Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Sequestrated Clergyman and Watford Union Workhouse

Rev Henry Goodwin
One of the sad things about ebay is the large number of Victorian portraits for sale which have lost contact with their families - and no-one knows who they are. I acquire some of them and recently I purchased two to illustrate the work of a Watford photographer, Joseph James Southwood. One was a "Fine Art Studio" carte de visite  of a tightly corseted young woman and there are no clues to her identity. The other was cabinet card of a elderly bearded gentleman, with a cross, who could well be a minister of religion. In addition there was a partial identification - someone had written the words "Goodwin father of Edward Goodwin" on the bottom.

I quickly discovered that in 1901 Edward J Goodwin was a 38 year old Wholesale Jeweller's Bookkeeper living with his father, Rev. Henry Goodwin, at 20 Westland Road, Watford. It turns out that Rev Henry Goodwin had been the vicar of Twyning, Gloucestershire, but in 1863 he had got into financial difficulties and was sequestrated and left the parish. In 1880 he became the chaplin at the Watford Union Workhouse and continued to live in Watford until his death in 1908.

Interestingly Gordon asked me about Henry Goodwin in 2001, when the only census information available online was for 1881, and my reply to him then now looks very dated.

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