Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 11.djvu/296

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Coleman
Colenso
290

was a member of the Westminster Assembly of Divines. Selden describes him as a learned man and an Erastian. He published some sermons and tracts. Wood says that he died early in 1647.

[Wood's Athenae Oxon. (Bliss), iii. 211; Fasti Oxon. (Bliss), i. 378; Selden's De Synedriis, i. 13.]

J. M. R.

COLEMAN, WALTER. [See Colman.]

COLEMAN, WILLIAM HIGGINS (d. 1863), botanist, was educated at St. John's College, Cambridge, where he graduated B. A. in 1836, M.A. in 1838, and was ordained deacon and priest by Kaye, bishop of Lincoln, in 1840. In 1834 he was author, in conjunction with John William Colenso [q. v.], (afterwards bishop of Natal), of 'Examples in Arithmetic and Algebra' (Cambridge); and becoming a master at Christ's Hospital, Hertford, he was engaged from 1840 to 1847 with the Rev. R. H. Webb in preparing the 'Flora Hertfordiensis' (London, 8vo, 1849). In 1847 he became assistant-master in the grammar school, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire. The 'Flora Hertfordiensis' contains an 'Introduction on the Physical Geography and Botanical Divisions of the County,' by Coleman, written in 1846, which is the first case in which a county flora was distributed into river-basin districts; and appendices (1) on this system, embodying the substance of a paper 'On the Geographical Distribution of British Plants' in the 'Phytologist ' (1848, iii. 217); and (2) on Œnanthe fluviatilis, which he was the first to diagnose (English Botany Supplement, 2944, and Ann. Nat. Hist. v. 13, 188, t. 3). He also added Carex Boenninghauseniana, Weihe, to our British list in 1842 (Eng. Bot. Sup. 2910) and Rubus Colemanni was dedicated to him by the Rev. A. Bloxam. In 1851, in conjunction with Mr. Webb, he published a supplement to the 'Flora Hertfordiensis,' and a second in 1859; and he also contributed notes upon mosses and flowering plants to the flora of the district surrounding Tutbury and Burton-on-Trent, by Edwin Brown, in Sir Oswald Mosley's 'Natural History of Tutbury,' London, 1863. Having 'been long engaged in minute and extensive researches … for the purpose of illustrating the more striking and difficult of the poetical passages of the Old Testament,' he published in the 'Journal of Biblical Literature' for July 1863 an elaborate paper on 'The Eighteenth Chapter of Isaiah,' which was reprinted with others, after his death, under the title of 'Biblical Papers; being Remains of the Rev. W. H. Coleman,' London, 1864, 8vo. He died at Burton-on-Trent, 12 Sept. 1863, and among his papers were found fragments of treatises on the Sinaitic inscriptions, and on the geology of the midland district.

[Journal of Botany, 1863, p. 318; Preface to Biblical Papers.]

G. S. B.

COLENSO, JOHN WILLIAM (1814–1883), bishop of Natal, born at St. Austell, Cornwall, on 24 Jan. 1814, was the son of John William Colenso, the mineral agent for part of the duchy of Cornwall. The adverse results of some mining operations seriously straitened his father's circumstances, and his son, still a lad and struggling manfully to carry on his own education, was weighted on his first start in life with the burden of helping to support his family. Early in 1831 he became an assistant in a school kept by Mr. Grubb, incumbent of St. Petrox, Dartmouth, where, with duties which occupied him from five a.m. to eight p.m., he managed to get some two hours daily for his own reading. His letters at this time show the serious tone of his mind, expressed in language usually described as Evangelical. His great desire was to enter the ministry, especially in the church of England. With this view he wished to go to Cambridge as a sizar of St. John's College; and going with the help of some of his relatives, he nobly redeemed his promise of repaying to them the full amount of their aid.

His life at Cambridge was hard to severity. In 1836 he became second wrangler and Smith's prizeman. Three years later Dr. Longley, then head-master of Harrow, appointed him mathematical tutor at the school. His sojourn at Harrow was marked by many misfortunes. A fire destroyed his boardinghouse: and the depressed state of the school under the management of Dr. Wordsworth left him so heavily in debt that a change became necessary. Returning to St. John's College, of which he had been admitted a fellow 14 March 1837, he worked there as tutor from 1842 to 1846, when he married Miss Sarah Frances Bunyon, and became vicar of Forncett St. Mary, a college living in Norfolk, where he worked for seven years among his parishioners and with his pupils. His school treatises on arithmetic (1843) and algebra (1841) had raised his reputation to the highest pitch, and a natural ambition might have led him to look for higher promotion in England. But in 1853 he received and accepted the offer of the new bishopric of Natal, which, with that of Grahamstown, was formed out of the original see of Capetown. Shortly before his consecration he dedicated to his intimate friend, Frederick Denison Mau-