Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 29.djvu/342

This page has been validated.

appointed envoy extraordinary to the king of Sweden for the purpose of negotiating a peace between Charles Gustavus and Frederick III of Denmark. He embarked at Margate on 3 Sept., and having arranged the preliminaries of the treaty of Roskild, he was succeeded by Philip Meadows. Being ordered to Berlin, he had an interview with the Duke of Brandenburg, and returned to England in July 1658. He died soon afterwards; the exact date is not known.

[Berry's County Genealogies, ‘Hampshire;’ Woodward's History of Hampshire, iii. 252; Lewis's Topogr. Dict. s.v. ‘Mallow;’ Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1644 pp. 163, 425, 484, 1645 pp. 234, 243; G. N. Godwin's Civil War in Hampshire; Whitelocke's Memorials; Carte's Life of Ormonde, i. 426, iii. 42; Addit. MS. 27949; Lansdowne MS. 822; Sloane MS. 4769, i. ff. 37, 45; Ludlow's Memoirs; Burton's Diary, ii. 140; Carlyle's Cromwell, ii. 193, where the ‘young Jephson’ referred to is evidently Jephson himself, and not his son; Prendergast's Cromwellian Settlement, p. 160; Thurloe State Papers, vols. v. vi. vii. passim; Hist. MSS. Comm. 6th Rep. pp. 24, 94, 103, 117, 7th Rep. pp. 234, 237, 435, 437, 471, 10th Rep. pt. vi. p. 88, from which it appears that his cousin was John Pym.]

R. D.

JERDAN, WILLIAM (1782–1869), journalist, born at Kelso, Roxburghshire, on 16 April 1782, was son of John Jerdan (d. 1796), a small landowner, by his wife, Agnes Stuart (d. 1820). His eldest brother, John Stuart Jerdan, became lieutenant-colonel in the Bombay native infantry, and died at the Cape of Good Hope on 8 Jan. 1822. William was educated at Kelso parochial school, and was subsequently a private pupil at Maxwellheugh of William Rutherford, D.D., formerly of Uxbridge. While still a boy he entered the office at Kelso of James Hume, writer to the signet and distributor of stamps; but anxious to try his fortune in London, he obtained in 1801 a clerkship in the counting-house of Messrs. Turner, West India merchants. Jerdan had written verse from the age of twelve. The head of the London firm encouraged him in his literary ambitions, and introduced him to many ‘persons of rank and station.’ He had made in Scotland the acquaintance of Frederick Pollock (afterwards lord chief baron), and with him and Pollock's brothers or with Thomas Wilde (afterwards Lord-chancellor Truro) he now passed much of his leisure. An attack of brain fever in the spring of 1802 led to a change of plans, and later in the year he was placed in the office of Cornelius Elliott, a writer to the signet in Edinburgh. Although interested in genealogical researches connected with his professional work, the occupation did not prove congenial, and in 1805 he went south again.

Jerdan finally settled in London in the spring of 1806, and began his long journalistic career by joining the reporters' staff of the ‘Aurora,’ a new daily journal started in the interest of the West-end hotelkeepers. Jerdan soon became editor, but the venture failed, and he transferred himself in 1808 to the ‘Pilot,’ an evening newspaper established in January 1807 by E. Samuel, chiefly to support the cause of the nabob of Oude. Subsequently he was employed for a time on the ‘Morning Post,’ and wrote editorial articles in vindication of the Duke of York. For three sessions of parliament he reported the proceedings in the ‘British Press.’ On the afternoon of 11 May 1812, while in the lobby of the House of Commons in pursuit of his journalistic duties, he witnessed the murder of Spencer Perceval [q. v.] by Bellingham, and was the first to seize the assassin.

In the same year Jerdan purchased of the proprietor, George Manners, the copyright and business premises (at 267 Strand) of a periodical entitled ‘The Satirist, a Monthly Meteor.’ Begun on 1 Oct. 1807, the paper had been noted for its virulence. Jerdan moderated its tone, but it was not a commercial success, and ceased in 1814. Meanwhile Jerdan had secured, on 11 May 1813, the more responsible post of editor of the ‘Sun,’ a high tory daily paper, and a vigorous champion of ‘Pitt politics.’ He received a tenth share of the property, and a vague promise of 500l. a year. He worked energetically. Goulburn complimented him on the promptness with which he published foreign intelligence, and he occasionally gave literary articles—then an unusual feature in daily newspapers—an important place in his columns. In 1814 he visited France, witnessed the entry of Louis XVIII into Paris in May, travelled home with Douglas Kinnaird [q. v.], and published ‘Voyage to the Isle of Elba, from the French of Arsenne de Berneaud.’ His impressions of his visit, which were hardly favourable, he recorded in ‘Six Weeks in Paris, by a late Visitant,’ 3 vols.; 2nd edit. 1818. His connection with the ‘Sun’ procured him the acquaintance of the chief tory statesmen. After 1808 he lived in the neighbourhood of Canning's house, Gloucester Lodge, Old Brompton, and was for many years a welcome guest there. Canning stood godfather to one of his sons in 1819, and corresponded with him on familiar terms. The ‘Sun’ was, however, never very profitable; Jerdan received little or no salary, and the claim of John Taylor [q. v.], the chief proprietor, to interfere with the editing led to