Thomas Jefferys - Sword-cutter

Biography

Married (1767) to a Miss Coles.1

Listed in the trade directories of the time as toy man, toy making(m/s) cutler, cutlery/surgical instrument making(m).2 He went bankrupt in November 1766, but this was a frequent occurrence for many tradesmen at the time, and he featured in the directories both before and after this time, at least as late as 1777.3 In 1778 he was even listed as a Director of the Hand in Hand Fire Office,4 a position to which he was re-elected at least as late as 1793.5 Boswell described him as sword-cutter to his majesty.

Thomas Jefferys' nephew, Nathaniel Jefferys (ca. 1758-1810), at some point served as an apprentice in the shop. He later became Goldsmith and Jeweller to the Prince of Wales (1789), and a Member of Parliament for Coventry (1796-1802/3).6

Life with Boswell

Boswell describes how, on December 1, 1762, he managed to get store credit from Mr. Jefferys when he got a sword in Jefferys' shop, having forgotten most of his money at home.

The identification of Mr. Jefferys as Thomas Jefferys was made by the editors of [LJ]. It should be noted, however, that Thomas Jefferys' brother, Nathaniel, was also a cutler, and was sworn in on September 19, 1743 as "Cutler in Ordinary to His Majesty". There also seems to be some confusion in various sources about whether Nathaniel's brother Thomas was the cutler described in this biography, or the famous Thomas Jefferys (1719-1771), a cartographer known as "Geographer to King George III".