Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Jocelin, Elizabeth

JOCELIN, ELIZABETH (1596–1623), author of 'The Mother's Legacie to her Unborne Childe,' born in 1596, was the daughter of Sir Richard Brooke of Norton, Cheshire, and his wife Joan, daughter of William Chaderton [q. v.], bishop of Lincoln. Elizabeth's mother and father separated, and the former returned home. Elizabeth's childhood was thus passed in the house of Bishop Chaderton, who carefully educated her 'in languages, history, and some arts,' but 'principally in studies of piety.' She had an extraordinary memory, which enabled her 'upon the first rehearsal to repeat above forty lines in English or Latin, and could write out an entire sermon almost word for word' (Goad, Approbation of the ‘Legacie’). In 1616 she married Tourell Jocelin of Cambridgeshire. Foreboding death in child birth, she wrote 'The Mother's Legacie to her Unborne Childe.' a letter which gently but earnestly exhorted her son or daughter to piety and good conduct. Prefixed to it is a letter to her husband, giving him sensible advice as to the bringing up of the child. She bore a daughter on 12 Oct. 1622, and died nine days afterwards. The child, named Theodora, became the wife of Samuel Fortrey [q. v.]

The 'Legacie' was first published in 1624 (cf. Arber, Stationers' Register, 13 Jan., iv. 72), with a long 'Approbation' by Dr. Thomas Goad [q. v.] giving some account of Elizabeth Jocelin's life. The second edition is dated 1624 and the third 1625. An exact reprint of the third edition, with an introduction by an anonymous Edinburgh editor, appeared in 1852. The edition printed at Oxford, 'for the satisfaction of the person of quality herein concerned,' in 1684, and reprinted at the end of C. H. Cranford's 'Sermons' in 1840, is a garbled one, the editor having substituted 'prayers allowed of by the church' for 'Dr. Smith's evening and morning prayer,' and tampered with the admonitions as to Sunday observance. The manuscript of the 'Legacie' is now in the British Museum Addit. MS. 27467.

[Goad's Approbation and the Letter to Tourell Jocelin prefixed to the Legsacy; Sir P. Leycester's Historical Antiquities, p. 327; Harrington's Brief View of the State of the Church. pp. 84, 85; Fuller's Worthies of England, Nichols, i. 185; Genealogist, iii. 293]

E. C-n.