Charles Old Goodford

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"Goody". Caricature by Spy published in Vanity Fair in 1876.

Charles Old Goodford (15 July 1812, Chilton-Cantelo – 9 May 1884, Eton) was an English headmaster, provost of Eton College.

Goodford was the second son of John Goodford of Chilton-Cantelo, Somersetshire, who died in 1835, by Charlotte, fourth daughter of Montague Cholmeley of Easton, Lincolnshire. He entered Eton in 1826, and proceeded to King's College, Cambridge, in 1830, whence he took his B.A. 1836, M.A. 1839, and D.D. 1853.[1]

He was elected a fellow of his college, but did not long retain his fellowship, as on 28 March 1844 he married Katharine Lucia, third daughter of George Law of Lincoln's Inn. While still an undergraduate he returned to Eton and became an assistant-master in 1835. It was not long before he succeeded his former tutor, John Wilder, in charge of a large and important schoolhouse, in which a number of the resident boys were from his own and the adjacent counties. As a house-master he was liberal and kind, but his management was not equal to his good intentions. In 1853 he succeeded Edward Craven Hawtrey, D.D., as head-master at Eton. His rule on the whole was beneficial to the college. He aimed at a very complete reconstruction of the system of teaching; he made discipline a reality, while he abolished many vexatious rules which had needlessly restricted liberty, and would have done more but for the veto of the provost. In 1854 he edited P. Terentii Afri Comœdiæ, a work which he printed chiefly to present as a leaving book to his sixth-form boys. On the death of Dr. Hawtrey, Lord Palmerston, in ignorance of the needs of Eton, and much against Goodford's own wishes, appointed him provost of Eton, a position which he held from 27 January 1862 to his death. Under the Cambridge University commission of 1860, and more particularly under the royal commission of 1865, great changes and improvements were made in the college. Goodford held the small family living of Chilton-Cantelo from 1848 to his death.

He died at The Lodge, Eton, 9 May 1884, and was buried in the Eton cemetery 14 May.


  1. ^ "Goodford, Charles Old (GDFT831CO)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 


Academic offices
Preceded by
Edward Craven Hawtrey
Head Master of Eton College
Succeeded by
Edward Balston
Preceded by
Edward Craven Hawtrey
Provost of Eton
Succeeded by
James John Hornby