Published genealogies and biographies: Gillow's history of English Catholics


Gumbleton, or Gomeldon, Richard (J0007), was the son of Thomas Gomeldon (I0001), of Summerfield Court, parish of Selling [sic], in the county of Kent, Esq. His father is said to have been a jeweller in London; he was afterwards sheriff of Kent and died in 1703, leaving by Phalaties (I0001a), [sic] his wife, two sons, William (J0005) and Richard (J0007), and a daughter, Meliora (J0009). William married Elizabeth (J0005a), daughter of John Crossley [sic], and died without issue in 1709. Richard then succeeded to the estate, which he registered in 1717, as a Catholic, under the act of 1 George I, declaring that it was freehold, and of the annual value of £693 10s. 1½d., subject to a rental of £600 to his sister-in-law, Mrs. Elizabeth Gomeldon.

Richard Gomeldon became a Catholic, and his sister also, but when, or under what circumstances, is not stated. It is said that he became a discalced Carmelite, but this is extremely doubtful. His life certainly, seems to have been a disgrace to his profession, whatever that was, whether a religious or a layman. Yet he seems to have had an outward zeal for religion, and was one of the loudest of those who raised their voices against Jansenism, when that charge was brought against the bishops and clergy of England in the beginning of the eighteenth century. In 1710 he is described as having spent his patrimony, and hardly daring to show himself for fear of arrest for debt. Judging from the account given of him by Rev. Andrew Giffard, he must have brought upon himself a derangement of intellect1. He died in 1718.

His sister, Meliora, married Thomas Poole (J0009a), son of Sir James Poole of Poole Hall, co. Chester, Bart., and after his death became the wife of Thomas Stanley (J0009b), of Great Eccleston Hall and Garrett Hall, co. Lancaster, Esq. Her second husband was attainted and convicted of high treason for taking part in the rising of 1715, and his estates of Great Eccleston, Garrett and New Hall, in the parish of Leigh, and his residence in Preston, were forfeited and sold. Mrs. Stanley's Kentish estates which she brought to her husband were also forfeited to the Crown and vested in the commissioners for forfeited estates. Mr. Stanley afterwards inherited Culcheth Hall, co. Lancaster, where he died in July, 1749, and his wife, Meliora, in the preceding month. Their daughter and eventual heiress, Meliora, married William Dicconson, Esq., son of Edward Dicconson, of Wrightington, co. Lancaster, Esq., by Mary, daughter of George Blount, Esq., and sister to Sir Edward Blount, Bart. The marriage of Meliora to William Dicconson is the more noticeable, as it was to his great-uncle, Bishop Edward Dicconson, alias Eaton, that Andrew Giffard gave her uncle, Richard Gomeldon, such a poor character in 1710.

Eyre Collection, MSS., vol. i. pp. 307-8 and 304; Gillow, Lanc. Recusants, MS.; Kirk, Biog. Collect., MS., No 21; Payne, Eng. Cath. Non-jurors; Foley, Records S.J., vol vi., Culcheth pedigree.

1. When the charge of Jansenism was brought against the bishops and clergy of England, according to Andrew Giffard, in his letter dated April 3, 1710, to Edw. Dicconson, alias Eaton, a professor at Douay, and afterwards V.A. of the Northern District, Richard Gomeldon, 'a chief man employed to bring accusations against us, is a young debauchee, who has spent his patrimony vivendo luxuriose cum meretricibus, and now dares not shew his head for fear of arrests. He is a visionaire, who, according to his own words often sees Heaven open, but oftener converses with hell, for he saies the devil sits by his bedside many nights, and they talk and converse familiarly for several hours.' It was he who drew up a paper of accusations against Mr. Christopher Piggott, 'a most laborious priest who helps ye poore people in and around Suthwark, and seldom returns home from his labors untuil ten or eleven a clock at night.'

He also wrote a paper entitled 'Several of Dr. Short's Tenets,' consisting of about twenty propositions, 'affirming that he heard ye Doctor speak them all.' In this he seems to have been guided more by his prejudices and ignorance than by the love of truth, for 'he made no difficulty to declare that the Doctor's memory was in execration to him before he knew him,' and did not dare, when solemnly called upon, to swear to the truth. Dr. Short went to the venerable Father James Maurus Corker, O.S.B., 'and desired to communicate at his hands, and after communion upon ye sacrament which he had received, took oath that not one off all ye propositions was his.' Mr Giffard concludes, in his letter to Dr. Dicconson, dated June 30, 1710, 'I have given you some part of Gomeldon's character before. I can add much now, and particularly he is reported to have a very notorious faculty in lieing, as being so very familiar with ye father of lies.'

Gomeldon's papers were not printed, but were distributed in manuscript, both in town and country. An intercepted letter written to him by Fr. Charles Kennett, S.J., dated Jan. 6, 1710, is given by Mr. Giffard.

GILLOW, J. A lit. and biog.
history ... of the English
Catholics. 5 v. 1865-1902.
LDS fiche 6029716/493/p.222-224

5 v. GILLOW, J. 1865-1902.
1865-1902

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