pic by Jim from London at Wikimedia Commons
The Judge Jeffries restaurant was the lodging house of The Hanging Judge when, in 1685, he presided over the Bloody Assizes at Dorchester. He got his nickname because of the brutal sentences he handed out to the supporters of the Duke of Monmouth' failed rebellion against the monarch. After the Assizes, there were 74 executions in the Dorchester area and 175 people were transported to Britain's American colonies for penal servitude. Only three years later, King James II left England and Judge Jeffries was himself locked up in the Tower of London, where he later became ill and died.
But today, my friends and I had happier things on our mind. I bypassed the Judge Jeffries to meet them at the Kings Arms in the other side of the street, which has its own history as a traditional coaching inn, and was featured in Thomas Hardy's books, Far from the Madding Crowd and The Mayor of Casterbridge. It still looks much the same as in the ancient drawing on this web page.
A great day off that I'd earned by working all through my Sunday afternoon and evening.