21 April 2013

The Grave of Robert Goodacre (1777–1835)

Another chance discovery in Nottingham General Cemetery:
NOVEMBER 25TH 1835, AGED 58.'

Robert Goodacre (1777–1835) was born in Long Clawson, Leicestershire, and was the eldest son of a tailor. He began his working life as a journeyman tailor, and it was after working as assistant to a schoolmaster in Mansfield that he established Robert Goodacre's Academy in Lower Parliament Street, Nottingham at the age of twenty.

Goodacre had a particularly strong interest in mathematics and astronomy, and the mathematician- and physicist-to-be George Green (1793–1841) became pupil number 255 at the academy in 1801 at the age of eight, to leave the following year after four terms, by which time he had probably absorbed all that Goodacre had to offer.

A few years after Green left the academy, Goodacre bought an area of land on Standard Hill from the Duke of Newcastle, and built his three-story Standard Hill Academy (with an observatory at the top) on it. In the early 1820s he left the academy and spent five years lecturing (mainly on astronomy) in the USA, where he visited twenty-four towns and cities.

He returned to the UK in 1828 to continue lecturing, and it was during a tour that he died in Scotland.

His various publications include:

An Essay on the Education of Youth (1808)

A Treatise on Book-keeping (1811)

A glossary: or, Explanation of the principal terms used in the sciences of astronomy and geography (1828).

Much of my information about Goodacre came from D. M. Cannell's George Green: Mathematician and Physicist 1793-1841: The Background to His Life and Work (London: The Athone Press, 1993; repr. Philadelphia, PA: The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, 2001).

Writers and literary associations in Nottingham General Cemetery:

Ruth Bryan (1805–1860)
Sarah Ann Agnes Turk (1859–1927)
Annie Matheson (1853–1924)
Josiah Gilbert (1814–1892)
Anthony Hervey (c. 1796–1850)
Charles Bell Taylor (1829–1909)
James Prior's Parents
Ann Taylor (1782–1866)
Robert Millhouse (1788-1839)
Henry Hogg (1831-74)

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