Mrs. Elizabeth Inchbald [q. v.] ‘Julia, or the Italian Lover,’ a tragedy by Jephson, was performed at Drury Lane in April 1787. The prologue, written by Edmond Malone, was delivered by John Philip Kemble, who acted the part of Mentevole with eminent success, but Steevens wrote to Percy that ‘the playhouse lost by the performance’ (Nichols, Lit. Illustr. vii. 3). Kemble's sister, Mrs. Siddons, personated Julia, and spoke the epilogue. ‘Julia’ was published in 1787, with a dedication to Charles Manners, duke of Rutland, lord-lieutenant. Jephson was author also of the ‘Campaign, or Love in the East Indies,’ a comic opera, first acted at Covent Garden on 12 May 1785, and subsequently reproduced 15 March 1787 in an abbreviated form entitled ‘Love and War,’ a ‘musical entertainment,’ for which O'Keeffe was responsible. Jephson's ‘Two Strings to your Bow,’ a farce, was first acted in England at Covent Garden Theatre 16 Feb. 1791.
In 1794 Jephson published ‘Roman Portraits,’ a poem in heroic verse on Roman heroes, with historic remarks and illustrations, 4to; the engravings from the antique were by Bartolozzi, E. Harding, jun., W. Evans, and R. Clamp. Prefixed was a portrait of the author, engraved by Singleton, from a drawing by Stoker. At the close of the poem the author inveighed against the execution of Louis XVI, and denounced the ‘ruthless fanatic Gauls.’ In 1794 Jephson published, in 2 vols. 8vo, with illustrations, a satire on the excesses committed during the French revolution, entitled ‘The Confessions of Jacques Baptiste Couteau.’
Jephson died from paralysis at his residence at Blackrock, near Dublin, on 31 May 1803. The originals of some letters addressed by Jephson to Garrick, printed in the ‘Garrick Correspondence,’ are preserved in the Dyce and Forster Library, South Kensington. A presentation volume of the collected plays of Jephson, formerly in the Strawberry Hill collection, is in the possession of the writer of this notice.
[Memoirs of Garrick, by T. Davies, 1780; Chalmers's Biog. Dict.; Works of Earl of Orford, 1798; Parliamentary Logic, 1808; Hardy's Life of Charlemont, 1810; Biographia Dramatica, 1812; Boswell's Life of Johnson; Genest's Account of English Stage, 1830; Correspondence of Garrick, 1831; Letters of Horace Walpole, 1857; Prior's Life of Malone; Hist. of City of Dublin, 1859; Memoirs of Lord Cloncurry, 1849; manuscripts of Earl of Charlemont, 1891.]
JEPHSON, WILLIAM (1615?–1659?), colonel, born about 1615, was the eldest son of Sir John Jephson of Froyle, Hampshire, and Elizabeth, his wife, daughter and coheiress of Sir Thomas Norreys [q. v.] of Mallow, co. Cork. He was one of the representatives of Stockbridge, Hampshire, in the Long parliament, and being in Ireland at the time of the outbreak of the rebellion in Munster in November 1641, he raised a troop of horse at his own expense, and was warmly commended by the lord president, Sir Warham St. Leger, for the zeal and bravery he displayed in assisting to disperse a body of the rebels in the neighbourhood of Waterford. In March 1643 he was despatched into England by Lord Inchiquin in order to solicit assistance from parliament. On 16 May 1644 he was appointed lieutenant-governor of Portsmouth and colonel of the forces there, by commission from the Earl of Essex. He was present in August of the same year at the siege and capture of Wareham, and appears to have been the author of the condition binding the garrison to serve the parliament against the rebels in Ireland. In August 1645 he was authorised to raise recruits for the Irish service, and on his arrival in Munster in the following summer he appears to have been appointed governor of Bandon, co. Cork, and on 20 Aug. 1646 he wrote from Youghal describing the storming of Piltowne. In March 1648, a rumour having reached the parliament of Lord Inchiquin's intended defection, Jephson was appointed to confer with him. Instead, however, of converting Inchiquin, it would appear, from the fact of his name being in the list of members expelled by Colonel Pride, and also from a passage in one of Cromwell's letters (Carlyle, Letters, p. 116), that he followed that nobleman's example. He thus forfeited all further military employment under the parliament, and, though his arrears of pay were probably secured to him by the Act of Indemnity of 7 June 1654, he was obliged to appeal to Henry Cromwell in order to rescue his estate, which was in danger of being allotted to the soldiers (Lansdowne MS. 822, f. 129). On 1 Feb. 1656 he was appointed one of a committee for arranging some of the details in regard to the transplantation of the Irish, and in the same year he was elected one of the representatives of county Cork in the second protectorate parliament, and it was with him that the first definite proposal for creating Cromwell king originated. ‘Get thee gone for a mad fellow, as thou art,’ said Cromwell, clapping him on the shoulders. ‘But,’ adds Ludlow, ‘it soon appeared with what madness he was possessed, for he immediately obtained a foot company for his son, then a scholar at Oxford, and a troop of horse for himself’ (Memoirs, p. 222). In August 1657 he was