Goodman, Cardell (DNB00)

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GOODMAN, CARDELL or CARDONNELL (1649?–1699), actor and adventurer, was son of a clergyman of the same names at one time settled in Shaftesbury, Dorsetshire, and on 18 March 1651 removed from the benefice of Freshwater, Isle of Wight, by order of the council of state (Cal. State Papers, Dom., 1651). The son went to St. John's College, Cambridge, and proceeded B.A. in 1670. According to his own admissions, as related by Cibber, he was expelled from the university ‘for being one of the hot-headed sparks who were concerned in the cutting and defacing the Duke of Monmouth's picture, then chancellor of that place.’ Soon after he appeared in London, and became one of the pages of the back-staircase to Charles II, but after five years' service he was dismissed for negligence. Two years previous to his dismissal he inherited 2,000l. by his father's death, which he rapidly squandered among the rakes of the town. He then attached himself to the king's company at Drury Lane Theatre, and made what was probably his first appearance as Polysperchon in the ‘Rival Queens, or Alexander the Great,’ 4to, 1677. Here, according to Cibber, he made rapid advances in reputation, and he is mentioned by Downes as taking the parts of Alexas in Dryden's ‘All for Love,’ Pharnaces in ‘Mithridates, king of Pontus,’ by Lee, acted in 1678, and Valentinian in the tragedy of ‘Valentinian,’ adapted by the Earl of Rochester from Beaumont and Fletcher's play, and performed at Drury Lane in 1685. The characters in which he won his chief success were Julius Cæsar and Alexander the Great. Cibber mentions with some warmth the generous praise he bestowed upon Goodman when he was playing the part of the chaplain in Otway's ‘Orphan,’ and how confidently he predicted his future success. In 1682, when a fusion took place between the duke's and the king's company, he supported Mohun in opposing the united actors, although he joined them about three years later. According to Cibber the highest salary paid to hired actors at that period was 6s. 3d. per diem, which he pleads as some excuse for Goodman's excesses. As a proof of his poverty Cibber relates that Captain Griffin and ‘Scum’ Goodman—‘as he was styled by his enemies’—were driven to share the same bed and the same shirt, and that a duel was fought on Goodman's appropriating the common clothing out of his turn. His scanty livelihood also led him to commit a highway robbery. He was condemned, but speedily pardoned by James II, and ‘his Majesty's servant returned to the stage a hero.’ His latter years were rendered more affluent by his becoming the paramour of the Duchess of Cleveland, but he was shortly detected in an attempt to poison two of her children, brought to trial for a ‘misdemeanour,’ and fined heavily. In 1688 he withdrew from the stage, and became a gamester, a profession in which he soon proved an expert, especially at ombre. Out of gratitude to King James for sparing his life, Goodman became a Jacobite, and on the death of Queen Mary was connected with the Fenwick and Charnock plot to kill William III (1696–7). When the scheme was discovered, Goodman, who was committed to the Gatehouse, was offered a free pardon if he would inform against his more illustrious accomplice, Sir John Fenwick [q. v.], a condition he would have been quite disposed to accept had not Fenwick's friends sought him at the ‘Fleece’ in Covent Garden, and at the ‘Dog’ in Drury Lane, where he eventually agreed to accept 500l. a year with a residence abroad. He escaped to France, and died there of a fever in 1699, aged about 50.

[Luttrell's Rel. of State Affairs; Doran's Annals of the Engl. Stage; Colley Cibber's Apology, ed. Robert Lowe; Downe's Roscius Anglicanus; Theophilus Lucas's Memoirs of the most famous Gamesters.]

W. F. W. S.