The Goodison Egyptology Collection

The Goodison Egyptology Collection

The collection is named after Mrs Anne Goodison of Beech Lawn, Waterloo, Merseyside who collected the bulk of the objects. Little is known of Mrs Goodison (nee Padley) other than she married George Goodison, a civil engineer to the Walton Local Board, who laid a sewerage system in the Everton area and as a gesture of thanks; a road was named after him. Some years later a football ground was built which was to take its name (Everton Football Clubs home ground). She collected approximately a thousand pieces which she displayed in the museum room of her home. Records simply record her as an amateur Egyptologist and a student of hieroglyphics and as she was a collector and buyer rather than an excavator, no records can be found in any of the usual places. The majority of the items were collected during two trips to Egypt in 1887 and 1897 and a number of pieces were acquired through the Egyptian Exploration Fund in October of 1900.

Paddle Doll

Paddle Doll


She purchased most with the advice of clergyman Reverend Greville J Chester, who is well known for his help in purchasing Egyptian antiquities for establishments such as the British Museum, World Museum Liverpool, the Ashmolean and the Fitzwilliam to name but a few. Though little appears to be recorded of her, there are tantalising connections which have come to light. Records show that a reed basket in the collection came via the Salt collection and a paint box was a gift of Amelia Edwards. There is a reference to Marianne Brocklehurst contacting the then curator of Bootle Museum, Mr John Joseph Ogle through the recommendation of Mrs Goodison (Bootle museum will be mentioned a little later) asking for advice on setting up a museum in Macclesfield and when the Goodison’s rented a cottage in Coniston, their next door neighbour was none other than John Ruskin. Following her death in 1906 aged 61, her husband approached Bootle Museum with the aim of selling his wife’s collection. Mr Goodison was wishing to move south and was anxious to sell the collection, though at the original asking price of £400 it was far too expensive for the museum to purchase. Without any hope of raising such a sum the then curator, Mr Hunt, contacted Mr Thomas Davies of Balliol Road, Bootle for assistance. Mr Davies was a retired businessman who had spent most of his working life in Egypt. After lots of correspondence and advice sought from many sources such as Miss E Paterson, secretary of Egyptian Exploration Fund and Professor Newberry of the University of Liverpool, the collection was declared to be genuine the collection was eventually purchased and on the 3rd of April 1908 the committee finally accepted the gift from Mr T Davies. The committee was to prove quite forward thinking and instead of putting the collection straight out onto display, they instead allowed Professor Newberry to catalogue the artefacts in the basement of the building and was ably assisted by Meta Williams, secretary of the Institute of Archaeology at Liverpool University. By 1910 the cataloguing was complete and the objects put on display in two rooms of Bootle Museum.

Bootle Museum & Art Gallery closed in 1974 and the Egyptology collection was carefully stored away until suitable conditions were developed so the collection could be put on display again. In 2014, thanks to HLF funding a brand new gallery was constructed in The Atkinson to display the fantastic collection put together by Mrs Goodison.

Discover Ancient Egypt is open Monday to Saturday, 10am – 4pm. Entry is free.

Written by Jo Chamberlain, Heritage & Participation Officer


Posted on 1 March 2019 under Museum

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