GODDARD, Richard (d.1596), of Southampton.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

s. of Richard Goddard of Southampton by Cecily, da. of William Biddlecombe of Poole, Dorset. m. Elizabeth, da. of Ambrose Dauntesey of Potterne, Wilts., 1s. 2da. suc. fa. 1572.

Offices Held

Steward, Southampton 1575-6, water bailiff 1576-7, court bailiff 1578-9, sheriff 1580-1, mayor 1583-4.


Goddard was the son of a Poole merchant, who bought a house in Southampton High Street from Nicholas Caplyn in 1564, settled there and became alderman and mayor. His name frequently occurs in the records of the town’s court leet. In 1589, for example, he was ordered to remove his ship from the haven or pay a 40s. fine, and on other occasions he was fined for minor offences. He had property also at East Shamlord, Isle of Wight, which he sold in 1593.1

Goddard was a member of the Spanish and Levant companies, and was interested in many privateering ventures and voyages of discovery. He subscribed £50 to Sir Humphrey Gilbert’s final expedition, and was one of the three persons to whom Gilbert entrusted a key of the triple-locked chest in which his documents were secured. Goddard contributed £25 to the Armada loan: during the actual fighting, one of his vessels was commandeered for use as a fire ship. His ordinary trading ventures earned him three reprimands from the Privy Council. He last attended the Southampton court leet in 1596, dying before 13 Nov. that year, when letters of administration were granted to his widow.2

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: W.J.J.


  • 1. Vis. Wilts. (Harl. Soc. cv, cvi), 69; PCC admon. act bk. 1596, f. 184; Remembrance Bk. i. (Soton Rec. Soc.), 90-6; Ct. Leet Recs. (Soton Rec. Soc.), passim; CSP Dom. 1591-4, p. 377.
  • 2. T. K. Rabb, Enterprise and Empire, 299; K. R. Andrews, ‘Econ. Policy of Eliz. Privateering’ (London Univ. PhD thesis, 1951), pp. 123, 292; Lansd. 115, f. 196; 142, f. 109; Gilbert Voyages, ed. Quinn (Hak. Soc.), 330, 355; Black Bk. iii (Soton Rec. Soc.), 129; Assembly Bks. ii. (Soton Rec. Soc.), 38; APC, xiv. 155; xvii. 370, 429; xviii. 81, 389; xix. 411; xxvi. 112, 123, 148; CSP Dom. 1581-90, p. 650; PCC admon. act bk. loc. cit.