Early Life in Cheshunt
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Early Life in Cheshunt book
The modern bustling town of Cheshunt in Hertfordshire is situated twenty five miles north of London just beyond the M25 circular. Cheshunt has a long and important history unknown to most drivers as they hurtle past. To many Cheshunt citizens, the Jeremiah Joyces may well not have been considered 'humble'. In Cheshunt, the Presbyterian chapel united with the Congregationalist chapel in 1733 and a substantial dissenters' meeting, known as Crossbrook St Chapel, survived there throughout the eighteenth century. Joyce's early childhood was therefore cast against the background of religious dissent, powerful and well articulated artisan values, a sense of social responsibility and the aspiration to independent commercial success. The Joyce family were well known as leading Presbyterian dissenters. Joyce's close working associate and friend Robert Aspland's memoir of Joyce records Joyce's family as 'in humble life but of truly respectable character'.