Goodrich, Thomas

, an eminent English prelate, was the second son of Edward Goodrich of East Kirby in Lincolnshire. He was admitted pensioner of Bene‘t college, Cambridge, soon after 1500, became fellow of Jesus college in 1510, commenced M. A. in 1514, and the following year was proctor of the university. Being of a studious turn, he made great proficiency in several branches of learning, particularly in the civil and canon laws. In 1529, he was appointed one of the syndics to return an answer from the university of Cambridge, concerning the lawfulness of king Henry VIII.’s marriage with queen Catherine: and from his readiness to oblige the king in that business, was recommended to his royal favour. He was presented to the rectory of St. Peter’s Cheap in London, by cardinal Wolsey, at that time commendatory of the monastery of St. Alban’s; and soon after was made canon of St. Stephen’s, Westminster, and chaplain to the king. On the death of Dr. West, bishop of Ely, his nephew and godson Dr. Nicholas Hawkins, archdeacon of Ely, at that time the king’s ambassador in foreign parts, was designed to succeed him; but he dying before his consecration could be effected, the king granted his licence to the prior and convent, dated March 6, 1534, to choose themselves a bishop; who immediately elected in their chapter-house the 17th of the same month, Thomas Goodrich, S.T.P. which was confirmed by the archbishop April 13th following, in the parish church of Croydon.

Being a zealous promoter of the reformation, soon after | his arrival he visited the prior and convent of Ely; and next year sent a mandate to all the clergy of his diocese, dated at Somersham June 27, 1535, with orders to erase the name of the pope out of all their books, and to publish in their churches that the pope had no further authority in this kingdom. This mandate is printed in Bentham’s “History of Ely Cathedral,” together with his injunctions, dated from Ely, Oct. 21, 1541, to the clergy,“to see that all images, relics, table-monuments of miracles, shrines, &c. be so totally demolished and obliterated, with all speed and diligence, that no remains or memory might be found of them for the future.” These injunctions were so completely executed in his cathedral, and other churches in the diocese of Ely, that no traces remain of many famous shrines and altars, which formerly were the objects of frequent resort, nor any signs at all that they had ever existed.

In 1540 he was appointed by the convocation to be one of the revisers of the translation of the New Testament, and St. John’s gospel was allotted to his share. He was also named one of the commissioners for reforming the ecclesiastical laws, both by Henry VIII. and Edward VI. as well as by the university of Cambridge; and had a hand in compiling the “Common Prayer Book” of the church of England, 1548 and likewise “The Institution of a Christian Man,” which was called the Bishops’ Book, as being composed by archbishop Cranmer, and the bishops Stokesly, Gardiner, Sampson, Repps, Goodrich, Latimer, Shaxton, Fox, Barlow, &c. Besides this, he was of the privy council to king Henry VIII. and Edward VI. and employed by them in several embassies, and other business of the state. In 1551, he was made lord chancellor of England, in the room of lord Rich, which office he discharged with singular reputation of integrity, though in matters of religion he was suspected by some, of too much disposition to temporize in favour of popery, upon the accession of queen Mary; and Dodd, though somewhat faintly, claims him as a popish bishop. It is certain he was suffered to retain his bishopric to his death, although the seals were taken from him. He was esteemed a patron of learned men; and expended large sums in building and embellishing his palaces, particularly at Ely, where the long gallery carries tokens of his munificence. He died at Somersham May 10, 1554; and was buried in the middle | of the presbytery of his cathedral church, under a marble, with his effigies in brass, mitred, in his pontifical habit, and the great seal, as lord chancellor, in one of his hands, and an inscription round it. 1


Bentham’s Hist, of Ely. Master’s Hist, of C. C. C. C. Burnet’s Reformation, vol. 11. p. 275. —Strype’s Cranmer, pp. 30, 51, 134, 185, 228, 230, 233, 237, 505, 304, 412. —StrypeVParkfer, p. 16, 30, 260.