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Coffin, Edward (1571-1626) (DNB00)

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COFFIN, alias Hatton, EDWARD (1571–1626), Jesuit, was born at Exeter in 1571, and arrived at the English college at Rheims on 19 July 1585. He left that city for Ingoldstadt on 7 Nov. 1586 in company with Dr. Robert Turner, who defrayed the cost of his education. On 26 July 1588 he entered the English college at Rome. Having been ordained priest on 13 March 1592-3 he was sent to England on 10 May 1594, and he entered the Society of Jesus in this country on 13 Jan. 1597-8. In the Lent of 1598 he was seized by the Dutch at Lillo, near Antwerp, while travelling to the novitiate in Flanders, and was sent back to England, where he spent his novitiate and the first five years of his religious life in prison, chiefly in the Tower of London (the Beauchamp tower). On the accession of James I, 'as a favour,' he was sent with a large number of other ecclesiastics into perpetual banishment. Repairing to Rome, he acted for nearly twenty years as confessor to the English college. He then resolved to return to his native country, and left Rome for Flanders, but at St. Omer he was taken ill and died in the college there on 17 April 1626, 'leaving behind him the reputation of great learning, perfect integrity, and unaffected piety.' His works are: 1. 'A Treatise in Defence of the Cœlibacy of Priests,' St. Omer, 1619, 8vo, under the initials C. E., in reply to Joseph Hall [q. v.], who published a rejoinder, entitled 'The Honor of the Married Clergie maintained against the Challenge of C. E., Masse Priest,' 1620. 2. A translation of Cardinal Bellarmin's 'Art of Dying Well,' 1621, also under the initials C. E. B. 'A True Relation of the Last Sicknes and Death of Cardinall Bellarmine,' 2 parts [London], 1622, 8vo. Also in Latin 'De morte Cardinalis Bellarmini,' St. Omer, 1623, 8vo. 4. 'Marci Antonii de Dominis Archiepiscopi Spalatrensis Palinodia, qua reditus sui ex Anglia rationes explicat,' St. Omer, 1623, 8vo; translated by Dr. John Fletcher under the title of 'My Motives for renouncing the Protestant Religion, by Antony de Dominis, D.D., dean of Windsor,' London, 1827, 8vo. 5. 'De Martyrio PP. Roberts, Wilson, et Napper,' manuscript at Stonyhurst College, in 'Anglia,' vol. iii. n. 103.

He edited the posthumous reply of Father Parsons to Dr. William Barlow, bishop of Lincoln, entitled 'A Discussion of Mr. Barlowes Answer to the Book entitled the Judgment of a Catholic Englishman concerning the Oath of Allegiance,' St. Omer, 1612, 4to. Coffin wrote the elaborate preface, which occupies 120 pages.

[Oliver's Jesuit Collections, 71; Foley's Records, i. 69 n. vi. 178, 522, 677, vii. 145; Douay Diaries, 18, 207, 213; Strype's Annals, iii. 318, folio; Dodd's Church Hist. ii. 416; Morris's Troubles of our Catholic Forefathers, i. 166; Archaeologia, xiii. 84; Southwell's Bibl. Scriptorum Soc. Jesu, 184; De Backer's Bibl. des Ecrivains de la Compagnie de Jesus (1869), i. 1316; Gillow's Bibl. Dict. i. 523; Cat. of Printed Books in Brit. Mus. under E. C.]

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