Coleridge, James Duke (DNB00)


COLERIDGE, JAMES DUKE (1788–1857), divine, eldest son of James Coleridge of Heath's Court, Ottery St. Mary, Devonshire, by Frances Duke Taylor, one of the coheiresses of Robert Duke of Otterton, was the elder brother of Sir John Taylor Coleridge [q. v.] and of Henry Nelson Coleridge [q. v.] He went to Balliol College, Oxford, and became B.C.L. on 27 Jan. 1821 and D.C.L. on 5 March 1835. Having determined on taking orders in the English church, he sought and obtained work in his native county, and within the limits of the diocese of Exeter all his curacies and preferments were situate. In 1817 he was curate of the small parish of Whimple, near Exeter, and a year or two later he was working energetically as curate in the city benefice of St. Sidwell's, Exeter. By his diocesan he was advanced in 1823 to the vicarage of the then united parishes of Kenwyn and Kea, Cornwall where he laboured until 1828. During this period the church of Chacewater.with seating for fifteen hundred persons, and the smaller church of St. John, Kenwyn, were built in the parish, and became the centres of separate work. One of Coleridge's printed sermons was ' On the Funeral of the late Mr. William Gill of Chacewater ' (1827), his most active assistant in the erection of that church. From 1826 to 1839 he held the rectory of Lawhitton, and from 1831 to 1841 he was vicar of Lewannick, both of which livings are situate in the county of Cornwall. In 1839 he was appointed to the vicarage of Thorverton, Devonshire, and he died there on 26 Dec. 1857, aged 69. He held the post of official to the archdeacon of Cornwall, and in August 1825 the honour of a prebendal stall in Exeter Cathedral was conferred upon him. Coleridge married on 9 June 1814 Sophia, daughter of Colonel Stanhope Badcock, and at his death he left behind him two daughters.

Coleridge's religious views were those of the old-fashioned high-church school, and he laboured zealously, both by personal instruction and by printed works, to promote the opinions which he had adopted. His publications were numerous. Many of them were ephemeral sermons intended for his parishioners, but some were prepared for a wider circle. In the latter class came: 1. 'Observations of a Parish Priest in scenes of sickness and death,' 1825, the substance of which was reprinted in the sixth volume of the religious tracts of the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge. 2. 'A Selection of Family Prayers,' 1820; 2nd edition, 1824; 3rd edition, 1831. 3. A Companion to First Lessons for the Services of the Church on Sundays and the Fasts and Festivals,' 1838. The last was dedicated to his brother, John Taylor Coleridge, in language touching from its affectionate simplicity. The titles of many of his publications are printed in the 'Bibliotheca Cornubiensis.'

[Gent. Mag. February 1858, p. 224; Burke's Peerage; Boase and Courtney's Bibl. Cornub. i. 79-80, 313, 1128.]

W. P. C.