Goodyer, John (1592 -1664)

John Goodyer was born in Alton, Hampshire, to Reginald Goodyer (c. 1578–1619) and his spouse Ann. Reginald Goodyer was a local yeoman, and he and his wife had four children, John being the youngest. Learned in Greek and Latin, John evidently received a good education, possibly at the grammar school at Alton. John served an apprenticeship prior to his employment as an estate manager, probably to William Yalden (d. 1644), a land agent for estates owned by Magdalen College, Oxford, near Petersfield, Hampshire. Goodyer started working for Sir Thomas Bilson M.P. (1592–ca. 1647), Lord of the Manor of Mapledurham, in the parish of Buriton, near Petersfield around 1616. His work involved spending much time in the countryside, where he took an interest in the local plants. His intellectual interests prompted him to acquire botanical texts and to cultivate the company of apothecaries, one of whom was John Parkinson (1567-1650) on London, whom he visited in 1616. Goodyer’s findings were mainly published by Thomas Johnson (1600-1644), rather than by himself, leading to his work being largely neglected. He had intended to write a guide to English flora, but was never able to complete it. He is also believed to have introduced the Jerusalem Artichoke to English cuisine. One of his most important contributions was his work with botanist Thomas Johnson in producing a revised and corrected edition of John Gerard's Herbal (1597), arguably the greatest herbal of its time, in 1633. He also translated a Latin version of Dioscorides's work, De materia medica, and Theophrastus' Historia plantarum (1623) Known in his day as one of the earliest amateur British botanists, because of the lack of publications, he remained largely forgotten and unrecognized after his death. His rediscovery dates from about 1910. In recognition of his industry, Goodyera, a genus of small terrestrial European orchids, was named after him by Robert Brown (1773-1858). The second Flora of Hampshire (1996) was also dedicated to his memory. In November 1632, John married Patience Crumpe (b. ca. 1600), daughter of a London tailor, and moved to an area of Petersfield, where his substantial house still stands. He died in April or early May 1664 at the age of 71 and was buried in an unmarked grave near his wife's at St Mary’s Church, Buriton. Most of his estate passed to his nephew, the Reverend Edmund Yalden, the only son of William and Rose Yalden. Proceeds from the residue of his estate were used to establish the John Goodyer Charity to help the poor of Weston, a charity that still exists today. His papers and extensive collection of 239 printed works were bequeathed to Magdalen College, Oxford in 1664, through his connection to the Yaldens.
Stamp(s) Stamp Information
Crest: A partridge holding in its beak an ear of wheat
Heraldic Charges: partridge, Heraldic Charges: wheat, ear of