for it had not only faculty to inspect and visit all Bishops' dioceses, but to change what laws and statutes they should think fit to alter among the colleges, though founded by private men; to punish, suspend, fine, etc., give oaths and call witnesses. The main drift was to suppress zealous preachers. In sum, it was the whole power of a Vicar-General—note the consequence! Of the clergy the commissioners were the Archbishop of Canterbury [Sancroft] (69), Bishop of Durham [Crewe] (53), and Rochester [Sprat] (51); of the Temporals, the Lord Treasurer, the Lord Chancellor [Jefferies] (41) (who alone was ever to be of the quorum), the Chief justice [Herbert] (38), and Lord President [Earl of Sunderland] (44).

Before 1691. John Riley Painter 1646-1691. Portrait of Bishop Nathaniel Crew 3rd Baron Crew 1633-1721. In 1698 Godfrey Kneller 1646-1723. Portrait of Bishop Nathaniel Crew 3rd Baron Crew 1633-1721. Around 1675 John Greenhill Painter 1644-1676 (attributed). Portrait of Bishop Nathaniel Crew 3rd Baron Crew 1633-1721.

John Evelyn's Diary 08 September 1686. 08 Sep 1686. Dr. Compton, Bishop of London (54), was on Monday suspended, on pretense of not silencing Dr. Sharp (41) [NOTE. Assumed to be the subsequent Archbishop?] at St. Giles's, for something of a sermon in which he zealously reproved the doctrine of the Roman Catholics. The Bishop having consulted the civilians, they told him he could not by any law proceed against Dr. Sharp (41) without producing witnesses, and impleaded according to form; but it was overruled by my Lord Chancellor (41), and the Bishop sentenced without so much as being heard to any purpose. This was thought a very extraordinary way of proceeding, and was universally resented, and so much the rather for that two Bishops, Durham (53) and Rochester (51), sitting in the commission and giving their suffrages the Archbishop of Canterbury (69) refused to sit among them. He was only suspended ab officio, and that was soon after taken off. He was brother to the Earl of Northampton (64), had once been a soldier, had traveled in Italy, but became a sober, grave, and excellent prelate.

Around 1675 Godfrey Kneller 1646-1723. Portrait of Henry Compton Bishop 1632-1713. Around 1644. William Dobson Painter 1611-1646. Portrait of James Compton 3rd Earl of Northampton 1622-1681.

John Evelyn's Diary 14 June 1688. 14 Jun 1688. Dined with the Lord Chancellor (43).

On 18 Apr 1689 George "Hanging Judge" Jeffreys 1st Baron Jeffreys 1645-1689 (43) died. His son [his son] John Jeffreys 2nd Baron Jeffreys 1673-1703 (15) succeeded 2nd Baron Jeffreys.