Rowland / Roland Goodman, of St. Botolph Parish, London, ca 1500-1547

Letter from Rouland (sic: Rowland / Roland) Goodman to Cromwell. [‘Henry VIII: November 1534, 21-25’, Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 7: 1534 (1883), pp. 545-550. URL:].

“As I have written to you in two letters, dated from Bordeaux, 12 Nov. 1534, I obtained a ship, and have laden her for such purpose as you know, and am now in the haven of Falmouth, trusting to have found Mr. Godolphin, and have certain men, as you know. But on my landing I found he was in London, and finding that his brother was his deputy, I rode to him to inquire whether he had any commission for me. He said, No; wherefore I have sent the bearer in post to know your pleasure, whom I beg you to despatch with the King’s letters to such lords of Ireland as live about Cork and Waterford. Peryn, Monday, 23 Nov. 1534.”

This may be the same Rowland / Roland Goodman, a wealthy London Fishmonger and farmer, described following.

Rowland / Roland Goodman was a prosperous fishmonger and the original founder and namesake of what was and is still called “Goodman’s Field” in London, located just a few blocks north and east of the Tower of London. Also associated with this Goodman family is “Goodman’s Yard”, in the same location as Goodman’s Field, and “Goodman’s Wharf”, located immediately south of Goodman’s Yard and incorporated into what is now St Katherine’s Dock, a modern yacht harbor and marina immediately adjacent to and east of the Tower of London.

Just north of Goodman’s Field is the St Botolpf without Bishopsgate (aka St Botolpf Aldgate) Church of England Church, on Aldgate High Street. Three blocks west and one block south of St Botolph Church is St Katherine’s Church of England Church, the Parish of which Benjamin Goodman, a prisoner of Middlesex, had belonged before he was sentenced to be transported to Barbados in 1672. We also find that the Precinct of St Katherine (AKA St Katherine by the Tower) is a precinct within St Botolph Without Aldgate, where Roland/Rowland Goodman and his son Thomas Goodman and their descendants are recorded between 1535 and the middle 1600s, per citations below.

For locations of some of the other historic churches within and around th London City Wall, see:

Rowland Goodman is mentioned in “A Survey of London, by John Stow, p. 126”, [Source: British History Online, at].

“Rowland Goodman seems to have been a considerable farmer in the eastern suburbs during the reign of Henry VIII. Besides Goodman’s Fields here referred to, he had on 20 Jan. 1535 a lease from the Convent of St. Helen’s of lands in St. Botolph without Bishopsgate; at the dissolution in 1543 he obtained a grant by purchase from the king (Cox, Annals of St. Helens, 16, 34, also: “Brithsh History Online”, at: At his death in Sept. 1547 he also held lands in St. Botolph, late the property of the Hospital of St. Mary without Bishopsgate (Inq. p. m. London, i 95).”

This is further detailed: [Source: “British History Online” at: ‘Henry VIII: July 1543, 26-31’, Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 18 Part 1: January-July 1543 (1901), pp. 510-544. URL:]

p. 68. Roland Goodman, fishmonger, of London. Grant, in fee, for 146l. 0s. 6d. of a “shedde” and its appurtenances in the parish of St. Botolph without Bishopsgate, London, and houses newly built in his tenure which belonged to St. Helen’s priory; a tenement with garden, and 3 closes of land abutting towards the garden on the east and towards the late priory of Minoresses on the west, and two parcels of pasture leased with the same tenement, and together with it lying in the parish of St. Mary Matfelon, Midd., (adjacent to St Botolph) and late in tenure of Leonard Dawsone, and now of Geoff. Harryson, and belonging to the said late priory, with the 10 loads of clay and 10 loads of sand reserved in Harryson’s lease. Also a piece of land of 2 ac. with a lodge built in it and two tenements in tenure of the said Goodman, which belonged to St. Mary’s new hospital without Bishopsgate, in St. Botolph’s parish, between the garden of John Newton on the east, land of the late Charterhouse of London on the west, land of the parish church of St. Michael in Cornhill on the north, and the said lands of St. Helen’s in Goodman’s tenure on the south; also a chief messuage called the Crowne, in St. Botolph’s parish in the said Newton’s tenure, and another called the Chekker with garden and yard adjoining and a piece of waste ground on the north of the yard late in tenure of John Crosse, pulter, and afterwards of John Newton, with ingress and egress by the great gate leading to the house and garden in tenure of Edm. Gayle, which belonged to the said new hospital. Grenewiche, 30 June 35 Hen. VIII. Del. Terling, 16 July.—P.S. Pat. p. 9, m. 26.

In 1542, Rowland Goodman was granted certain rights by Henry VIII:

283. Grants in April 33 Henry VIII. 1542.

7. Rowland Goodman and Will. Chambre, merchants of London. Licence to take ground of any person by lease or grant for the cultivation of woad in England, and to employ as many servants and laborers, men, women and children as they shall think necessary.—S.B. (Without note of delivery. Signed by stamp, and countersigned : “T Audeley, Chancellor, T. Norfolk, Rob. Sussex, E. Hertford, J. Russell, John Gage, Anth. Browne, Anth. Wyngfeld, Thos. Wriothesley.”) Pat. 33 Hen. VIII., p. 9, m. 41. ]

Rowland / Roland Goodman died in 1547. [“British History Online” at:]

“Inquisition taken at the Guildhall 20 Sept., r Edward VI [1547], before Henry Hoberthorne, knight, Mayor and escheator, after the death of Rowland Goodman, by the oath of John Watson, John Harrys, Robert Molding, Thomas Rydley, Christopher Nicholson, William Hynton, William Beswyke, Rowland Staper, Nicholas Mars he, William Petyngale, Thomas Duckynton, Thomas Smythson, Thomas Anneston, William Box, John Ilearde, and William Saddoke, who say that Rowland Goodman was seised of 1 piece of land or garden containing 2 acres; 1 tenement or lodge built in the said garden, 2 dye-houses (tentoriis) constructed in the said garden, sometime belonging to the late House or New Hospital of the Blessed Mary without Bysshoppisgate, now dissolved, situate in the parish of St. Botolph without Bysshoppisgate, to wit, between the garden now or late in the tenure of John Newton sometime belonging to the said late House and parcel of the possessions there formerly belonging to the late House of the Carthusians near the City of London, now dissolved, on the west part, between the land there of the Parish Church of St. Michael in Cornhill on the north part, and the land there in the tenure of the said Rowland on the south part.

The said Rowland was likewise seised of free ingress and egress to and from the said premises; also of one capital messuage called the Crowne (a capital messuage is the main residence building of an estate), and of all houses, buildings, cellars, shops, etc., thereto belonging, lying in the said parish of St. Botolph, in the tenure of the said John Newton, to the said late House formerly belonging; 1 tenement called the Cheker, and 1 garden thereto belonging; 1 piece of land called a yarde; 1 piece of waste land lying on the north part of the said yarde, lying in the said parish of St. Botolph, sometime in the tenure of John Crosse, “Pulter,” and afterwards in the tenure of the said John Newton: free ingress and egress to and from the said premises, with horses, carts and carriages by the great gate there leading to the house and garden within the said gate, now or late in the tenure of Edmund Gaile; and 10 cartloads of clay (luti), and 10 cartloads of sand yearly issuing out of the premises.

All the said premises are held of the King in chief by the service of the 20th part of a knight’s fee, and by the yearly rent of 16s. 8d., and are worth per ann., clear, £7 10s.

Rowland Goodman died 6 May, 36 Henry VIII [1544]; Thomas Goodman is his son and heir, and is now aged 21 years and more.

Anna Goodman, late the wife of the said Rowland Goodman, and the said Thomas Goodman, his son, have taken all the profits of the premises from his death up to the present time.

Inq. p.m., 1 Edward VI, p. 1, No. 95.”

In: “Allegations for Marriage Licences Issued by the Bishop of London, 1520 to 1828 By Joseph Lemuel Chester, George John”, one abstract records: “Sept 17, 1601, Roger Smythe, Gent., of Lincoln’s Inn, Widower, 27, & Anne Goodman, Maiden, of St Botolph’s, Aldgate, 15 or 16 ; consent of her father Thomas Goodman, Esq., of same, alleged by Rich’d Goodman of St Leonard’s Shoreditch (about 1.5 mi. north of St Botolf), Gent.; at St Botolf Aldgate.” Google Books Results

And, in the same source as above, on April 26, 1608: “William Goodman, of St Botolf, Aldergate, London, Yeoman, & Dorothy Rastell, Spinster, dau. of Edward Rastell, of same, Yeoman, at same”. Source: Google Books Results.

Stephen Wilson writes, in Google groups:

According to IGI, Thomas Goodman had the following children baptized at St. Botolph Aldgate, London:
1. William – on 31 May 1579
2. Elizabeth – on 12 Dec 1580
3. Phillipp (son) – on 21 Jan 1581
4. & 5. Phillipp (daughter) and Penelopey – on 20 Sep1584
6. Anne – on 16 Oct 1586

According to the following website (quoted below), this Thomas Goodman died in 1606 and was a sizable landholder in London. His daughter Elizabeth was married to Walter Halliley, and his son William was apparently married at least twice – first (bef. 1602) to Mary Watts and later (bef. 1628) to an Alice. Additionally, we learn that Thomas Goodman’s wife was named Beatrice []

“In 1560 Sir Thomas Cornwallis apparently conveyed the manor to William Bromefield, with eight messuages and eight cottages, with gardens, an orchard, a dovecot, 110 a., and 9*s*. rent and appurtenances in St. Botolph, Whitechapel, St. Katharine near London, and Stepney. []

In 1594 Catherine Bromefield, widow, and William and Arthur Bromefield, probably her sons, conveyed to *Thomas Goodman *the manor of Barnes with 54 messuages, 72 gardens, 20 cottages, 1 windmill, and 70 a. in St. Botolph Aldgate, Whitechapel, and Stepney. [] Goodman died in 1606 seized of 11 tenements and 16 gardens in St. Botolph Bishopsgate, held of the king for 1/100th knight’s service and valued at £3 a year, and a messuage, 22 tenements, 12 cottages, 5 stables, 1 mill, 45 gardens, and 42 a. pasture in St. Botolph Aldgate, Whitechapel, and Stepney, valued at £11 and held partly of the mayor and corporation of London for an annual quitrent of 9*s*. 5*d*., and partly of the manor of Stepney for service of 18*s*. 8*d*. In 1598 he had settled 9 tenements of the latter, valued at 40*s*., on *his daughter Elizabeth*, *her husband Walter Halliley*, and their eldest son, and in 1602 he had settled most of the rest on *Mary Watts, wife of his son William Goodman*, and their issue, and the remainder on himself and *his wife Beatrice* for life, with remainder to *his son William*. []

Most of the estate was sold in 1628 by *William Goodman and his wife Alice* and Alan Carey and his wife Anne to Sir John Leman (d. 1632), [] who settled 10 messuages, 40 cottages and 40 a. pasture called Goodman’s Fields, described as part of the manor and capital messuage anciently called Barnes, on his nephew William Leman, citizen and fishmonger. [] It was settled by William Leman the elder in 1655 on the marriage of his son William. []

After Thomas Goodman’s death in 1606, his widow Beatrice married twice more – first to Sir Thomas Edon of Sudbury and secondly (in 1615) to Simon Musket []

In “The Inhabitants of London in 1638″, pub 1931, re: British History Online at:”:

Robert Goodman and Henry Goodman are listed in St. Botolph without Aldgate, London. Robert and Henry Goodman are likely to have been descended from Roland / Rowland Goodman, and possibly sons of William Goodman and/or Phillip Goodman, sons of Thomas Goodman of the same St Botolph parish. Being of age and paying tithes or rents in 1638, therefore born ca 1617 or before, and Botolph Parish being immediately adjacent to St Katherine’s Parish, one of them (or one of their brothers or cousins, among them possibly some of the other 1638 Goodmans listed below) is more likely to have been the father of the Benjamin Goodman of St Katherine’s Parish who was ordered transported to Barbados in 1672 than any of the Goodmans of Bedfordshire County, which lies far outside of London. Also in 1638, Thomas Goodman is at St Benets’s Fink Parish, about 1 mile west of the Tower, and another Thomas Goodman at St. Martin’s Orgar, about 1/2 mile west of the Tower and 2 blocks north of the Thames, and a 3rd Thomas Goodman is at St Andrew, Middlesex, a bit further west of the others. Other “Mr Goodmans“, first names unspecified, are in several other nearby parishes, including a “Mr. Goodman” at St. Olaves, Hart Street, just west of the Tower. Peter Goodman is at St. Mary Somerset Parish, about 1-1/2 mi. west of the Tower, on the Thames.

From: “Some Monumental Inscriptions of St Botolph’s Church, Northfleet Noted by T.C. Colyer-Fergusson noted 1900+“,

“66. [VII]. In the nave, on a blue stone: Everard GOODMAN gent. one of the sworn clerks in the high court of Chancery, ob. 1743 an. aet. 67. And Anna, wife of Everard Goodman, formerly wife of John MASON, late of Maidstone in Kent esqr ob. 1745. 71.

This inscription and the Everard Goodman name seems to link the Goodmans of St Botolph’s with the Goodmans of Blaston, Leicester with the same names.



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