James Annesley

Life
1715-1760 [6th Earl of Angelesey]; claimant son of the dissolute Irish peer Lord Altham whose wife, Mary Sheffield d.1727; prob. illegitimate son of one Juggy Landy; his father afterwards fell under influence of a mistress called Gregory; his son left to ramble with butcher called Purcell; his br. and uncle Richard succeeding to the title; James kidnapped and indentured as servant in America; escaped and returned to England, 1740; claim supported by Mr. Mackercher, being M- in Smollett’s novel Peregrine Pickle (of questionable authenticity); action of ejectment against Richard, 1742; James shoots game-keeper dead and is tried for murder; acquitted, 1742; back in Ireland, 1743; attacked by Angelesey’s retainers on race course; trial for ejectment held 16 Sept. 1743, lasting 15 days; focus on question of his mother; jury found for claimant, though weight of evidence against his legitimacy; Abstract of the Case of James Annesley, 1751; case appealed; he was twice married; a narrative of his life in America given in Gentlemen’s Magazine, Vol. XIII; State Trials, XVI, XVII; Scott’s Guy Mannering Smollett’s Peregrine Pickle, and Reade’s Wandering Heir. ODNB DIB

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Criticism
Robert Dodsley, Book of J[ames] A[nnesley] , calling himself 6th Earl of Anglesey (1743); One-Leg: The Life and Letters of Henry William Paget, 1st Parquis of Angelesey 1768-1854 (1961).

Narrative accounts of Annesley’s life in America are to be found in Abstract of the Case of James Annesley (1751); Gentlemen’s Magazine, Vol. XIII. State Trials, Vols. XVI, XVII.; Scott, Guy Mannering; Smollett, Peregrine Pickle; Reade, Wandering Heir.

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