Nat Gould

His life and books

Nathaniel Gould 1787-1867

St Pancras Church

St Pancras Church

Nathaniel Gould was born on 6 February 1787, the son of Thomas Gould 1752-1829 and his wife nee Frances Hunt. He followed his father and grandfather into the cloth trade and became a mercer in Cheapside in the city of London.

On 19 September 1823 he married Mary Crompton at St Pancras church in London. She was born on 19 May 1800 in Warwick, the daughter of Woodhouse Crompton 1771-1800 esquire of Warwick (1).

Nathaniel Gould prospered in the clothing trade. His business interests expanded beyond England. On 16 June 1828 aged 40 and described as a merchant he arrived in New York from Liverpool aboard the ship Birmingham, on a business visit.

Ten years into their marriage he was able to afford to live in considerable style at No. 4 Tavistock Square in London. In 1841 Nathaniel and Mary Gould were living there, together with Nathaniel’s younger sister Lydia Anderson (nee Lydia Gould 1795-1854), her husband and daughter. Although not then listed in the household, the family employed in the following year a servant who doubled duties as footman indoors and coach driver outdoors. He was Hezekiah Brake who afterwards emigrated to America, and in 1896 wrote and published his autobiography entitled On Two Continents: a Long Life’s Experience. He gives a fascinating account of his service at No 4 Tavistock Square during 1842 (2).

Tavistock Square East Side (3)

Tavistock Square East Side (3)

Nathaniel Gould was listed as living at No. 4 Tavistock Square in an 1848 Directory. The family appear not to be recorded in the 1851 Census, but were still there in 1860. In the 1861 Census Return Nathaniel Gould and his wife and unmarried daughters Frances and Harriet occupied the whole house, together with their butler, housemaid, cook and ladies’ maid.

Charles Dickens was a near neighbour, at the top of the row.

In the 1861 Census Return, Nathaniel Gould had been described as “Army Clothier”, and had no doubt supplied goods to the army which had fought in the Crimea from 1854 until 1856.

But Nathaniel Gould was by then far more than just a London mercer. He developed his business interests overseas. He was particularly interested in what was then the Province of Canada, and explored the business possibilities of the St Lawrence river, and became a partner in enterprises there (4).

By 1860 he had been elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and in 1864 achieved the distinction of an entry in The County Families of the United Kingdom (5).

Nathaniel Gould was described by John Britton 1771-1857 as “My old and warm-hearted friend and neighbour" (6).

Harriet Egerton in 1880

Harriet Egerton in 1880

Nathaniel Gould and his wife Mary had the following children:

Frances Lydia Gould. She was born on 18 February 1825 and died in 1899 at Chislehurst in Kent.

Thomas Gould. He died in infancy. He was born in 1827 and died on 24 April 1828 (7).

Caroline Gould. She was born in 1832 and died in 1899.

Harriet Gould 1835-1907. She was born in 1835. She was married to her cousin the Reverend Philip Reginald Egerton on 4 November 1862 at her family's parish church St Pancras to her cousin the Reverend Philip Reginald Egerton of Bloxham in Oxfordshire, son of the Reverend John Egerton and Ellen Egerton nee Ellen Gould 1802-1862 (8).

Nathaniel Gould. He was born in 1838. He became a Lieutenant in the 3rd Dragoon Guards, and died in 1861 in Bombay, India.

Their father Nathaniel Gould died at home on 11 October 1867.
His widow Mary Gould nee Crompton died at home 0n 28 October 1872.


(1) The officiating minister was the bridegroom’s brother, the Reverend Joseph Gould 1797-1866. He had been ordained priest only in 1821 and was then “serving his title” (apprenticeship) as stipendiary curate at Newton Blossomville in Buckinghamshire.
(2) On Two Continents: A Long Life's Experience Hezekiah Brake (1896) pages 26 to 28.
(3) The east side of Tavistock Square has since been entirely demolished and rebuilt. The photograph shows it as it was when Nathaniel Gould and his family lived there.
(4) He was a director of the British American Land Company, and his wife and family were shareholders in the Bank of British North America. His name appears in London directories as holding important positions on the boards of leading companies. He was on the Committee of Management of Lloyd’s Register of British and Foreign Shipping from 1842, the Deputy Chairman of the Commercial Dock Company from 1843, the Deputy Chairman of the Protector Life Association in 1843 and Trustee in 1847, and a Director of the Eagle Insurance Company from 1851.
(5) "Gould, Nathaniel, Esq. F.S.A. Son of the late Thomas Gould, Esq. of Northaw Place, A Magistrate for Herts, by Frances, dau. of the late Thomas Hunt, Esq,, of Cockshut Lydiale, near Ludlow; b. 1788; m. 1823 Mary, dau. of Woodhouse Crompton, Esq, of Warwick, as has issue, * Nathaniel, late Lieut. 3rd Dragoon Guards; b. 1839. Mr. Gould, who was educated at Bury St. Edminds, is a Magistrate for Middlesex, Vice-President of the British Archaeological Association, a Manager of the London Institution, and a Director of several public companies. - City Club, E.C.; 4 Tavistock Square, W.C." Edward Walford The County Families of the United Kingdom second edition (1864).
(5) The wedding ceremony was conducted by the Reverend Joseph Gould, the bride's uncle. He had performed the ceremony when her parents married.
(6) The Autobiography of John Britton volume 1 page 15.
(7) The Morning Post dated 26 April 1828.
(8) The wedding ceremony was conducted by the Reverend Joseph Gould, the bride's uncle. He had performed the ceremony when her parents married.