Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 22.djvu/28

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GOADBY, ROBERT (1721–1778), printer and compiler, of Sherborne, Dorsetshire, was born in 1721. He was an indefatigable bookmaker. His greatest production was the ‘Illustration of the Holy Scriptures,’ in three large folio volumes (1759). Goadby also compiled and printed a popular book entitled ‘The Christian's Instructor and Pocket Companion, extracted from the Holy Scriptures,’ which was approved by Bishop Sherlock. ‘Apology for the Life of Bamfylde Moore Carew’ [see Carew, Bamfylde Moore] was printed by Goadby in 1749, and has often been reprinted. Goadby and his wife have both been claimed as the author. Nichols says that Goadby was a man of modesty and integrity. His publishing business was large for a small provincial centre, and his ‘Sherborne Mercury’ was an influential journal in the south-west of England. Goadby was a strong whig, and made many enemies as well as friends by his plain speaking, though personally he was much respected. He was a great lover of botany and natural history, and bequeathed an endowment providing for the preaching of a sermon on the first Sunday of May in every year in Sherborne Church on the beauties of nature. As the endowment became too valuable for its purposes, provision for the poor was made with the surplus. He was a deeply religious man. Every morning before breakfast he walked from his house to the spot he had chosen for his grave, so that he might ‘keep mindful of his latter end.’ He died of atrophy after a long and painful illness on 12 Aug. 1778. Other works published by Goadby, besides those mentioned already, were ‘The Universe Displayed,’ ‘A Rational Catechism on the Principles of Religion drawn from the Mind itself,’ and ‘Goadby's British Biography.’ Goadby was at one time connected with ‘The Western Flying Post.’

[Nichols's Lit. Anecd. iii. 723–6; Dr. Beard's art. in Unitarian Herald, July 1873, where there is much biographical and bibliographical information.]

J. B-y.

GOBBAN SAER, or the Artificer (fl. 7th century), a prominent figure in Irish tradition, is said by Petrie in his ‘Essay on the Round Towers of Ireland,’ upon the authority of the Dinnsenchus preserved in the books of Lecan and Ballymote, to have been the son of a skilful artisan in wood named Tuirbi, from whom Turvey in the barony of Nethercross, co. Dublin, is named, and to have flourished (according to O'Flaherty's chronology) A.M. 2764. But O'Curry has shown that this is an error due to a mistranslation furnished to Dr. Petrie. O'Curry is probably right in saying ‘there is little doubt that Gobban was a descendant of Tadg, son of Cian, son of Olioll Olum, who settled in Meath in the third century.’

Gobban is first mentioned in an Irish poem attributed to a lunatic protected by St. Molling, preserved in a manuscript belonging to the monastery of St. Paul in Carinthia, and assigned by Herr Mone to the eighth century. It speaks of a fort made by Gobban in Tuaim Inbir (West Meath). In the life of St. Aedh or Maedhog of Ferns (d. 632) Gobban is said to have been employed by the saint in building a church (basilica, said by Petrie to imply a stone building), and Aedh's successor, Mochua of Luachair (d. 652), is said to have employed him upon a wooden church. But the saint whose life contains most information about Gobban is St. Daircell or Molling [q. v.], who lived to the age of eighty-four, and died 690. After the fall of a famous yew tree named the Eo Rossa, celebrated in a poem in the ‘Book of Leinster’ as ‘noblest of trees, the glory of Leinster,’ some of the wood was presented to Gobban by St. Molaisse, and Gobban was engaged to make an oratory out of it. The first chip which Gobban cut struck Daircell in the eye, and a passage in the Brehon laws implies that the injury was intentional. Gobban's wife urged him to demand as payment for the work as much rye as the oratory would contain. Daircell assented; but being unable to get rye enough filled it instead with nuts and apples, which he made to appear like rye, but which changed to worms when Gobban took them home. There is also a mention of his having constructed a building for St. Abban, who died in the seventh century. Gobban is said to have been blind at the time, and to have received a temporary gift of his sight from Abban until the completion of the work. The ecclesiastics who employed Gobban complained that his charges were too high, and it was generally believed that his blindness was a visitation due to their anger. Among the buildings traditionally ascribed to him are the tower of Antrim, the tower and church of Kilmacduagh, and, according to Dr. Petrie, the tower and church of Glendalough. His work was confined chiefly to the north and east of Ireland, and there is no tradition that he ever visited or was employed south-west of Galway or Tipperary. In the north-east of Antrim in the parish of Ramoan is a building described on the ordnance map as ‘Gobbin's Heir's Castle.’ The first two words, as Bishop Reeves observes, are evidently a corruption of Gobban Saer, but the term castle is a complete perversion. The cave near, also connected with him, has a large cross carved on the roof stones over the entrance of the ante-chamber. It is a Latin cross, formed by double incised lines