go to Ann Woodroffe's page
Vital records for Thomas and his wife Ann can be found in a family Bible. Their death dates are corroborated by newspaper notices. The baptism of a Thomas in Stoven, England, son of John and Honor, occurred about a month after the birth date given in the Bible. Further evidence in John's will makes this connection very likely. Notes made by Robert Keating Smith (my great great uncle) names Ann "Woodruff" as Thomas' wife, and this marriage (to Ann "Woodroffe") is confirmed in Uggeshall parish records, a place not far from Stoven.
information about Thomas and Ann Gooch taken from a family Bible, courtesy of Patrick Verdier
Evidence is clear that Thomas was baptized in the parish church of St. Margaret's, Stoven. The church, which was deteriorated and apparently had a medieval appearance, was remodelled in a retro-Norman style in 1854, long after Thomas' family was there. The Gooches would hardly have recognized the building above. However, behind a veneer of plaster original walls still exist, as well as one orginial Norman period doorway - elements that would have been familiar to the Gooch family. Below, the Norman door (right) appears to have inspired the neo-Norman door (left) window treatments and other details.
photographs by Simon Knott, taken from a site I much recommend: www.suffolkchurches.co.uk
Thomas moved to London, where he was a watch-case maker. A notice in The London Gazette refers to the dissolution of a partnership in October 1799 between Thomas, Edward Bracebridge, William Pleace and Bartholomew No Need. An 1811 directory for London lists the business of "Gooch & Harper, watch manufacturers, 12 Red Lion-st., Clerkenwell" and Thomas' residence as 23 Coppice Row in the same neighborhood. In the court record below,(1) Thomas calls himself a watch-case maker, but his son refers to his father and his partner as watch makers. Perhaps Joseph Harper, the partner, made the watch works and Thomas made the cases. Other London directories need to be seen to shed more light on his career.
HENRY HUNT was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 6th of March, a watch, value 16 l. a seal, value 1 l. 1 s. the property of Thomas Gooch and Joseph Harper, and two other counts for like offence, the property of different persons.
ALFRED GOOCH . I am the son of Thomas Gooch No. 12, Red Lion, Street, Clerkenwell, his partners name is Joseph Harper , they are watch makers. On the 28th I saw a gold hunting watch, a metal hunting case, and part of a watch, and two gold seals on a black string, packed up to go to Norwich, they were directed to Mr. James Bennett, watchmaker at Norwich, they were given to Wright to take to the coach.
WILLIAM ARNOLD WRIGHT. I am a workman in the employ of Gooch and Harper, I packed up the articles to go to Mr. Bennet, a gold hunting watch, two seals, a metal case and part of the works of a watch, I took it on the 28th about seven o'clock to the Swan and Two Necks, Lad Lane. I directed the parcel myself, I delivered it into the hands of the bookkeeper, and got a receipt from him. (The receipt read.)
SAMUEL PERRY. I am clerk to the Swan and Two Necks, Lad Lane.
Q. Do you recollect the last witness bringing any parcel to you at your office. - A. I do not, I have my book here, in it there is a receipt of a parcel to Mr. Bennett at Norwich, on the 28th of February. When the coach is loaded my porter puts the parcels on the counter, the porter takes the large parcels, and the coachman takes the small, this was a small parcel by the charge, and the prisoner was the coachman of that day for the Norwich coach.
JOHN SHROPSHIRE. I am a servant to Messrs. Boulton and Co. Charing Cross, and I have been for twelve and thirteen years.
Q. Does the Norwich mail belong to Mr. Boulton. - A. Yes, I always load the boot part and large parcels, it was the duty of the coachman to load the small parcels, because the coachman knows where to take them out to deliver them. I never did load the small parcels nor never would.
JAMES BENNETT. I am a watchmaker at Norwich.
Q. Did you after the 28th of February, on the 1st or 2d of March, receive a gold watch from Messrs. Gooch and Harper - A. I had sent a watch, and to that watch there were two seals, one of them was the arms and crest of Mr. Gurney, a banker, and the other a cypher of J. G. I have not received that, nor the two seals. I had ordered a gold hunting watch, I never received it.
Wright. The metal hunting case and the seals were sent up by Mr. Bennet.
RICHARD TAYLOR. I keep the Bunch of Grapes in Bow-street. On the 6th of March the prisoner Hunt brought me a hunting watch, I was then standing in the tap-room; he said, Mr. Taylor, I have bought a watch for a silver gilt hunting watch, he said, I am not a judge of a watch, I wish you would take it and know what it is, and what is the value of it; he had bought it of a man that wanted a little money to pay for a suit of clothes, and shewed him a bill; he said he knew the man by sight by attending at different inns.
Q. Did he say when he bought it - A. No I told him I would ascertain the value of it, and I would speak to Salmon, an officer, whom he well knew; he said, very well, I wish you would shew it to any person that you like. On the next day, Thursday, I sent to the pawnbroker to know the value of the watch, he sent me word that it was a gold watch, and the value of it was ten pounds. I saw Hunt on the Friday morning, he said, let it be what it may I bought it honestly, I assure you; he expressed his doubts of the watch on the Friday; he said he knew the man when he saw him, but he had not seen him since; he said, if the watch was gold it was a watch that he did not want; he would change it for a good silver watch, and one that kept time, and a one pound note, being a mail coachman time was all that he wanted it for. On the same day I acquainted Salmon all that passed from Hunt. Salmon took the watch and went to the office to examine it. The prisoner was taken up on the Tuesday following.
Q. Did you see him again between the Friday and the Tuesday - A. Yes, on the Friday the prisoner told me he was not in an hurry about the watch, he should see me again on the Tuesday following. The prisoner called on the Sunday to know if I had done any thing with the watch, or if any enquiry had been made respecting it; for the last journey on the road he had heard that there was a parcel missing, and in that parcel was a gold watch.
Q. Did he say any thing about any seals - A. No, he was afraid that that watch might turn out to be the watch that he bought. I told him that Salmon had the watch, and had examined the books at Bow-street of stolen and lost property, and it had not at that time been advertised, he had better see Mr. Salmon, a lodger of mine; he immediately upon that went into Salmon's apartment and was with him some time. The man went out with his coach that night. I have known him nigh twenty months, he always bore a good character. I never heard any thing to the contrary.
JOHN SALMON. I am an officer.
Q. Do you know the prisoner Hunt - A. Yes, I apprehended him on the 12th of March, at the Inn-yard, Charing Cross. This is the watch, it was given me by Mr. Taylor, the last witness. On the Sunday I saw the prisoner at Mr. Taylor's house, where I live; he was sent to me. I was ill a-bed when he came; he said he came respecting the watch, there was a parcel lost, and among the rest there was a gold hunting watch lost; he said he bought it of a man of the name of long George or long Jack, he was a person that worked occasionally at Charing Cross, as a porter. I said I was very ill, I would get up; I dressed myself, and went with him; I proposed that I would wait in St. Martin's-lane, that he should go to the yard to see whether he could see him, and I would come and take him up; he seemed so much alarmed it struck me that he was some way concerned in it. When he went in at one gateway I went round the other. I was there speaking to one of the bookkeepers, and he was there telling the case to the clerk, which I did not suppose he would have done. Hunt went with the coach to the Swan and Two Necks, and I went there about this man, Long Jack, or Long George, the porter: he went in and spoke to the publican at the bar; I could not learn that he knew any thing of him; he went out with the mail that night.
THOMAS GOLDING . I live at the White Hart, Newmarket, my mother keeps it.
Q. Do you know the prisoner - A. Very well; he is our coachman.
Q. Have you a seal, and from whom did you get it - A. From Henry Daniels, the nephew of the lady that keeps the house, Mrs. Walter, he lodges at her house.
Q. The mail that came down February the 28th at night, when would it arrive - A. About four o'clock in the morning, he would stop till half past eleven the next night, and then return with the other mail, and arrive in London about seven o'clock in the morning. He would not be in London again until the Saturday morning.
HENRY DANIELS . I live at Newmarket; my aunt, Mrs. Walter, keeps the Bushel and Strike public-house there; the prisoner lodged at her house.
Q. Just look at that seal produced by Mr. Golding - A. Mr. Hunt gave it me about seven weeks back. He said he had bought a watch with a seal, and the seal he would make a present to me. I gave it up about a week back.
JONATHAN TILBROOK. I live at Newmarket: I know Hunt.
Q. Did Hunt shew you a gold hunting-watch - A. He shewed me a yellow watch, I cannot say whether it was a hunting watch, about six weeks back, he said two young gentlemen came down with him, they were quite intoxicated, how careful they ought to be, and they had left a watch in the coach.
Mr. Alley. Then whether that is the watch you cannot say - A. No.
JOHN MARRIOTT . Q. Do you go by the name of Long Jack - A. Yes. I work in Lad-lane, I know the prisoner Hunt.
Q. Did Hunt accuse you of having sold him a gold watch - A. I do not know that he did.
Q. Look at that watch, and tell me whether you ever sold him that gold watch - A. I never sold any watch to any body. I have not seen a gold watch for this twelvemonth.
Q. to Mr. Gooch. Look at that watch, is that the watch that was made by your father and sold to Mr. Bennett - A. It was. It is a new watch, it was charged in the bill sixteen guineas.
Wright. I am certain this is the watch. I am confident it is the same seal that Mr. Bennet sent Mr. Gooch. I sent the seal back, it was put in the parcel.
Q. to Salmon. On the day that Hunt was examined at Bow-street, were you there - A. Yes, Mr. Thomas was the clerk.
MR. THOMAS. Q. You are one of the assistants of the magistrate - A. Yes.
Q. Look at the examination of the prisoner, and see whether the statement of the prisoner was taken down by you - A. Yes, it is. (Read.)
"On Monday was a week, about a quarter before eight o'clock, he was at a public-house near the Swan and Two Necks Lad-lane, when a man known by the name of Long Jack, asked the examinant to buy the watch, which he said was a silver gilt watch. Jack pressed me to do it, he offered it for three guineas and a half. Examinant gave him two pounds ten shillings, and told him to meet him the following morning at the White Hart. Examinant went there on the following morning, Jack was not there, nor has he ever seen him since."
Q. Was any man produced of the name of Coterell - A. There was a man, I think I should know him again, he was a little man; I do not recollect his name, at the desire of the prisoner he was brought forth. To the best of my recollection the man said he saw him pay two pound ten shillings to Long Jack, he understood it was for a watch; he at first said he saw the watch, upon being questioned again he said he did not see it, only the prisoner said it was for a watch.
Mr. Alley. I was there. Do you mean to state that the man said he could not state whether it was a watch or no, but it was something yellow - A. First of all he did, and again he said he saw no watch at all, and again he said it was two dollars and a bank note.
Prisoner's Defence. On the 4th of March I had finished loading my coach at the Swan and Two Necks, Lad-lane, and had a glass of porter, while drinking it I was accosted by a man that I had seen as porter, he offered me a watch, he said it was a silver gilt hunting watch, I should have it for five guineas; I said I did not want a watch of that cost. I treated him. Mrs. Walter said he should have treated me, not I him. He came to the door with me and asked me what was the most that I would give for the watch and small seal that was attached to it; I replied three guineas and a half, and I was to buy the watch; I had not money enough about me; I went to Lombard-street, he followed me; he said I should have the watch and small seal, he would take what money I had; I engaged to pay him the remainer at the White Hart on the Wednesday morning. On Wednesday I stopped at the White Hart, no one had been enquiring for me, I went to the White Hart again, and finding no man had been there it raised my suspicion that it had not been honestly obtained, which induced me to take the watch to Mr. Taylor, knowing his house was frequented with Bow-street officers. I likewise went to Salmon of my own accord to make these enquiries to and the man that I bought the watch of; I humbly request you will perceive that what I have done will shew the purity of my enquiries. Had I been guilty I should not have taken these measures that would lead to my detection.
ISABELLA WALTER . My husband keeps the Crown, adjoining the Swan and Two Necks.
Q. Do you recollect the 4th of last month the prisoner having something to drink at your house - A. I do, it was in the evening when they were going out with the coach.
Q. What past - A. Nothing that I heard; a tall person at the bar had a pint of porter and a glass of gin, and the prisoner paid for it.
Q. Was it one of the porters at the Swan and Two Necks - A. It was not one of them.
COURT. How many years have you known Long Jack - A. I know Long Jack perfectly well, it was not him.
JOHN WOODBRIDGE . Q. You attended for the prisoner at Bow-street, what are you - A. I am a journeyman copper-plate printer. I live at No. - , Gravel-lane, Southwark.
Q. You recollect the prisoner having been taken on the charge of stealing a watch - A. Yes
Q. Speak what you stated at Bow-street, all you recollect about it - A. On Monday the 4th of March, in the evening, I was passing down Lombard-street, near Change-alley I saw a tall thin man with Mr. Hunt, they were talking together, they were bargaining about a watch.
COURT. How do you know that - A. Because I saw it. I saw the watch, it was a yellow watch; Mr. Hunt paid the man two one pound notes and two dollars; I heard him say that he was to meet him on the following Wednesday morning, and to receive the remainder part of the money, at the White Hart in the Strand As for the sum he was to give for the watch I do not know; he was just going to pay for the watch as I was going by.
Q. How came you to stop - A. I was passing by, that is the way I came to stop. I said, Mr. Hunt, how do you do. They had bargained what he was to give for it before I came up.
Q. Did you or not listen to what was passing between them - A. I saw Mr. Hunt looking at the watch, that is all.
Q. The money was not paid when you came up was it. - A. The money was going to be paid.
Q. How long was it after you came up that the money was paid - A. Two or three minutes.
Q. Be cautious what you say and speak nothing but the truth, it is of importance that you should do so. In the first place you have called God to witness that you will speak nothing but the truth, in the next place the administration of justice requires it. If you speak that which is not true you are liable to be transported for perjury, therefore it is important that you should speak the truth. You say you had been there three or four minutes before it was paid, is that true - A. It is.
Q. As you were there three or four minutes before the money was paid what was the sum agreed to be paid - A. I told you before that I did not hear what the sum was to be paid. I was towards the horses heads, I did not hear every thing that was said.
Q. Where was it this bargain was made - A. In Lombard-street, just by the Change. The coach does not stop on the Post office side. It stops on the 'Change-alley side of the way.
Q. Where was the coachman at the time he was bargaining with this man - A. On the pavement, near the box; he was standing alongside of the horses.
Q. You were with him, and stopped to ask him how he did - A. Yes.
Q. You were close to him, and close by the man - A. Yes; he was a tall thin man, with a fustian jacket.
Q. Look at Marriott, is that the man - A. That is not the man, I will swear positively.
Q. Was the man tall like that man - A. He was a tall man, I did not take particular notice of his face, he was a tall man; I do not think he was that man.
Q. You have sworn positively that was not the man - A. Yes, that was not the man, it was a tall thin man.
Q. You have sworn that you were there three or four minutes before the money was paid, what were they talking about - A. I do not particularly recollect the words; Mr. Hunt looked at the watch, he opened it, all that I saw it was a yellow watch. I am pretty sure there was no glass about it.
Q. When the prisoner looked at it did he ask him what price - A. I did not hear him ask the price; I only saw him take the watch and look at it.
Q. How do you know this was Monday - A. It was Monday the 4th of March, just before eight in the evening.
Q. When were you applied to to give any account about this - A. I was going along Fleet-street or the Strand on the Tuesday that Mr. Hunt came up; I went to Bow-street. Mr. Salmon was with him. On the Tuesday week after the Monday I went to Bow-street.
Q. He happened to be laid hold of when you were by - A. No, I was not by.
Q. Upon your oath did not you say at Bow-street that you never saw a watch - A. It was a watch. I said at Bow-street it was a watch.
Q. Did you say at Bow-street that it was a watch - A. It was a watch.
Q. Attend. Recollect, if you do not give a direct answer to a direct question I shall send you to Newgate. The question I put to you is, when you were at Bow-street did you swear that you saw a watch at the time that this man was in company with the other person - A. I forget what I might say there.
Q. You were upon your oath, you are now upon your oath, did you swear it was a watch then - A. It was a watch.
Q. I tell you I will send you to Newgate if you do not give a direct answer. Upon your oath did not you at Bow-street swear that you did not see a watch, it was something yellow, and there are two witnesses here, and more that were present, and if you do not speak according to the truth I shall order you to be committed for perjury - A. It was a watch.
Q. I will have an answer. Did not you at Bow-street swear that you did not see a watch on that day - A. I do not recollect that I did not see a watch there.
Q. Upon you oath did not you swear that you could not tell whether it was a watch or no - A. I could not swear what a kind of a watch it was, it was a yellow watch.
Q. You have been grossly prevaricating. I ask you when you were upon your oath at Bow-street did not you say you could not swear whether it was a watch or no, it was something yellow - A. It was a watch.
Q. That is not the question. Did not you swear that you could not tell that there was a watch there at the time, and I tell you here is Mr. Thomas who took your examination - A. There was a yellow watch.
Mr. Bolland. He has said at Bow-street once that it was a watch.
COURT. Did you swear at Bow-street that you saw a watch in Lombard-street - A. Not the second time at Bow-street. I did not take my oath the second time at Bow-street.
Q. Was not you sworn the second time at Bow-street - A. Yes.
COURT. Then you took your oath.
Mr. Bolland. Are you the person that was in the habit of riding behind that mail - A. I have, before now, I was behind that very morning; I was going to my work. Mr. Salmon was behind himself.
Q. What business had you behind that mail, has not the guard turned you off - A. I have never been turned off, nor flogged off.
Q. How long have you known Hunt - A. About a twelvemonth.
Q. I will now ask you whether at Bow-street you did not say that Hunt paid him in part shillings - A. I said two pound ten; I will not be positive about saying shillings. It was two one pound notes and two dollars. It was not paid in shillings.
Q. Did you say at Bow-street any of the money was in shillings - A. I might.
The prisoner called four witnesses, who gave him a good character.
GUILTY , aged 30.
Transported for Seven Years .
First Middlesex jury, before Mr. Common Serjeant.
Another court proceeding from 1797:
THOMAS PRYER was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 6th of October, three ounces of silver turnings, value 14s. the property of Thomas Gooch .
THOMAS GOOCH sworn. - I am a watch-case maker; I have lost a vast quantity of turnings within these three months: the prisoner worked for me, with six other men; he was about some work which produced a large quantity of turnings. I sent to Hatton-garden for an officer, we went up to his apartments, where none of the other men that work in the shop can go, and in searching his box, we found, inside a pair of breeches, some silver turnings; and when he was taken to Hatton-garden he said he had never taken any before; he had lived with me about three years; knowing him to have bad parents, I took him in out of charity, he lived with me two years as an errand-boy, and in consequence of his good behaviour, I took him apprentice.
WILLIAM TINK sworn. - On the 6th of this month, when I went to work, I missed a quantity of turnings from my lathe, I told Mr. Gooch of it and he searched the prisoner's box.
GEORGE LONGDEN sworn. - I searched the prisoner's box; I found these turnings in a pair of breeches, wrapped up in a glove. (Produces them.)
Gooch. These are the sort of turnings that are produced in our work.
Prisoner's defence. My box was always open; I don't know how they came there.
GUILTY (Aged 16).
Transported for seven years .
Tried by the second Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Baron HOTHAM.
Thomas retired and became a real estate developer. He owned the leases for 107 houses by the time he died, mostly in Clerkenwell. He was one of the primary financial backers for building around Pembroke Square, Kensington, through complicated loans and mortgages.
Thomas' will was written on 15 November 1831, proved on 5 June 1832 and witnessed by Sarah Lindley and Sarah Anne Drake of Turnham Green, Chiswick. Thomas was of Turnham Green Terrace, which still exists. Turnham Green was known as a place for country and retirement homes, but the Terrace is now lined with later 19th century rowhouses with storefronts. The real estate leases were bequeathed in this way: to his son Charles, eight houses at 46-52 Exmouth St. in St. James Parish (Clerkenwell) and 16 Judd St. in St. Pancras Parish; to his son Thomas nine houses, 6 Margaret (now Margery) St., Clerkenwell, and eight houses on Park St., Blackheath, Charlton Parish; to his son Horace, five houses at 23 and 24 Coppice Row and 2-4 Vineyard Walk, Clerkenwell; to daughters Emily and Maria, seventeen houses at 79-81 Margaret St., 30-32 Bagnigge Wells Rd., 37-42 Exmouth St., 2 Mawly? St., 1-4 Middleton St. (corner Rossman St., meaning Rosomon), Clerkenwell; to children Albert, Juliana and Caroline, twenty-six houses at 9-20 Easton St., 12 and 13 Bagnigge Wells Rd., 8-11 Margaret St., 1-4 and 7-11 Margaret Pl., Clerkenwell;, to children Louisa and Henry, sixteen houses at 77-79 (south side) Margaret St., 14 and 15 Tysoe St., 60 and 61 Exmouth St., 30-33 Easton St., Clerkenwell, and 58 Judd St., St. Pancras; to his children Eliza Ann and Edward Frederick, eighteen houses at 4-12 Yardley St., Clerkenwell, 2, 12, 18, 19, 45, 46 and 50 Pembroke Sq., St. Mary Abbots Parish, Kensington, 11 Wilson St., Pancras, 24 York Pl., City Road, Islington Parish. To his wife, not named, he gave the rest of his estate for her own use free of any litigation from their children.
Thomas specified that the shares of his estate given to his daughters were to be held by them for their own use exclusive of their husbands. If any of the children should attempt to use the share or find them subject to being taken due to debts or bankruptcy, their share would be divided among the rest of the heirs as though they had died. He also bequeathed 500 lbs. each to his unmarried children Emily, Maria, Henry, Eliza Ann and Edward Frederick. Charles, Thomas and Horace were specifically said not to be entitled to any of the residue of the estate. A family Bible has a daughter Ann listed among the children of Thomas and Ann, with her date of birth and a marriage year of 1842. She isn't in Thomas' will. English birth and marriage records and censuses have revealed nothing, leaving this a mystery.
On 11 April 1832 The Times of London reported Thomas' death: "on the 9th inst., at his residence at Turnham-green, Thomas Gooch, Esq., in the 67th year of his age." About eight months before he died, Thomas left evidence of things people do that are usually not recorded. St. Nicholas Church, Chiswick, has the baptism on 15 June 1832 of Eleanor Susan Gooch, the "base" child of Mary Alford of the Chiswick Workhouse. She was born in May of that year, and Mary offered the name of the father for the record: Thomas Gooch, Turnham Green, gentleman, deceased. I've found nothing further on Eleanor, but her mother probably married several years later and had more children. Eleanor may have died as a baby and whose burial isn't recorded in any of London's parish records. It's also possible she was adopted and the Gooch surname disappeared.
photograph by Simon Knott, www.suffolkchurches.co.uk
The parish church of St. Mary at Uggeshall, where Thomas and Ann were married.
children of Thomas and Ann (Woodroffe) Gooch:
i. Albert/Alfred Woodroffe, b. 10 January 1790 (from a Bible record - this and his baptism call him Albert, but other later sources call him Alfred)
ii. Juliana, b. 13 Oct 1790, bap. 17 April 1792, St. James, Clerkenwell
iii. Horace Gooch
iv. Louisa Ann, b. 25 May 1793, bap. 1 July 1798, Spa Fields Lady Huntingdon's, Clerkenwell
v. Caroline, b. 12 February 1795 (Bible)
vi. Charles Henry, b. 14 December 1798, bap. 5 January 1799, Spa Fields
vii. Emily, b. 16 January 1800, bap. 7 April 1802, Spa Fields
viii. Thomas, b. 25 February 1801, bap. 7 April 1802, Spa Fields
ix. Maria, b. 16 March 1802, bap. 7 April 1802, Spa Fields
x. Henry, b. 19 July 1804, bap. 17 February 1809, St. James
xi. Eliza Ann, b. 15 August 1807, bap. 11 April 1809, St. James
xii. Ann, b. 12 December 1808 (Bible)
xiii. Edward Frederick, b. 6 January 1812 (Bible)
vital records sources: His birth, marriage and death dates are in a family Bible in the possession of Patrick Verdier. The baptism of Thomas, son of John and Honor, is in the parish records of Stoven, as transcribed in the Mormon IGI. The marriage date of Thomas of London was similarly found in the parish records of Uggeshall. His death was reported in the 11 April 1832 issue of The Times of London.