GOODMAN, GABRIEL (1528 - 1601), dean of Westminster and founder of Christ's Hospital, Ruthin

Name: Gabriel Goodman
Date of birth: 1528
Date of death: 1601
Parent: Edward Goodman
Gender: Male
Occupation: dean of Westminster and founder of Christ's Hospital, Ruthin
Area of activity: Medicine; Philanthropy; Religion
Author: Glyn Roberts

Born 1528, second son of Edward Goodman (died 1560) of Ruthin. He was educated at Cambridge (B.A. 1550, M.A. 1553, D.D. 1564); was Fellow of Christ's College, 1552-4, and of Jesus College, c. 1554-5. About 1555 he entered the service of William Cecil, later lord Burghley, as chaplain. A sympathizer with the religious settlement of Edward VI, he compromised under Mary and fully accepted the Elizabethan church settlement, disliking equally Catholics and Puritans. He was rector of South Luffenham, Rutland, 1558; rector of Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire, 1559-82; prebendary of S. Pauls, 1559; prebendary of Westminster, 1560; dean of Westminster, 1561-1601. He served frequently as member of the court of high commission. In 1575 he assisted in the condemnation of Peters and Turnwort, Dutch anabaptists who were burnt at Smithfield that year. He never reached the episcopal bench, though he was considered for London (1570), Norwich (1575), Rochester (1581), Worcester, Rochester and Chichester (1584), and Chester (1596). His failure was probably due to his opposition to Leicester, his prominence on the court of high commission, and his reputation as 'a grave, solid man, yet … peradventure too severe' (Strype, Parker, ii, 6, 1570). He was one of the commissioners appointed to reform abuses in the hospital of the Savoy, 1589, a member of the royal commission for the settlement of Jesus College, Oxford, 1589, and was concerned in the foundation of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, 1598. He was one of the executors of Burghley's will.

His influence with the Cecils made him an important link between Wales and the Court. He assisted in the production of bishop William Morgan's Bible (1588) and he was responsible for the translation of 1 Corinthians in the Bishops' Bible of 1568. In 1590 he founded Christ's Hospital, Ruthin (president, warden, and twelve poor inmates) and endowed it with the tithes of Ruthin and Llan-rhydd which he purchased from the lay impropriators into whose hands they had fallen after the dissolution of the collegiate church of S. Peter. In 1595 he added a grammar-school to the foundation. In 1600 he brought to the notice of Sir Robert Cecil a petition from the inhabitants of Ruthin complaining of their burden of taxation; and he was active a few months before his death in an unsuccessful attempt to obtain a new charter for the borough. He died 17 June 1601 and was buried in Westminster Abbey.


Published date: 1959

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