Gawen Goodman 1526-1627, Son of Edward

Gawen Goodman, Esq. was born in 1526. He married twice. His first wife’s name is not given by Soden’s book and not mentioned in his will. Soden states that Gawen’s eldest son by his first marriage was named Edward, and that his other sons by this marriage were Godfrey, Thomas and Gabriel. His second marriage was to Gaynor, daughter of Dr. Ellis Prýs of Plâs Iolyn (or, Yolyn) about 1590, when Gawen was 64. They had three issue, as shown following. Dr. Ellis Prýs was descended from Marchweithian, who was the Founder of the Eleventh Noble Tribe of Wales, and from which line also came Edward III, King of England (1327-1377), and the Mortimers, the Earls of March. Gawen Goodman and his second wife Gaynor Prys had sons Ellis and John, and a daughter Francis. Thus, the descendants of Gawen and Gaynor (Prýs) Goodman were twice descended from Welsh nobility. Gawen died in 1604, at the age of 78.

The will of Gawen Goodman was proved 8 June, 1627. (74 Skynner, Prerogative Court of Canterbury). The Goodman families of Nantglyn and Glanhespyn remained an important County family of Denbighshire throughout the 17th century and intermarried with many of the prominent families in North Wales.

Possible meaning of the name Gawin: var: Gavin – “white hawk” or “hawk of the battle”. Or, var. of Gawain – a Knight of the Round Table, and a son of Lot and Morgause of Orkney. He was also known as Gwalchmai, “Hawk of May”.

Digital Image of Portrait of Gawen Goodman, on display at the National Museum and Gallery of Wales, Cardiff. According to “The Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion”, pub. 1953, this portrait is dated 1582, in the 56th year of his age.

PDF image of Gawen’s will

Issue of Gawen with 1st Wife:

(1) Edward Goodman, Esq. was the eldest son and heir of Gawen Goodman, Esq. Edward married the widow Elizabeth (Thelwell) Morys, relict of Thomas Morys and sister of his cousin Edward Thelwell, Esq., Elizabeth Thelwell, by her 1st husband Thomas Morys, was the mother of Lowri Morys, who was to become the wife of Edward Goodman’s younger brother, Thomas (below). Until recently, it was believed that Edward Goodman, Esq. and many of his descendants lived at Nantclwyd House, on Castle Street in Ruthin, the original and ancestral home of the Goodman clan, until the 1830s, This has been recently disproved by a researcher of the history this house, in conjunction with its planned restoration. More Nantclywyd House News. In truth, the ancient home of the Goodmans, at least since about 1519, was known as Exmewe House. By Gawen’s will, Edward was bequeathed all the portraits in the family home (Exmewe House) except those of Sir Thomas Exmewe (original owner of the house), Gawen Goodman, and his father Edward Goodman, which Edward declared were to remain in parlor of the family home. However, according to one source, the portraits were supposedly removed shortly thereafter to Nantclwyd House by Edward Goodman. The Goodman portraits, plus one of Gawen’s younger son, Godfrey, are currently owned by the National Museum and Gallery of Wales, are on public exhibit, and digital images are available on the NMGW web site.

The issue of Edward Goodman and Elizabeth (Thelwell) Morys, if any, are not known at this time. Edward and Elizabeth may have been the parents of a daughter, Anne. “Monumental Brasses“, p. 159, lists a brass by Kettering, in Northhamptonshire, with a caption plate of: “Edm. Sawyer, d. 1631, in armour and w. Anne, daughter of Edw. Goodman, Gent., of Blaston, Leic., they had 15 child.” This Edw. Goodman of Blaston will require further research.

(2) Godfrey Goodman. Named in Gawen’s will. See: Digital Image of Portrait of Godfrey Goodman, son of Gawen, on display at the National Museum and Gallery of Wales, Cardiff. The notes on this NMGW web site for portrait provide additional information that: “The date of the painting and his age are stated: An. 1600 Aet 40. He studied at Cambridge and was ordained a priest in the diocese of Brecon in 1587″. The only thing written in Soden about Godfrey is that he had at least two sons: Charles “the glass maker”, and John “the virginal maker”. These references are apparently from the will of their 1st cousin, Bishop Godfrey Goodman. A virginal is a type of small, rectangular spinet, with one wire to a note, and no legs. Since both were artisans and craftsmen, and especially John being a carpenter and probably furniture maker, both of their trades would be attracted and brought to America by the early Cavaliers and Planters.

(3) Thomas Goodman, Esq., of Plâs-ucha, Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd, was the third son of Gawen Goodman, Esq. He is mentioned in Gawen’s will. He married Lowri (Laura/Lowry) Morys, daughter and heiress of Thomas Morys and Elizabeth (Thelwell) Morys, and his step-cousin. See notes on his elder brother, Edward Goodman, above, and also Related Families page. Thomas was Constable of Conway Castle in 1600 (“Kalendar of Gwynedd”), and High Sheriff of Denbighshire in 1613, under James I (1603-1625), who was also James IV of Scotland. Charles Goodman, son of this Thomas, was High Sheriff of Denbighshire in 1666 (National Library of Wales). Several other family members were members of the Bar (i.e. London lawyers) which maintained the family’s London connections. Edward, Elizabeth, Lowrie and Thomas Goodman are all mentioned in a 1601 document in the Denbigh Co. Archives, (DCR: DD/WY/1797).

See PDF image of Will of Thomas Goodman, dated 22 Nov 1623..

4) Gabriel Goodman ca d. 1576.

He married Helena ?. He is buried in the Cloister of St Peters Church in London, with inscription: “Gabriel, Son of Gawen Goodman, near Helena his Wife, 1576” [John Strype’s Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster, Book 6, Chapter 2: The EPITAPHS and INSCRIPTIONS upon the Persons interred in St. PETERs, p.22.]

5) Dorothy. Mentioned in Gawen’s will.

6) Jane/Janet. Mentioned in Gawen’s will. Married Meredydd Wynn

7) Katherine. Mentioned in Gawen’s will. This is the Katherine Goodman of Ruthin who m. Hugh Wynn Salisbury, her cousin, a grandson of Foulk Salusbury, who was the brother of John Salusbury, Esq. of Llewyni, the 1st husband of Catherine Tudyr (Tudor) of Berain. According to another document, Hugh Salisbury, of Llanfwrog, married Catherine, 4th daughter of Gawen Goodman, of Ruthin. This would seem to indicate that Gawen had at least one more daughter than the three mentioned in his will, perhaps one that died young.

Issue of Gawen with 2nd Wife, Gaynor Prys:

Gaynor and her issue received the major share of Gawen’s lands and properties in his will. His issue by 1st wife may have already received the majority of their inheritance earlier.

8) Son Ellis. Mentioned in Gawen’s will. Named as nephew Ellis Goodman of Nantglyn in Bishop Godfrey Goodman’s will. Nantglyn is in Denbighshire, about 7 mi. NW of Ruthin, and 3 mi SW of Denbigh. An Edward Goodman of Nantglyn who died in 1651, was a minor Royalist organizer in the Civil War.

9) Daughter Francis. Mentioned in Gawen’s will.

10) John Goodman, born about 1593. Mentioned in Gawen’s will. He was an Anglican priest and curate of St. Nicholas, Olave. He was at one time incarcerated at Newgate prison for his outspoken papist activities, was reprieved for transportation to the Americas in 1638, returned without authorization to England, and was again incarcerated in Newgate, where he died, on Good Friday, 1642. A John Goodman is listed in the above referenced Greer book (headright grant of Thomas Burbage, Accomack Co., p 131), in 1638. A Richard Goodman is also listed in 1638. (also headright grant of Thomas Burbage, Upper Norfolk Co.)


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