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JEFFREY or JEFFERAY, JOHN (d. 1578), judge, of an old Sussex family, was son of Richard Jeffrey of Chiddingly Manor, by Eliza, daughter of Robert Whitfield of Wadhurst. He was admitted a member of Gray's Inn in 1544, called to the bar in 1546, and was Lent reader there in 1561. In Easter term 1567 he became a serjeant-at-law, and on 15 Oct. 1572 a queen's serjeant. In the same year he represented the borough of Arundel in parliament. On 15 May 1576 he was appointed a judge of the queen's bench, and was promoted on 12 Oct. 1577 to succeed Sir Robert Bell as chief baron of the exchequer. In the autumn of 1578 he died at Coleman Street Ward, London, and was buried under a magnificent tomb in Chiddingly Church. He appears, according to the character given of him in Lloyd's ‘State Worthies,’ p. 221, to have been a plodding and studious judge. He was twice married, first to Alice, daughter and heiress of John Apsley, by whom he had one daughter, Elizabeth, who married Edward, first lord Montagu of Boughton; and secondly to Mary, daughter of George Goring.

[Foss's Judges of England; Dugdale's Origines, p. 137, and Chron. Ser.; Register of Gray's Inn; Horsfield's Lewes, ii. 66; Collins's Peerage, ii. 14; Popham's Reports, p. 108; Lower's Worthies of Sussex; Lower in Sussex Arch. Coll. vol. xiv.; Dallaway and Cartwright's Sussex, vol. ii. pt. i. p. 207.]

J. A. H.