Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Gooden, Peter

GOODEN, PETER (d. 1695), controversialist, probably a son of Peter Gooden of New Hall, Pendleton, near Manchester, was educated in the English College at Lisbon, and after being ordained priest was sent back to England upon the mission, in company with Edward Barlow, alias Booth [q. v.] He appears first to have been chaplain to the Middletons at Leighton Hall, near Lancaster. About 1680 he removed to Aldcliffe Hall, the seat of the seven daughters of Robert Dalton, esq. In this mansion Gooden ‘kept a sort of academy or little seminary for educating of youth, who were afterwards sent to popish colleges abroad to be trained as priests.’ After the accession of James II, he was appointed chaplain to the Duke of Berwick's regiment, and during that reign he had frequent conferences with Stillingfleet, William Clagett [q. v.], and other learned divines of the church of England. ‘No man,’ says Dodd, ‘was better qualified to come off with reputation in a personal conference,’ as ‘he was naturally bold and intrepid, had a strong voice, a ready utterance, and generally made choice of such topics as afforded him matter to display his eloquence.’ The revolution of 1688 obliged him to retire to his old abode at Aldcliffe Hall, where he died on 29 Dec. 1695.

He published: 1. ‘The Controversial Letters on the Grand Controversy, concerning the pretended temporal authority of the Popes over the whole earth; and the true Sovereignty of kings within their own respective kingdoms; between two English Gentlemen, the one of the Church of England, and the other of the Church of Rome,’ 2nd edit. 1674, 8vo. This was against Thomas Birch, who was vicar of Preston, Lancashire, from 1682 till his death in 1700. 2. ‘The Sum of the Conference had between two Divines of the Church of England and two Catholic LayGentlemen. At the request and for the satisfaction of three Persons of Quality, Aug. 8, 1671,' London, 1687, 4to. An earlier edition was published, sine loco [1684], 4to. His conference with Stillingfleet gave rise to the publication of several controversial pamphlets, and 'The Summ of a Conference on Feb. 21, 1686, between Dr. Clagett and Father Gooden, about the point of Transubstantiation,' was published in 1689-90 by William Wake, D.D., afterwards archbishop of Canterbury. It is reprinted in 'Seventeen Sermons,' &c. by William Clagett, D.D., 3rd edit., London, 1699, 8vo, vol. i.

[Gillow's Bibl. Dict.; Dodd's Church Hist. ii. 481; Palatine Note-book (January 1582), ii. 9; Catholic Mag. vi. 108.]

T. C.