Henry Brodribb Irving (1879-1919) was an English stage actor, lawyer and author of two books of studies of English and French criminals. His revisionist biography of Judge Jeffreys (1645-1689) is probably his most famous book.
Jeffreys served as Lord Chief Justice, 1683-1685, and Lord Chancellor, 1685-1688. He was captured when he tried to flee England after the fall of King James II and imprisoned in the Tower where he died of disease on April 18, 1689, at age forty-three. He is infamous for his conduct on the bench at what has become known as "the Bloody Assizes" in 1685. Irving describes those court session in chapters 14 and 15 of his biography.
Jeffreys is the subject of numerous articles and books including Humphry W. Woolrych's "Memoirs of the Life of Judge Jeffreys" (1827).