Sir Jeffrey Jeffreys of the Priory, Brecon, and St. Mary Axe, London, M.P. for Brecknock 1690–95 and 1701–9, was a merchant ‘of greåt fortune, rank and quality’.1 His brother, John Jeffreys, M.P. for Brecknockshire 1702–5, also a London merchant, married a daughter of Sir Anthony Sturt, M.P., and John Jeffreys, the subject of this essay, was their son. He was a well-known ‘club-man’ and a member of fashionable London society, described by Horace Walpole as a product of ‘the Opera-House and White’s’.2 He soon ran through most of his patrimony, and in 1749 had to sell some of his Welsh estates. After unsuccessfully contesting Brecknockshire in 1727, he sat for it 1734–47, and for Dartmouth from 1747 till his death in January 1766. His official career, which he seems to have started under the auspices of Lord Bath,3 and continued under those of Lord Lincoln, a nephew and son-in-law of Henry Pelham, resembled that of Lord Lundy in Belloc’s Cautionary Tales (who after a brilliant start was dropped from office to office, and finished as Curator of Big Ben).


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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1978

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  • Lewis Namier

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