John Seymour

Sally Seymour

Anne Seymour

David Sears



John Seymour

John Seymour John Seymour (12 June 1914 - 14 September 2004)

Commonly known as 'The Father of Self-Sufficiency', John Seymour lived a varied and fascinating life.

Writer, broadcaster, environmentalist, agrarian, smallholder and activist; a rebel against: consumerism, industrialisation, genetically modified organisms, cities, motor cars; and an advocate for: self-reliance, personal responsibility, self-sufficiency, conviviality (food, drink, dancing and singing), gardening, caring for the Earth and for the soil.

In all, John produced 41 books, including 'The Fat of the Land', covering travel, rural crafts and gardening, but his abiding mission was to preach the gospel of self-sufficiency. It was a theme that came to him as a young man, when his family moved from Hampstead, north London, where he was born, to Frinton-on-Sea, Essex. There, he experienced a bygone world of farming with shire horses, and people living off the land and the sea.

John was as much at home in the humblest house on a hillside, as in the manor house of landed gentry. He was like a force of nature, always willing to listen, always interested in learning about new - or very old - ways of working the land. He was a one-man rebellion against modernism.

from John Seymour's obituary by Herbert Girardet