C. W. Goodwin

British Egyptologist, lawyer and judge.


January 1, 1817
January 1, 1878
Related topics
Great Britain.--Court of Probate, Great Britain, Guthlac,--Saint,--673-714, Executors and administrators, English literature--Old English,


Goodwin was born in 1817. He studied at St Catherine's and graduated, in 1838, 6th Classic and senior optime in Mathematics. He was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1843 and in 1865 became assistant judge of the British Supreme Court for China and Japan.

He had many interests besides law. He contributed to the publications of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society and in 1860 wrote one of the articles in Essays and Reviews, to which he was the only lay contributor, writing alongside such great theologians as Rowland Williams and Henry Bristow Wilson.

In a speech, "The Growth and Nature of Egyptology: an inaugural lecture" by Stephen Ranulph Kingdon Glanville (published by Cambridge University Press), Glanville said of Goodwin:

"By the time Goodwin left Cambridge, he was a first class Greek scholar, an accomplished Hebraist, and an authority on Anglo-Saxon with valuable editions of new texts to his credit. He also had a considerably knowledge of natural history, especially geology. In London, where his practice was not large, he wrote music and art criticism; was for a time editor of Literary Gazette; was the only layman among the seven contributors to the much talked of Essays and Reviews (1860); and, because of his Greek and Hebrew scholarship, was frequently consulted by the Revisers of the New Testament. But throughout his life, his main interest, begun when he was at school was in the elucidation of Ancient Egyptian and Coptic texts, more especially those Egyptian texts written in the cursive script called hieratic.

In London, he spent much of his time in the British Museum, copying papyri. He was in close touch with Samuel Birch, then Keeper of the Oriental Department and was constantly exchanging information by correspondence with other leading Egyptologists of his day."

Goodwin was appointed assistant judge of the British Supreme Court for China and Japan in 1865 on the founding of the court. Edmund Hornby was appointed Judge. Goodwin became Acting Chief Judge in 1876 after Edmund Hornby retired. Goodwin died in Shanghai in 1878. The British Supreme Court for China and Japan exercised jurisdiction over British Subjects in China and Japan pursuant to extraterritorial rights granted under treaties with China and Japan. The Court was also an appeal court from British Consular Courts in China and Japan.

-- From Wikipedia

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