Goulburn, Edward Meyrick 1818-1897, dean of Norwich, born in Chelsea on 11 Feb. 1818, was the eldest son of Edward Goulburn, Doctor of Civil Laws, serjeant-at-law, commissioner in bankruptcy, and recorder and sometime M.P. for Leicester, by his first wife Harriette, third daughter of Philip Nathaniel De Vismes of Notting Hill; his mother was of Huguenot family. Henry Goulburn [qv.], chancellor of the exchequer, was his uncle. He was educated at Rottingdean and at Eton, whence he was elected scholar of Balliol College, Oxford, matriculating on 29 Nov. 1834, and graduating Bachelor of Arts with a first class in lit. hum. in 1839, M.A. in 1842, Doctor of Civil Laws on 15 March 1850, and Doctor of Divinity on 24 April 1856. From 1841 to 1846 he was fellow, and from 1843 to 1845 tutor and dean, of Merton College. He was ordained deacon on 22 May 1842 and priest in 1843. From 1844 to 1850 he was perpetual curate of Holywell, Oxford, and in February 1847 was appointed chaplain to Samuel Wilberforce [qv.], bishop of Oxford. On 18 Nov. 1849 he was elected head-master of Rugby School in succession to Archibald Campbell (afterwards archbishop) Tait [qv.], his former tutor at Balliol, his rival being his friend, William Charles Lake [qv.], who had been elected scholar of Balliol at the same time as Goulburn.
Goulburn remained head-master of Rugby for eight years, but he was antipathetic to the liberal traditions of the place initiated by Arnold and carried on by Tait, and though the last year of his head-mastership was unrivalled for the brilliance of the scholars turned out by Rugby, its numbers had dwindled, and Goulburn felt himself compelled to resign in 1857. He had previously declined the living of St. James's, Piccadilly, but in 1850 he was Bampton lecturer at Oxford, and in July 1857 he accepted the ministry of Quebec chapel, now known as the Church of the Annunciation, St. Marylebone. Two years later he accepted the vicarage of St. John's, Paddington, which he held from 1859 until his selection by Lord Derby for the deanery of Norwich; he was installed on 4 Dec. 1866.
Goulburn was dean of Norwich for twenty-three years; during the whole period his bishop was John Thomas Pelham [qv.], with whom he worked harmoniously, although the temperament and views of the two were very different. Goulburn took great interest in the fabric of the cathedral, on which he lectured and wrote. Originally an evangelical he gradually became more of a high churchman, but he was never a ritualist, and regarded with abhorrence latitudinarianism and rationalism. On ecclesiastical, political, and university questions he was thoroughly conservative, regarding John William Burgon [qv.] as his leader. Like Burgon he protested against the appointment of Dean Stanley as select preacher in 1872, and resigned his own position as select preacher when his protest was disregarded. But he had none of the truculent asperity of Burgon, who refused to break bread with Stanley, and he remained a personal friend of Stanley from the time they visited Greece together in 1842 to Stanley's death. The sermon Goulburn preached on that occasion excited some comment; Stanley's friends were offended by Goulburn's denunciation of his theology, while Burgon objected to his appreciation of Stanley's personality.
Goulburn resigned the deanery on 23 April 1889 and retired to Tunbridge Wells, where he busied himself in writing Burgon's Life; it was published in two substantial volumes in 1892 (London, 8vo). Goulburn died at Calverley Park Gardens, Tunbridge Wells, on 3 May 1897, and was buried at Aynhoe, Northamptonshire. A memorial window was erected to him in Rugby chapel, and a portrait reproduced from a photograph forms the frontispiece of Compton's Memoir. Goulburn married at Aynhoe, on 11 Dec. 1845, Julia, daughter of Ralph William Cartwright (1771-1849) of Aynhoe, sometime M.P. for Northamptonshire, by his second wife, Julia Frances, sister of Sir Thomas Digby Aubrey, bart.; she survived him, leaving no issue.
Goulburn was author of numerous sermons, lectures, commentaries, and theological manuals, and the list of his works occupies more than six pages of the British Museum catalogue. Besides the Life of Burgon, his more important works are: 1. The Doctrine of the Resurrection of the Body, London, 1851, 8vo; the Bampton lectures for 1850, and an uncompromising defence of orthodox views on the subject. 2. An Introduction to the Devotional Study of the Holy Scriptures, 1854, 8vo; 10th ed. 1878. 3. The Idle Word, 1855, 8vo; 2nd ed. 1864. 4. A Manual of Confirmation, 3 parts, 1855, 16mo; 9th ed. 1872, and other editions 1880 and 1883. 5. The Book of Rugby School, Rugby, 1856, 4to. 6. Thoughts on Personal Religion, 1862, 2 vols. 8vo; 8th ed. 1871, and six more editions by 1884. 7. Sermons, 1862, 2 vols. 16mo; 4th ed. 1869. 8. The Pursuit of Holiness, 1869, 8vo; 7th ed. 1885. 9. The Holy Catholic Church, London, 1873, 8vo; 2nd ed. 1874. 10. A Commentary — on the Order of the Administration of the Lord's Supper, 1875, 8vo; 6th ed. same year. 11. The Ancient Sculptures in the Roof of Norwich Cathedral, 1876, fol. 12. Everlasting Punishment, 1880, 8vo; 2nd ed. 1881. 13. Reminiscences of C. P. Golightly, Oxford, 1886, 8vo. 14. Three Counsels of the Divine Master for the Conduct of the Spiritual Life, 1888, 2 vols. 8vo; 2nd ed. 1890. 15. Farewell to Norwich Cathedral: seven Lectures, 1891, 8vo.
Berdmore Compton's Edward Meyrick Goulburn, 1899
works in British Museum
Prothero's Life of Dean Stanley
Rouse's Hist. of Rugby School
Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1715-1886
Biograph, vi. 567
Tuckwell's Reminiscences of Oxford, 1901, pp. 229 sqq.
Matthew Arnold's Letters, i. 222
Crockford's Clerical Directory, 1897
Davidson & Benham's Life of Archbishop Tait
Times, 4 May 1897
Guardian, 1897, i. 708-9
Men of the Time, 13th ed.
Burke's Landed Gentry, s.vv. Goulburn and Cartwright.
Contributor: A. F. P. [Albert Frederick Pollard]