William JEFFREY (?-1840)

We have found out a little bit about William JEFFREY.


Marriage: Juliana BAILLIE

30th April 1834 William JEFFREY to Juliana BAILLIE from a marriage entry in the East India Registry, 1835 from the Bombay Presidency: "At Bombay Mr. William Jeffrey, of the country service, to Miss Juliana Baillie"

Son: William Jardine JEFFREY (1837-1874)

CHINA BIRTH Nov 25 At Macao the lady of Capt W Jeffrey of the Lady Grant of a son and heir.

Deaths as reported in 'Domestic Occurrences' in the Times of India for the period 1874-75

Entry from Deaths 1874-1875 Surname Jeffrey Given name(s) William Jardine Place London Year 1874 month Apr day 19 Register Entry April 19th at 31 Osborne Terrace London Mr William Jardine Jeffrey aged 36 years Edition Year 1874 Edition Date 28 April

Daughter: Juliana JEFFREY (1839-?)

11th January 1839, birth of a daughter from an entry in the East India Registry, from the Bombay Presidency: "In the Fort, the wife of Capt. W. Jeffrey, of the brig Lady Grant, of a daughter."

Marriage 1852-1860 Juliana JEFFREY to George Roslyn MILES


Link to page about Capt. JEFFREY's career


We are not sure when he died. According to the Colonial Times, Hobart, Tasmania, Tuesday 4 May 1841,

On the 28th Nov. last, the Orwell in company with six other vessels were caught in a typhoon in the Pallawan Passage, in which she narrowly escaped being lost ; only three out of the seven were saved. The French frigate Magicienne was lost on the Bombay shoal, all hands saved and taken to Manilla ; Lady Grant, clipper, from Bombay, with opium, was lost, and all hands perished ; the Chebar, from Liverpool to China, with a very valuable cargo, was totally lost and all hands ; the Elizabeth, Dutch barque, was also lost, together with all hands.

However, the codicil of the will below refers to him as deceased in February, 1840.


Below is a transcript of what would seem to be his will which is held in the Jardine Matheson Archive at Cambridge University, of which more later.  From the will and probate application it would seem he must have died in 1839 or very early 1840.  The ship he commanded, the Lady Grant, carried 77 chest of opium from Singapore to Hong Kong in 1839 and perhaps he died on that voyage.


Note:  The ink is very feint making the will very difficult to read.  I have done my best but there are a few words that I still find impossible to decipher.

Last Will And Testament of William Jeffrey

This is to certify that in the event of my death I bequeath all my property of whatever nature and kind and whatever may afterwards belong to me to Juliana Jeffrey my beloved wife now resident in Bombay.

And that I appoint Messrs Jardine Matheson and Co Merchants in Canton as
--next page

Executors thereof . .????? ?????this twenty fourth day of August in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and thirty six on board the brig Lady Grant at Lintin . . .??? ???

(signed Wm Jeffrey
(Witnesses H Wright
??? ?Childs???)

This is to certify that William Jeffrey, Mariner, is in sound health of body and Mind,
Lintin, 24th Aug 1836

[Signature - Alexn. Anderson followed by a Note at bottom that I cannot read - the first few words
are "?r?? Surgeon to the . . .???"]]

{On facing page - in much darker ink}

In the event of the decease of my wife during my life I by this codicil leave and bequeath all my property of whatever nature to my Brothers and Sisters to be equally divided among them share and share alike - provided and notwithstanding anything above written in the event of my having any Children, they, my said children, shall be entitled to the whole of my property.

(signed) Wm Jeffrey

Wm ? Boyd? Witness
H Wright Witness

One more transcript to come plus several links and some other bits and pieces about William.

Know all Men by these Presents, That We James MATHESON and Henry WRIGHT the only resident Partners of the Firm of Jardine Matheson & Co at Canton in China, for our ourselves Remaining Partners

Have made, ordained, constituted and appointed, and by these Presents do make, ordain, constitute, and appoint Matthew Theodisius Denis De VITRE, Thomas Wingate HENDERSON, Robert Wigram CRAWFORD, Reginald Frederick Remington HUGHES, ??? HODSON carrying on business as   jointly or any one of them separately our true and lawful Attorneys and attorney for  us and in our Name and for our use to ask, demand, and receive of from all and whomsoever it doth shall or may concern all and whatsoever ? or ? of money which now are or may hereafter be con?? owing unto us as Executors of William JEFFREY dec. late Commander of the Brig Lady Grant, also to take out Probate of his Will from the Supreme Court of Bombay. 

And upon Non-payment thereof, the said person or persons their

Executors, Administrators, and Goods, for us and in our Name, to distrain, sue, arrest, imprison, implead and prosecute for the same: And upon such Suit to proceed to Judgment and Execution: And thereupon the said person or persons

their Executors, Administrators and Goods, in Prison to hold, detain , and keep until Payment thereof be made, with all Costs and Damages sustained, and to be sustained by reason or means of the detaining of the same: And to Compound and agree for the same: And upon Payment thereof or of such Composition for the same, the said person or persons their

Executors, Administrators and Goods to release, and out of Prison to discharge: and Acquittances for the same, or any part thereof, or for such Composition for the same, or any part thereof, for us and in our Name, to make, seal, and deliver:  And one Attorney or more under us to substitute, and at pleasure to revoke: And generally to do, perform, and execute all and every other lawful and reasonable Acts and Things whatsoever, both for obtaining and discharging of the same, as shall be needful to be done, giving and by these Presents granting unto our said Attorney or Attorneys their Substitutes or Assigns our full and absolute Power and Authority in the Premisses ratifying and holding firm and valid all and whatsoever our said Attorneys or attorney Substitutes or Assigns, or any of them shall lawfully do, or cause to be done in, or about the Premisses, by virtue of these Presents.  IN WITNESS whereof we have hereunto set our Hand and Seal the first day of February in the Year of our Lord One thousand Eight hundred and forty and in the ___ Year of the Reign of his Majesty William the Fourth by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith.

Sealed and delivered in the presence of

(the three last lines having been previously scored through)

ATTACK ON THE LADY GRANT - The following is an account of the attack of the pirates on the Lady Grant, opium runner, in 1836

It appears that the Lady Grant was attacked on the 2nd February by no less than five Malay praos off Pulo Jarra. The praos were observed standing out from the Sambelangs and as the wind fell light they lowered their sails and pulled towards the Lady Grant. On observing their approach Captain Jeffrey fired at them when they hoisted the black flag and redoubled their exertions to get at the schooner. She, however, taking advantage of a light breeze that then sprung up, did not await their onset, but glided away and left them, in the darkness of the evening, out of sight. The moon soon thereafter rose, when the wind died away and left the clipper again to the mercy of the pirates, or rather to the defensive resources of her crew. Happid [sic] for the opium under-writers these were not foun [sic] wanting and her able Commander most judiciously determined on coming to an anchor with a spring on his cable. About ten o clock the praos were observed right a-head pulling quietly but eagerly for the schooner. A small piece on the forecastle was immediately fired at them on which they yelled, beat their tom-toms and continued pulling towards the schoone.r Captain Jeffrey in the meantime by the assistance of the spring on his cable, had brought the Lady Grant's broadside to bear on them and kept up a constant, and from the result, evidently a well directed fire, the guns being ably served by the officers and six or seven British seamen shipped as Seacunnies. The largest prao came on in advance: this vessel, Captain Jeffrey says, was nearly as large as the Lady Grant, and so full of men that it is supposed it was the intention of the pirates to carry the clipper by a coup de main on boarding from her. They had in this instance miscalculated, for being now within pistol shot the rounds of grape and cannister from the Lady Grant drove them from their sweeps to take shelter below, and their vessel was allowed to drift away with the tide. Before daylight the Lady Grant had weighed and made sail to an incrersing[sic] breeze ,and nothing more was seen of the pirates.


The clipper, Lady Grant, captain Jeffrey during the last month was attacked in the straits of Malacca by five Malay prahus. During the afternoon the prahus had been seen in chase but the wind had carried the brig quite out of their reach. At night, however, it fell calm again and at midnight when all were on watch, the pirates were discovered very near, coming down upon the clipper. Captain Jeffrey immediately opened fire upon them but they continued to close in with the brig till they were distant only half a cable's length, when several well directed "broadsides" of grape and canister disconcerted them, and finally compelled them to haul off. Had they not been it perfect readiness on board the Lady Grant to receive the pirates, it is almost certain that she must have been boarded, and the news of her fate been brought us by other means. So in another instance a year ago, a brig was attacked on her passage from Singapore to Malacca by several piratical boats, and though resistance was intended, yet it was believed by those on board that she escaped only in consequence of a freshening breeze.

From The Chinese Repository By Elijah Coleman Bridgman and Samuel Wells Williams, Canton, 1836.


The Lady Grant in coming up the river ran down the dak boat near Hooghly Point and the crew were only saved by getting into the boat of the Lady Grant which was towing astern and was cut away on the accident occurring On breasting the Bishop's College the Lady Grant grounded on the tail of the Sumatra sand and has been obliged to go into dock in consequence