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baron Wem, commonly known by the name of Judge Jeffreys, was the sixth

, baron Wem, commonly known by the name of Judge Jeffreys, was the sixth son of John Jeffreys, esq. of Acton in Denbighshire, by Margaret daughter to sir Thomas Ireland of Beausey, near Warrington. He was educated first at the free-school at Shrewsbury, from which he was removed to that of Westminster, where he became a good proficient in the learned languages; and was thence removed to the Inner-Temple, where he applied himself very assiduously to the law. His father’s family was large, and his temper parsimonious, consequently the young man’s allowance was very scanty, and hardly sufficient to support him decently: but his own ingenuity supplied all deficiencies, till he came to the bar; to which, however, he never had any regular call. In 1666, he was at the assize at Kingston, where very few counsellors attended, on account of the plague then raging. Here necessity gave him permission to put on a gown; and to plead; and he continued the practice unrestrained, till he reached the highest employments in the law.