Nat Gould

His life and books

George Gould 1763-1842

George Gould
Born: 1763 in Bakewell
Died: 1842 at East Retford, Nottinghamshire
Joseph Gould 1715-1777
Ellen Gilbert 1722-1792
William Gould 1748-1795
Anne Gould 1750-1753
Thomas Gould 1752-1829
Joseph Gould 1754-1821
Nathaniel Gould 1756-1820
John Gould 1759-1829
Richard Gould 1761-1766
Lydia Gould 1767-1822
1. Margaret Froggatt 1773-1825
2. Anne Smith
By Margaret Froggatt
Joseph Gould 1794-1794
Margaret Gould 1795-1795
Eleanor Gould 1795-1795
Ann Gould 1796-1798
Lydia Gould 1797-1797
George Gould 1798-
Nathaniel Gould 1805-
Richard Gould 1808-

George Gould was born in 1763, the son of Joseph Gould 1715-1777 and his wife nee Ellen Gilbert 1722-1792, and baptised at Bakewell on 4 September 1763.

He was educated at Hipperholme School in Yorkshire and Trinity College in Cambridge, and had a business trading in woollen and linen drapery in Bakewell.

On 12 June 1793 he married Margaret Froggatt 1773-1825 of Foolow in Derbyshire at Bakewell. Their children were:

Joseph Gould. He was baptised on 17 April 1794 at Bakewell, and buried there on 19 July 1794.
Margaret Gould. She was baptised on 10 April 1795 at Bakewell, and buried there on 24 April 1795.
Eleanor Gould. She was baptised on 10 April 1795 at Bakewell, and buried there on 13 May 1795.
Ann Gould. She was baptised on 17 August 1796 at Bakewell, and buried there on November 1798.
Lydia Gould. She was baptised on 24 August 1797 at Bakewell, and buried there on 21 September 1797
George Gould. He was baptised on 26 November 1798 at Bakewell.
Nathaniel Gould. He was born on 7 January 1805 at Salford in Lancashire, and baptised on 24 October 1805 at St Stephen's church there.
Richard Gould. He was baptised on 17 June 1808 at St Stephen's church in Salford.

In 1800 George and Margaret Gould decided to move away from Bakewell, and they were taken in by Nathaniel Gould 1756-1820 of Manchester, a brother of George Gould, who then set about disposing of his business.

This was evidently a prosperous concern as there was no difficulty in finding a willing successor. Nor was there any difficulty in disposing of the premises that George Gould had been occupying in Bakewell, and the house that George Gould and his family occupied as their home was sold.

After winding up his home and business in Bakewell in June 1800, George and Margaret Gould left the town to start a new life in Manchester. They lived, at least at first, with brother Nathaniel Gould 1756-1820 at his home in the Crescent, Salford. George Gould joined him and their brother Joseph Gould 1754-1821 in their business as cloth merchants and fustian manufacturers, and became a partner with them in the firm called Nathaniel Joseph and George Gould & Company which was to last until 31 October 1817 when the partnership was dissolved.

George Gould made his mark on the history of England with his evidence which attempted to show Sunday School attendance by Manchester children was affected by the hours they worked in the factories. He received £3,000 as a legacy under the Will of his brother Nathaniel Gould 1756-1820. This may well have been in recognition of the stance he took over child labour in Manchester and elsewhere. He assisted his brother in his philanthropic work, appearing at a commission in 1816 where he produced statistics on children attending Sunday school and their factory working (1).

He had served as Overseer of the Poor in Salford, and was very familiar with the appalling conditions under which young children worked. Although George Gould tried to count numbers in schools, actual statistics had proved very hard to obtain. His evidence was attacked at the time as being inconclusive, but it has since been used to illustrate the struggle which went on to get better conditions for factory children. Evidently George Gould had made powerful enemies among the factory owners (2). This may have been a reason why he moved from Manchester to East Retford in Nottinghamshire.

His wife Margaret Gould died on 24 January 1825. George Gould moved to East Retford from Manchester, and was living there when he married for a second time. In 1828 he married Mrs Anne Smith. She was the widow of John Smith, a surgeon in the Royal Navy (3).

George Gould died at East Retford in 1842.

His surviving son George Gould was educated at Manchester Grammar School and University College, Oxford. After a brilliant career at Oxford he was ordained, and became vicar of Cropwell Bishop and two smaller Nottinghamshire parishes. He was unmarried.


(1) House of Commons Select Committee : Minutes of Evidence before the Select Committee on the State of Children employed in Manufactories 10 May 1816 pages 108-111. The committee was chaired by Sir Robert Peel, but even his support of the campaign waged by George and Nathaniel Gould proved insufficient at that time to overcome the powerful interests of factory owners. In 1818 however the Ten Hour Act was finally passed.
(2) For example see Samuel Edwin Maltby Manchester and the Movement for National Elementary Education 1800-1870 (1918).
(3) "Lately, in London, George Gould, Esq. of Retford, formerly of Bakewell, to Mrs. Smith, widow of the late John Smith, Esq. surgeon in the royal navy." Derby Mercury dated 27 August 1828. Also reported in The Sheffield Independent, and Yorkshire and Derbyshire Advertiser dated 30 August 1828.