attack of illness, and for some few days was ‘even almost without hopes of recovery’ (Luttrell, i. 371).
In the struggles between the two parties at court Jeffreys endeavoured to preserve a judicious neutrality by promising both his support while waiting to see which would be victorious. In order to please the king, with whom he had lost favour, Jeffreys suggested that the court of high commission should, with some slight modifications, be revived. The commission ‘for the inspecting ecclesiastical affairs’ was thereupon established by patent in July 1686, and Jeffreys was appointed the chief of the seven commissioners, his presence and assent being declared necessary to all their proceedings. Henry Compton [q. v.], the bishop of London, was the first person who was summoned to appear before the new court (State Trials, xi. 1123–66). In April 1687 Jeffreys presided over the proceedings against Dr. John Peachell, vice-chancellor of the university of Cambridge, for not admitting Alban Francis, a Benedictine monk, to the degree of master of arts (ib. xi. 1315–40), and in October over the proceedings against the fellows of Magdalen College, Oxford, for not electing Anthony Farmer [q. v.] president of that college (ib. xii. 1–112; see also Bloxam's Magdalen College, and King James II, Oxf. Hist. Soc. Publ., 1886). In this year it seems that even Jeffreys wavered in his support of some of the king's designs, but upon receiving a sharp reprimand from James he promised to do whatever was required of him (Macaulay, i. 483). In order that he might assist in packing a favourable parliament Jeffreys was placed on the committee of seven privy councillors who sat at Whitehall for the purpose of regulating the municipal corporations, and was appointed lord-lieutenant of Shropshire and Buckinghamshire. On his advice the king determined to bring the seven bishops before the king's bench, and on 8 June 1688 they were examined before the council, and committed to the Tower. Two days afterwards Jeffreys was present at the birth of the Prince of Wales. Becoming alarmed at the popular feeling in favour of the bishops, Jeffreys charged Clarendon with friendly messages to them, and threw on others the blame of the prosecution (Clarendon Correspondence, ii. 177, 179). Upon the death of the first Duke of Ormonde in July 1688, it was intended that Jeffreys should become chancellor of the university of Oxford. The king's mandate, however, arrived too late, as convocation had already taken the precaution to elect without delay James, second duke of Ormonde, as successor to his grandfather (see the letters of the vice-chancellor of Oxford University to the lord chancellor and Lord Middleton, ib. ii. 490–1).
Aroused to a sense of danger, at the close of September 1688 James directed Jeffreys to rescind the suspension of the Bishop of London, and to annul the proceedings against the fellows of Magdalen, while the high commission court was shortly afterwards abolished by a supersedeas under the great seal. On 2 Oct. Jeffreys sent for the lord mayor and aldermen of London, that they might be presented at court ‘by their old recorder,’ and on the following day he attended a meeting of the common council, when he restored to them the charter which had been forfeited six years before. Previous to the king's departure to Salisbury, Jeffreys was appointed one of the council of five lords to represent James in London during his absence. Upon the king's return Jeffreys was ordered to take up his residence in Father Petre's lodgings at Whitehall, and on the evening of 8 Dec. surrendered the great seal to the king, who threw it into the Thames two nights afterwards, while escaping from London. The last use which Jeffreys made of the great seal was for sealing the writs for the election of a new House of Commons. He sat and heard several petitions on the very day the seal was taken from him. The king having fled, Jeffreys disguised himself as a common sailor, and hid himself on board a vessel moored off Wapping, whence he hoped to escape beyond the sea. The next morning (12 Dec.), however, he rashly went ashore, and while drinking at the Red Cow in Anchor and Hope Alley, near King Edward's Stairs, was recognised by a scrivener, who had been concerned in a chancery suit about a bottomry bond, and had good reason to remember the ex-lord chancellor (North, Life of Lord Guilford, pp. 220–1). Jeffreys was immediately surrounded by an excited mob, who yelled at and pelted him. He was, however, rescued by a company of the train-bands, and carried before the lord mayor, who was so alarmed at the sight of Jeffreys that he fell into a swoon. To secure himself from the violence of the mob Jeffreys was, at his own request, removed to the Tower, accompanied by an armed escort, and shortly afterwards a warrant of committal was received from the lords of the council. In a letter preserved among the Ellacombe MSS. it is stated that when Jeffreys was captured ‘35,000 guynies’ were seized, ‘besides a great deal of silver, which he had sent on board a collier that was to have transported him beyond sea’ (Hist. MSS. Comm. 5th Rep. p. 324). On the