Mrs. Goddard is a minor character in Emma. She is a resident of the village of Highbury and is mistress of a boarding school—although not a seminary. Her school is of a reasonable price and high distinction.
She was often invited to Hartfield estate, along with Mrs. and Miss Bates for tea with Henry Woodhouse, to whom she looked quite kindly. They offered company to Emma Woodhouse after her beloved governess and friend, Miss Taylor married Mr. Weston and moved to Randalls.
She asked the Woodhouses for permission to bring Harriet Smith, the natural daughter of an unknown someone, to tea. Emma was interested in meeting the girl because she was so beautiful, and thought her pleasant and definitely an acquaintance worth cultivating upon meeting her. Mrs. Goddard was responsible for bringing Harriet into society.
Mrs. Goddard was a plain and motherly woman. Because she had worked so hard in her youth, she felt she was entitled to take some time off for tea-visits at Hartfield.