Geoffrey Josselyn & Katherine Bray
Family Tree
Geoffrey Josselyn (G15), married Catherine, daughter of Sir Thomas Bray, an ancient landed family.

They had four sons and two daughters, namely Thomas, Geoffrey, (Sir) Ralph, William, Margery & Elizabeth. He died in 1428, having married a second time.

G15 Geoffrey Josselyn
(died 1428)
= (1st) Katherine Braye
G14 Thomas Jocelyn
= Alice Duke
Geoffrey Josselyn Sir Ralph Josselyn
(Lord Mayor of London)
(see below)
William Josselyn
(no male issue)
Margery Josselyn Elizabeth Josselyn
G13 Senior Line
(Earls of Roden, Irish peerage)
East Anglian or Horksley Line Richard
(no male issue)

Our line of the family descended through Geoffrey, the second son.

The senior line descended through the eldest son, Thomas, who resided at & , which line took the spelling Jocelyn.

William, fourth son, died without issue. There was further issue two daughters, Margery & Elizabeth.

Sir Ralph Josselyn, (G14)
Sir Ralph was the third son of Geoffrey Josselyn & Catherine, citizen and draper of London, Mayor, MP and Knight of the Bath.

See the "Brief History of the Drapers Company of London" for details of this organisation.

He married twice and held land in Essex. He was succeeded by his son, Richard but there does not appear to be further male issue in this line of the family. Sir Ralph died in 25th October 1478 and was buried at Sawbridgeworth, with the following inscription on his gravestone:

"Orate pro anima Radulphi Joslyne, quondam militis et bis
Majoratus Civitatis London, qui obit XXV Octob MCCCCLXXVIII".

"Pray for Ralph Joslyne, former soldier and twice Major of London, who died 25th October 1478".

One account of the lives of the Lord Mayors of London describes his death as a murder; "he did much for the City during his term of office but it is suggested that his good works may also have made him enemies."

The arms of Sir Ralph are incorporated in the first quarter of the shield.

From British History Online, Calendar of letter-books of the city of London:

... Ralph Josselyn, the Mayor, received a writ of Privy Seal, dated from Sheen, 13 April, 1465, bidding him attend at Westminster Palace on Sunday, the 26th May, on the occasion of the Queen's Coronation. This is all that the LetterBook tells us of the matter, but if we turn to 'Liber Dunthorn' we find the following particulars recorded, viz., that on Friday after the Feast of the Ascension the Queen came from Kingston to the Tower with a retinue of nobles; that the King created the following knights (more correctly Knights of the Bath), viz., the Mayor, Hugh "Whiche," Thomas Cook, and John Plomer, Aldermen, as well as Henry Waver, citizen and draper (afterwards an Alderman); and that on the following Sunday (26 May) the Coronation took place, the Mayor and citizens performing the customary services, and the Mayor receiving the usual fee. On the accession of Richard III. the citizens again put in their claim for service at the Coronation of the King and Queen, and their claim was again allowed.

From British History Online, A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 3

Towards the close of the 15th century record is found of a second manor of Linslade. It was held of the Abbot of Missenden, and Sir Ralph Josselyn, kt., Mayor of London, died seised of it in 1478, his heir being his nephew George. His widow Elizabeth married Sir Robert Clifford, kt., as her second husband. These parties were sued in 1507 by William Barlee, father of Elizabeth, and others, apparently trustees, who claimed that they, rather than the Cliffords, were lawfully seised of the manor. By 1538, however, the 'manor of Linslade and Southcott called Joselyn's manor' was in the possession of the Corbet family, and doubtless became absorbed in the main property.
From British History Online, London Bridge
In 1471, when Henry was a prisoner in the Tower, the Bastard of Falconbridge, one of the deposed king's piratical partisans, made a dash to plunder London. While 3,000 of his men attacked Aldgate and Bishopsgate, the rest set fire to London Bridge, and burnt thirteen houses. But the citizens, led by Ralph Jocelyn, a brave Draper, made a gallant defence, drove off the filibusters, and chased them to Blackwall.
From the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (link subscription only):
Sir Ralph's first wife was Philippa, one of the two daughters of the wealthy draper Philip Malpas (d. 1469). The other daughter, Elizabeth, married Sir Thomas Cook (c.1410–1478), draper and mayor of London, who was the eldest son of Thomas Cook, draper, a warden of London Bridge (1440–57). Malpas was a younger son of a Cheshire family who had been apprenticed to a London draper and made a prudent marriage to Juliana, daughter of the wealthy chandler, John Beaumond, and widow of the grocer, William Middleton (an executor of Beaumond). Spectacularly successful, Malpas was notorious for his business methods: he was convicted of usury in 1421. He was sheriff in 1439, and MP in 1432 and 1441, but was alderman only for the years 1448–50, and apparently disliked office.
The connections with Malpas or the Cooks (of Lavenham, Suffolk) may explain Sir Ralph's connection to the Drapers. Alternatively the Josselyn's may have been involved in the textile industry in Essex or Suffolk.

The Career of Sir Ralph Josselyn

The following is from the Draper's Company:
As for Sir Ralph Josselyn, because very few archives have survived prior to the early 16th century we know very little about him. We do not know when or why he became a Freeman (member) – he first appears in the archives when he was serving as Warden in 1449.

He held this office again in 1455 prior to serving as Master of the Company in 1457. He was Alderman of Cornhill Ward from 1456-78 and elected Sheriff in 1458. He was knight in 1465 at the coronation of the Queen.

One can only presume that he became a Freeman because he worked in the drapery trade though probably as a merchant rather than a shop keeper. It was normal for a person to become Free having served an apprentice to an existing member and on completing their training at 21 or a little older they would be brought to Drapers’ Hall to take up the Freedom which then entitled him to work as a Draper and to become Free of the City of London which would entitle him to work in the City.

Who Sir Ralph was apprenticed to is not known.

From this and from the numerous entries on Sir Ralph in British History Online:

1422-61Reign of Henry VI

1449Warden of the Drapers Company
1455Warden of the Drapers Company
1457Master of the Drapers Company
1456-78Alderman in London for the ward of Cornhill
1458-59Sheriff of London

4 Mar 1460Edward IV crowned

1464-65Lord Mayor of London ("Ralph Josselyn, draper (pannarius)")
26 May 1465Created Knight of the Bath at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth (wife of Edward IV)
1467Elected Member of Parliament for the City of London
1476-77Lord Mayor of London
25 Oct 1478Died
Notes & References
  1. Based on Vol 2, Ch 1 of the research of John Hallum
  2. British History Online