John Nelson Goulty
John Nelson Goulty
Engraving published May 1826
(1788-06-21)21 June 1788
East Dereham, Norfolk
18 January 1870(1870-01-18) (aged 81)
Brighton, East Sussex
Extra Mural Cemetery, Brighton
Horatio Nelson Goulty
John Nelson Goulty (21 June 1788 – 18 January 1870) was an English Nonconformist Christian pastor. He is best known for his sermons against mandatory tithing to the Church of England and against colonial slavery. After early work at Nonconformist chapels in Godalming and Henley-on-Thames, he moved to Brighton where he became “one of the most important persons” in the 300-year history of the town’s Union Chapel. He also helped to found schools and a cemetery in Brighton.
1.1 Early life
1.3 Personal life
Goulty was born on 21 June 1788 in East Dereham, Norfolk. He was a cousin of Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson (1758–1805). He was educated at Homerton College, a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, where he was taught by John Pye-Smith (1774–1851).
Goulty was pastor of Union Chapel, Brighton between 1823 and 1861.
Union Chapel, Brighton, post-1823 arrangement as it would have appeared at Goulty’s tenure, with the design attributed to “H. Wilds, Architect”
After Cambridge, he ministered in Godalming, Surrey from 1812 to 1815. This Surrey town had a long history of Nonconformist worship: a Presbyterian meeting was licensed in a private house in 1672, and in 1729 a permanent meeting house was built. After its pastor died in 1799, the cause declined and was taken on by the Surrey Congregational Mission and later by Independent Nonconformist students of Homerton College. Goulty was not an ordained pastor at this stage, but his service at the church saw it “considerably revived” from its declining state. He also travelled to the nearby villages of Elstead and Hascombe to preach. In 1815, he was ordained as pastor at the Independent chapel in Henley-on-Thames, where he served for nine years.
From 1823 to 1862, he served as the pastor of Union Chapel in Brighton, East Sussex, succeeding John Styles. The chapel had been enlarged during Styles’ 15-year incumbency, and immediately grew in popularity when Goulty took over. It