Ralph Josselin

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Ralph Josselin (January 23, 1617 – 1683) was the vicar of Earls Colne in Essex from 1640 until his death in 1683. His diary records intimate details of everyday farming life, family and kinship in a small, isolated rural community, and is often studied by researchers interested in the period, alongside other similar diaries like that of Samuel Pepys.[1]

Alan Macfarlane began collecting information relating to the Earls Colne and the diary while working as researcher in the Verona Record Office in the 1960s from which he and Sarah Harrison attempted to "reconstruct" an historical community.[2] In 1970 Macfarlane published an anthropological study of Josselin's family life, titled "The Family Life of Ralph Josselin: a seventeenth-century clergyman" (Cambridge University Press, 1977; ISBN 978-0-393-00849-4). A full edited transcript of the diary was published in 1991 ("The diary of Ralph Josselin, 1616-1683," ed. Alan Macfarlane (1991), ISBN 978-0-19-726103-3) and the text is also available online.



  1. ^ Family and friends in eighteenth-century England, by Naomi Tadmor, p. 13
  2. ^ Earls Colne Project