GEMMS: Gateway to Early Modern Manuscript Sermons
NameRalph Josselin
Livedb. 1617-01-26 - d. ca. 1683-08-30 (old)
Linked Manuscripts
Linked SermonsSermon on John 16:33 -- preacher (autograph: no)The Testimony given to Enoch -- preacher (autograph: no)
Linked Reports
Associated PlacesBishop's Stortford School -- Place of StudyJesus College -- Place of StudyEarls Colne -- Post
Source of DataCatherine Evans
Biographical Sources ConsultedCCEd Person ID: 114275, ACAD (Venn) ID: JSLN632R; ODNB
Other NoteBorn in Roxwell, Essex, the first son and third child of John Josselin, a farmer, and his wife, believed to be called Anne. His mother died in 1624 and when he was in his early teens his father remarried. Josselin went to Jesus College in 1633, and although his studies were interrupted for a lack of funds, he gained his BA in 1636/7, the same year that his father died. He gained his MA in 1640. Over the next few years Josselin had a succession of posts as curate and schoolteacher, and in March 1641 became vicar of earls Colne, where he spent the rest of his life. Josselin's life is known in an extraordinary level of detail due to the near daily diary he kept, which would be published in a highly abridged version by the Camden Society in the early 20th century, and published in full in 1976. He married Jane (c. 1621-1693) the daughter of Thomas Constable of Olney, Buckinghamshire. They married on 28 October 1640 and spent the next forty-three years living and working together. They had ten children, two of which died shortly after birth, and one (a much loved daughter called Mary) in childhood. Josselin was a great believer in providence, suggesting that his 10-day-old son Ralph died as punishment for playing too much chess. His diary also gives much detail about his worries about his health, his puritan leanings during a time of separatism and civil war. Although Josselin was an active and well known preacher, invited to preach elsewhere in the county and at Paul's Cross, he was unpopular within Earls Colne with some parishioners. The only time he records preaching to a full church is in a dream. He had frequent money troubles, although his patrons the Harlakenders offered support. He died in August 1683, buried at Earls Colne on 30 August.
GEMMS record createdSeptember 24, 2021
GEMMS record last editedSeptember 24, 2021