GODDARD, Thomas (1777-1814), of Swindon, Wilts.
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Family and Education
b. 9 Aug. 1777, 1st s. of Ambrose Goddard*. educ. Corpus, Oxf. 1795. unm.
Capt. 2 Wilts. militia 1796, maj. 1799; capt. Swindon yeomanry 1800.
The son and heir of a county Member whose estate was in the Cricklade hundreds, Goddard stepped into the shoes of Thomas Estcourt at Cricklade in 1806 and, in alliance with Lord Porchester, headed the poll in a contest against Lord Andover.1 Returned on a county interest, he behaved independently and was unopposed in 1807. Unlike Porchester he was evidently not a committed supporter of the Grenville administration.2 On 12 Mar. 1807 he took six weeks’ leave for ill health. No minority vote is known until in March 1809 he three times voted with the minority against the alleged misconduct of army patronage by the Duke of York; he also voted with opposition on the charge of ministerial corruption, 25 Apr. On 17 Mar. 1810 he joined Brooks’s Club, sponsored by Porchester.
Goddard kept a diary in 18103 which shows that he first came up for Parliament in March and on the 9th divided in the minority (on the defence of Portugal); on 26 Mar. he did so twice, so he claimed, and on the 29th four times, against ministers on the Scheldt inquiry. On 5 Apr. he divided twice in the majority against Burdett. After a visit to Newmarket, he returned to the House in May and divided against ministers on sinecure places on 17 May, and again on 30 May on Tierney’s motion about the droits of Admiralty. On 1 June he divided ‘with ministers’ against Catholic claims. After a summer at the races, he returned to London in October and divided with ministers for an adjournment 15 Nov. He returned to divide against ministers twice on the adjournment, 29 Nov.; on 20 Dec. he divided with them; but on 31 Dec., on the Regency resolutions, three times against them. (After such independent conduct, it is not surprising that the Whigs were ‘hopeful’ of Goddard in their list of 1810.) His only known vote subsequently was for consideration of the Catholic claims, 24 Apr. 1812. No speech is reported.
In December 1811 Goddard made it clear that he would not seek re-election at Cricklade, where he was worried by the certainty of a contest: he gave his interest to Robert Gordon*.4 He died 3 Jan. 1814. In 1837 his younger brother Ambrose, who succeeded to the property on their father’s death, came in for Cricklade.