Basil Goulding

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Sir William Basil Goulding (4 November 1909 – 16 January 1982[1]) was an Irish cricketer, squash player, art collector and prominent businessman.[2]

Public life[edit]

The Arts Council[edit]

The Arts Act of 1951 established the Arts Council in response to the Bodkin Report which outlined the sad condition of the arts in Ireland.[3] Sir Basil was a co-opted member of the Council from its formative years and was instrumental in acting on many of its policies.

Contemporary Irish Art Society[edit]

Goulding was the founding Chairperson of the Contemporary Irish Art Society in 1962, along with Gordon Lambert, Cecil King, Stanley Mosse, James White and Michael Scott. The enthusiasm and vision of these founding members of the society was the catalyst which led to the development of many important art collections in Ireland.The purpose of the society was to encourage a greater level of patronage of living Irish artists which, at the time, was extremely low. This was mainly achieved by raising funds to purchase artworks by living artists, which were then donated to public collections. The first purchase in 1962 was an important painting by Patrick Scott, donated to the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art. Over the following 12 years the society purchased 37 works for the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery, until in 1974, Dublin Corporation started to provide an annual purchasing fund for the gallery.[4]

Kilkenny Design Workshops[edit]

Following completion of the report 'Design in Ireland', the Kilkenny Design Workshops (KDW) was set up in 1963. It endeavoured to nurture native Irish crafts particularly textiles, metalwork, ceramics, glass and furniture to have a modern yet distinctly Irish sensibility. The KDW was the first State sponsored design agency in the world and was held as a model of governmental intervention in design.[5] Sir Basil sat on the board of the KDW from its origination and occupied the role of Chairperson from 1977 until 1981.[6]



A right-handed batsman and wicket-keeper,[1] he played twice for the Ireland cricket team against the MCC in 1934,[7] the year in which his father was president of the Irish Cricket Union.[8] He made his debut in July[7] in a two-day match, scoring seven runs in the Ireland second innings and taking one catch in the MCC first innings.[9] The following month, he played his only first-class match,[10] not scoring in either innings.[7]

Other Sport[edit]

In addition to playing cricket, he also represented Ireland at squash, and captained Oxford University at football.[8]

RAF service[edit]

During World War II, Goulding was commissioned as a pilot officer in the Royal Air Force. By the end of 1942 he had reached the rank of wing commander.[11]


W & HM Goulding Ltd. was a well established fertiliser manufacturer. [12]

In the 1850s W. and H.M. Goulding built a large factory in The Glen that was used to make phosphate fertilizers and the area became known as Goulding's Glen.[4] The factory closed and was demolished in the mid-20th century and very little of it remains today. The land was donated to the people of Cork by Sir Basil Goulding in the late 1960s and was subsequently developed as an amenity park.[13][14]

Fitzwilton Securities

Personal life[edit]

Goulding was born in Dublin, Ireland, and was educated at Winchester College,[8] and Christ Church, Oxford. He inherited the family business W&HM Goulding Ltd and succeeded his father as Chairperson in 1935. Goulding Ltd. was a large fertiliser business based in Dublin and Cork. Goulding was an adept businessman and sat on the boards of many companies.

He was as an important art collector of contemporary art in Ireland and was renowned for his extensive collection. which was dispersed posthumously.[11]

In 1939 he married Valerie Goulding having met at the Fairyhouse Races. She was an Irish campaigner for disabled people, founder of the Central Remedial Clinic and senator.[11] Together, they had three sons, Hamilton, Timothy and Lingard and lived in Enniskerry County Wicklow.

Lady Valerie's father, Sir Walter Monckton was a lawyer, and was the UK Attorney General during the Edward VIII abdication crisis,[15] later serving as a British Member of Parliament for Bristol West, serving as defence minister and Paymaster-General. He also played cricket,[1] and played one first-class match for a combined Oxford/Cambridge University team.[16] He was later president of the MCC in 1956.[15]

Sir Basil's uncle was chairman of Rolls Royce.[11]


  1. ^ a b c Cricket Archive profile
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Bodkin, Thomas, Tuarascáil ar na h-ealaíona in Éirinn / Report on the arts in Ireland, (Dublin: Stationery Office), 1949.
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ [Quinn, Joanna, 'Designing Ireland 1963–1988', Irish Arts Review, Vol. 22, No. 4 (Winter 2005), pp. 106–111.]
  6. ^ [Marchant, Nick, and Addis, Jeremy, Kilkenny Design twenty-one years of design in Ireland, (KDW Ireland and Lund Humphries London), 1984, pp 199–211.]
  7. ^ a b c CricketEurope Stats Zone profile Archived 24 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ a b c Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, 1984, Obituaries
  9. ^ Scorecard of Ireland v MCC match in July 1934
  10. ^ First-class matches played by Basil Goulding at Cricket Archive
  11. ^ a b c d Obituary of Valerie Goulding, Sir Basil's wife
  12. ^ [3]
  13. ^ [4]
  14. ^ [5]
  15. ^ a b Cricinfo profile for Walter Monkton
  16. ^ Cricket Archive profile for Walter Monkton