Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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

b. 28 Feb. 1583 , nephew of Gabriel Goodman (q.v.) . 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 d. at Westminster 19 Jan. 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.


  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ;
  • Venn , Alumni Cantabrigienses ;
  • The Church Quarterly Review , cxliv, 125-45, cxlv, 12-30;
  • Ollard , Crosse and Bond , A Dictionary of English Church History (1948) , 3rd ed.;
  • Archaeologia Cambrensis , 1882 , 205;
  • The Journals of the House of Lords , ix, 362;
  • Thomas , A History of the Diocese of St. Asaph , ii, 129-30.


Professor Glyn Roberts, M.A., (1904-1962), Bangor

Published date: 1959