Goodal, Walter

, a Scotch antiquary, the eldest son of John Goodal, a farmer in Banfshire, Scotland, was born about 1706. In 1723 he entered himself a student in King’s college, Old Aberdeen, but did not continue there long enough to take a degree. In 1730 he obtained employment in the Advocates’ library, Edinburgh, of whicli he was formally appointed librarian in 1735. He now assisted the celebrated Thomas lluddiman in compiling the catalogue of that library, upon the plan of the “Bibliotheca Cardinalis Imperialis,” and it was published in folio | in 1742. About the same time he projected a life of Mary queen of Scots, to whose cause he was inflexibly devoted; but this design appears to have been relinquished for his publication, entitled “An Examination of the Letters said to be written by Mary to James earl of Both well,1754, 2 vols. 8vo, in which he endeavoured to prove these letters to be forgeries. In this work it is said that he had done more, had he had less prejudice, and greater coolness. He certainly had diligence of research, sagacity of investigation, and keenness of remark; but his zeal sometimes carried him out of his course, his prejudice often blunted his acuteness, and his desire of recrimination never failed to enfeeble the strength of his criticism. In 1754 he published an edition, with emendatory notes, of sir John Scot’s “Staggering state of Scots Statesmen,” and wrote a preface and life to sir James Balfour’s “Practicks.” He contributed also to Keith’s “New Catalogue of Scotch Bishops,” and published an edition of Fordun’s “Scotichronicon,” which was not executed with judgment. His introduction to it was afterwards translated into English, and published at London in 1769. He died July 28, 1766, in very poor circumstances, owing to a habit of intemperance. 1

1 Life of Ruddiman, by Mr. George Chalmers, pp. 127, 167,