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John Milsom

Music from the collections of the two Richard Goodsons, father (c.1655-1718) and son (1688-1741), is richly represented at Christ Church. Both men held the posts of professor of Music at Oxford University and organist of Christ Church Cathedral. For further information about the Goodsons, see the entry in the current edition of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.

The bulk of their accumulated library of bound volumes and sheet music was donated to Christ Church by Richard Goodson Jr. The first evidence of its receipt comes from the Christ Church library accounts for December 1743, in a payment for 'Removing the late Mr Goodson's Music-Books' (Christ Church, Library Records 16, f. 28v). Four years later, sixty bound items from the Goodson bequest were catalogued by William Clement (His list is now Christ Church, Library Records 15 (reversed).) However, a considerable number of Goodson items evidently either evaded Clement, or lay beyond his cataloguing abilities. The latter include bound books, teaching material, and loose performers' parts in unbound sheets.

The task of identifying the true nature and extent of the Goodson bequest is now well advanced, and the results have been gathered together in a cumulative list. It includes (1) the sixty items from William Clement's catalogue, (2) items copied or annotated by Richard Goodson Jr, and (3) items apparently connected with the Goodsons' known performing activities. For a cumulative list of material from the Goodson bequest, follow this link.

More problematic are the many manuscripts at Christ Church copied by Richard Goodson Sr. Many of these manuscripts probably formed part of the Goodson bequest, but a few of them are known to have been owned by Aldrich. For that reason, a separate list has been made of manuscripts copied by Richard Goodson Sr, many of which probably reached Christ Church as part of the Goodson bequest.