Jeffrey Jeffreys ca.1652-1709

From Book Owners Online

Sir Jeffrey JEFFREYS ca.1652-1709

Bookplate of Sir Jeffrey Jeffreys (British Museum Franks Collection *256)

Biographical Note

Son of Walter Jeffreys of Llywell, Brecknockshire, and elder brother of John Jeffreys. Both he and his brother were educated and supported by their uncle John Jeffreys, a wealthy London merchant and alderman. He initially studied law and became a barrister at the Inner Temple in 1676, but soon afterwards joined his uncle's business. When Alderman John died in 1688, his estate was divided between the two brothers, who became very wealthy and continued to develop the mercantile business, with extensive involvement in the West Indian slave trade, and tobacco. After purchasing an extensive estate at Brecon Priory he became MP for Brecon 1690-1709, and was active in parliamentary affairs. He was knighted in 1699 when sheriff of London, was Master of the Grocers' Company 1699-1701, and was expected to be elected as Lord Mayor shortly before his death.


Jeffreys used an engraved armorial bookplate dated 1701, Franks *256 (his brother John also used a bookplate); the extent and disposition of his library are not known. The household goods of his widow Lady Sarah Jeffries, including books, were auctioned in London, beginning 26 April 1726; no catalogue survives, but the sale was advertised in several newspapers.


  • Alston, R. C., Inventory of sale catalogues ... 1676-1800, St Philip, 2010.
  • Gambier Howe, E. R. J. Franks bequest: catalogue of British and American book plates bequeathed to the ... British Museum. London, 1903.
  • Price, Jacob M. "Jeffreys, Sir Jeffrey (c. 1652–1709), politician and merchant." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.