JEFFERY, George (c.1587-1622), of Catherston-Leweston, Dorset
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Family and Education
b. c.1587, 1st s. of Sir John Jeffery* of Southampton, Hants and Catherston-Leweston and w. Barbara; bro. of John*.1 educ. King Edward VI g.s. Southampton; Queen’s, Oxf. 1602, aged 15; I. Temple 1603.2 m. (1) Philippa (bur. 13 May 1612),3 da. of Christopher Preston of Cricket St. Thomas, Som., s.p.;4 (2) Eleanor, da. of Brune Williams of Tyneham, Dorset, 1s. 2da.5 suc. fa. 1611.6 d. 22 Jan. 1622.7
Jeffery went to school at Southampton, where his father was a successful merchant and alderman, before being sent to Oxford and the Inner Temple to complete his gentleman’s education. In the meantime his father acquired an estate at Catherston-Leweston, only two miles from Lyme Regis in Dorset. On 30 Dec. 1609 the corporation of Lyme Regis, in anticipation of a new session of Parliament, decided to replace their junior member, John Hassard, whom they found ‘languid and impotent’. Jeffery was chosen in his stead by the mayor, 11 of the capital burgesses (including Hassard himself) and 12 of the freemen.8 However, this did not technically constitute an election, since no writ had yet been issued. On 15 Feb. 1610, shortly after Parliament had reopened, the corporation’s order book declared Jeffery ‘the sole and only man for burgess of the Parliament for our town’, but the writ, issued two days later, ordered that a replacement should also be elected for the borough’s first Member, Sir George Somers*, who was absent overseas. Jeffery and Sir Francis Russell were therefore formally returned, on separate indentures, at a by-election on 24 February.9 Jeffery set out for London the following day, carrying the gift of a viol from the customer of Lyme, Arthur Gregory, to lord treasurer Salisbury (Robert Cecil†), with a covering letter to (Sir) Michael Hicks*.10 No parliamentary activity can be ascribed to Jeffery in either of the 1610 sessions. He does not seem to have stood again.
Jeffery’s father died in 1611, but left a life interest in most of his property to his widow, who survived until 1630. Jeffery himself died ‘after long sickness’ on 22 Jan. 1622, and in his will dated seven days earlier desired to be buried in the parish church of Whitchurch Canonicorum, ‘under a fair blue tombstone with an inscription of my name, quality and date of death’.11 He could leave his younger daughter only £100, which he willed her mother to augment, and realizing that his personal estate would be insufficient to pay his debts, he directed that some of his outlying properties should be sold.12 His widow purchased the wardship of his only son John, who fought as a royalist in the Civil War, and was obliged to sell Catherston.13 No later member of the family entered Parliament.
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Authors: John. P. Ferris / Rosemary Sgroi
- 1. PROB 11/118, ff. 7v-8.
- 2. C.F. Russell, Hist. K. Edw. VI Sch. 138; Al. Ox.; I. Temple Admiss.
- 3. Dorset RO, Whitchurch Canonicorum par. reg., unfol.
- 4. Vis. Som. (Harl. Soc. xi), 88.
- 5. PROB 11/140, f. 141v.
- 6. C142/324/69.
- 7. C142/394/76.
- 8. Dorset RO, B7/D1/1, pp. 33, 34.
- 9. C219/35/1/110.
- 10. Lansd. 91, f. 129.
- 11. F. Brown, Som. Wills, v. 61; Hutchins, Dorset, ii. 267.
- 12. PROB 11/140, ff. 141v-2.
- 13. WARD 5/11/1964; CCC, 1066.