1780 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

George Jeffreys

John Nichols, in Select Collection of Poems with Notes Biographical and Historical (1780-82) 2:57-59.



This gentleman, who was educated at Westminster school under Dr. Busby, was the son of Christopher Jeffreys, esq; of Weldron in Northamptonshire, and nephew to James the 8th lord Chandos. He was admitted of Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1694, where he took the degrees in arts, was elected fellow in 1701, and presided in the philosophy-schools as moderator in 1706. He was also sub-orator for Dr. Ayloffe, and not going into orders within the eight years, as the statutes of that college require, he quitted his fellowship in 1709. Though Mr. Jeffreys was called to the bar, he never practiced the law, but, after acting as secretary to Dr. Hartstronge bishop of Derry, at the latter end of queen Anne's and the beginning of George the First's reign, spent most of the remainder of his life in the families of the two last dukes of Chandos, his relations. In 1754 he published, by subscription, a 4to. volume of Miscellanies, in Verse and Prose, among which are two tragedies, (viz. Edwin and Merope, both acted at the theatre-royal in Lincoln's-Inn-Fields) and The Triumph of Truth, an oratorio. "This collection (as the author observes in his dedication to the present duke of Chandos, then marquess of Carnarvon,) includes an uncommon length of time, from the verses on the duke of Gloucester's death in 1700 to those on his lordship's marriage in 1753." Mr. Jeffreys died in 1755, aged 77. See Letters of Eminent Persons, vol. II. p. 17. — In Sir John Hawkins's History of Music, vol. IV. p. 64. his grandfather, George, is recorded as King Charles the First's organist at Oxford, 1643, and servant to Lord Hatton in Northamptonshire, where he had lands of his own; and also his father, Christopher, of Weldron in Northamptonshire, p. 323, as "a student of Christ-Church, who played well on the organ." The anonymous verses prefixed to Cato were by this gentleman, which Mr. Addison never knew. The alterations in these Odes are from the author's corrected copy.