Jeffrey French

1701 - 14th May 1754


Slave-owner on Jamaica, and MP for Milborne Port (where had had bought an estate) and, very briefly (24 April to 14 May 1754), for Tavistock: he reportedly played little part in parliament. Birth year approximate. 6th son of Arthur French of Cloonyquin, co. Roscommon, mayor of Galway, and his 2nd wife, Sarah, daughter and heir of Ulick Burke of Clare, co. Galway, widow of Iriel Farrel of Cloonyquin. Married Catherine, daughter of Richard Lloyd of Croghan, co. Roscommon (Speaker of Upper House of Assembly and Chief Justice, Jamaica). French's marriage did not last; they finally separated in 1751, but the estate of Lloyds on Jamaica must have come to Jeffrey French through this marriage.

His family had extensive estates in western Ireland, but he migrated to London following the death of his father in 1712.

French was satirised by his nephew, Arthur Murphy, in a play, The Apprentice performed at Drury Lane in 1756. French had wanted Murphy to work on his Jamaican plantation but Murphy refused. The satire focused on French's devotion to money and maths.

Jeoffry French was listed in the Jamaican Quit Rent books for 1754 as the owner of 635 acres of land in St Catherine, 343 acres in St Ann and 4708 acres in St Thomas-in-the-Vale, total 5686 acres.


History of Parliament online.

'A List of landholders in the Island of Jamaica together with the number of acres each person possessed taken from the quit rent books in the year 1754', TNA CO 142/31 transcribed at

Further Information

Legal Education
Middle Temple [1719, called 1724 ]

Associated Estates (1)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1743 [EA] - 1743 [LA] → Owner

Legacies Summary

Political (1)

West India interest 
election →
Milborne Port Somerset
1741 - 1747
election →
Tavistock Devon

Relationships (3)

Uncle → Nephew
Uncle → Nephew
Uncle → Niece

Addresses (1)

Argyle Builidings, London, Middlesex, London, England