Goldsborough, John (DNB00)

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GOLDSBOROUGH, Sir JOHN (d. 1693), sea-captain in the East India Company's service, was probably a native of Suffolk, in which county he possessed an estate. He was in command of the Antelope when that ship was taken by a Dutch fleet, between Masulipatam and Madras, on 22 Aug. 1673. His account of the engagement is in the Bodleian Library (Pepys Papers, vol. xvi. f. 386). He commanded the ship Falcon in 1673–4, and in 1676–7, 1683, and 1686 the Bengal Merchant. After the death of Sir John Child on 4 Feb. 1689–90, no officer of the company succeeded to his position of supreme control; but after prolonged dissensions at Fort St. George between the governor, Elihu Yale, and his council, the court re-established this control, which they gave to Goldsborough on 2 Oct. 1691. In his first commission, dated 10 Feb. 1691–2, he is named their ‘supervisor-commissary-general and chief governor,’ and a year later their ‘captain-general and commander-in-chief.’ Just before the date of his first commission he was knighted, 8 Feb. 1691–2. He sailed in March, and arrived at Fort St. George on 23 Nov. 1692, where he investigated the quarrel between the late governor, Elihu Yale, and his council. In June he went to Fort St. David, and after some stay there returned by land to Madras on 11 July 1693. On the 29th he embarked for the Bay of Bengal, leaving his wife at the fort. He reached Chatánatí (now Calcutta) on 12 Aug., and reported very unfavourably of the late agent in Bengal, Job Charnock [q. v.], and the company's servants. On his recommendation Francis Ellis, who had succeeded Charnock as agent, was afterwards remanded to Fort St. George, and Charles (later Sir Charles) Eyre or Eyres appointed to the post. While staying at Chatánatí Goldsborough was struck down by fever and died ‘within some few days after’ 28 Nov. 1693. Before leaving London he made a will, dated 7 March 1691, wherein he described himself as ‘of Bethnall Green, in the county of Middlesex, knight, being bound on a voyage to the East India beyond the seas in the shipp Berkly Castle’ (registered in P. C. C. 12, Bond). Not long after his death his widow Mary married Roger Braddyll, the troublesome member of Governor Pitt's council at Fort St. George. She died in India some time previously to 4 Nov. 1702, on which day her husband administered to her estate at London (Administration Act Book, P. C. C., 1702, f. 211 b). Goldsborough's papers give the impression that he was an honest, sensible man.

[Diary of William Hedges, esq., ed. Colonel Yule (Hakluyt Soc.), ii. xc, xci–xciv, clv–clx, ccxcix; Coxe's Cat. Codicum MSS. Bibl. Bodl. pars v. fasc. i.]

G. G.