JEFFREYS, Edward (1680-1740), of St. Mary Axe, London and The Priory, Brecon.
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Family and Education
b. 1680, 1st s. of Jeffrey Jeffreys*. educ. Eton c.1690–4; Univ. Coll. Oxf. matric. 8 Oct. 1694, aged 14. unm. suc. fa. 1709.
Asst. R. African Co. 1702; dir. Mine Adventurers’ Co. 1709.1
Jeffreys went into his father’s business, but lacking similar zeal or flair could not emulate his predecessors’ success. He was brought into Parliament by his uncle John Jeffreys* at a by-election for Marlborough, but the presence of other Jeffreyses in the House makes it impossible to identify his activities in the Journals with any certainty. He followed his father in 1704 in first seeming a likely supporter of the Tack and then, after lobbying by Robert Harley*, declining to vote for it. His uncle required the Marlborough interest for himself in 1705, and Edward had to wait until his father’s death to be returned again, on what was now his own interest at Brecon in 1709. He supported the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell, which presumably accounts for his classification as a Whig on the ‘Hanover list’ of the new Parliament later in 1710. In the 1710–11 session he was included in the list of ‘Tory patriots’ voting for peace. He was also listed as a ‘worthy patriot’ exposing the mismanagements of the previous ministry and as a member of the October Club. He may have been the ‘Mr Jeffreys’ granted leave on 24 Feb. 1711 (for a month), and on 26 Feb. 1712 (for six weeks). In the 1713 session he voted against the French commerce bill on 18 June 1713, as a ‘whimsical’.2
Jeffreys’ defeat at Brecon in 1713 marked the demise of the family’s once all-powerful interest in the borough. Little is known of him during the rest of his life. Having written his will on 16 Apr. 1740, he was reported in the Gentleman’s Magazine as having died on 15 July 1740, the day the will was proved. According to family tradition Jeffreys died in Spain, where his father had had many trading contacts, and it is possible that the event had taken place some time before news of it was published. In his will he gave his address as the Inner Temple. His estate went to a nephew, Jeffrey Jeffreys.3