THE Journal of George Fox was first printed, some three years after his death, in 1694, in a folio volume, and has been frequently reprinted. The eighth (bi-centenary) edition, published in two octavo volumes in 1891, is convenient for general use, but varies in many small respects from the text as first printed in 1694. My references, unless otherwise stated, are to this edition, but I have restored the 1694 text. In the journal the account of Fox's death is prefaced by the following sentence:
Thus, reader, hast thou had some account of the life and travels, labours, sufferings and manifold trials and exercises of this holy man of God, from his youth to almost the time of his death, of which himself kept a journal, out of which the foregoing sheets were transcribed.
This statement, of course, is consistent with a good deal of editorial selection and revision having taken place; nor must it be supposed that the journal kept by Fox was the only document made use of. It is the object of the present note to show the relation of the journal printed in 1694 to these earlier sources, especially for the period covered by the present volume.
Fox, in a Testamentary paper dated 27th June 1685,1 named a number of Friends to act as his literary executors, but we know that the principal work on the journal was done on behalf of the 'Morning Meeting" by Thos. Ellwood.
In April 1692 we have a minute of the Morning Meeting, which says:
Two letters from Thomas Ellwood to Steven Crisp relating to dear George Fox journal giving an account: he hath transcribed about 200 sheets and hath spent more time in perusal and comparing their writing, by reason whereof he hath got no further than 1666, and desires to know whether he shall bring up what is done