GOODMAN, GODFREY (1583 - 1656), bishop of Gloucester

Name: Godfrey Goodman
Date of birth: 1583
Date of death: 1656
Gender: Male
Occupation: bishop of Gloucester
Area of activity: Religion
Author: Glyn Roberts

Born 28 February 1583, nephew of Gabriel Goodman. He was educated at Westminster and Trinity College, Cambridge (1592-1607). Through the favour of his uncle's friends, and of James I and his queen, he was presented to a number of livings in England and Wales. Appointed dean of Rochester in 1621, he became bishop of Gloucester in 1625. With the accession of Charles I in 1625 he found himself increasingly out of sympathy with the king's religious policy. Between 1626 and 1640 evidence accumulated which suggested to contemporaries that he had been converted to Rome. In 1640 he was imprisoned for refusal to sign the Laudian canons, but released on submission. He suffered two further periods of imprisonment before 1643 and was deprived of most of his property. He took refuge during part of the period 1643-7 on a small property (Tŷ-du) owned by him at Llanberis.

He died at Westminster 19 January 1656. His will contained an equivocal recognition of the supremacy of Rome. Modern research tends to suggest that he was never formally converted, but that he sincerely desired a reconciliation of the English Church with Rome. The town of Ruthin benefited under his will.


Published date: 1959

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