SIR JEFFERY HUDSON
Born in 1619, Jeffery Hudson was an English dwarf who, despite his diminutive stature, lived a very large life of ups and downs.
Although Jeffery's parents, brothers, and sisters were all of normal size it was apparent that Sir Hudson was going to be small from the day he was born. By strange coincidence, he was born in Rutland, the smallest county in England where the county motto is Multum in Parvo - 'Much in Little'.
On his 17th birthday in 1626, Jeffery was presented to the Duchess of Buckingham as a "rarity of nature" and she invited him to join the household. A few months later the Duke and Duchess entertained King Charles and his young French wife, Queen Henrietta Maria in London. The climax of the evening was the presentation of Jeffrey to the Queen, served in a large pie.
When the pie was placed in front of the Queen, Jeffrey arose from the crust.
The Queen was delighted and the Duke and Duchess of Buckingham offered Hudson to her as an amusing gift.
In late 1626 Jeffery moved to Denmark House where he took his place among many natural curiosities and pets and grew in popularity as he used his wits and charm to entertain guests and his hosts.
As he grew older, however, Jeffery made it clear that he had no intention of remaining a mere clown or pet for the rest of his life and would no longer suffer insults or jokes at his expense. Although the records are spotty, it is believed that his insistence that he be treated with respect is what led to a duel with the brother of William Crofts and his shooting Crofts in the head, killing him.
This victory was a disaster for Jeffery because dueling was outlawed in France and he was soon expelled from the royal court.
In 1644, Jeffery was captured by pirates and spent the next 25 years of his life laboring in North Africa as a slave. Although there is no record of his release or rescue, Jeffery appeared back in England in 1669. The records claimed that Jeffery's height had mysteriously doubled to 45 inches.
Few records from Jeffery's life exist between 1669 and 1682, but it is known that he returned to the royal court to seek a pension and was thrown into prison for eight years amid a period of anti-Catholic activity.
Jeffery was released in 1680 and died two years later.