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GODWIN, THOMAS, D.D. (d. 1642), schoolmaster, was the second son of Anthony Godwin of Wookey in Somersetshire. After a grammar school education he entered Magdalen Hall, 0xford, in 1602, at the early age of fifteen. He proceeded to his degree of B.A. in 1606, and to that of M. A. in 1609. On leaving the university he was appointed chief master of Abingdon school in Berkshire, where he remained for several years. In 1616 he took his degree of B.D., and at this time, as well as some years previously, he is mentioned as chaplain to James Montague [q. v.], bishop of Bath and Wells. He then resigned his scholastic work,with which he was exhausted, and obtained from Dr. Montague the rectory of Brightwell in Berkshire. While at Brightwell he further proceeded to his degree of D.D. in 1606. Godwin died on 20 March 1642, and was buried within the chancel of his church, where a monument was erected to his memory by his wife, Philippa Teesdale.

His published works consist of: 1. ‘Romanæ Historiæ Anthologia. An English Exposition of the Roman Antiquities, wherein many Roman and English Offices are parallelled, and diverse obscure Phrases explained,’ Oxford, 1614, 4to. This work was published for the use of his school at Abingdon. The second edition appeared in 1623 with considerable additions. The sixteenth and last edition was printed at London in 1696. 2. ‘Florilegium Phrasicon, or a Survey of the Latin Tongue.’ The date of this work is unknown. 3. ‘Synopsis Antiquitatum Hebraicarum ad explicationem utriusque Testamenti valde necessaria,’ Oxford, 1616, 4to. Dedicated to James Montague, bishop of Bath and Wells, and dean of his majesty's chapel. 4. ‘Moses and Aaron. Civil and Ecclesiastical Rites used by the ancient Hebrews observed, and at large opened for the clearing of many obscure Texts throughout the whole Scripture,’ London, 1625, 4to. The twelfth edition of this work was published in 1685. It attracted the attention of several distinguished commentators, among whom may be mentioned Dr. David Jennings and the learned Hottinger. 5. ‘Three Arguments to prove Election upon Foresight of Faith.’ This work while in manuscript fell into the hands of Dr. William Twiss of Newbury in Berkshire, who promptly challenged the writings of Godwin. A warm dispute ensued between the two, in which, according to Samuel Clarke, ‘Dr. Twiss promptly whipped the old schoolmaster.’

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, iii. 51; Wood's Fasti, i. 316, 334, 366, 398, 489, ii. 18, 57; Dodd's Church Hist.; Dr. Samuel Clarke's Lives of Eminent Persons; Jennings's Jewish Antiquities, &c.]

W. F. W. S.