Gabriel Goodman

Gabriel Goodman (6 November 1528 – 17 June 1601) became the Dean of Westminster on 23 September 1561 and the re-founder of Ruthin School, in Ruthin, Denbighshire. In 1568 he translated the “First Epistle to the Corinthians" for the “Bishops' Bible” and assisted Dr William Morgan with his translation of the Bible into Welsh. He is mentioned on the monument to William Morgan which stands in the grounds of St Asaph cathedral.[1]

Gabriel Goodman
Gabriel Goodman by GP Harding
Born6 November 1528
Died17 June 1601
ReligionChurch of England
Senior posting
Based inEngland
Period in office1561–1601

Early years

Gabriel Goodman, the second son of Edward Goodman, a wealthy merchant in Ruthin, Denbighshire, was born at Nantclwyd y Dre, Ruthin in 1528. Very little is known of his early years, but a nineteenth-century biography suggests that he was taught at home by one of the priests of the dissolved collegiate church at Ruthin. Goodman matriculated to the University of Cambridge from Jesus College in 1546.[2] He graduated BA in 1549 or 1550, and M.A. from Christ's College in 1553 where he had become a fellow the prior year. He returned to Jesus College as a fellow in 1554. He proceeded under special dispensation to a D.D. from St John's College in 1564. He became chaplain to Sir William Cecil, later Lord Burghley,[2] and tutor to William's eldest son Thomas Cecil, Earl of Exeter.

Ecclesiastical career

In 1559 Goodman was made a prebendary of St Paul's Cathedral to which he added a prebend of Westminster Collegiate Church in May 1560. The old Westminster Abbey had been dissolved and the monks dispersed or pensioned. Queen Elizabeth I reinstituted the establishment as a collegiate church with Dr Bill as Dean and Gabriel Goodman as twelfth prebendary.

Sometime in 1561 Goodman was promoted to the position of Dean and in January 1562 he was concerned in "a memorable convocation of the clergy of the Province of Canterbury wherein the matters of Church were to be debated and settled for the future regular service of God and establishment of orthodox Doctrine". The convocation's deliberation culminated in the Thirty-Nine Articles of which Goodman was a signatory.

When William Morgan was supervising the printing of the Welsh Bible he stayed with Goodman at the Deanery. Dean Goodman was well versed in several languages and was considered for seven bishoprics but, for reasons which are not clear, Goodman's attempts to secure a diocese were unsuccessful. Notwithstanding the support of Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury, Goodman failed to gain the see of Norwich in 1575, Rochester in 1581, Chichester in 1585 and Chester in 1596.

Re-Foundation of Ruthin School

In 1574 Goodman returned to his home-town of Ruthin where he made strenuous efforts on its behalf. In addition to signing a petition to the Countess of Warwick to arrange a new charter for the borough, Goodman had built a new School-house to the north of St Peter's Church. Whilst there is evidence to suggest that Ruthin School had continued to function after the dissolution of the collegiate church in or about 1535, it is not clear where the school was held. It therefore appears that Goodman had the new building constructed to provide a permanent home for his old school.

Over the next decades Goodman endeavoured to secure Ruthin School's future. On 23 February 1591 Goodman presented the lands and incomes of the churches of Ruthin and Llanrhydd, in perpetuity, to the President (the Bishop of Bangor) and the Warden of Ruthin and in May 1599 he returned home "to perfect that work begun of the school".

Gabriel Goodman died on 17 June 1601 and was buried in Westminster Abbey. A memorial monument was also installed in the Ambulatory Chapel of St Benedict with a Latin inscription translating as:

To God the best and greatest. Gabriel Goodman, Doctor of Theology, fifth Dean of this church, which he headed with great praise for 40 years; and at Ruthin in Denbighshire, where he was born, he founded a hospital and instituted a school. Dear to God and good people for his holiness of life, he departed piously for the heavenly country on 17 June 1601, aged 73.


In 1583 and 1598 Goodman gave two bells inscibed “Campanis Patrem Laudate Sonantibus Cultum. Gabriel Goodman Decanus 1598” (bells sounding worship praise the father) to Westminster Abbey which are still in use to this day.[3]

In his will Goodman left his library of religious books in the “…. special care of the President and Warden” …will see that there will be no lack of preaching in St Peter's Church of Ruthin, or any other in that Deanery where they may do good”.

Goodman's motto was Dei Gratia Sum Quod Sum “By the Grace of God I am What I am”. It appears on the front gable of a row of houses called Providence Place in Woking, Surrey.


  1. ^ The Collegiate and Parochial Church of St Peter; booklet published internally by the church. Written by church members of the Dioces.
  2. ^ a b "Goodman, Gabriel (GDMN546G)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  3. ^ Historical Memorials of Westminster Abbey, VOLUME II The Monuments (continued) Before and Since the Reformation, Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, DD. New York, Anson DF Randolf and Company.

Year 1528 (MDXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.


1601 (MDCI)

was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar, the 1601st year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 601st year of the 2nd millennium, the 1st year of the 17th century, and the 2nd year of the 1600s decade. As of the start of 1601, the Gregorian calendar was

10 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923. January 1 of this year (1601-01-01) is used as the base of file dates and of Active Directory Logon dates by Microsoft Windows. It is also the date from which ANSI dates are counted and were adopted by the American National Standards Institute for use with COBOL and other computer languages. This epoch is the beginning of the 400-year Gregorian leap-year cycle within which digital files first existed; the last year of any such cycle is the only leap year whose year number is divisible by 100. All versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system from Windows 95 onward count units of one hundred nanoseconds from this epoch.

16th century in Wales

This article is about the particular significance of the century 1501 - 1600 to Wales and its people.

Burials and memorials in Westminster Abbey

Honouring individuals with burials and memorials in Westminster Abbey has a long tradition.

Clarence Derwent Awards

The Clarence Derwent Awards are theatre awards given annually by the Actors' Equity Association on Broadway in the United States and by Equity, the performers' union, in the West End in the United Kingdom.

Clarence Derwent (23 March 1884 – 6 August 1959) was an English actor, director and manager. He was educated at St Paul's School, London and the Birkbeck Institute. He joined Sir Frank Benson's stage company, with whom he stayed for five years. He then joined Annie Horniman's repertory company in Manchester. He was seen in a great variety of roles, both in London and New York. He made his last appearance on stage in 1948 in The Madwoman of Chaillot. He died in New York at the age of 75.From 1946 to 1952 Derwent was President of America's Actors' Equity. His will stipulated that two $500 prizes were to be given out annually to the best individual male and female supporting performances on Broadway and a £100 prize to the best supporting performances in the West End. So that Derwent could have the gratification of seeing the awards given out, they were started in America in 1945 and in the UK in 1948. The prizes in the US are now $2,000 and an engraved crystal trophy.

Collegiate and Parochial Church of St Peter, Ruthin

The Collegiate and Parochial Church of St Peter is the Anglican parish church of Ruthin, an ancient market town which lies within the Vale of Clwyd in Denbighshire, north east Wales. It is a greater church of the diocese of St Asaph and a Grade I listed building.

Collegiate church

In Christianity, a collegiate church is a church where the daily office of worship is maintained by a college of canons: a non-monastic or "secular" community of clergy, organised as a self-governing corporate body, which may be presided over by a dean or provost. In its governance and religious observance a collegiate church is similar to a cathedral, although a collegiate church is not the seat of a bishop and has no diocesan responsibilities. Collegiate churches were often supported by extensive lands held by the church, or by tithe income from appropriated benefices. They commonly provide distinct spaces for congregational worship and for the choir offices of their clerical community.

Dean of Westminster

The Dean of Westminster is the head of the chapter at Westminster Abbey. Due to the Abbey's status as a Royal Peculiar, the dean answers directly to the British monarch (not to the Bishop of London as ordinary, nor to the Archbishop of Canterbury as metropolitan). Initially, the office was a successor to that of abbot of Westminster, and was for the first 10 years cathedral dean for the Diocese of Westminster. The current dean is John Hall.

Godfrey Goodman

Godfrey Goodman, also called Hugh; (28 February 1582 or 1583 – 19 January 1656) was the Anglican Bishop of Gloucester, and a member of the Protestant Church. He was the son of Godfrey Goodman (senior) and Jane Croxton, landed gentry living in Wales. His contemporaries describe him as being a hospitable, quiet man, and lavish in his charity to the poor.

Goodman (surname)

Goodman is a surname, formerly a polite term of address, used where Mister (Mr.) would be used today. Compare Goodwife. Notable people with the surname include:

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Barbara Goodman, New Zealand politician

Benny Goodman, American jazz clarinetist and band leader

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Dickie Goodman, composer

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Don Goodman, English football player

E. Urner Goodman, leader in the Boy Scouts of America

Edmund Goodman, British football manager

Edwin A. Goodman, Canadian politician

Elinor Goodman, British journalist, formerly Political Editor of Channel 4 News

Ellen Goodman, American columnist

Felicitas Goodman, Hungarian linguist and anthropologist

Francis Adam Goodman, German-American politician

Frank Goodman, American theatre publicist

Gabriel Goodman, Dean of Westminster

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Godfrey Goodman, British Anglican bishop

Helen Goodman, British politician

Henry Goodman, British theatre actor

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Jon Goodman, British footballer

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Len Goodman, dance judge, best known as a panel member on Strictly Come Dancing

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Roy Goodman (disambiguation), multiple people

Ruth Goodman (born 1961), American romance novelist who wrote as Meagan McKinney

Ruth Goodman (historian) (born 1963), British social historian

Samuel Goodman (disambiguation), multiple people

Saul Goodman (disambiguation), multiple people

Scott Goodman, Australian swimmer

Shirley Goodman, American R&B singer

Steve Goodman, American folk artist

Steven M. Goodman (born 1957), American conservation biologist

Tamir Goodman, American basketball player

Vestal Goodman, American gospel singer, wife of Howard

Walter Goodman, British painter and author

William Goodman (disambiguation), multiple peopleBilly Goodman (1926–1984), baseball infielder

William Ernest Goodman (1879–1949), American cricketer

William Meigh Goodman (1847–1928), British Colonial Judge

Sir William George Toop Goodman known as W. G. T. Goodman (1872–1961), tramways engineer in South AustraliaFictional characters:

Judge Goodman, character from the Judge Dredd comics

Woody Goodman, character in the TV series Veronica Mars

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List of founding Fellows, Scholars and Commissioners of Jesus College, Oxford

Jesus College, Oxford, the first Protestant college at the University of Oxford, was founded by Elizabeth I in 1571 at the instigation of a Welsh clergyman, Hugh Price. The royal charter issued by Elizabeth appointed a Principal and various Fellows, Scholars and Commissioners: the Fellows to educate the Scholars and to run the college, under the overall direction of the Principal; and the Commissioners to draw up statutes for the governance of the college, its officers and servants, and the management of the college property. The college was founded to help with the increased numbers of Welsh students at Oxford, and the founding Fellows included a number of individuals with links to Wales. The Commissioners included prominent individuals such as William Cecil, Lord Burghley, the Principal Secretary of State. The charter also gave land and buildings in Oxford to the new college.

Whilst the foundation process of the college started in 1571, it took more than fifty years and a further two charters, one in 1589 from Elizabeth and one in 1622 from her successor, James I, to complete the process. These further charters were necessary because neither the Commissioners appointed by the 1571 charter nor those appointed by the 1589 charter fulfilled their allotted task of drawing up statutes. During this time, Griffith Powell (one of the Fellows who was pressing for statutes to be drawn up) concluded that successive Principals were loath to have statutes, since these would limit the Principal's powers. One Principal lost a draft copy of the statutes; the next kept the next draft in his study for several years without taking steps to have them confirmed by the Commissioners. It was not until after the 1622 charter that statutes were approved by the Commissioners and the college was fully constituted. Despite the intention on the foundation of the college, none of the charters made special provision for Welsh students, although the students were predominantly Welsh from the outset.

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Richard Neile

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Ruthin ( (listen) RITH-in; Welsh: Rhuthun) is the county town of Denbighshire in north Wales and a community. Located in the southern part of the Vale of Clwyd, the older part of the town, the castle and St Peter's Square lie on a hill, while many newer parts are in the flood plain of the River Clwyd. This became apparent several times in the late 1990s – flood-control works costing £3 million were completed in autumn 2003. Ruthin is skirted by villages such as Pwllglas and Rhewl. The name comes from the Welsh words rhudd (red) and din (fort), referring to the colour of the red sandstone bedrock, of which the castle was built in 1277–84. The original name was Castell Coch yng Ngwern-fôr (Red Castle in the Sea Swamps). The mill is nearby. Maen Huail is a registered ancient monument attributed to the brother of Gildas and King Arthur, located outside Barclays Bank in St Peter's Square.

Ruthin School

Ruthin School is one of the oldest schools in the United Kingdom. Located on the outskirts of Ruthin, the county town of Denbighshire in North Wales, the public school is over seven hundred years old and has been co-educational since 1990.

William Bill

William Bill (c. 1505 – 15 July 1561) was Master of St John's College, Cambridge (1547–1551?), Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge (1548) and twice Master of Trinity College, Cambridge (1551–1553, 1558–1561), Provost of Eton College (1558–1561) and Dean of Westminster (1560–1561).

He was born to John and Margaret Bill of Ashwell, Hertfordshire. He had two brothers and two sisters. His brother Thomas became physician to Henry VIII of England. William was educated at St John's College, Cambridge, gaining his BA in 1532. He was elected a Fellow of St John's College in 1535, and gained his MA in 1546. He received a BD degree during the period 1544-1546. In 1547, he was elected Master of St John's College, and also became a Doctor of Divinity. In 1551, he was appointed Master of Trinity College. Following the accession of Mary I in 1553, he lost all his former positions. John Christopherson was appointed in his stead to the Mastership of Trinity. When Elizabeth I of England acceded in 1558, he was appointed Provost of Eton College, and re-appointed as Master of Trinity College. He was Lord High Almoner from 1558–1561 and helped revise the liturgy of Edward VI. He was appointed Dean of Westminster on 30 June 1560 but died the following year.

He was buried in St Benedict's Chapel, Westminster Abbey, where his tomb and small brass figure can still be seen.

There are varying reports of whether or not he married.

William Salesbury (of Rhug)

William Salesbury (1580–1660) was a Welsh privateer in the East Indies, poet and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1621 to 1622. He was Governor of Denbigh Castle, fought on the Royalist side in the English Civil War and held out for over six months until the final days of the war and only surrendered on the written instruction of Charles I.

Canons (current)

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