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John Robert Jefferies (1840-1900) of Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies, Orwell Works, Ipswich.
1900 Obituary 
JOHN ROBERT JEFFERIES was born at Great Barford, Bedfordshire, on 22nd December 1840.
He went to Ipswich in 1856 to become a premium apprentice to Messrs. Ransomes and Sims at the Orwell Works, and on the completion of his apprenticeship he was sent to Russia by the firm to erect and start machinery supplied by them.
On his return to England he continued in the employment of the firm, and was taken into partnership in 1871, becoming one of the managing directors when the undertaking was converted into a private company in 1884. He originally devoted his attention almost exclusively to the manufacturing department of the works, but as other partners passed away he also undertook the control of the firm's foreign and colonial trade. This work necessitated frequent continental journeys, and he also paid several visits to the United States, in the resources and industries of which country he always took a great interest. He introduced many improvements in the various classes of machinery and implements made at the Orwell Works, amongst which may be specially mentioned the well-known lifting apparatus for double-furrow and multiple ploughs. Hitherto it had been impossible to bring these ploughs into general use, owing to the difficulty of raising them out of the land and of turning them at the ends of the furrows; but the ingenious arrangement of wheels and axles invented by him entirely obviated this difficulty.
At the present time multiple ploughs are extensively used all over the world, and the arrangement invented by him has been adopted by all the principal plough-makers in England and abroad.
In 1882 he was elected one of six representatives of the burgesses of Ipswich on the Dock Commission, and was chosen a member of the Committee of Management in September of the same year, from which time until his death he took the greatest interest in the improvement of the port.
In the Ipswich Chamber of Commerce and Shipping, formed in 1884, he succeeded the first chairman, and in the present year (1900) was again elected to that position. he was a great mover in the establishment of the Ipswich Girls' High School, in which he always took a keen interest. He was also a Justice of the Peace for the Borough, and was Chairman of the Agricultural Engineers' Association for 1900.
His death took place at Ipswich, on 12th September 1900, in his sixtieth year.
He became a Member of this Institution in 1880; and was also a Member of the Iron and Steel Institute.
1900 Obituary 
JOHN ROBERT JEFFERIES died on September 12, 1900, at the age of sixty. He was for many years the manager of the export department of the firm of Ransomes, Sims, & Jefferies, Limited, Ipswich. He was born in 1840 at Great Barford, Bedfordshire, and in 1856 entered the Orwell Works, Ipswich, as an articled pupil. In 1866 he married a daughter of the late Mr. James Allen Ransome, a member of the firm, and was taken into partnership, the business then existing under the title of Ransomes, Sims, & Head. In 1884, when it was converted into a limited liability company, Mr Jefferies became a managing director.
In 1882 he was elected one of six representatives of the Burgesses of Ipswich on the Dock Commission, and in September of the same year he was chosen a member of the Committee of Management. He took the greatest interest in the improvement of the port, and was a most regular attendant at the meetings in connection therewith. On the Ipswich Chamber of Commerce and Shipping being formed in 1884, he succeeded Mr. Edward Packard, who was the first chairman, and in 1900 he was re-elected to that position. He was also that year's chairman of the Agricultural Engineers' Association, a member of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, and a Justice of the Peace for the borough.
He was elected a member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1879.