Jeffreys of Wem, George Jeffreys, 1st Baron

Jeffreys of Wem, George Jeffreys, 1st Baron,

1645?–1689, English judge under Charles II and James IIJames II,
1633–1701, king of England, Scotland, and Ireland (1685–88); second son of Charles I, brother and successor of Charles II. Early Life
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. A notoriously cruel judge, he presided over many of the trials connected with the Popish Plot (see Oates, TitusOates, Titus,
1649–1705, English conspirator. An Anglican priest whose whole career was marked with intrigue and scandal, he joined forces with one Israel Tonge to invent the story of the Popish Plot of 1678.
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) and was responsible for the judicial murder of Algernon SidneySidney or Sydney, Algernon,
1622–83, English politician; son of Robert Sidney, earl of Leicester. He served in the parliamentary forces during the English civil war and was a member (1652–53) of the council
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 and for the brutal trials of Richard BaxterBaxter, Richard,
1615–91, English nonconformist clergyman. Ordained in 1638, he began his ministry at Kidderminster in 1641. He sided with Parliament when the civil war broke out and served (1645–47) as a chaplain in Cromwell's army, where he urged moderation in both
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 and many others. He was created baron in 1685 and was soon sent to W England to punish those concerned in the rebellion of the duke of MonmouthMonmouth, James Scott, duke of
, 1649–85, pretender to the English throne; illegitimate son of Charles II of England by Lucy Walter. After his mother's death, he was cared for by Lord Crofts, by whose name the boy was known. In 1662, James went to live at Charles's court.
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. In the resulting Bloody Assizes he caused nearly 200 persons to be hanged, some 800 transported, and many more imprisoned or whipped. James II made him lord chancellor later that year. When James fled the country in 1688, Jeffreys was imprisoned and died in the Tower of London.


See biography by P. J. Helm (1967); study by G. W. Keeton (1966).

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