Josey was born at Reading in 1840, and received his education at the Reading Blue Coat School. At the age of 13 he was apprenticed to Thomas W. Knight, and on the expiration of his apprenticeship he worked in the studio of the Chevalier Ballin. Ballin's influence is evident in Josey's work in stipple and line.
He engraved a large number of famous portraits, notably Thomas Carlyle and the equally famous picture of "Whistler's Mother", after James McNeill Whistler; the Earl of Shaftesbury, after Sir John Millais; Cardinal Manning, after Edwin Long; David Garrick, after Gainsborough; Lord Roberts after Walter William Ouless; and Lord Wolsely and several other portraits after Frank Holl. The National Portrait Gallery, London, has 20 portraits engraved by Josey in its collection.
Among his more successful religious subjects were "The Finding of Moses," after Frederick Goodall; "Helen on the Walls of Troy," after Lord Leighton; "Preparing for Confirmation," after Burgess; "Hope Nursing Love," and "Crossing the Ford," after Sir Joshua Reynolds; "Gethsemane," after J.S. Cuthbert; "Calvary," after Sir Noel Paton; and "Pity and Love are Akin," after Frank Miles.
Josey also produced engravings of many other subjects.
- Staff writer (14 February 1906). "Obituaries". The Times (London). Retrieved 2006-01-19.