Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A First Look at Gillmore Goodland, the Younger

Joshua Goodland was an important figure in the life of George Mills, schoolmaster, author, paymaster, and gentleman. One big question we've run into as we've examined the life of Joshua is how he managed to pay for a Cambridge education from 1900 through 1908, a time during which members of his family were either unemployed, at sea as sailors, or working as governess of the children of a farmer. Joshua's mother, as far as we know, was living in London at Gresham House during that period of years, following the death of her husband, Joshua's father, Gillmore Goodland.

One family member we have not examined has been Gillmore Goodland, eldest son of Gillmore and Frances Mary Goodland of Exmouth, Devon [pictured above, left].

Records show that the junior Gillmore was born there in Withycombe Raleigh on 15 January 1871. As we know, his father was a local schoolmaster who would soon become a "certificated" elementary school teacher, most likely at Withycombe School.

That's a puzzling birth date, however. There was a U.K. census recorded on 2 April 1871, but the younger Gillmore fails to appear on it. We find his parents at home that day with a 16-year-old servant, Mary Hankin, but 10-week-old infant Gillmore was apparently not there. Quite unusual.

According to records, the elder Gillmore and Frances Mary Butland were married sometime in the first quarter of 1871 (Jan-Feb-Mar), seemingly calling into question young Gillmore's legitimacy. Why, though, he wouldn't have been with his mother (or anywhere else) on 2 April is puzzling.

The junior Gillmore appears on the 1881 census form with his parents and siblings as a 9-year-old, leading me to believe that he actually was born in 1872, which would legitimatize him fully. He is listed in that census as a "scholar," presumably at his father's school.

In 1891, we find him (with some difficulty I might add) boarding with a Miss Elizabeth Hams at 32 Kilcraig Street [right] in Roath, Cardiff, Glamorganshire, Wales, working as an "engineer's assistant (civil)." Another resident, Elizabeth's cousin Anthony Howell, is listed as being a "contractor," and Gillmore might have been assistant to him.

Within two years of that census, in 1893, the senior Gillmore would pass away and younger brother Joshua also would take up residence in Roath, almost immediately, as an assistant/apprentice to noted Welsh architect G. E. Halladay. Joshua would stay with Halladay at least until passing his architectural examination in 1898.

Brother Gillmore, however, would soon leave and go abroad.

In 1895, Gillmore and an Australian legislator and sportsman named Frank Cole Madden published a text called The Ormuz Optic, a 54-page illustrated text on the ocean-going steamship R.M.S. Ormuz's voyage across the Indian Ocean and Red and Mediterranean Seas that year. The acknowledged editors of the book, it was "published" aboard, Vol. 1 in the Indian Ocean, midway between Christmas Island and Diego Garcia (Lat 7.44 S., Long 90.24 E), Vol. 2 near Bab-el-Mandeb south of the Red Sea (Lat. 13.00 N., Long. 44.00 E), and Vol. 3 in the Mediterranean, midway between Malta and Benghazi, Libya (Lat. 36.26 N., Long 19.26 E).

The three 'volume' text was then published that same year in Bristol, England, by H. R. Clarke.

This text about the R.M.S. Ormuz [left] records the first of Gillmore Goodland's travels, likely from Australia/New Zealand to England, which we can find. Presumably the trip had something to do with his occupation in "engineering." We don't know how Goodland arrived down under, or where his final destination was.

In 1896, a "G. Goodland" steamed into Sydney, New South Wales, aboard the S.S. Alameda, having sailed out of San Francisco, California. He had booked a cabin, not steerage.

Later that same year, Goodland was elected an associate member of the North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers during their General Meeting at the Mining School at Wigan on 14 July 1896. Goodland's entry reads: "Mr. Gillmore Goodland, Ravenswood, Queensland, Australia," but something was obviously of interest to Goodland in western North America.

Goodland was obviously abroad again by 1898: He becomes a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society and his address is listed as "1, Army and Navy-mansions, S.W." These fashionable quarters for bachelors and couples were located on Victoria Street and in 1906 cost £70 - £100 per annum. By 1899, 1, Army and Navy-mansions, S.W., had been taken over by American Marvin Dana, editor, writer, poet, linguist, musician, raconteur, and enthusiastic lover of all sports, as well as being a fellow of the Royal Geographic Society, for use "when he is in town."

Goodland wasn't in town all that much, as we'll see.

His name is on the manifest of the S.S. Brittanic traveling from New York City and arriving in Liverpool on 11 November 1898. Goodland, described as an "engineer," was 31 years old and unmarried at the time. His name is found non-alphabetically amid others [right] of some interest: J. L. Deraismes, a 34-year-old married foreign "capitalist," Andrew Houston, a 26-year-old single English "merchant," G.L. Stephenson, a 46-year-old married English "engineer," Lyndon H. Stevens, a 55-year-old married foreign "merchant," and Charles C. Dickinson, a 27-year-old single English "banker."

That cadre of gentlemen, some traveling without their spouses, may simply have queued up together because some had been engaged in conversation. On the other hand, when you put merchants, a banker, a venture capitalist, and a couple of engineers together, my hunch is that someone is thinking of investing in a mine.

In fact, earlier that year, in September 1898, Gillmore Goodland was listed among new members of the American Institute of Mining Engineers that had been elected at their meeting in San Francisco, California.

A year later, Gillmore sailed from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Liverpool aboard the Rhynland [below, left]. This time, however, the 32-year-old Goodland was not alone: He was traveling with his new wife, Kathleen, 23, of County Clare, Ireland on what was likely a honeymoon of sorts.

Interestingly, Gillmore listed his occupation on the manifest as "none." Goodland, as we shall see, was usually thinking about business first, especially at this point in his life, and it may have been a 'working' honeymoon.

According to the Transactions of the American Institute of Mining Engineers, vol. 32, in 1902, we find his address changed to "109 Victoria Street, Westminster, London, SW, England." Today, that upscale section of London near Buckingham Gate might be largely unrecognizable to him.

Goodland had taken on that new wife and moved freely around the world. We already have seen that Gillmore is listed in the 1912 London telephone directory, described as a "consulting engineer" with an office at 17 Gracechurch St.

During that span of time, however, we can also track him sailing on the R.M.S. Torquah (out of Forcados, Nigeria) after a stay in Sekondi on the Gold Coast of Africa, bound for Liverpool. His date of arrival in England was 8 February 1906. Had Gillmore simply sailed in to see his brother, Theodore, then a sailor, on his way home from a South Seas adventure? Or did he perhaps take the new railroad (built in the Gold Coast and Sekondi in 1903) from another part of Africa to catch up with his younger brother?

Gillmore soon became a Fellow of the Zoological Society of London. That was in 1909, and his addresses then were listed [below, right] as "17, Gracechurch-street, E.C.," "Hovingshaw, Woldingham, Surrey," and most interestingly "Ekaterineberg, Siberia."

Also in 1909, according to the American Chemical Society's journal Chemical Abstracts (Vol. 4, Part 3), Goodland published an article, "Kilierin," about the "recovery of the metallic contents of ores and the like by means of a woven fabric having a smooth back and a blanket-like face, and with ridges on said face" in Lavasheeda, County Clare, Ireland.

County Clare is the birthplace of Goodland's wife, Kathleen, although it is unclear whether he met her while tending to mining there, or was made aware of the local mines in her homeland after his marriage.

Also in 1909, the 25 December issue of Mining and Scientific Press, in an article entitled "Special Correspondence: Mexico," reported that a new company had been formed in England, with capital amounting to £300,000, to take over 1600 acres of titled mining property in Batopilas, Mexico, and "lease existing mines, mills, and haciendas." The area produces both silver and cyanide. The term of the contract between the old American-owned Batopilas Mining Co. and the new Baltopilas Mining, Smelting, and Refining Co., Ltd., of Great Britain was for 25 years.

The article adds: "Gillmore Goodland, an English mining engineer, has been making examinations and reports on the properties [a view from one silver mine is seen, left]."

Then, in 1911, this snippet appeared in Vol. 34 of a journal called Mining and Engineering World: "Gillmore Goodland of 17 Gracechurch St., London, a well-known English mining engineer, with extensive experience in South Africa, Australia and other parts of the world, was imprisoned on February 15 in a Mexican jail." It appears Goodland had his ups and his downs in Mexico!

With experience in South Africa, it becomes more likely that Gillmore dropped in on Theo in Sekondi because he was 'in the neighborhood,' and may have traveled there either by ship or train. There is no record of Gillmore entering the Gold Coast, today's Ghana, in 1906.

Now, according to historical abstracts from the British Department of Employment and Productivity (1981), the average engineer/surveyor made about £334 a year at the turn of the 20th century. That translates into about £20,000 today, which probably would pay the bills, but wouldn't necessarily allow one to keep a London office on Gracechurch, a residence called Hovingshaw in Surrey, and an address in eastern Russia. Goodland certainly was an atypical mining engineer/consultant.

Times change, but Woldingham is still just 30 minutes by train from Victoria and was recently named the 2nd most expensive suburb in Britain in 2007, with 17.1% of its real estate sales worth over £1,000,000.

Summing it up, we know that Gillmore Goodland, consulting engineer in the mining industry, was "well-known" with "extensive experience" in such far-flung locales as England, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, Mexico, and Siberia—at the very least. He'd traveled abroad, rubbing elbows with merchants, bankers, and capitalists, and his detailed reports guided major corporations and their investors.

From a humble career beginning in the early 1890s, while boarding at the home of a music teacher in Roath, Cardiff, we've seen Goodland seemingly reach the apex of his profession, traveling the world on behalf of industrialists, speculators, and financiers.

In Gillmore Goodland, we seem to have found a very possible backer of his widowed mother's care and his younger brother Joshua's advanced education.

In fact, although Joshua was training as an architect in Cardiff for at least some of the time that Gillmore was there as an "assistant engineer," it's easy to believe that the elder Gillmore soon believed that young Joshua may soon have been of far more use to him as a barrister than an architect. It's not difficult in the least for me to suppose that a legal representative whose education he'd bankrolled—and who was a blood relative to boot—would have been an invaluable asset to a "consulting" engineer who was likely working under contract for high-rollers with their own incredibly reliable attorneys under retainer.

Couple that with the fact that Gillmore, by 1900 a world traveler himself, might have actually encouraged his brother Joshua to take holidays abroad and become a 'man of the world' as well. Those urbane and worldly qualities Joshua could have been expected to develop while at Cambridge and abroad would certainly add to the nouveau riche brothers' gravitas in board rooms among fellows reeking of "old money."

It all adds up.

There's only one possible fly in my proverbial ointment here. From the London Gazette of 31 October 1905:

"In the High Court of Justice.—In Bankruptcy.

2752 of 1905

In the Matter of a Bankruptcy Notice, dated the 18th day of October, 1905.

To GILLMORE GOODLAND, late of 1 Army and Navy-mansions, Westminster, in the county of London, engineer.

TAKE notice that a bankruptcy notice has been issued against you in this Court at the at the instance of Portable Gaslight Limited, in Liquidation, by Finlay Cook Auld, the Liquidator, of 62, King William-street in the city of London, and the court has ordered that the publication of this notice in the London Gazette and the Daily Telegraph newspaper, shall be deemed to be service of the bankruptcy notice upon you. The Bankruptcy Notice can be inspected by you on application at this court—Dated 25th day of October 1905.

J.E. LINKLATER, Registrar. "

Gillmore Goodland was sued by Portable Gaslight, Ltd., for bankruptcy in 1905, amid all of the travel above.

Could it have been a "paperwork" sort of bankruptcy filing, with documents filed and a newspaper notice purchased merely to spur the Goodlands' payment, with no furniture being carted away or padlocks put on front doors? Was it simply a matter of Gillmore having been abroad and somehow the bills due Portable Gaslight became mightily overdue?

I can't rightly say. I do know that it appears that Gillmore Goodland ran in a very smart set and appears to have earned a very nice income for his international services in the first decade of the 20th century, this single bankruptcy notice notwithstanding.

In Gillmore, we have our most likely candidate for lending assistance to a widowed mother and scholarly brother. And, don't forget, his sister Grace ended up following him to Cardiff as well, and Gillmore appears to have left an infant son in her care in 1911. His brothers Ernest and Kenny sailed in Gillmore's wake to Australia in 1907 and lived there for the rest of their lives. Gillmore also traveled to Sekondi at least once during the time his brother, Theodore, would have been a simple "able seaman" in the South Seas and around Sekondi [right] on Dark Continent.

Despite a penchant for hobnobbing with the rich in his capacity as a consulting engineer, family does seem to have mattered to him.

It just wouldn't be right to leave Gillmore in 1912, representing his new company in Batopilas, Mexico, and not follow up on what was an interesting life. We'll pursue that soon, as well as finishing our examination of the life of Joshua Goodland, mentor to George Mills—a task it seems we started ages ago!

Stay tuned…

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