The Weald of Kent, Surrey and Sussex
John Richard Jefferies, journalist and writer, son of James Luckett Jefferies and Elizabeth Jefferies [Gyde]
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Richard Jefferies was born at Coate, near Swindon, Wiltshire in 1848. He was at first a reporter on a local newspaper, but his descriptive essays on the countryside brought him into a more than local eminence. Jefferies always suffered from illness and he first came to Sussex for his health in his early thirties when he visited Hastings and Hove where he penned a number of essays and stories including "The Story of My Heart." In 1885 he moved to Crowborough where he lodged at Rehoboth Villa in Jarvis Brook and at The Downs where he wrote many of his most famous essays that were published by his wife after his death in "Field and Hedgerow." He died in Worthing on the 14th August 1887, at the early age of 39, and on his grave is inscribed "Prose poet of England's fields and woodlands"


See also:
Field and Hedgerow; being the last essays of Richard Jefferies published in 1898
Richard Jefferies: His Biographypublished in 1904
Richard Jefferies in Sussex published in 1936
Richard Jefferies and Sussex by A.H. Anderson published in 1937
His life in Crowborough is detailed in Crowborough - The Growth of a Wealden Town by Malcolm Paynepublished in 1985

Date
Type
Information
Source
 
6th Nov 1848
Born
At Coate, Swindon in the County of Wiltshire
Richard Jefferies
 
1849
Christened
In the County of Wiltshire
Richard Jefferies
 
1874
Published
The Scarlet Shawl: a novel
Richard Jefferies
 
Jul 1874
Married
Jessi Baden at Chisledon in the County of Wiltshire
Richard Jefferies
 
1875
Birth of a son
Richard Harold in the Parish of Long Ditton, Surrey
 
 
1875
Published
Restless Human Hearts: a novel
Richard Jefferies
 
1877
Published
World's End: a story in Three Books
Richard Jefferies
 
1878
Published
The Gamekeeper at Home; or, Sketches of Natural History and Rural Life
Richard Jefferies
 
1879
Published
The Amateur Poacher
Richard Jefferies
 
1879
Published
Wild Life in a Southern County
Richard Jefferies
 
1880
Published
Round About a Great Estate
Richard Jefferies
 
1880
Published
Hodge and His Masters
Richard Jefferies
 
1880
Published
Greene Ferne Farm
Richard Jefferies
 
6th Dec 1880
Birth of a daughter
Jessie Phyllis in the Parish of Long Ditton, Surrey
 
 
1881
Published
Wood Magic: a fable
Richard Jefferies
 
1st Apr 1881
In the Parish of Long Ditton, Surrey; Head; occupation: journalist
1881 Surrey Census
 
1882
Published
Bevis: The Story of a Boy
Richard Jefferies
 
1883
Published
The Story of My Heart: My Autobiography
Richard Jefferies
 
1883
Published
Nature Near London
Richard Jefferies
 
18th Jul 1883
Birth of a son
Richard Oliver Launcelot in the Parish of Brighton, Sussex
 
 
1884
Published
Red Deer
Richard Jefferies
 
1884
Published
The Dewy Morn
Richard Jefferies
 
1884
Published
The Life of the Fields
Richard Jefferies
 
1885
Published
The Open Air
Richard Jefferies
 
1885
Published
After London; or, Wild England
Richard Jefferies
 
1886
Published
Field and Hedgerow
 
Buckhurst Park written by Richard Jefferies at The Downs
An old beech tree had been broken off about five feet from the ground, and becoming hollow within, was filled with the decay of its own substance. In this wood - sorrel had taken root, and flower and leaf covered the space within, white flower and green leaf flourishing on old age. The wood-sorrel leaf, the triune leaf, is perhaps more lovely even than the flower, like a more delicately shaped clover of a tenderer green, and it lasts far on into the autumn. When the violet leaves are no more looked for, when the cowslips have gone, and the bluebells have left nothing behind them but their nodding seed-cases, still the wood-sorrel leaf stays on the mound, in shape and colour the same, and as plea-santly acid to the taste now under the ripening nuts as in May. At its coming it is folded almost like a green flower; at Midsummer, when you are gathering ferns, you find its trefoil deep under the boughs; it grows, too, in the crevices of the rock over the spring. The whortleberry leaves, that were green as the myrtle when the wood-sorrel was in bloom, have faded some-what now that their berries are ripening. Another beech has gone over, and lies at full length, a shattered tube, as it were, of timber; for it is so rotten within, and so hollow and bored, it is little else than bark.
more at Field and Hedgerow
 
1886
Published
Field and Hedgerow
 
The Country-side: Sussex written by Richard Jefferies at The Downs
On the wall of an old barn by the great doors there still remains a narrow strip of notice-board, much battered and weather-beaten: "Beware of steel ----" can be read, the rest has been broken off, but no doubt it was "traps." "Beware of steel traps," a caution to thieves - a reminiscence of those old days which many of our present writers and leaders of opinion seem to think never existed. When the strong labourer could hardly earn 7s. a week, when in some parishes scarcely half the population got work at all, living, in the most literal sense, on the parish, when bread was dear and the loaf was really life itself, then that stern inscription had meaning enough. The granaries were full, the people half starved. The wheat was threshed by the flail in full view of the wretched, who could gaze through the broad doors at the golden grain; the sparrows helped themselves, men dare not. At night men tried to steal the corn, and had to be prevented by steel traps, like rats. To-day wheat is so cheap, it scarcely pays to carry it to market. Some farmers have it ground, and sell the flour direct to the consumer; some have used it for feeding purposes-actually for hogs. The contrast is extraordinary.
more at Field and Hedgerow
 
May 1886
Published
Field and Hedgerow
 
Hours of Spring written by Richard Jefferies at The Downs and printed in Longmans' Magazine
It is sweet on awakening in the early morn to listen to the small bird singing on the tree. No sound of voice or flute is like the bird's song; there is something in it distinct and separate from all other notes. The throat of a woman gives forth a more perfect music, and the organ is the glory of man's soul. The bird upon the tree utters the meaning of the wind - a voice of the grass and wild flower, words of the green leaf; they speak through that slender tone. Sweetness of dew and rifts of sunshine, the dark hawthorn touched with breadths of open bud, the odour of the air, the colour of the daffodil - all that is delicious and beloved of spring-time are expressed in his song.
more at Field and Hedgerow
 
Aug 1886
Published
Field and Hedgerow
 
Wind of Heaven written by Richard Jefferies at The Downs and printed in Chambers' Journal
The window rattled, the gate swung; a leaf rose, and the kitten chased it, 'whoo-oo' - the faintest sound in the keyhole. I looked up, and saw the feathers on a sparrow's breast ruffled for an instant. It was quiet for some time; after a while it came again with heavier purpose. The folded shutters shook; the latch of the kitchen door rattled as if some one were lifting it and dropped it; indefinite noises came from upstairs: there was a hand in the house moving everything. Another pause. The kitten was curled up on the window-ledge outside in the sunshine, just as the sleek cats curled up in the warmth at Thebes of old Egypt five or six thousand years ago; the sparrow was happy at the rose tree; a bee was happy on a broad dandelion disc. 'Soo-hoo!' - a low whistle came through the chink; a handful of rain was flung at the window; a great shadow rushed up the valley and strode the house in an instant as you would get over a stile. I put down my book and buttoned my coat. Soo-hoo ! the wind was here and the cloud - soo-hoo! drawing out longer and more plaintive in the thin mouthpiece of the chink. The cloud had no more rain in it, but it shut out the sun; and all that afternoon and all that night the low plaint of the wind continued in sorrowful hopelessness, and little sounds ran about the floors and round the rooms.
more at Field and Hedgerow
 
1886 to 1887
Home
At The Downs
 
1887
Published
Amaryllis at the Fair
Richard Jefferies
 
Jun 1887
Published
Field and Hedgerow
 
The Country Sunday dictated by Richard Jefferies to his wife at The Downs and printed in Longmans' Magazine
Roses bloomed on every bush, and some of the great hawthorns up which the briars had climbed seemed all flowers. The white and pink-white petals of the June roses adhered all over them, almost as if they had been artificially gummed or papered on so as to hide the leaves. Such a profusion of wild-rose bloom is rarely seen. On the Sunday morning, as on a week-day morning, they were entirely unnoticed, and might be said in their turn to take no heed of the sanctified character of the day. With a rush like a sudden thought the white-barred eave-swallows came down the arid road and rose again into the air as easily as a man dives into the water. Dark specks beneath the white summer clouds, the swifts, the black albatross of our skies, moved on their unwearied wings. Like the albatross that floats over the ocean and sleeps on the wing, the swift's scimitar-like pinions are careless of repose. Once now and then they came down to earth, not, as might be supposed, to the mansion or the church tower, but to the low tiled roof of an ancient cottage which they fancied for their home. Kings sometimes affect to mix with their subjects; these birds that aspire to the extreme height of the air frequently nest in the roof of a despised tenement, inhabited by an old woman who never sees them. The corn was green and tall, the hops looked well, the foxglove was stirring, the delicious atmosphere of summer, sun-laden and scented, filled the deep val-leys; a morning of the richest beauty and deepest repose. All things reposed but man, and man is so busy with his vulgar aims that it quite dawns upon many people as a wonderful surprise how still nature is on a Sunday morning. Nature is absolutely still every day of the week, and proceeds with the most absolute indiffer-ence to days and dates.
more at Field and Hedgerow
 
14th Aug 1887
Died
At Sea View, Goring in the Parish of Worthing, Sussex; aged 38 years
Richard Jefferies
Probate Registry of England and Wales
 
after 14th Aug 1887
Buried
At Broadwater Cemetery in the Parish of Broadwater, Sussex
Richard Jefferies
 
3rd Sep 1887
Probate
At Principal registry; Effects: £184 12s
Probate Registry of England and Wales
 
1889
Published
Field and Hedgerow: Being the Last Essays of Richard Jefferies
Field and Hedgerow
 
1892
Published
The Toilers of the Field
Richard Jefferies

Ancestor's report
Descendent's report
Jeffrey, Jefferey, Jefferye, Jefferay, Jefferies, Jeffery, Jefferys, Geffrey, Geffery, Geffrye, Jaffary, Jeffreys, Jeffries, Jeffroy, Jeffray, Jeffry, family records
The ancestral pedigree of John Richard Jefferies, journalist and writer
  
 Richard Jefferiesm: 12th Jul 1772 St Lawrence, Lechdale, GloucestershireFanny Luckett 
 b: 1738 Wiltshire
d: 21st Jan 1825 Swindon, Wiltshire
  b: 1748 Gloucestershire
d: 26th May 1805 Swindon, Wiltshire
  
    
 Fanny James Luckett John Luckett 
 b: 7th Aug 1773 Swindon, Wiltshire
d: 23rd May 1835 Swindon, Wiltshire
 b: 12th Nov 1775 Swindon, Wiltshire
d: 7th Jan 1850 Swindon, Wiltshire
 b: 7th May 1784 Swindon, Wiltshire
d: 12th Apr 1868 Swindon, Wiltshire
 
        
Great-
Grandfather record
   
   
   
 John Luckett Jefferiesm: 30th Nov 1809 St Pancras Old Church, Camden, LondonFanny Ridger 
 b: 7th May 1784 Swindon, Wiltshire
d: 12th Apr 1868 Swindon, Wiltshire
  b: 1783 Chertsey, Surrey, daughter of John Ridger & Elizabeth Underwood
d: 3rd Mar 1858 Swindon, Wiltshire
  
         
Fanny Eliza Mary James Luckett Martha Sarah Richard John Luckett 
b: 30th Jun 1812 London
ch: 4th Nov 1812 St Pancras Old Church, Camden, daughter of John Jefferies & Fanny Jefferies
d: 28th Jan 1901 Uxbridge, Middlesex
 b: 1813 Dukes Row, London
ch: 8th Sep 1813 St Pancras Old Church, Camden, daughter of John Jefferies (printer) & Fanny Jefferies
d: 30th Sep 1894 Swindon, Wiltshire
 b: 1815 Dukes Row, London
ch: 8th Feb 1815 St Pancras Old Church, Camden, daughter of John Jefferies (printer) & Fanny Jefferies
d: 24th Jan 1862 Swindon, Wiltshire
 b: 8th Dec 1816 Somers Town, London
ch: 15th May 1822 Swindon, Wiltshire
d: 23rd Dec 1896 Bath, Somerset
 b: 12th Jul 1818 Swindon, Wiltshire
ch: 15th May 1822 Swindon
d: 22nd Jan 1902 Swindon, Wiltshire
 b: 3rd Mar 1820 Swindon, Wiltshire
ch: 15th May 1822 Swindon
d: 20th Oct 1864 Gloucestershire
 b: 1822 Swindon, Wiltshire
ch: 15th May 1822 Swindon
d: 1832 Wiltshire
 b: 1824 Swindon, Wiltshire
ch: 30th Sep 1824 Swindon
d: 3rd Aug 1856 Wiltshire
 
                 
Grandfather record
   
   
   
 James Luckett Jefferiesm: 10th Sep 1844 Holy Trinity, Islington, LondonElizabeth Gyde 
 b: 8th Dec 1816 Somers Town, London
ch: 15th May 1822 Swindon, Wiltshire
d: 23rd Dec 1896 Bath, Somerset
  b: 3rd Nov 1817 Islington, London, daughter of Charles Gyde & Elizabeth Estcourt
d: 1897 Wiltshire
  
      
 Ellen John Richard Henry James Sarah Charles 
 b: 1845 Coate, Swindon, Wiltshire
d: 1851 Coate, Swundon, Wiltshire, aged 6 years
 b: 6th Nov 1848 Coate, Swindon, Wiltshire
ch: 1849
d: 14th Aug 1887 Sea View, Goring, Worthing, Sussex, aged 38 years
bur: after 14th Aug 1887 Broadwater Cemetery, Broadwater, Sussex
 b: 14th Jun 1852 Coate, Swindon, Wiltshire
ch: 26th Sep 1852 Chisledon, son of James Jefferies & Elizabeth Jefferies
d: 7th Sep 1920 Texas, USA
 b: 2nd Jul 1853 Coate, Swindon, Wiltshire
ch: 7th Aug 1853 Chisledon, daughter of James Jefferies & Elizabeth Jefferies
d: 16th Nov 1913 Guildford, Surrey
 b: 26th Nov 1858 Coate, Swindon, Wiltshire
ch: 2nd Jan 1859 Chisledon, son of James Jefferies & Elizabeth Jefferies
d: 1934 Guildford, Surrey
 
            
Parental record
   
   
   
 John Richard Jefferies
journalist and writer
m: July 1874 Chisledon, WiltshireJessi Baden 
 b: 6th Nov 1848 Coate, Swindon, Wiltshire
ch: 1849
d: 14th Aug 1887 Sea View, Goring, Worthing, Sussex, aged 38 years
bur: after 14th Aug 1887 Broadwater Cemetery, Broadwater, Sussex
  b: 2nd Feb 1853 Wiltshire, daughter of Andrew Baden & Emma Smart
d: 12th Jul 1926 Cornwall
  
    
 Richard Harold Jessie Phyllis Richard Oliver Launcelot 
 b: 1875 Long Ditton, Surrey
d: 3rd Nov 1942 Quebec, Canada
 b: 6th Dec 1880 Long Ditton, Surrey
d: 28th Nov 1958 Seaford, Sussex
 b: 18th Jul 1883 Brighton, Sussex
d: 16th Mar 1885 Greenwich, Kent
 
Family record

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