Gould, Thomas (DNB00)

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GOULD, THOMAS (1657–1734), controversialist, born at Cork in 1657, went to France about 1678, and settled at Poitiers, where he studied theology. After being ordained priest he was sent to Thouars in Poitou and appointed almoner to the Ursuline nuns of that village. He soon devoted himself to the special work of converting protestants, and obtained from the court a license as ‘missionnaire pour le Poitou.’ He achieved great success, and, as his biographer admits, ‘when the obstinacy of parents was a hindrance to the return of their children to the bosom of the church, he gave notice of the circumstance to the court, which seconded his labours by special orders.’ These labours were rewarded by the grant from the king of two pensions, one of three hundred and the other of six hundred livres; and he also obtained the abbey of Saint-Laon de Thouars of the order of St. Augustine. He died at Thouars in September 1734.

Of his controversial writings the principal are: 1. ‘Lettre à un gentilhomme du Bas-Poitou, touchant la véritable croyance de l'Église catholique, contre les dogmes qui lui sont faussement imputés dans les écrits des ministres,’ 1705, 12mo. This work reached a fourth edition in 1720. 2. ‘Traité du Sacrifice de la Messe, avec l'explication des cérémonies qui s'y servent et la manière d'y assister dévotement, selon l'esprit de la primitive Église; adressés à une dame de qualité nouvellement convertie,’ Paris, 1724, 12mo. 3. ‘Entretiens où l'on explique la doctrine de l'Église catholique par l'Écriture Sainte,’ Paris, 1727, 12mo. 4. ‘Recueil de differentes objections que font les protestants contre les catholiques, … et des reponses des catholiques …,’ Paris, 1735, 12mo. 5. ‘Abrégé des psaumes de David, sur la conduite qu'un chrétien doit tenir dans le cours de sa vie.’

[Dreux du Radier's Bibl. Historique et Critique du Poitou, iv. 440–55; Quérard's La France Littéraire, iii. 426; Estcourt's Question of the Anglican Ordinations discussed, p. 159.]

T. C.