Back to FrogFind! | Browsing URL:


William Jephson (died 1658) - Wikipedia

View page images: [1]

William Jephson (1609 - 11 December 1658) was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1640 to 1648. He served in the Parliamentary army and was Cromwell's envoy to Sweden.

Mallow Castle, County Cork

Jephson was the eldest son of Sir John Jephson and his first wife Elizabeth Norreys, daughter of Sir Thomas Norreys, Lord President of Munster. Elizabeth brought the Norreys family's Irish estates at Mallow, County Cork and elsewhere into the Jephson family. Mallow Castle remained in the family until 1984.[1]

In April 1640, Jephson was elected Member of Parliament for Stockbridge in the Short Parliament. He was re-elected in November 1640 for the Long Parliament, and became a strong opponent of King Charles I.[2] Jephson was a member of the Hampshire Committee in 1644 and also Lieutenant Governor of Portsmouth in 1644. He went back to Ireland the following year, but the political situation there was so chaotic that he found it impossible to assert his influence. Jephson was not recorded as sitting in Parliament after Pride's Purge in 1648. He sold his estate at Froyle in 1653, being by then in serious financial difficulties, and returned to Ireland.[3] Jephson became a major general and was the representative in parliament for Cork in the First Protectorate Parliament in 1654 and in the Second Protectorate Parliament in 1656. He was staunch supporter of Cromwell, and was one of the faction known as "the Kinglings" who urged him strongly to accept the Crown. Cromwell's refusal disappointed him bitterly: he suggested ironically that the word King should be removed from the English language, since it seemed to distress so many people.[4]

As a reward for his loyalty, in 1657 Oliver Cromwell sent him as envoy to Sweden while that country was at war with Denmark, and persuaded the two Kingdoms to enter a peace treaty. He failed however to arrange a similar treaty between Sweden and Brandenburg. In failing health, he retired to England, and spent his last months at his wife's family home in Buckinghamshire.[5]

Jephson married Alicia Denham, daughter of Sir John Denham of Borestall House, Buckinghamshire and had four sons, and at least one daughter, Alice, who married Bartholomew Purdon of Ballyclogh. His son William was later MP for East Grinstead and Wycombe.[6] His eldest son John inherited the Cork estates.[7]

Mallow Castle, the Jephson family home for almost 400 years

References[edit]