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
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
from John Seymour's obituary by Herbert Girardet