Lord Chancellor Jeffreys: A Revisionist View Of His Role & Cases As Common Serjeant & Recorder Of The City Of London

Lord Jeffreys embarked on a legal career in 1668, becoming a Common Serjeant of London in 1671. He was aiming for the post of Recorder of London, but was passed over for this in 1676 in favour of William Dolben. He turned instead to the Court and became Solicitor General to the Duke of York and of Albany (later King James II & VII), the younger brother of Charles II. Despite his Protestant upbringing, he found favour under the Roman Catholic Duke. Jeffreys was knighted in 1677, became Recorder of London in 1678 when Dolben resigned, and by 1680 had become Chief Justice of Chester and Counsel for the Crown at Ludlow and Justice of the Peace for Flintshire. During the Popish Plot he was frequently on the bench which condemned numerous innocent men on the perjured evidence of Titus Oates. These condemnations were remembered against him in 1685 when he secured the conviction of Oates for his perjury at the same trials. Charles II created him a baronet in 1681, and two years later, he was Chief Justice of the King's Bench and a member of the Privy Council.

Bob McDowall will be lecturing on a key figure in the rich history of the City of London, examining a revisionist view of Lord Jeffrey and his exploits across his career, based upon a controversial book published in 1965 by Professor George Keeton, ‚ÄĚLord Chancellor Jeffries and the Stuart Cause."


Robert McDowall spent his career in banking and finance in the City of London, working for a number of institutions including Merrill Lynch, Pru-Bache and Singer and Friedlander and retains a number of consultancies and directorships in the finance and technology sectors. He has authored, co-authored and presented a number of research papers on finance and technology. He is a former President of the Folklore Society, an Academic Charity, and currently serves on the Finance & Investment Committee of the Royal Anthropological Institute and chairs its Fund Raising Committee.

Bob lives in Alderney in the Channel Islands. He is a former member of the States of Alderney (2013-2106) where he chaired the Policy and Finance Committee and the Finance sub-committee. He currently chairs Conservatives Abroad in the Channel Islands and sits on the Board of Conservatives Abroad.

Bob is a Liveryman and former Member of the Court of the The Tin Plate alias Wireworkers Company, and a Member of the Gresham Society. He has a degree in law (LLB) from University College London and is a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute.

Any opinions presented are the opinions of the lecturer and not of any sponsoring or associated organisation.