John Goodyer ca.1592-1664

From Book Owners Online

John GOODYER ca.1592-1664

Biographical Note

Born at Alton, Hampshire, son of Reginald Goodyer, yeoman. Apprenticed to William Yalden, land agent, he became steward to Sir Thomas Bilson of Mapledurham ca.1616. He developed interests in botany, and began to systematically record plants and flowers which he found across England. He remained based in Hampshire for most of his life, and combined his activities as a land steward with some practising as a physician.


Goodyer bequeathed all his "books de plantis" to Magdalen College, Oxford (his connection with the college being via his nephew Edmund Yalden, a fellow of the college). This constituted ca. 240 books and manuscripts, largely botanical or on related topics, acquired by him from the 1610s onwards. The books were originally scattered through the College library but were gathered together in the early 20th century and now occupy a separate bookcase within the Library.

Characteristic Markings

Goodyer regularly inscribed his books with his name, and often with details of the date of purchase, and price paid.