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Jefferies
Jefferies
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for Oxford and the church, he was articled in 1850, after some training at the College of Civil Engineers, Putney, to George Hunter, a colliery viewer and engineer of Durham. Making rapid progress in his profession, he in 1857 became partner of J. T. Woodhouse, a mining engineer and agent of Derby, and took up his residence in 1860 at Duffield, near that town. He greatly distinguished himself in 1861 by the bravery he displayed in attempting to rescue the men and boys confined in a coal-pit at Clay Cross during an inundation. In 1863, and again in 1864, he examined and reported on the Moselle coalfield, near Saarbrück. On 12 Dec. 1866 he learned, while at his house at Duffield, that the Oaks Pit, near Barnsley, was on fire; he went thither at once, and with three others descended to make a complete exploration of the mine. One of the party returned to the surface to send down volunteers, but Jeffcock remained below directing such life-saving operations as could be carried on during the night of 12 Dec. Before further help arrived on the morning of the 13th a second explosion had killed Jeffcock and, with a single exception, the whole band of volunteers, thirty in number. The mine was sealed down, and Jeffcock's body was not recovered until 5 Oct. 1867, when it was buried in Ecclesfield churchyard. A church, named St. Saviour's, built as a memorial of Jeffcock at Mortomley, near Sheffield, was completed in 1872 at a cost of 3,000l.

[Parkin Jeffcock: a Memoir by his brother, the Rev. John T. Jeffcock, 1867, 8vo, with portrait; Guardian, 2 Jan. 1867; Hunter's Hallamshire, xliii. 444; notices in Derby Mercury, 19 and 26 Dec. 1866; information kindly supplied by the Rev. J. T. Jeffcock.]

T. S.

JEFFERIES. [See also Jeffrey and Jeffreys.]

JEFFERIES, RICHARD (1848–1887), novelist and naturalist, was born at Coate Farm, near Swindon in Wiltshire, on 6 Nov. 1848. His father, the son of a miller and confectioner, was a small farmer, and appears to have possessed the independence of character and keenness of observation so remarkable in his son. He was educated partly at Sydenham, Kent, partly at a school in his neighbourhood, and at sixteen justified the character he had obtained of a restless, unsettled lad, by running away to France with a friend, with the intention of walking to Moscow. The difficulties they naturally encountered made them change their destination to America, where they would at least understand the language of the inhabitants; but although they proceeded to Liverpool, and expended all their money in securing berths, the discovery that they had no funds left to pay the expenses of living during the voyage sent them back to Swindon. Jefferies remained for a time at home, and read widely, especially delighting in ‘Faust.’ His remarkable traits of character attracted the notice of Mr. William Morris, proprietor of the ‘North Wilts Advertiser,’ who encouraged him to write descriptive sketches for his journal. Under the auspices either of Mr. Morris or of Mr. Piper, editor of the ‘North Wilts Herald,’ Jefferies learned shorthand. He became a regular reporter on the ‘Herald,’ and local correspondent for a Gloucestershire paper. He planned and partly wrote novels and tragedies, and, notwithstanding severe illnesses in 1867 and 1868, had by 1870 saved sufficient money to undertake a trip to Belgium, addressing verses by the way to the Prince Imperial, then a refugee at Hastings. He found himself out of employment on his return, and was temporarily estranged from his family. But the remuneration he received for a piece of local family history, ‘The Goddards of North Wilts,’ published in 1873, seems to have enabled him to marry in 1874, and to publish, partly at his own expense, his first novel, ‘The Scarlet Shawl.’ Like its successors, ‘Restless Human Hearts’ (1875) and ‘The World's End’ (1877), it proved a failure. His next novel, ‘The Dewy Morn,’ though greatly superior to its predecessors, could at the time find no publisher. He had, however, gained access to influential magazines and newspapers, to which he contributed excellent papers on rural life and scenery. A letter of his to the ‘Times’ on the circumstances of the agricultural labourer also attracted great attention; it is reprinted in Mr. Besant's biography of him. About 1876 he removed to London. In 1877 he definitively took rank as a popular author by his ‘Gamekeeper at Home,’ a reprint of a series of remarkable papers originally contributed to the ‘Pall Mall Gazette.’ He had, indeed, while interpreting nature as a poet, studied her as a naturalist, not only accumulating facts with minute observation, but registering them with almost painful accuracy in the diaries of which Mr. Besant has given specimens. His love of details and his power of eliciting poetic beauty from them are even more strikingly exhibited in his next book, ‘Wild Life in a Southern County’ (1879), which also originally appeared in the form of articles in the ‘Pall Mall.’ Here, returning to his native Wiltshire, he establishes himself on the summit of a down, and works from this centre in