JOSSELYN (JOSSE, JOSUA), Richard (by 1528-75), of Hyde Hall, Sawbridgeworth, Herts. and High Roding, Essex.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
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Family and Education

b. by 1528, 2nd or 3rd but 1st surv. s. of Sir Thomas Josselyn of Hyde Hall and High Roding, by Dorothy, da. of Sir Geoffrey Gates of Great Garnetts, High Easter, Essex. m. (1) c.1555, Alice, da. of Sir John Shelton of Shelton, Norf.; (2) by 1570, Anne, da. of Thomas Lucas of Little Saxham and Horsecroft, Horningsheath, Suff., 2s. 3da. suc. fa. Oct. 1562.1

Offices Held


Richard Josselyn did not emulate his father, who was active in public life, his only known incursion into it being as Member for Scarborough in 1558. It is possible that he owed his return to his uncle (Sir) Henry Gates, whose recent grant by the crown of the reversion of the nearby manor of Seamer may have already made him influential in the town. The indenture for Scarborough in 1558 has been lost, but evidently Josselyn was not the townsmen’s choice. On the list of Members of this Parliament compiled from the returns the name ‘Richard Josue’ appears over that of Christopher Smith, which has been struck through. Smith knew both Gates and several of Josselyn’s kinsmen in Hertfordshire and these ties perhaps explain the substitution. Josselyn’s nomination may also have owed something to his first wife’s cousin, Henry 11th Lord Morley, who stood well with the Queen. Nothing is known about any part he may have played in the proceedings of the House.2

Josselyn was reared, according to his brother John, ‘in most deep darkness of superstition and idolatry’, but unlike John, who became Latin secretary to Archbishop Parker, he never came to share the Protestantism of their cousins Paul and Peter Wentworth. This fact, and his connexion with the 11th Lord Morley, presumably account for his failure to make any mark after 1558. He made his will on 7 Aug. 1575, providing for his wife and children, and naming his wife and father-in-law executors and his brother John overseer. On the following 10 Sept., he was buried, according to his wish, beside his grandfather in Sawbridgeworth church, and nine days later his will was proved. The wardship of Josselyn’s son and heir was acquired by Gates, and his widow married Henry Heigham, a cousin of (Sir) Clement Heigham.3

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Alan Davidson


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from age at fa.’s i.p.m., C142/136/14. Vis. Essex (Harl. Soc. xiii), 224-5; Vis. Norf. (Harl. Soc. xxxii), 247; Vis. Norf. (Norf. Arch.), ii. 345-6; J. H. Josselyn, Josselyn Fam. 9; Morant, Essex, ii. 466.
  • 2. C193/32/2, f. 3v.
  • 3. DNB (Joscelyn, John) Frag. Gen. iv. 1-3; vii. 118; Essex RO, D/ABW 21/95; Vis. Suff. ed. Howard, ii. 16; CPR, 1572-5, p. 444; Vis. Herts. (Harl. Soc. xxii), 14; APC, xiv. 16, 29.