John Arthur Goodchild 1851 – 1914

John Arthur Goodchild (1851-1914) MD 1873, was a British physician, who secreted the Glastonbury Cup in the Chalice Well in Glastonbury, after receiving psychic direction to do so.

I am greatly indebted to the wonderful work of Patrick Benham, The Avalonians, (Gothic Image Publications, 2006) for large parts of this brief biography.

Goodchild was a close friend of William Sharp, who also wrote as Fiona MacLeod (a patient of John Moorhead Byres Moir and a member of The Golden Dawn), and together Goodchild and William Sharp wished to revive Celtic Christianity and to renew worship of the Celtic Mother Goddess, based at Glastonbury.

Goodchild was the family doctor in Bordighera of George MacDonald (Greville Macdonald, George Macdonald and his wife, (G. Allen & Unwin, 1924). Page 557), and he was also a friend of Frederick Bligh Bond, Alice Mary Buckton, Rutland Boughton, Wellesley Tudor Pole, William Thomas Stead,

Goodchild lived at Casa Eldreda in Bordighera in Italy, at 23 Thurlow Road, Hampstead, and at Heathfield House, Ealing,

Quoted from Patrick Benham, The Avalonians, (Gothic Image Publications, 2006) On graduation, Goodchild had began his foreign practice in Cannes, but the French authorities banned foreign doctors in 1877, and he transferred to Bordighera in Italy. For 30 years, Goodchild travelled each winter to work in his lucrative medical practice in Bordighera, spending each summer in his father’s home at 23 Thurlow Road, Hampstead.

Goodchild attended the International Medical Congress in 1881,

Quoted from Patrick Benham, The Avalonians, (Gothic Image Publications, 2006) In 1885, Goodchild found a ‘primitive’ glass bowl and platter in a shop in Bordighera marina, reputedly found bricked up in a wall of an old building in an early Christian settlement with a church dating back to the 4th century.

On his return to London, Goodchild showed the vessel to Augustus Woolaston Franks, whose findings were inconclusive, so the items were locked away for some 10 years.

Goodchild was a bachelor who led a nomadic life, interesting himself in writing, influenced by the intelligensia of Bordighera, he referred in his writings to socialism, ancient history, religion, spirituality, the human condition, and he had contact with William Thomas Stead, Charles Grant Blairfindie Allen and his son Grant Richards,

Goodchild was also aware of theosophy and The Golden Dawn, though his mind turned towards the Western Spiritual Tradition, and he began to write his most famous book, The Light of the West, in which he details the Irish worship of Mor Rigan, who Goodchild believed was a real person, though her tales have been corrupted by Christianity.

Goodchild believed that the lore surrounding Mor Rigan became attached to Bride, who in turn was corrupted by Christianity into St. Bride,

Goodchild discovered that the people of Bride believed in the coming of a Christ long before Christianity, and that her mysteries were widespread across the ancient world, even as far as Palestine, one of the main reasons why Christianity reached British shores at such an early date after the crucifixion, and the main reason why it took such an early root here.

Goodchild believed that these beliefs soon conjoined with Mor Rigan and Bride to emphasise the role of women, thus the main reason why Roman Christianity acted so definitively to suppress it.

Goodchild used a chronological outline in The Light of the West to outline his careful researches, all impressively researched and referenced. He placed the arrival of Mor Rigan with the Tuatha de Danann, claiming that from her cult all of the Bardic and Drudic teaching of Britain arose.

Goodchild details the  deliberate distortion of Mor Rigan by the Roman Church over many centuries, resulting her her current position as “terror” or “phantom queen”, though she was originally a triple goddess, she is now seen as a black crow of war.

Goodchild recovered Mor Rigan from this Roman spin and exposed her teachings, disguised within the writing of Amergin, and treasured within the Celtic Church, where Goodchild’s close friend of William Sharp, writing as Fiona MacLeod, takes up her story in Scotland.

The Light of the West was with his publisher by 1897.

Goodchild ‘was no stranger‘ to psychic experiences. On his return to Bordighera, he reported an unusual psychic experience, instructing him to take the glass platter to Bride’s Well, located in the Women’s quarter  in Glastonbury, where it should be placed under the care of a woman.

In the spring on 1898, Goodchild heard that his father had died, and he asked his sister to bring him both the platter and the bowl to him in Italy. The bowl now became referred to as the Cup, and Goodchild sent the platter to a ‘prominent Italian family’ – possibly the Garibaldi family.

At this time, The Light of the West appeared in print, and Goodchild returned to Britain, heading straight for Glastonbury. Within days, Goodchild had hidden the Cup in Bride’s Well, and he returned to Glastonbury every year on pilgrimage from 1899 until 1906.

In 1898, Goodchild returned to Bordighera, and he began making extensive researches in Rome to discover the palace of the Roman Senator Pudens (?Saint Pudens or Aulus Pudens), who had a Christian wife called Claudia (Latin – Gwladys in British – the daughter of Caradoc (Caratacus) chieftain of the Catuvellauni tribe, who led the British resistance to the Roman conquest, and who was taken captive to Rome with his entire family in 51AD – pardoned by Claudius and allowed to live freely in Rome).

Goodchild believed that Gwladys initiated the very first church in Rome, and hosted Saint Peter in her little church.

The daughters of Saint Pudens are Praxedes and Pudentiana who established two ancient churches, Santa Prassede and Santa Pudenziana in Rome, and his two sons, Novatus and his brother, the martyr Timothus.

Novatus is also reputedly the son of Aulus Pudens and Claudia Rufina:

Claudia Rufina was a woman of British descent who lived in Rome circa (?) 90AD and was known to the poet Martial.

Martial refers to her in Epigrams XI:53, describing her as “caeruleis […] Britannis edita” (“sprung from the blue Britons”, presumably in reference to the British custom of painting themselves with woad), and praising her for her beauty, education and fertility.

She is probably identical with the “Claudia Peregrina” (“Claudia the Foreigner”) whose marriage to his friend Aulus Pudens, an Umbrian centurion to whom several of his poems are addressed, Martial describes in Epigrams IV:13. She may also be the Claudia whose height Martial compares to the Palatine colossus, a gigantic statue that once stood near the Palatine Hill (Epigrams VIII:60)….

Claudia’s British ancestry has led to speculation that she may have been related to known British historical figures. Given her name, it has been suggested that she was related to Tiberius Claudius Cogidubnus, a British king who ruled as a Roman client in the late 1st century.

An inscription by Tiberius Claudius Cogidubnus found in Chichester may mention a “Pudens”, although the inscription is damaged so this is not certain, and the way the name is written makes it unlikely that person referred to was a Roman citizen. British Israelite pseudohistory makes Claudia the daughter of the British resistance leader Caratacus, but beyond the fact that Caratacus is known to have ended his life in Rome, there is no evidence to connect him to Claudia.

Furthermore, several British kings, such as Tincomarus, Dubnovellaunus, Adminius and Verica, are known to have fled Britain to Rome, and numerous other Britons are likely to have been sent there as diplomatic hostages, not to mention war captives who would have been sold as slaves, offering a variety of possible ancestries. Since Martial is not specific about her ancestry, any attempt to identify her relations can only be conjecture.

Goodchild believed that Gwladys’s son Linus (?the son of Claudia Rufina and Aulus Pudens or the son of Caradoc (Caratacus)) was the first consecrated Bishop in Rome, by Saint Peter himself, according to several early sources, Bishop of Rome after Saint Peter.

This makes Linus (?the son of Claudia Rufina and Aulus Pudens or the son of Caradoc (Caratacus)) either the second Bishop of Rome, if Saint Peter is seen as the first, or as the first Bishop of Rome, if the position of Saint Peter in Rome is seen as distinct from that of a bishop. Other early sources make Clement the Bishop of Rome after Saint Peter (though some claim Anacletus succeeded Linus (?the son of Claudia Rufina and Aulus Pudens or the son of Caradoc (Caratacus)).

There is evidence that the family were martyred, Praxedes and Pudentiana (?twins) both died at the age of 16, and Pudens (?Saint Pudens or Aulus Pudens) was also martyred, all under the reign of Nero about 54-8 AD (though the great slaughter of Christians was in 64AD after the great fire in Rome).

We have no indication of the fate of Gwladys, though she may have survived until 90AD. Though her ?daughters are revered, Claudia has been expunged from Roman Christian history. Linus (?the son of Claudia Rufina and Aulus Pudens or the son of Caradoc (Caratacus)) seems to have died about 76AD, reputedly Pope from 67AD which would fit with a regrouping of the early church after Nero‘s great slaughter in 64AD, though Linus (?the son of Claudia Rufina and Aulus Pudens or the son of Caradoc (Caratacus)) is also reputed to have become first Bishop as early as 51AD.

As Linus (?the son of Claudia Rufina and Aulus Pudens or the son of Caradoc (Caratacus)) wrote of the martyrdom of both Saint Peter and Saint Paul in 67AD, he may have survived the great slaughter in 64AD, though there is also a suggestion that eventually Linus (?the son of Claudia Rufina and Aulus Pudens or the son of Caradoc (Caratacus)) too suffered martyrdom, possibly as late as 81AD. However, there is some doubt that he wrote this document, as it has now been dated to the 6th century.

For centuries Linus (?the son of Claudia Rufina and Aulus Pudens or the son of Caradoc (Caratacus)) was reputed to be an ‘Italian’ (and as the son of a Roman Senator, this is unsurprising as women were never considered of any importance), Catholic sources report ‘the “Liber Pontificalis” asserts that Linus’s home was in Tuscany, and that his father’s name was Herculanus; but we cannot discover the origin of this assertion’. though some sources do claim Linus (?the son of Claudia Rufina and Aulus Pudens or the son of Caradoc (Caratacus)) was the ‘son of Claudia‘,

Goodchild was influenced by the Caratacus connection because he was a Prince of the Silurian Royal Family (though he was actually the chieftain of the Catuvellauni tribe – Caratacus was also the warchief of Britain at this time and captured in Silurian territory in 51AD).

Publius Ostorius Scapula had publicly said that the Silures posed such a danger that the Silures should be either exterminated or transplanted, However, Claudius decided on a more tactful solution:

Perhaps this knowledge, that the execution of Caradoc (Caratacus) might still further imperil the Roman states in Britain, and the consideration that clemency might be the wisest policy towards a highspirited and loyal enemy, dictated the course of Claudius.

Be this as it may, the life of Caradoc (Caratacus) was spared, on condition of his never bearing arms against Rome again. A residence of seven years in free custody (libera custodia) at Rome was imposed upon him. His father Bran was accepted as one of the hostages, and he was allowed the full enjoyment of the revenues of the royal Silurian domains, forwarded to him by his subjects and council.

Gladys, his daughter, was adopted by Claudius, and assumed, of course, his family name – Claudia. Caradoc (Caratacus) took up his residence in the Palatium Britannicum, on the side of the Mons Sacer, converted afterwards by his grand-daughter, Claudia Pudentiana, into the first Christian Church at Rome, known first as the “Titulus,” and now as Santa Pudenziana.

Here the nuptials of Claudia and Rufus Pudens Pudentinus were celebrated A.D.53. Four children were the issue – Timothus, NovatusPudentianaPraxedes.

Of the sons of Caradoc (Caratacus), Cyllinus and Cynon returned to Britain, the former succeeding on his death to the Silurian throne. The second, Lleyn, or Linus, remained with his father, and was, as we shall see subsequently, consecrated by Saint Paul first bishop of the Roman Church.

Goodchild considered all this complicated research and determined that Christianity had indeed returned to Britian with the sons of Caradoc (Caratacus), taking root easily into an existing Mor Rigan structure and through the people of Bride who already believed in the coming of a Christ long before Christianity, and bearing in mind that her mysteries were already widespread across the ancient world, (bear in mind that the Roman Church’s anti Mor Rigan propoganda dates from a time when they were actively trying to suppress a Celtic Christian Church in Britiain that simply would not lie down and die, even after the Synod of Whitby in 664AD and despite centuries of vicious suppression). Indeed, the Celtic Christian Church is still alive today and has never really left these islands.

Goodchild studied the remains of the churches of Santa Prassede and Santa Pudenziana, though he could not gain access to study these fully.

Back in Britain, the Celtic Revival was in full swing. Goodchild sent a copy of The Light of the West, to Fiona MacLeod, unaware that she was actually William Sharp, in 1900. The two soon became friends, though at this point they had not met, and Goodchild did not discover Fiona MacLeod‘s ‘secret’ until 1901, when William Sharp stayed with Goodchild in Bordighera, eventually visiting Glastonbury with Goodchild in 1904, when Goodchild revealed the secret of the cup to him.

By 1907, Goodchild was in touch with Wellesley Tudor Pole and his sister Katharine Tudor Pole, and soon afterwards Katharine Tudor PoleJanet Bevill Allen and Christine Allen recovered the Glastonbury Cup from Bride’s Well.

Goodchild assisted Frederick Bligh Bond in his researches, ‘having more knowledge of sacred numerology than anyone in the coutry‘,

Goodchild had suffered from tubercolosis for 28 years, and he was not at all well, and he spent many of his last hours instructing Frederick Bligh Bond, who became effectively Goodchild’s successor.

Goodchild was also a minor poet, and drew praise from Oscar Wilde, and from Alfred Lord Tennyson,, and he wrote Lyrics, Tales in Verse, The book of Tephi, Chats at St. Ampelio, The two thrones, A fairy godfather, Somnia medici, The light of the West,

Of interest:

 

Frederick Goodchild ?relative of John Arthur Goodchild, was implacably opposed to homeopathy, signing the statement at St. Andrew’s in 1851 to protect about William Henderson signing his medical diploma.

R Goodchild MD Philadelphia, ?relative of John Arthur Goodchild, an orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy, who came to practice in London in 1873, R Goodchild practiced at I Hampden Terrace, Grove Street, South Hackney, London,

Given his esoteric interests, John Arthur Goodchild may well have met homeopaths involved in the The Golden DawnEdward William Berridge, Gerard Anaclet Vincent Encausse, Robert Masters Theobald, Charles Lloyd Tuckey. Giuseppe Garibaldi was also connected to this assembly via John Epps,

In 1881, Goodchild became the family doctor of George MacDonald, who certainly would not have employed a doctor who was implacably opposed to homeopathy, as he was a committed homeopathic advocate, and a patient of John Rutherford Russell, and Robert Douglas Hale, both close colleagues of John Epps, who would also have known Giuseppe Garibaldi.

Goodchild’s close friend William Sharp was a friend and patient of John Moorhead Byres Moir, who was also close colleague of John Epps, and who would also have known Giuseppe Garibaldi.

 

Alice Mary Buckton knew Octavia Hill, Dion Fortune, and all of the many characters connected with Glastonbury at this time.

Also, Alice Mary Buckton and her father George Bowdler Buckton, were closely connected to Alfred Lord Tennyson (a patient of James Manby Gully and a friend of homeopath Robert Masters Theobald (a member of The Golden Dawn), and a friend of John Stuart Blackie (who married his cousin Eliza Wyld, the daughter of James Wyld 1776 – 1880 and Marion Stodard Wyld, and the sister of George Wyld (President of The British Homeopathic Society)),

George Bowdler Buckton was a friend of Charles Darwin, and he also knew Charles Babbage, Oliver Joseph Lodge,

Claude Monet also had a house in Bordighera in 1881,

One thought on “John Arthur Goodchild 1851 – 1914”

  1. I am interested in the source material for Goodchild’s The Story of Tephi. Do you have any information where Goodchild derived his information to write that book. If not, do you know of any living relatives of Goodchild that may have that information? Thank you for your reply

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