This new edition of George Fox’s Journal is designed to replace for the general reader the text prepared by Thomas Ellwood, which was first published in 1694 and has been many times reprinted without substantial alterations, in England until 1902, and in America until 1892. George Fox, through most of his life, did not keep a journal in the ordinary sense of a nearly contemporary day-to-day record. It was also Fox’s habit to dictate, in preference to writing himself, if there was an amanuensis (secretary) at hand. In 1675, or possibly beginning in 1674, Fox dictated to Thomas Lower, his stepson-in-law, an autobiography down to the year of writing. This is now called the Spence MS.
The Spence MS. has been published verbatim under the title The Journal of George Fox, by Cambridge University Press, 1911, 2 volumes, with an introduction by T. Edmund Harvey and full editorial notes by Norman Penney. It is referred to as “the Cambridge Journal.” This present text is a condensed version of the 1911 text, which is a collection of a number of documents, journals, and letters.