AMHERST, Jeffrey (1650-1713), of Riverland, Kent.
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Family and Education
b. 11 Jan. 1650, o. surv. s. of John Amherst, counsellor-at-law, of Grey’s Inn and Mickleham, Surr. by 1st w. Margaret, da. of Jeffrey Kerby of London. educ. Tonbridge 1659-?67; Christ’s, Camb. 1668; G. Inn 1666, called 1670. m. (1) lic. 19 July 1670, Elizabeth (bur. 25 Feb. 1686), da. of Henry Yates of Warnham, Suss. 7s. (3 d.v.p.) 4da.; (2) 4 May 1687, Dorothy, da. of Richard Amherst of Bayhall, Pembury, Kent, s.p. suc. fa. 1691.1
Commr. for assessment, Suss. 1679-80, Kent and Surr. 1689-90; bencher, G. Inn 1698; j.p. Kent 1699-?d.2
Although the Amhersts had held property in West Kent since at least the 15th century, the family rose to prominence only in the 17th century through successive careers in the law. Amherst’s great-uncle, Richard Amherst, became a serjeant-at-law and sat for Lewes in two Parliaments under James I. Amherst’s father was defeated on his only major venture into the political arena at the Seaford by-election in 1671. On the death of John Glyd, a fellow bencher of Grey’s Inn, he took over the Glyd estate in Bletchingley, while Amherst himself succeeded to the seat. During his few weeks in the Convention, he did not speak and was named to no committees. He was defeated by two votes at Bletchingley at the next general election and apparently did not stand again.3
Amherst was buried at Pembury on 15 Aug. 1713, leaving all his lands to his eldest son, Geoffrey, and £1,500 each to a daughter and a younger son. One of his grandsons was given a peerage for his military services, and another, also a soldier, sat for Hythe and Launceston as a government supporter from 1766 to 1774.4