Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Goodenough, Samuel

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GOODENOUGH, SAMUEL (1743–1827), bishop of Carlisle, born at Kimpton, near Weyhill, Hampshire, on 29 April 1743 (O.S.), was the third son of the Rev. William Goodenough, rector of Broughton Poggs, Oxfordshire. In 1750 the family returned to Broughton, and Samuel was sent to school at Witney, under the Rev. B. Gutteridge; five years later he was sent to Westminster School, where Dr. Markham, afterwards archbishop of York, was head-master. He became king's scholar, and in 1760 was elected to a studentship at Christ Church, Oxford, took his B.A. degree 9 May 1764, and proceeded M.A. 25 June 1767 and D.C.L. 11 July 1772. In 1766 Goodenough returned to Westminster as under-master for four years, when he quitted that post for the church, having inherited from his father the advowson of Broughton Poggs, and received from his college the vicarage of Brize-Norton, Oxfordshire. He married on 17 April 1770 Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Dr. James Ford, formerly physician to the Middlesex Hospital. Two years subsequently he established a school at Ealing, and carried it on for twenty-six years, during which time he had the charge of the sons of many noblemen and gentlemen of position. Goodenough's reputation as a classical tutor ranked high. But his strongest bent was towards botany, and when the Linnean Society was established in 1787 he was one of the framers of its constitution and treasurer during its first year. He contributed a classical memoir on the genus Carex to the second and third volumes of the ‘Transactions’ of that body. In addition to being one of the vice-presidents of the Linnean, Sir J. E. Smith being president, he was for some time a vice-president of the Royal Society (of which he became a fellow in 1789) while Sir Joseph Banks was the presiding officer, and he also shared in the conduct of the Society of Antiquaries. In 1797 he was presented to the vicarage of Cropredy by the Bishop of Oxford, in the following year he was advanced to the canonry of Windsor, and in 1802 promoted to the deanery of Rochester. In this preferment he was aided by the warm friendship of the third Duke of Portland, all of whose sons had been his pupils. As a final proof of the duke's favour Goodenough in 1808 was elevated to the episcopal bench as bishop of Carlisle. He died at Worthing on 12 Aug. 1827, surviving the loss of his wife only eleven weeks, and was buried on the 18th of that month in the north cloister of Westminster Abbey. He left three sons, all clergymen (Samuel James, Robert Philip, and Edmund, afterwards dean of Wells [q. v.]), and four daughters.

The bishop was a sound and elegant scholar. Sir J. E. Smith consulted him on points of latinity when engaged on the splendid ‘Flora Græca,’ the ‘Flora Britannica,’ and lesser works. Besides the Carex paper, and another on British Fuci, and two others on natural history, also in the Linnean Society's ‘Transactions,’ Goodenough published three sermons and began a ‘Botanica Metrica,’ which should have included all botanical names, with their derivations, but the work was never finished. The genus Goodenia was dedicated to him by his friend Sir J. E. Smith. It was a sermon preached by Goodenough before the House of Lords in 1809 that gave birth to the well-known epigram:—

'T is well enough that Goodenough
Before the Lords should preach;
But, sure enough, full bad enough
Are those he has to teach.
He is eulogised in Mathias's ‘Pursuits of Literature.’ His portrait is in the hall at Christ Church.

[Nichols's Lit. Illustr. vi. 245–56; Welch's Alumni Westmonast. pp. 374–5.]

B. D. J.