Goodman, Godfrey (DNB00)

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GOODMAN, GODFREY (1583–1656), bishop of Gloucester, born at Ruthin, Denbighshire, 28 Feb. 1582–3, was second son of Godfrey Goodman, by his second wife, Jane Cruxton or Croxton. His father, a man of property, purchased the estates of Sir Thomas Exmew, lord mayor of London, and Gabriel Goodman, dean of Westminster [q. v.], was his uncle. In 1592 he went to Westminster School, where the head-master, Camden, an intimate friend both of his father and uncle, took much interest in him. From a chorister he rose to be a scholar, and in 1599 was elected to a scholarship at Trinity College, Cambridge. He proceeded to the degrees of B.A. (1603–4), M.A., and B.D., and in 1603 was ordained at Bangor. From 1606 to 1620 he was vicar of Stapleford Abbots, Essex, and there elaborated one of his sermons into his well-known treatise on man's decadence. On 10 May 1607 he was installed a prebendary of Westminster, and on 11 July 1615 was incorporated B.D. at Oxford. On 5 Sept. 1616 he wrote to the vice-chancellor at Cambridge urging the establishment of a public library in the university with the same privileges as the Bodleian. He became about 1616 rector of West Ilsley (formerly Ildesley), Berkshire, and afterwards purchased the advowson of Kemerton rectory, Gloucestershire, to which he presented himself. He also held the sinecure livings of Llandyssil, Montgomeryshire (from 28 Sept. 1607), and of Llanarmon (from 21 July 1621 to 8 June 1626). He boasted that the parishes under his active control were invariably free from alehouses, beggars, serious crime, violent deaths, or loss of property by fire (cf. his own manuscript note in his copy of Pontificale Romanum, 1627, in Trin. Coll. Libr. Cambr.; Newcome, Memoir, App. T).

Goodman's sermons, strongly Anglican in tone, quickly attracted attention, and Bishops Andrewes, Vaughan, and Williams befriended him. Before 1616 he was chaplain to the queen. On 20 Dec. 1617 he became a canon of Windsor, always his favourite place of residence; on 4 Jan. 1620–1 dean of Rochester; and in 1625 bishop of Gloucester. He resigned his Westminster prebend in 1623. With his bishopric he was allowed to hold in commendam the Windsor canonry, the Ilsley rectory, and other benefices below 200l. a year.

Troubles began almost as soon as Goodman was consecrated (6 March 1624–5). He offended the king by declining to take a hint from his secretary in the choice of a chancellor (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 11 Jan. 1625), and a lavish expenditure, partly devoted to charity, entailed monetary difficulties. In Lent 1626 he preached at court. His remarks on the real presence were ‘supposed to trench too near the borders of popery’ (Heylyn, Cypr. Angl. p. 153). On 29 March convocation, at the request of the king, discussed the sermon, referred its consideration to a committee, and Goodman was mildly reprimanded (12 April). He was subsequently directed to explain his meaning in another sermon at court, but failed to satisfy the king. In 1628 Burton, Bastwick, and Prynne drew up a petition to Charles accusing Goodman of having ‘re-edified and repaired’ the high cross at Windsor, and with having set upon it two coloured pictures—one of Christ upon the cross, and the other of Christ rising out of the sepulchre. He was also charged with having introduced into Gloucester Cathedral altar-cloths and the like with crucifixes embroidered on them, and with having suspended one Ridler, ‘minister of Little Deane,’ on the ground that he had preached that ‘an obstinate papist, dying a papist, could not be saved, and if we be saved, the papists were not’ (Kennett). In 1633 the bishopric of Hereford fell vacant. Juxon, who was first chosen to fill it, was before consecration translated to London to take the place of Laud, who had just become archbishop of Canterbury. Goodman, apparently from a desire of higher emolument, sought to succeed Juxon. By bribing court officials he secured his election at the hands of the Hereford chapter. But Laud, resolving to suppress current corruptions in the church, induced the king to revoke his assent to Goodman's translation. It was reported that Goodman had requested to hold both bishoprics together (Court of Charles I, ii. 229). On 18 Dec. 1633 Goodman formally renounced his claims to Hereford, and entreated Laud to grant him leave of absence from Gloucester, and appoint a coadjutor (Heylyn, Cypr. p. 263; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1633–5, pp. 323, 435). Laud brusquely ordered him to return to Gloucester, and added that if, as Goodman threatened, he offered to resign, his resignation would be immediately accepted (Laud, Works, v. 62). Goodman set out for his diocese, and in 1636 arbitrated, by order of the privy council, between the city and county of Gloucester as to their liability to ship-money. In 1633, 1636, and 1637, Laud complained that Goodman failed to send in any report as to the state of his diocese.

Goodman's religious views gradually brought him into very close sympathy with the Roman church, and he soon gave grounds for the suspicion that he had secretly joined that communion. Panzani, the papal agent in England, wrote in January 1635–6 that ‘the bishop said divine offices in private out of the Roman breviary, and had asked permission to keep an Italian priest to say mass secretly in his house’ (Gardiner, Hist. viii. 140). Early in 1638 similar allegations were openly made in Rome, and Sir William Hamilton, the English agent there, wrote to Secretary Windebank that Goodman had been converted about 1635 or 1636 by one William Hanmer, who went by the name of John Challoner. On 13 July 1638 Edmund Atwood, vicar of Hartpury, Gloucestershire, gave Windebank an account of Goodman's intimate relations with Hanmer and with the provincial of the jesuits, who were both repeatedly the bishop's guests at Gloucester (Clarendon State Papers in Newcome, Memoirs, App. O.) To escape the threatened storm, Goodman made a fruitless application to Laud for permission to visit Spa on the specious ground of ill-health. On 27 Aug. 1638 he petitioned in vain for a private interview with the king. Laud, in letters to Windebank and Strafford, dwelt on the king's wrath, and wrote with biting sarcasm of Goodman's dejection and cowardice (Cal. Clarendon State Papers, ii. 17–18; Strafford Papers, ii. 158). Finally Goodman appears to have given an assurance of future conformity. He was summoned in the same year (1638) before the high commission court on the charge of having allowed the justices of Tewkesbury to hold quarter-sessions in the church there. In 1639 he showed some vigour in examining residents in his diocese who had graduated at Scottish universities, and were suspected by the privy council of active sympathy with the Scottish rebellion (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1639, pp. 266–7, 319). On 18 Jan. 1639–40 the king sent him a peremptory order to return to Gloucester from Windsor, where he preferred to live. But worse difficulties were in store. In May 1640 Goodman with the other bishops was requested to sign adhesion to the new canons, which upheld passive obedience and the divine right of kings, while sternly denouncing Romish practices. Goodman privately informed Laud that he should withhold his signature at all hazards. He argued that convocation had no right to sit, now that parliament was dissolved. Laud plainly told him that his refusal could only be ascribed to his being a papist, Socinian, or sectary, and charged him with popish predilections. But Goodman was obstinate in his resistance when convocation met (29 May), and the two houses passed upon him a decree of deprivation a beneficio et officio (Heylyn, p. 446; Laud, Works, iii. 236; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1640, pp. 233–4). Laud at once informed the king of the situation, and orders were sent down for Goodman's committal to the Gatehouse. He petitioned for a fair trial (31 May), and begged Vane to restore his papers which had been seized, and which he declared were chiefly literary notes made in early life (2 June). He gave a bond of 10,000l. not to leave the kingdom. On 10 July he made his submission, signed the canons, was released from prison, and was restored to his see. On 28 Aug. he wrote to Laud expressing a desire to resign his bishopric as soon as his debts were paid and live on ‘his commendam.’

Goodman's equivocal position was very prejudicial to the cause of his fellow-churchmen. In February 1640–1, when the condition of the church was under debate in parliament, Falkland ascribed the disrepute into which it had fallen to the dishonesty of men like Goodman, ‘who found a way to reconcile the opinions of Rome to the preferments of England, and to be so absolutely, directly, and cordially papists, that it is all that 1,500l. a year can do to keep them from confessing it.’ On the other hand, the enemies of Laud found an additional weapon to employ against him and his brother-bishops in the severe treatment to which Goodman had been subjected in convocation. The canons which Goodman had resisted were naturally obnoxious to the parliament. A proposal was made in 1641 to bring ‘within a præmunire’ all who had voted for Goodman's suspension, and the ninth additional article in Laud's impeachment (1644) charged him with having advised Goodman's imprisonment, and with having forced him to sign the obnoxious canons. But Goodman did not escape the persecution to which his order was exposed. In August 1641 it was resolved by the House of Commons to impeach him along with Laud and the other bishops who had signed the canons. In December Goodman and eleven other bishops signed the letter sent to the king, in which they complained of intimidation while making their way to the House of Lords, and protested against the transaction of business in their absence. The letter included an assurance that the signatories ‘do abominate all actions or opinions tending to popery and the maintenance thereof,’ a sentiment which ‘jesuitical equivocation’ can alone have enabled Goodman to adopt. As soon as the protest was published, Goodman and the other signatories were committed to the Tower on a charge of high treason. When brought to the bar of the House of Lords in February, his companions declined to plead, but Goodman pleaded not guilty. After eighteen weeks' imprisonment he was released on bail and ordered to return to his diocese (House of Lords' Journals, v. 64–5). On 30 Aug. 1642 he wrote an angry letter to Laud, complaining bitterly of the wrongs he had suffered at his hands, and of Laud's refusal to speak with him while both were prisoners in the Tower (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1641–3, p. 381). In 1643 Goodman's palace at Gloucester was sacked by the parliamentary soldiers; nearly all his books and papers were dispersed, and in deep distress he retired to Carnarvon, where he possessed a small estate. On 18 July 1643 he entered into a bond of 10,000l. to appear before a committee of the House of Commons when required. In 1646 the committee of sequestration directed the tithes due to him from West Ilsley to be paid to them. On 31 Aug. 1649 he presented a humble petition to parliament for relief, and declared he had never interfered in ‘matters of war.’ Appended to the petition was an address in the same sense from the mayor and other authorities of Carnarvon, besides an appeal to Lenthall from the gentry, citizens, and burgesses of Gloucester diocese (printed together in folio sheet, London, 1649; Brit. Mus. Cat. 190, g. 12, No. 15). Further particulars concerning his pecuniary relations with the city of Gloucester are given in a letter to the mayor of that city, 23 Nov. 1649 (Fairfax Corresp. iv. 111). ‘His losses,’ says Wood, ‘were so extraordinary and excessive great that he was ashamed to confess them, lest they might seem incredible, and lest others might condemn him of folly and improvidency.’

About 1650 Goodman seems to have settled in London, first in Chelsea and afterwards in the parish of St. Margaret's, Westminster. The attentions of his Westminster landlady, Mrs. Sibilla Aglionby, and the friendship of Christopher Davenport [q. v.], formerly chaplain to Queen Henrietta Maria, appear to have consoled his declining days. He spent much time in Sir Thomas Cotton's library. In 1653 he dedicated to Cromwell ‘A large Discourse concerning the Trinity and Incarnation,’ in which he recapitulated his grievances. He had had five houses in England, ‘all of which were plundered and his writings in them miscarried.’ Finally he demanded a hearing of his case. In a second dedication to the master, fellows, and scholars of Trinity College, Cambridge, he declared that he was destitute. Another petition to Cromwell was presented in 1655. Goodman died 19 Jan. 1655–6, and was buried 4 Feb. in St. Margaret's Church, Westminster. His tomb was simply inscribed ‘Godfrey Goodman.’

His will, dated 17 Jan. 1655–6, and proved 16 Feb., opens with the profession that he died as he had lived ‘most constant in all the doctrine of God's holy and apostolic church, whereof I do acknowledge the church of Rome to be the mother church. And I do verily believe that no other church hath any salvation in it but only so far as it concurs with the faith of the church of Rome.’ This and other portions of his will were published in ‘Mercurius Politicus’ for March 1655–6, Nos. 299, 300. He left his Welsh property to the town of Ruthin, his birthplace, of which he had been presented with the freedom, and to which he had in his lifetime given a silver cup. There were small legacies to poor sequestered clergymen, to his landlady, Mrs. Aglionby, and to his kinsman and executor, Gabriel Goodman. His manuscripts were to be published if any scholar deemed them of sufficient value. His advowson of Kemerton he bequeathed to the hospital of Ruthin, unless a kinsman was qualified to take the living within three months. His books, originally designed for Chelsea College, went to Trinity College, Cambridge. Wood writes of Goodman as a harmless man, hurtful to none but himself, and as hospitable and charitable. But his career shows great want of moral courage. Kennett says that a daughter of Goodman ‘was reduced to begging at his doors’ (Compl. Hist. iii. 215). Goodman was unmarried, and this story is not corroborated.

Goodman's works, written in readable English, and showing much original thought, were: 1. ‘The Fall of Man, or the Corruption of Nature proved by the Light of his Naturall Reason,’ London, 1616, dedicated to Queen Anne. The celebrated reply by George Hakewill [q. v.], ‘An Apologie … of the Power and Providence of God,’ appeared in 1627 in four books, and in the third edition an additional book—the fifth—consisted of animadversions by Goodman on Hakewill's argument with Hakewill's replies. The disputants wrote of each other in terms of deep respect. R. P. republished ‘The Fall of Man,’ London, 1629, under the title ‘The Fall of Adam from Paradise proved by Natural Reason and the grounds of Philosophy,’ and prefixed a letter by Goodman in which he deprecated the republication of a work of his early days. Southey quotes admiringly from this work in his ‘Commonplace Book,’ 1st ser. pp. 137–65. 2. ‘The Creatures Praysing God, or the Religion of Dumbe Creatures. An Example and Argument for the stirring up of our Devotion and for the Confusion of Atheism,’ London, 1622 (by Felix Kyngston), without author's name (cf. Notes and Queries, 4th ser. v. 400). A French translation by V. F., with a dedication to the author, appeared at Paris (12mo) in 1644 as ‘Les Devoirs des creatures inferieures à l'homme reconnaissant & louant incessamment leur Createur … par le sieur Geoffroy Bon-homme de Ruthin.’ 3. ‘A Large Discourse concerning the Trinity and Wonderfull Incarnation of our Saviour,’ London, 1653, 4to, dedicated to Cromwell. Goodman regarded this work as an appendix to his first book. 4. ‘The Court of King James the First,’ first printed by the Rev. J. S. Brewer (London, 1839), from the manuscript in the Bodleian Library, together with a second volume of letters illustrative of the period, collected by the editor from various sources. The manuscript, which opens with the death of Elizabeth and concludes with James I's death, bears no author's name, but a memorandum inserted in it by Bishop Barlow and the internal evidence leave no doubt as to Goodman's authorship. It is a temperate defence of James I in reply to Anthony Weldon's ‘Traditionall Memoirs,’ first issued in 1650, and is a valuable authority for the reign. Wood also credits Goodman with ‘An Account of his Sufferings,’ ‘which is only a little pamphlet printed 1650.’ He sent a copy to Ussher with a letter 1 July 1650 (Newcome, pp. 76–7), but no copy seems now known. In the dedication to No. 3 Goodman notes that he had completed before the civil war began ‘an ecclesiastical history more particularly relating to our own nations, which from the year 1517 was very large and distinct, making a good volume.’ Nothing is known of this manuscript.

[Newcome's Memoir appended to that of Gabriel Goodman, Ruthin, 1825; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ii. 863–9; Wood's Fasti, i. 363; art. by Prof. J. E. B. Mayor in Camb. Antiq. Soc. Communications, ii. 113; Hist. MSS. Comm. 2nd Rep. p. 106; Walker's Sufferings, ii. 32; Commons' Journals, vol. ii.; Lords' Journals, vols. iv. v.; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1625–55 passim; Welch's Alumni Westmonast. p. 68; Laud's Works; Le Neve's Fasti; Fuller's Worthies; Evelyn's Memoir; Gardiner's Hist.]

S. L. L.