John Ewbank Leefe was born in Richmond in 1813) and educated at Trinity College, Cambridge – matriculated in 1831, taking a B.A in 1835, and an M.A in 1838. He then became Vicar at Audley End (1841) but moved back to Richmond, and from there on to Cresswell, Northumberland. He stayed in Cresswell for a long time, 1849 – 87. He married in 1845 in Cockermouth to Maria Favell, who died in 1902..
He was a Fellow of the Linnean Society and a member of the Tyneside Naturalists Field Club, where he held the office of Vice President and then President in 1873/ 74.
He was an expert on the genus Salix, most of his letters and plants are at Kew. He also recorded rainfall, temp data up to 1888. He died in Redcar.
The London journal of botany: containing figures and descriptions …, Volume 1 By Sir William Jackson Hooker