GODSCHALL, Sir Robert (c.1692-1742), of College Hill, London, and Weston, in Albury, Surr.
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Family and Education
b. c.1692, s. of John Godschall, merchant, of East Sheen, Surr. by his w. Bathia Charleton.1 m. Catherine, da. of William Tryon of Frognal, Kent, s.p. Kntd. 31 Oct. 1735.
Director, R. Exchange Assurance 1729-d.; iron-monger, master, Ironmongers’ Co. 1733; alderman, London 1732, sheriff 1735-6, ld. mayor 1741-d. pres. St. Bartholomew’s Hospital 1741-d.
A Portugal merchant in London, and the brother-in-law of John Barnard, Godschall bought the manor of Weston in Surrey in 1729.2 He served on the committee set up by the common council to prepare the petitions against the excise bill and the Spanish convention, and was a member of the caucus of the corporation in 1738.3 Defeated for London in 1734, he was returned for it as a Tory in 1741, becoming lord mayor the following September, after being rejected several times by the court of aldermen. Thomas Carte, the Jacobite historian, described him as ‘a very honest man, of exceeding good sense, a good writer as well as speaker’.4 However, when on 20 Jan. 1742 he presented the merchants’ petition for adequate protection for their ships, Horace Walpole observed:
This gold-chain came into Parliament cried up for his parts, but proves so dull one would think he chewed opium. Earle says, ‘By God I have heard an oyster speak as well 20 times’.
On 31 Mar. 1742 he brought in a bill for repealing the Septennial Act, which was defeated. He followed Barnard in voting on 28 Apr. 1742 for replacing the troops sent abroad. He died during his mayoralty 26 June 1742 ‘of an inflammatory fever’.5