Published genealogies and biographies: Kirk's Biographies of English Catholics


GUMBLESTONE, or GOMELDON [RICHARD]. He was the son of a jeweller. and became first a Catholic, and then, it is said, a Carmelite.* His life, however, seems to have been a disgrace to his profession, whatever that were, whether a religious or a layman. Yet he is said to have had a zeal for religion, and was one of those who raised his voice against Jansenism, when that charge was wickedly brought against the bishops and clergy of England in the beginning of the 18th century. 'A chief man employed,' says Mr. Andrew Giffard,+ 'to bring accusations against us is a young debauchee, who has spent his patrimony vivendo luxuriose cum meretricibus, and now dares not show 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 Divil sits by his bedside many nights, and they talk and converse familiarly for several hours.' Mr Gomeldon drew up a paper of accusations against Mr. Piggott, 'a most laborious priest,' as Mr. A. Giffard styles him, and handed it about the town, and sent out into the country a papaer entitled 'Several of Dr. Short's Tenets,' (copy in Ushaw College), and affirmed that he heard the 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, as Dr. Short actually did to the falsity of these propositions, immediately after communicating at the hands of Father Carter, a learned and venerable Benedictine. What reparations he ever made, if any, and how and where he died, I have not discovered.

* See Gillow Dictionary III. p. 65, and Zimmerman, Carmel in England, p.380 n.
+ Letter to Mr Dicconson, May [April] 3, 1710, in Ushaw College

Kirk, J. Biographies of English Catholics in the 18th century. 1909
LDS fiche 6029716/493/p.225
1909

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