Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/343

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Goodyer
Goodyer
331

of Polesworth, who married her cousin, Sir Henry (the subject of this article); and Anne, a coheiress, who married Sir Henry Raynsford, and is reputed to have been the 'Idea' of Drayton.

Henry Goodyer succeeded to the Polesworth estate in 1595, but it is uncertain if he be the Henry Goodyer who was elected to the first parliament of James as member for West Looe in Cornwall. A Henry Goodyer (whom Mr. Gosse would appear to identify with Donne's friend) was knighted by James at Lamer, the seat of Sir John Gerrard at Wheathampstead, in June 1608; but this was probably his cousin. If we identify him with the Henry Goodyer who was knighted in Ireland in 1599 (by the Earl of Essex at Dublin on 5 Aug.), we shall have no difficulty in reconciling his known attendance at court in 1604 with the participation by a Sir Henry Goodyer in the festivities of the first year of James I's reign (see Nichols, Progresses, passim).

Drayton addressed an 'ode' to Goodyer as 'the worthy knight and my noble friend Sir Henry Goodere, a gentleman of his Majesty's Privy Chamber,' in which he speaks of having been 'gravely merry' by the fire at Polesworth. The owner of Polesworth was indeed famous for his hospitality to literary men. Ben Jonson has an epigram to him (No. 85) in which he alludes to a hawking party at Polesworth. Inigo Jones was a friend of his, and he had verses in Coryat's 'Crudities' in 1611, and in the third edition of Sylvester's 'Lachrymæ Lachrymarum ' in 1613. But he was best known as the closest and most faithful friend to John Donne. Commencing soon after 1600, Donne seems for a long time to have written Goodyer a weekly letter. Several fragments of the correspondence were printed in 'Letters to several Persons of Honour' (1651), and over forty of these letters are printed in Mr. Gosse's 'Life of Donne,' 1899. A verse letter ' to Sir Henry Goodyere 'was written by Donne during his residence at Mitcham (1606-10). Goodyer constantly needed encouragement, for his finances were in a deplorable state. In December 1604 he wrote a pitiful letter to Cecil at Hatfield, basing a very humble appeal for court favour and pecuniary aid upon his uncle's sufferings in the cause of Mary Queen of Scots, and his own expenses in the service of royalty. What these services were we do not know. In May 1605, however, he was granted by the council a small forfeited estate of 50l. per annum. About the same time, while at court, Goodyer lost from his chamber at Whitehall the sum of 120l. In the same year he was one of the knights at the barrier in connection with Ben Jonson's 'Masque of Hymen.' He was appointed a gentleman of the privy chamber in May 1605, but his decayed estate remained a source of continual perplexity to him. At the accession of Charles I he insisted more strongly than ever upon his difficulties, under the added stimulus of 'misery grown by his expensive service to the late king;' and he prayed earnestly to be admitted a gentleman usher 'of the queen's privy chamber,' with meat, drink, and lodging, with some dignity, in that place where he had spent most of his time and estate.' Death overtook him on 18 March 1627, while still besieging the court with his importunities. His only son, John, of the Middle Temple, who had been 'at the barrier' and was presented to the king upon the creation of Prince Charles as prince of Wales in 1616, predeceased him in December 1624, but he left four daughters, of whom the eldest, Lucy, married Sir Francis Nethersole [q. v.] The Nethersoles inherited Polesworth, which from them passed to the Biddulphs, the descendants of Sir Henry's youngest daughter, Anne. The following epitaph upon Sir Henry, by an anonymous 'affectionate friend,' is printed in Camden's 'Remains:'

An ill year of a Goodyere us bereft,
Who gone to God much lack of him here left;
Full of good gifts, of body and of mind,
Wise, comely, learned, eloquent and kind.

Goodyer may be the 'H. G.' who has verses in Michael Drayton's 'Matilda' (1594), and to whom Drayton's 'Odes' were dedicated in 1606. He wrote verses now and again in emulation of his intimate friend (as Walton calls him), Dr. Donne. He was doubtless the Sir H. G. who wrote a verse letter with Donne 'alternis vicibus,' and he may have been the author of the poem, 'Shall I like a Hermit dwell' (Hannah, Court Poets, p. 82), which has often been ascribed to Ralegh. An undoubted poem of his is in Addit. MS. 25707 (ff. 36-9), and there are some others in the Record Office an epithalamium on Buckingham's marriage, verses on Prince Charles, his journey to Spain, and other courtly topics.

[Cass's Parish of Monken Hadley, 1880 (with the Goodyer pedigree); Nichols's Progresses of James I, vols. i. ii. and iii.; Metcalfe's Book of Knights; Visitation of Warwickshire, 1619, Harl. Soc. Pub. xii. 67; Gent. Mag. 1825, ii. 136; Elton's Introd. to Michael Drayton, Manchester, 1895; Poems of J. Donne, ed. Chambers, ii. 216; Digby's Poems (Roxburghe Club), ed. G. F. Warner; Markham's Fighting Veres, p. 97; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1603–10, pp. 213, 221, 334, 592, 1610–18, p. 72, 1619–23, pp. 193,