Aunts, uncles and other relatives of Benjamin Gooch.

Takeheart Health Check       [Elizabeth Gooch]

Elizabeth Gooch 1734-1810

Robert Bransby's daughter Elizabeth married her father's assistant Benjamin Gooch. Likewise her own daughter, also Elizabeth, married her father's assistant John D'Urban of Halesworth. They were married in St Margarets, Westminster on 8th October 1753, she was nineteen and he thirty two. One son, Shute, died in 1776 four weeks before his grandfather, aged fifteen. Another son, Flite, died in 1810 aged 74. A daughter, Dorothea, died in 1785 aged 13. Benjamin was born at Halesworth a year after his grandfather had died and was christened after him. Benjamin was their only child to survive John's death in 1782. He died in 1849 aged 72 and is buried in Canada.

Elizabeth had been courted by Edward Thurlow who later became Lord Chancellor. He was born at Braconash in Norfolk to the Reverend Thomas Thurlow. He was an incorrigably bad boy at school. He distinguished himself by insubordination at Gonville and Caius College, being expelled without a degree in 1751. However he was called to the bar in 1754 and rapidly made his name, Member of Parliament in 1765, raised to the peerage and the woolsack in 1778. Died at Brighton in 1806. He was a bitter opponent of the American colonists.

He courted Elizabeth. It was a boy and girl affair within easy riding distance of his parents' rectory. She would not have him. She used to say long afterwards when he was Lord Chancellor that she was positively afraid of him. She married the village doctor, but never forgot Edward Thurlow.

John D'Urban 1721-1782
John's first appointment after qualification was as a ship's surgeon to HMS Royal Sovereign. The principle surgeon soon fell sick and John found himself in at the deep end. He served with great distinction from 1741 until the war ended in 1748 when he returned to London to attend hospitals and lectures. He also went to Edinburgh and Paris for the same purpose. He settled in Halesworth and later Shotesham as the local doctor. He died 16th October 1782 aged 61.

Benjamin D'Urban 1777-1849
Benjamin enlisted as a cornet in the Queen's Bays when a lad of sixteen. He made rapid progress in the army and distinguished himself in the Peninsular War where he was quarter master general and chief of staff to Lord Beresford. He served in all the principle sieges and battles, never asked to go on leave and was laden with honours including KCB.
After the war he was made Governor of Antigua and then organised the settlements of South America into British Guiana and was appointed its first Governor in 1831. Three years later he was Governor of Cape Colony. He abolished slavery, established municipal and legislative councils, occupied Natal and created it as a new colony. To commemorate this the name of the principal port was changed in 1835 from Port Natal to Durban.

In his old age he accepted appointment as commander of Her Majesty's forces in British North America. There were border disputes and a threat of invasion by the Americans into Canada near Montreal. Early in 1847 he set up his headquarters in that city. He was rapidly plunged into troubles, not so much from the Americans as from the violent Canadian political situation at the time. Sent by Lord Elgin , the Governor General, with his troops in aid of the civil power he busied himself with the problems. On 25th May 1849 Lord Elgin's ADC wrote in his diary "Sir Benjamin D'Urban, who has been with his staff at Donegara's Hotel, has been ill for sometime and yesterday, although still doing business was much weaker. About ten am this morning he suddenly died".

He was buried in the cemetry at Pointe Claire where there is an obelisk to his memory.

Norfolk & Norwich Hospital Early Days
Gooch's Handwriting
Messenger Monsey

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