Famous People

Judge George Jeffreys

George Jeffreys was born at Acton Park in 1648, the son of John Jeffreys and Margaret Ireland. His grandfather was a judge in North Wales and George eventually decided on a career in law much to his parents disapproval. Educated at Shrewsbury and St Pauls Westminster and Cambridge. He began his studies in the Inner Temple in 1663 and was acting as an advocate before he was officially called to the bar. He entered Gray's Inn.

Photo courtesy of University College, Durham University

He was appointed Solicitor General to the Duke of York later James II and was knighted in 1677. He became recorder of London in 1678. At the age of 33 he became Lord Chief Justice of England and a privy counsellor and two years later Lord Chancellor. In 1683 he was created Baron Jeffreys of Wem. He is known as Hanging Judge Jeffreys because of the punishment he handed out at the trials of the supporters of the Duke of Monmouth. In 1688 when James II fled the country, Jeffreys was placed in the Tower of London for his own safety. He died there the following year aged 44 of kidney disease.

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