Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 11.djvu/412

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Colson
Colston
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which was published from his manuscript at the expense of Baron Maseres under the inspection of John Hellins, B.D., F.R.S., vicar of Potterspury, Northamptonshire.

[Authorities p.ited above; MS. Rawl. G. fol. 20, in Bodleian Lib.; also Watt's Bibl. Brit.; Cat. of Printed Books in Brit. Mus.]

T. C.

COLSON, LANCELOT (fl. 1668), was an astrologer who practised at the sign of the Royal Oak on Great Tower Hill. His almanack or ephemeris was published there from 1660 to 1676, together with his 'Philosophia Maturata, an Exact Piece of Philosophy, containing the practick and operative part thereof in gaining the philosopher's stone,' &c. (London, 1668, 12mo). This volume is one of the leading works on the philosopher's stone.

[Colson's Ephemerides.]

E. H.-A.

COLSTON, EDWARD (1636–1721), philanthropist, eldest son of William Colston, merchant and sheriff of Bristol, and Sarah, daughter of Edward Batten, barrister-at-law, of the Inner Temple, was born at the house of his mother's parents in Temple Street, Bristol, on 2 Nov. 1636, and is said to have passed his infancy at Winterbourne, Gloucestershire, where his father owned an estate. William Colston was a royalist; he was to some extent concerned in the attempt of Boucher and Yeomans to deliver Bristol to Prince Rupert in March 1643, and in the September following entertained Charles I at his noble house in Small Street, now virtually destroyed, though partially incorporated with the modern Guildhall. Accordingly in October 1645, after the surrender of the city by Rupert, he was removed from his office as alderman by order of the parliament. The disturbed state of the city and the part thus taken by his father in the struggle between the king and the parliament account for Colston's removal to London. He received his education at Christ's Hospital. The next fact known about him is his nomination as a governor of the hospital in 1680. At different dates he gave 2,000l. to this institution. The statements that he resided some time in Spain and was largely engaged in trade with that country (Barret, p. 655) do not appear to rest on any satisfactory ground. His trade lay chiefly with the West Indies, and having been admitted to the freedom of the city of Bristol on 10 Dec. 1683, and becoming a member of the Merchants' Hall a few days later, he is described as 'a free burgess of Bristol and a meire (or St. Kitts') merchant.' At this time he appears to have been residing in Bristol. By 1689, however, he had become a resident at Mortlake, Surrey, and was taking part in parochial affairs there. He visited Bristol occasionally, and his charities there were very large. He founded and endowed almshouses on St. Michael's Hill, and placed them under the care of the Merchant Venturers, 1690-6, and in conjunction with that society enlarged the almshouses for poor sailors in King Street, 1695-9. He also endowed Queen Elizabeth's Hospital, a school for boys, chiefly from lands in Somersetshire, and urged the corporation of the city, the governors of the hospital, to raise the number of scholars from 44 to 120. Hi a desire for the increased efficiency of the school was not warmly received by some of the members of the corporation, who, from one of Colston's letters, appear to have considered an institution of that kind 'a nursery for beggars and sloths.' Accordingly, in 1705, he wrote to the Society of Merchant Venturers offering to build and endow a school for fifty boys and place it under their charge. The society gladly accepted the trust they have ever since nobly fulfilled. During the progress of the building Colston added another fifty boys to the foundation. Colston's School, now removed to Stapleton, Gloucestershire, was founded on St. Augustine's Back, on the site of a Carmelite friary, and was opened by the founder in July 1710. In 1712 he built and endowed a school for forty poor boys to be clothed and educated in Temple parish, which became the origin of the present school in Victoria Street, opened in 1866. He also gave money to various other charity schools in the city. To St. Bartholomew's and four other hospitals in London he gave 5,500l. At Sheen, Surrey, he founded and endowed an almshouse for six poor men, and gave 900l. for the education and clothing of twelve boys and twelve girls at Mortlake.

Colston, though not a nonjuror, was a strong tory and high churchman, and gave large sums to the repair of various churches in Bristol. All his foundations were in strict connection with the church. Writing to the Merchants' Hall in 1717 on the subject of the appointment of a master to his school, he reminds the governors that his object in endowing his 'hospital' was 'not the bare feeding of the one hundred boys,' but that they should 'be bred up in the doctrine of our present established church of England.' When in Bristol he attended I daily service at the cathedral, and each Sunday used to stand at the door to see his boys enter the church. In 1709 he was elected a member of the Society for Promoting Chris-