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COLBURN, Z.—COLCHESTER

proprietor. He afterwards removed to New Burlington Street, where he established himself as a publisher, resigning the Conduit Street Library to Messrs Saunders & Otley. In 1814 he originated the New Monthly Magazine, of which at various times Thomas Campbell, Bulwer Lytton, Theodore Hook and Harrison Ainsworth were editors. Colburn published in 1818 Evelyn’s Diary, and in 1825 the Diary of Pepys, edited by Lord Braybrooke, paying £2200 for the copyright. He also issued Disraeli’s first novel, Vivian Grey, and a large number of other works by Theodore Hook, G. P. R. James, Marryat and Bulwer Lytton. In 1829 Richard Bentley (q.v.) was taken into partnership; and in 1832 Colburn retired, but set up again soon afterwards independently in Great Marlborough Street; his business was taken over in 1841 by Messrs Hurst & Blackett. Henry Colburn died on the 16th of August 1855, leaving property to the value of £35,000.


COLBURN, ZERAH (1804–1840), American mathematical prodigy, was born at Cabot, Vermont, on the 1st of September 1804. At a very early age he developed remarkable powers of calculating with extreme rapidity, and in 1810 his father began to exhibit him. As a performing prodigy he visited Great Britain and France. From 1816 to 1819 he studied in Westminster school, London. After the death of his father in 1824 he returned to America, and from 1825 to 1834 he was a Methodist preacher. As he grew older his extraordinary calculating powers diminished. From 1835 until his death, on the 2nd of March 1840, he was professor of languages at the Norwich University in Vermont. He published a Memoir of his life in 1833.

His nephew, also named Zerah Colburn (1832–1870), was a well-known mechanical engineer; the editor successively of the Railroad Advocate, in New York, The Engineer, in London, and Engineering, in London; and the author of a work entitled The Locomotive Engine (1851).


COLBY, THOMAS FREDERICK (1784–1852), British major-general and director of ordnance survey, was born at St Margaret’s, Rochester, on the 1st of September 1784, a member of a South Wales family. Entering the Royal Engineers he began in 1802 a life-long connexion with the Ordnance Survey department. His most important work was the survey of Ireland. This he planned in 1824, and was engaged upon it until 1846. The last sheets of this survey were almost ready for issue in that year when he reached the rank of major-general, and according to the rules of the service had to vacate his survey appointment. He was the inventor of the compensation bar, an apparatus used in base-measurements. He died at New Brighton on the 9th of October 1852.


COLCHAGUA, a province of central Chile, bounded N. by Santiago and O’Higgins, E. by Argentina, S. by Curicó, and W. by the Pacific. Its area is officially estimated at 3856 sq. m.; pop. (1895) 157,566. Extending across the great central valley of Chile, the province has a considerable area devoted to agriculture, but much attention is given to cattle and mining. Its principal river is the Rapel, sometimes considered as the southern limit of the Inca empire. Its greatest tributary is the Cachapoal, in the valley of which, among the Andean foothills, are the popular thermal mineral baths of Cauquenes, 2306 ft. above sea-level. The state central railway from Santiago to Puerto Montt crosses the province and has two branches within its borders, one from Rengo to Peumo, and one from San Fernando via Palmilla to Pichilemu on the coast. The principal towns are the capital, San Fernando, Rengo and Palmilla. San Fernando is one of the several towns founded in 1742 by the governor-general José de Manso, and had a population of 7447 in 1895. Rengo is an active commercial town and had a population of 6463 in 1895.


COLCHESTER, CHARLES ABBOT, 1st Baron (1757–1829), born at Abingdon, was the son of Dr John Abbot, rector of All Saints, Colchester, and, by his mother’s second marriage, half-brother of the famous Jeremy Bentham. From Westminster school Charles Abbot passed to Christ Church, Oxford, at which he gained the chancellor’s medal for Latin verse as well as the Vinerian scholarship. In 1795, after having practised twelve years as a barrister, and published a treatise proposing the incorporation of the judicial system of Wales with that of England, he was appointed to the office previously held by his brother of clerk of the rules in the king’s bench; and in June of the same year he was elected member of parliament for Helston, through the influence of the duke of Leeds. In 1796 Abbot commenced his career as a reformer in parliament by obtaining the appointment of two committees—the one to report on the arrangements which then existed as to temporary laws or laws about to expire, the other to devise methods for the better publication of new statutes. To the latter committee, and a second committee which he proposed some years later, it is owing that copies of new statutes were thenceforth sent to all magistrates and municipal bodies. To Abbot’s efforts were also due the establishment of the Royal Record Commission, the reform of the system which had allowed the public money to lie for some time at long interest in the hands of the public accountants, by charging them with payment of interest, and, most important of all, the act for taking the first census, that of 1801. On the formation of the Addington ministry in March 1801 Abbot became chief secretary and privy seal for Ireland; and in the February of the following year he was chosen speaker of the House of Commons—a position which he held with universal satisfaction till 1817, when an attack of erysipelas compelled him to retire. In response to an address of the Commons, he was raised to the peerage as Baron Colchester, with a pension of £4000, of which £3000 was to be continued to his heir. He died on the 8th of May 1829. His speeches against the Roman Catholic claims were published in 1828.

He was succeeded by his eldest son Charles (d. 1867), postmaster-general in 1858; and the latter by his son Reginald Charles Edward (b. 1842), as 3rd baron.


COLCHESTER, a market town, river port and municipal and parliamentary borough of Essex, England; 52 m. N. E. by E. from London by the Great Eastern railway. Pop. (1901) 38,373. It lies on the river Colne, 12 m. from the open sea. Among numerous buildings of antiquarian interest the first is the ruined keep of the castle, a majestic specimen of Norman architecture, the largest of its kind in England, covering nearly twice the area of the White Tower in London. It was erected in the reign of William I. or William II., and is quadrangular, turreted at the angles. As in other ancient buildings in Colchester there are evidences of the use of material from the Roman town which occupied the site, but it is clearly of Norman construction. Here is the museum of the Essex Archaeological Society, with a remarkable collection of Roman antiquities, and a library belonging to the Round family, who own the castle. Among ecclesiastical buildings are remains of two monastic foundations—the priory of St Botolph, founded early in the 12th century for Augustinian canons, of which part of the fine Norman west front (in which Roman bricks occur), and of the nave arcades remain; and the restored gateway of the Benedictine monastery of St John, founded by Eudo, steward to William II. This is a beautiful specimen of Perpendicular work, embattled, flanked by spired turrets, and covered with panel work. The churches of Holy Trinity, St Martin and St Leonard at Hythe are of antiquarian interest; the first has an apparently pre-Norman tower and the last preserves some curious frescoes.

The principal modern buildings are the town hall, corn exchange, free library, the Eastern Counties’ asylum, Essex county hospital and barracks. The town has long been an important military centre with a large permanent camp. There are a free grammar school (founded 1539), a technical and university extension college, a literary institute and medical and other societies. Castle Park is a public ground surrounding the castle. Colchester is the centre of an agricultural district, and has extensive corn and cattle markets. Industries include founding, engineering, malting, flour-milling, rose-growing and the making of clothing and boots and shoes. The oyster fisheries at the mouth of the Colne, for which the town has been famous for centuries, belong to the corporation, and are held on a ninety-nine years’ lease by the Colne Fishery Company, incorporated