Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Goodall, Joseph

GOODALL, JOSEPH (1760–1840), provost of Eton, was born 2 March 1760. He was elected to King's College, Cambridge, from Eton in 1778. He gained Browne's medals in 1781 and 1782, and the Craven scholarship in 1782. He graduated B.A. in 1783 and M.A. in 1786. In 1783 he became a fellow of his college and assistant-master at Eton. In 1801 he was appointed head-master of the school, which preserved its numbers and reputation under him. In 1808 he became canon of Windsor on the recommendation of his friend and schoolfellow, the Marquis Wellesley. In 1809 he succeeded Jonathan Davies [q. v.] as provost of Eton. In 1827 he accepted the rectory of West Ilsley, Berkshire, from the chapter of Windsor. Goodall had the virtues of the ideal head-master of an English public school; he wrote Latin verses, of which specimens are in the ‘Musæ Etonenses’ (1817, i. 146, ii. 24, 58, 87). The second volume is dedicated to him. His discipline was mild, and he was courteous, witty, hospitable, and generous. He was a staunch conservative, and during his life was supposed to be an insuperable obstacle to any threatened innovations. William IV once said in his presence, ‘When Goodall goes I'll make you [Keate] provost;’ to which he replied, ‘I could not think of “going” before your majesty.’ He kept his word, and died 25 March 1840. He was buried in the college chapel 2 April following. A statue in the college chapel was raised to his memory by a subscription of 2,000l., headed by the queen dowager. He founded a scholarship of 50l. a year, to be held at Oxford or Cambridge. A mezzotint from a portrait by H. E. Dawe was published.

[Gent. Mag. 1840, pp. 545, 670; Harwood's Alumni Etonenses, p. 354; Maxwell Lyte's Eton (1875), pp. 355, 371, 401–3.]

L. S.