GOODWIN, Ralph (by 1505-62), of Ipswich, Suff.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Nov. 1554

Family and Education

b. by 1505. m. by 1532, Elizabeth, at least 4s.2

Offices Held

Member of the Twenty-Four, Ipswich 1528 chamberlain 1528-9, bailiff 1537-8, 1545-6, 1550-1, j.p. 1537-8, 1545-8, 1550-2, portman 1538-d.3


Ralph Goodwin was an Ipswich merchant who began trading on his own account in 1526. His parentage has not been established, but he was probably a younger relative of Robert Goodwin, a shipper of cloth and miscellaneous goods from the port in 1506. The younger Goodwin’s ventures must have been successful, for in 1545 his subsidy assessment on £60 in goods was the second highest at Ipswich. He combined commerce with a municipal career, and as bailiff in 1538 he signed a letter to Cromwell about the arraignment of a chantry priest for treason and in the same capacity in 1550 he was directed by the Privy Council to sell the cargoes of two Scottish ships. He was thus well qualified to be one of Ipswich’s representatives in Parliament. Of his part in the Commons all that is known is that he was not absent without leave when the House was called early in January 1555. He made his will on 20 Dec. 1562, the day of his death, instructing his wife, the sole executrix to sell various properties in the town and at Bedfield, Monk Soham and Worlingworth in Suffolk and to use the proceeds to pay his debts and to provide for their children. He left his wife a life interest in his town house with several other houses in Ipswich and the locality and some land in Essex. At her death this property also was to be sold, his two eldest sons being given in turn the opportunity to purchase it; the proceeds of this sale were also to be distributed among his children. Among the witnesses to the will was Richard Bryde alias Byrde . Probate was granted on 11 Feb. 1563, but a new grant of administration to his son Christopher was noted on 16 Nov. 1574, the will not having been executed by the widow. Goodwin was buried in the church of St. Mary at the Key, Ipswich.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: John Pound


  • 1. Huntington Lib. Hastings mss Parl. pprs.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from first reference. PCC 9 Chayre; C142/135/16.
  • 3. N. Bacon, Annals Ipswich, 201-61 passim; LP Hen. VIII, xvi; CPR, 1549-51, p. 344.
  • 4. E122/53/17; J. G. Webb, Great Tooley of Ipswich, 16, 22, 36, 110, 132, 146; E179/181/270; LP Hen. VIII, xi, xiii; APC, i. 483; PCC 9 Chayre; C142/135/16.