Mr Andrew Goudy, watchmaker

Published: 22nd May 2020

From The Shetland Times, 1st October, 1887

Obituary of the tate Mr Andrew Goudy

Born at Clumlie, Dunrossness 6th June, 1802 and died 10th November, 1870.

A watchmaker to trade

“The late Mr Andrew Goudy was also a most retiring unostentatious man, but always trying to lend a helping hand to every good work. He was a native of Dunrossness, and at a very early period went to London and learned the watchmaking business; he, however, never seemed to have any adequate idea of the value of money, and was consequently often imposed upon, both in business and by beggars, not alone of the baser sort. Practising as an amateur in the Homeopathic line, he was said to achieve some wonderful cures at least the people got better, and he was the credit; of course all this was free gratis and for nothing, as the phrase often goes. The late Dr John Cowie could not have been very jealous of him, for to many an operation he requested Mr Goudy’s assistance! He was at times an absent man, at least his mind was preoccupied: on one occasion there was an amusing instance. He had occasion to call on Lady Nicholson at Gremista. In the course of conversation she ordered wine and gave him a glass, which he unconsciously drank and then went on with the conversation. At the very moment he was President of the Total Abstinence Society, and not before he was half-way to town did the whole affair flash before him! Of course he laid the matter before his brethren, with the requisite explanation but was exonerated upon the spot; they knew their man, often better than he did himself. He was not in accord with the prevailing and conflicting religious opinions in Lerwick, and consequently kept himself aloof, being of course, very much shut up in himself, with the exception of communion with two or three kindred spirits. He left the result of the mid-night lamp, a large quantity of manuscript on Drink and War, to both of which, he was a most bitter uncompromising enemy and opponent. Sometimes unfortunately the poor experienced a difficulty in getting a company, or almost anyone to bury their dead, when the remark would be, “Oh go and get Mr Goudy”. He invariably went, dispensing with the usual paraphernalia of mourning. An old servant whenever she could the opportunity, used to listen to his conversation when at the house of a friend where he visited, and where she was a domestic.

The question might be some abstruse theological one, not a word of which she could possibly understand, but she would say, “ Oh it’s grand” Whatever the subject in hand, he generally spoke in solemn tones, and careful language. Not often did he go to any public meeting in the town. On one occasion, however, there was something going on in the Wesleyan Chapel, and he went. Mr Hesk or Hesketh, the then minister, happened to spy him out and intimated his presence, pronouncing a regular panegyric upon him - he vanished immediately.

Research by Jasmine Moncrieff.