James Perry Goodbody (1853-1923)



Source: The Goodbodys: The Story of an Irish Quaker Family 1630-1950 by Michael Goodbody 2011

James Perry Goodbody was the owner of the Athenry Estate from 1875 until taken over by the Congested Districts Board.


James Perry purchased the Athenry Estate of about 2300 acres in 1850. When his son, William, insisted on marrying Eliza Pim against his father’s wishes, James changed his will. As a result William was no longer to have a lifetime interest in his father’s properties. Much of these were now to be inherited by his daughter’s Hannah’s family. Hannah had married Marcus Goodbody in 1848 and they had thirteen children. Marcus and Hannah held the properties in trust.

Career and Family

James Perry Goodbody was the second son of Marcus Goodbody and Hannah Perry. He graduated from Trinity College in 1874. He worked in the family mill, M., J. and L. Goodbody in Clara alongside his cousin, Richard Goodbody. The two later became principal partners. Among his other numerous business interests and directorships was the Great Southern and Western Railway Company. He was president of the Irish Flour Millers Association in 1904.

He married Sophia Richardson in Belfast in1875 with a marriage settlement of £10,000.They had children including: James Perry (1877-1952), Joseph Harold (1880-1947), Mary Gertrude (1882-1973), Eva Margaret (1884-1965), Reginald Marcus (1886-1933) and Nora Elizabeth (1890-1976).

James Perry Goodbody died on 16th April 1923 in Inchmore. Sophia had died in Dublin on 24th December 1917. Both are buried in Clara.


On reaching the age of 25 in 1875 James Perry Goodbody became entitled to his inheritance from his grandfather, James Perry. This was the Athenry Estate as well as a share of the proceeds of the Prussian mines.

According to Harold Goodbody the Athenry Estate was always regarded as a troublesome property and there was considerable relief when it was sold in 1900. “It lay to the north of the town, in an arc ranging from west to north –west and included some tenanted land, much of it bad and stony”.

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Report in the Barrier Miner Newspaper, Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia (1888 – 1954) Times London correspondent of the “Argus” wrote on May 18, 1916 ...