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The Watchful Clothier$
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Matthew Kadane

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300169614

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300169614.001.0001

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. Double-Minded Men

. Double-Minded Men

(p.1) 1. Double-Minded Men
The Watchful Clothier

Matthew Kadane

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on Joseph Ryder, a clothier who spent his entire life, from 1695 to 1768, in Leeds, England, and who, for his last thirty-five years, kept a spiritual diary that death finally ended after 2.5 million words and forty-one bound volumes. It reveals that ever since it left private hands in 1925, Ryder's massive handwritten journal has been sitting in the archives in Manchester, almost untouched. As a Leeds source in a different city's library, it generally escaped the notice of local historians. The diary's unquantified prose (and poetry) made it an ill fit for economic historians. A few nineteenth- and early twentieth-century religious scholars were more interested; however, they were doctrinal Unitarians who mined the diary for what it could tell them about their faith. The chapter also reveals Ryder's world, which was especially thick with commercial and religious meaning.

Keywords:   Joseph Ryder, clothier, spiritual diary, handwritten journal, historians, doctrinal Unitarians

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