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Ralph Josselin

JOSSELIN, Ralph 1616-1683, curate at Cranham 1640-41.  Born in eastern Herts., he attended school at Dean, Beds. before going up to Cambridge. Ordained deacon 1639.   M.A. and ordained priest by the Bishop of Peterborough 1640.  Appointed curate at Cranham by Revd Ignatious Jourdaine and m. Jane Constable of Olney in 1640, four years to the day after his father's death. Although he resigned Cranham 1641 in order to accept the rectory of Earl's Colne his relatives remained at Cranham, and he was one of the two Cranham elders during the Commonwealth until at least 1648.  His diary (which has been printed) documents the whole of the puritan / Commonwealth upheaval, and is one of very few that have survived from the 17th century.  Such details as the delivery of his friends from the siege of Colchester, the skirmishing at Earl's Colne (in which he took part and had his house ransacked), and his own health complaints provide a rare personal source for the history of this era that is impossible to match when working with the usual documents (e.g. court and manor rolls, or church registers).  More details of Josselin's life may be found in the chapter on the churchmen in 'A History of Cranham'.   Josselin
died in c.1683 being survived by two daughters. "

By: Tony Fox

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