Robert Goadby (1721–1778) was an English printer and publisher in Sherborne, Dorset. He was a Whig supporter, and influential through his newspaper, the Sherborne Mercury. He was also responsible for the biography of the rogue Bampfylde Moore Carew; Goadby and his wife have both in fact been claimed as the author of a popular work on his life that gave Carew the status of folk hero.
His publishing business was large for a small provincial centre, and his Sherborne Mercury was an influential journal in South West England. He also published from 1744 The Western Flying Post, amalgamated into the Mercury in 1748. Goadby made enemies as well as friends by his plain speaking and views.
He died after a long illness on 12 August 1778, and was buried in Oborne. He was a religious man and naturalist, and bequeathed an endowment providing for the preaching of a sermon on the first Sunday of May in every year in Sherborne Church on the beauties of nature. As the endowment became too valuable for its purposes, provision for the poor was made with the surplus.
Printer and publisher
His major production was the Illustration of the Holy Scriptures, in three large folio volumes (1759). Goadby also compiled and printed a popular book entitled The Christian's Instructor and Pocket Companion, extracted from the Holy Scriptures, which was approved by Thomas Sherlock, a prominent Church of England bishop. Apology for the Life of Bamfylde Moore Carew was printed by Goadby in 1749, and was often reprinted. Other works published by Goadby were The Universe Displayed, A Rational Catechism on the Principles of Religion drawn from the Mind itself, and Goadby's British Biography.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: "Goadby, Robert". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.