Oxford History: Mayors & Lord Mayors


Richard Goode (c.1540–1609)

Mayor of Oxford 1601/2 and 1606/7

Richard Goode or Good was the son of John Goode, a husbandman of Shirburn, Oxfordshire.

His father was already dead when on 29 September 1554 he was apprenticed for nine years as a chandler to Richard Flexney, with double apparel and 33s. after serving an extra year.

Goode became a tallow chandler in All Saints (then commonly known as Allhallowes) parish, probably in about 1564. A man called Richard Goode who was the apprentice of Alderman Ralph Flexney was admitted free in the latter’s mayoral year 1577–8: there may be some confusion here.

Around this time Richard Goode and his first wife, Mary, had four sons and four daughters. These included:

Goode was chosen to come on the Common Council on 4 October 1583, paying the usual fine of 3s. 4d. for not serving as Constable.

On 29 March 1584 the Council agreed that Goode should have a lease of a tenement in St Ebbe’s for 41 years, “slattinge all the howses which are nowe thatched within two years”. This tenement occupied the site of 36–38 Church Street, and included a garden and orchard.

Goode took on four apprentices over the years: William Appleby of Grafton (30 May 1585); William Lovell of Bletchingdon (7 June 1590); John Toldervey of Oxford (29 September 1593); and George Dalby of Burford (11 August 1597).

In 1587 Goode was made a Chamberlain and in 1589 a Bailiff. On 8 June he was elected one of the Thirteen Associates (the twelve men, including the Aldermen, who with the Mayor of Oxford formed the Mayor’s Council), paying £5 to the keykeepers to the use of the City.

His first wife Mary Goode was buried in All Saints’ Church on 28 September 1593.

His second wife was Frideswide Dodwell, sister of Alderman Henry Dodwell (Mayor in 1592)

On 12 January 1601 Goode was elected an Alderman, and on 14 September in the same year he was elected Mayor of Oxford (for 1601/2), requesting that Stephen Fairebeard should have a Chamberlain’s place. At the end of his mayoral year he requested that Philip Dodwell (doubtless a relation of his new wife) should have a Chamberlain’s place.

In November 1602 his eldest son, William Goode, was admitted to his freedom for a gilt penny paid by his father.

On 4 May 1603 it was agreed that Goode should be one of the group attending the Mayor at the Coronation of King James I in London on 25 July, but in the event no one from outside London was allowed to attend because of plague.

In September 1606 Goode was elected Mayor a second time for 1606/7).

† Alderman Richard Goode died on 12 August 1609 and was buried in All Saints’ Church on 14 August. Anthony Wood describes his monument thus:

Here lyeth the body of Richard Good, gent., chandler, alderman of this citie and twyse mayor of
the same. He had two wives Mary and Frideswide; by the former he had four sonnes and 4 daughters.
He dyed in a good tyme, full of dayes and prayse the 12 of Aug. 1609.

Vota dedisse deo, miseris alimenta dedisse
Si bona res, Goodum praebuit esse bonum.
Quis neget in coelis igitur requiescere Goodum?
Nam Christi vox est sacra “venite boni”.

Mary his first wife was buried here 28 Sept. 1593. Richard his son, alderman of the citie,
buried here also 5 Dec. 1639. William Good, alderman, brother to Richard the son was also buried here.

Goode’s second wife, Mrs Fridewide Goode, was buried at St Mary-the-Virgin Church on 8 December 1622. Anthony Wood records:

On another brass plate under the effigies of a woman:– Here lyeth the body of Frideswyde Goode, late wife of Richard Goode, late alderman of this citie, who deceased the 18 November 1623. In the regester thus, Frideswide Good, vidua, sepultus [sic] 8 Dec. 1622, so that here you see is a fault somewhere.

Goode’s elder son, William, continued his father’s chandlery business and became an Alderman and Mayor of Oxford; his younger son Richard also became an Alderman.

See also:

  • William Goode, Mayor 1628/9 (his son)
  • Clark, Andrew (ed.), The Life and Times of Anthony Wood, Antiquary, of Oxford, 1632–1695, Described by Himself: five volumes, including index (Oxford, 1891, reprinted for the Oxford Historical Society in 1992 by Antony Rowe Ltd), Vol II, pp. 339-40 (death of John Goode of Balliol College, including a family tree showing his descent from Richard Goode, “twice mayor of Oxon”)
  • MS Wills Oxon W. I. 193/344; 25/3/19

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 30 September, 2018

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