Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 11.djvu/145

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Cnut
Coates
139


[Coote's Civilians, p. 19; Hale's Precedents in Criminal Causes, pp. 98, 102; Le Neve's Fasti Eccl. Angl.; Wood's Fasti Oxon. (Bliss), i. 27; Strype's Cranmer.i. 77,113; Fiddes's Wolsey (Collections), p. 203; Ormerod's Cheshire (Helsby), i. 254; Cooper's Athenæ Cantab.]

J. M. R.

CNUT. [See Canute.]

COATES, CHARLES (1746?–1813), antiquary, son of John Coates, watchmaker, of the city of London, was born at Reading in or about 1746. After nine years' schooling at the free grammar school of Reading under the Rev. John Spicer, he was admitted, at the age of sixteen, as a sizar to Caius College, Cambridge, on 5 May 1762, proceeded M.B. in 1767, and on 16 June of the same year was admitted ‘pensionarius major’ (College Matriculation Book). He ultimately selected the church as his profession, and was for some years, between 1775 and 1797, curate to the Rev. Charles Sturges, at that time vicar of Ealing (Nichols, Lit. Anecd. ix. 110). Meanwhile, in 1780, he had become vicar of Preston, Dorsetshire, a preferment which he owed to his old schoolmaster, the Rev. John Spicer, and early in 1788 he was presented to the neighbouring vicarage of Osmington by the Bishop of Salisbury (Hutchins, Dorsetshire, 3rd ed. ii. 510, 838). In the last-named year he was created LL.B. by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and was afterwards appointed chaplain to the prince regent. The last years of his life were clouded by illness and domestic loss; he died at Osmington 7 April 1813.

In 1791 Coates issued proposals for ‘The History and Antiquities of Reading’ (Gent. Mag. vol. lxi. pt. ii. p. 1088), which appeared in 1802 (ib. vol. lxxii. pt. ii. p. 620), and was followed, seven years later, by ‘A Supplement … with Corrections and Additions by the Author.’ Both works are of permanent value, but their general utility is diminished by the absence of indexes. Coates meditated other literary work. An enlarged edition of Ashmole's ‘Antiquities of Berkshire’ is mentioned, and he also made collections for a continuation of Le Neve's ‘Lives of the Protestant Bishops,’ which he afterwards presented to Alexander Chalmers for insertion in the new edition of the ‘General Biographical Dictionary.’ He was elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries on 18 April 1793.

[Gent. Mag. lxxxiii. i. 83, ii. 88-9; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. i. 128; Cooper's Biog. Dict.]

G. G.


COATES, ROBERT (1772–1848), actor, generally known as Romeo Coates, was born in the island of Antigua in 1772. His father, Alexander Coates, born 16 April 1734, was a merchant and sugar-planter in Antigua, where he showed his patriotism by lending the government 10,000l. to pay the expenses of the encampment necessitated by the threatened attack of the fleets of France and Spain in June 1805. He died in Antigua, 12 Nov. 1807. By his wife, Dorothy, he had nine children, of whom only Robert lived beyond infancy. Coates when about eight years of age was brought to England by his father, and there received a very liberal classical education, after which, returning to his native place, he first showed his taste for the theatre by taking part in some dramatic exhibitions given in celebration of the success of the patriotic movement in 1805. On the death of his father he became the possessor not only of great wealth, but also of a large collection of magnificent diamonds; and, coming back to England, took up his residence at Bath. Here he lived in extraordinary style. His carriage, drawn by white horses, was in shape like a kettledrum, and across the bar of his curricle was a large brazen cock, with his motto, 'Whilst I live I'll crow.' His partiality for the drama soon became known, and the ladies requested him to perform the part of Romeo on the boards of the Bath Theatre. Accordingly, on 9 Feb. 1810 he made his debut in England, being supported by Miss Jameson in the character of Juliet. This was the first of his representations of a character which gave him the name of Romeo Coates, but he was also called Diamond Coates, from the liberal display which he made of his treasures both in private and on the stage. Other names by which he was known were Cock-a-doodle-doo Coates, in allusion to his motto, the Amateur of Fashion, and as he preferred to call himself, 'The Celebrated Philanthropic Amateur.' On 9 Dec. 1811 he presented himself to a London audience, and played Lothario in 'The Fair Penitent,' for; the benefit of a lady. After this for some time he continued by his eccentric acting to divide the attention of London with the young Roscius, and even had his admirers who believed in his dramatic talent and abilities. His appearance created so much sensation that Charles Mathews, in his 'At Home' at Covent Garden, produced on 25 Feb. 1813 a farcical sketch, in which he personated Romeo Rantall, and held the Amateur of Fashion up to ridicule. This piece had a run, and for a long time Romeo was one of Mathews's most popular impersonations. Coates also appeared at Richmond, and in Birmingham and other towns, and added to his list of characters that of Belcour in the ' West Indian.' For some seasons longer he continued to play at the Bath Theatre, where he is found in 1816, but