Nat Gould

His life and books

Edmund Gould 1782-1833

Edmund Gould was born in 1782 at Hartington in Derbyshire, the son of Richard Gould 1741-1820 of Pilsbury Grange and his wife nee Mary Goodwin 1754-1815. He was baptised there on 18 April 1782.

He married Margaret Peake 1783-1844 of Lammercotes in Stafford on 27 Oct 1814 in St Mary's church in Stafford (1). She was baptised on 11 June 1783 in St. Mary's church in Stafford.

They had the following children, all baptised (other than the first born son) at Hartington:

Edmund Gould 1815-1815. He was born in 1815 and baptised at nearby Alsager in Cheshire on 8 August 1815. He died later in the same year and was buried there on 31 August 1815.

Catherine Gould 1816-1819. She was born in 1816, and was baptised on 25 August 1816. She died on 16 January 1819 aged only two years and four months, and was buried at Hartington, where there is a gravestone inscribed to her memory and that of her parents and brother Edmund Gould.

Edmund Gould 1817-1859. He was born on 5 November 1817, and baptised on 10 November 1817. He was unmarried. Edmund Gould died on 23 August 1859 aged 40 years, and was buried at Hartington on 27 August 1859, where there is a gravestone inscribed to his memory and that of his parents and sister Catherine Gould.

William Gould 1819-1876. He was born on 29 June 1819, and baptised on 5 July 1819. On 3 October 1850 he married Harriett Grace, the daughter of Charles Grace and his wife nee Rebecca Thomas. They emigrated to Australia in 1850.

Gilbert Gould 1821-1891. He was born on 5 March 1821, and baptised on 11 May 1821. He succeeded to the tenancy of Pilsbury Grange upon the death of his brother Edmund Gould 1817-1859. On 20 August 1862 he married Ellen Wright 1834-1904, the daughter of William Wright 1796-1882 and his wife nee Elizabeth Gould 1802-1843. Nat Gould was farming with him at Pilsbury Grange a few years later.

Richard Goodwin Gould 1822-1892. He was born on 2 May 1822, and baptised on 20 May 1822. He married Martha Wooddisse 1847-1922, the daughter of John Wooddisse and his wife nee Susannah Hall.

Nathaniel Gould 1824-1874. He was born on 13 April 1824, and baptised on 5 May 1824. On 11 May 1852 he married Mary Wright 1827-1897, daughter of William Wright 1796-1882 of Bradbourne and his wife nee Elizabeth Gould 1802-1843. Their son was Nat Gould.

Mary Gould 1826-1873. She was born on 1 February 1826, and baptised on 6 February 1826. She was unmarried, and died on 9 June 1873 at Forebridge in Stafford.

Elizabeth Ann Gould 1827-1868. She was born on 15 October 1827, and baptised on 12 December 1827. She was married on 5 March 1855 by licence at Earl Sterndale to Ralph Dain 1822-1863. She died in 1868 aged only 40 years, and was buried at Biggin on 8 May 1868.

Edmund Gould worked with his Gilbert relatives, particularly John Gilbert 1724-1795, in building canals (2). John Gilbert had built the Bridgewater Canal near Manchester as agent for the Duke of Bridgewater, and an extension was constructed across Manchester to Rochdale by his son John Gilbert the younger 1757-1812 (3).

In 1806 Edmund Gould was at Rochdale in Lancashire when that he suffered a severe accident or illness that necessitated his return to Pilsbury Grange. His father Richard Gould 1741-1820)) wrote to his brother John on 4 November 1806 that "Edmund has been with us 7 or 8 weeks he came home very ill indeed, they thought he would have gone of before he came home, but thank God he is got very well again & returnd to Rochdale about a fortnight ago" (4). He recovered and continued working with John Gilbert 1757-1812.

Edmund Gould was living at Barthomley in Cheshire when he married Margaret Peake on 27 Oct 1814 at Stafford, and possibly had been living there for some years previously. The Cheshire connection may have begun with his Morewood ancestors. The Reverend John Morewood 1645-1682 was at Barthomley in 1668 when he married Anne Drakeford of Scholar Green (5). The Gould family may have inherited a property there that Edmund Gould found convenient to occupy while working in the area (6).

His first born son Edmund Gould was baptised at nearby Alsager church on 8 August 1815, but survived only briefly and was buried there on 31 August 1815. Edmund and Margaret Gould may have moved to Pilsbury Grange by 1816, when their daughter Catherine was baptised at Hartington on 25 August in that year. They were again there in 1818 when another son called Edmund was baptised in that year.

Barthomley would have been a reasonably convenient base while Edmund was working with his Gilbert relatives, particularly while he was acting as agent and assistant of his second cousin John Gilbert, son of the canal builder John Gilbert (6). That John Gilbert has built Clough Hall near Kidsgrove, just over the border in Staffordshire, which had become his residence (7). But John Gilbert the younger had died in 1812. Edmund Gould was involved in the subsequent sale of Clough Hall and estate, but thereafter there would have been no need for him to stay living in that district (8). He took over the tenancy of Pilsbury Grange in 1820 upon the death of his father Richard Gould 1741-1820.

Edmund Gould died at Pilsbury Grange on 27 December 1833 aged 51 years (9), and was buried at Hartington on 3 January 1834. He died intestate, and Letters of Administration of his property (valued at under £1,000) were granted to his widow on 1 July 1834.

His wife Margaret Gould died on 8 November 1844 at Pilsbury Grange aged 61 years, and was buried on 15 November 1844 at Hartington (10).


(1) Monthly Magazine and British Register (1814). "Married - Mr. Edmund Gould of Bartenley, to Miss Margaret Peake of the Lammas Coat Farm."

(2) The Gilberts and the Goulds were interlinked by at least four marriages. The Gilbert brothers were related to the Gould family through the marriage of their sister Elizabeth Gilbert to Richard Gould 1711-1762. John Gilbert the younger was a first cousin of Edmund Gould's father. (Edmund's grandmother was the sister of John Gilbert 1724-1795.) So Edmund Gould was the first cousin once removed of John Gilbert the younger 1757-1812 with whom he worked on the Rochdale canal.
It was probably through the Gould family of Pilsbury Grange that James Brindley was first brought to the attention of the Duke of Bridgewater. Hannah Gould 1701-1790, wife of the prosperous farmer Anthony Goodwin lived at Great Rocks in Wormhill parish, near the Tunstead cottage in which that rough genius was born, and she was the sister of Richard Gould 1711-1762 and Joseph Gould 1715-1777 who married sisters of the canal building Gilberts.
The Goulds and the Gilberts were also close financial associates. When John Gilbert senior died, Nathaniel Gould 1756-1820 was an executor of his Will. He was a wealthy Manchester merchant and benefactor. Nathaniel Gould was both the nephew and son-in-law of John Gilbert 1724-1795, as well as being the first cousin and brother-in-law of John Gilbert junior, and also the first cousin of Edmund Gould's father. Nathaniel Gould (and the other Gould merchants in Manchester) would have profited greatly from the building of the Bridgewater, Trent & Mersey, and Rochdale Canals.

(3) Edmund Gould was working with his relative John Gilbert the younger at Rochdale, where there was a canal in which the Gilbert brothers were involved.
His father’s cousin Richard Gould (son of Thomas Gould 1714-1794 of Hanson Grange, son of William Gould 1677-1772 and Anne Morewood 1679-1749) was a woollen merchant in Rochdale.

(4) Letter 1 of the Letters from Pilsbury Grange.

(5). Marriage Licences granted in the Diocese of Chester: "June 23 1668 John Morewood of Bartomley, Gentleman, and Anne Drakeford of Scholler Green, Parish of Astbury."

(6) Barthomley and Kidsgrove are close together, straddling the Cheshire-Staffordshire border. Nearby is Alsager, and not too distant is Scholar Green, home of Edmund Gould's ancestor Anne Drakeford who was married to the Reverend John Morewood in 1668 and became the mother of Anne Morewood wife of William Gould 1677-1772, and great-grandmother of Edmund Gould. Up the hill from Scholar Green is the prominent hill of Mow Cop where Primitive Methodism started, whose enthusiastic followers were probably the sect that John Gilbert the younger was trying to suppress: Agents of Revolution : John and Thomas Gilbert - Entrepreneurs Peter Lead (1989) page 147.

(7) Clough Hall was then on the outskirts of Kidsgrove in Staffordshire on the Trent & Mersey Canal, but it has now vanished beneath a housing estate.

(8) John Gilbert 1757-1812 seems to have been quarrelsome and lacking the diplomacy and management skills of his father. Peter Lead, in his excellent, scholarly yet highly readable book, is lenient about the persecution of the Methodists, threatened violently without a shadow of right. Nor was his patriotism and hero-worship of Nelson so honourable in retrospect. Such jingoism brought England to disaster in foreign wars, in which the victories of Nelson, although decisive, were exceptional. It is hard to credit John Gilbert 1757-1812 with much beyond self-interest. His feuding with Sir John Edensor Heathcote would be ludicrous but for the jobs and investment at stake. (Agents of Revolution : John and Thomas Gilbert - Entrepreneurs Peter Lead (1989) page 147.) Gilbert and Heathcote were actually related through the Gould family: Sir John Heathcote's mother Rachel Edensor 1714-1791 was the first cousin of John Gilbert's uncles Richard Gould 1711-1762 and Joseph Gould 1715-1777, Rachel Edensor and the Gould brothers all being grandchildren of the first William Gould of Pilsbury Grange and his wife nee Mary Hollis.

(9) His obituary notice in the Derby Mercury dated 8 January 1834 reads: "On Friday, Dec 27, Mr. Edmund Gould, of Pilsbury, in this county, aged 51."

(10) There is a gravestone in Hartington churchyard inscribed to the memory of Edmund and Margaret Gould, and also their daughter Catherine Gould and son Edmund Gould.