Colt, Maximilian (DNB00)

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COLT or COULT, MAXIMILIAN (fl. 1600–1618), sculptor, was born at Arras in Flanders, and settled in England at the close of Elizabeth's reign. On 4 March 1604-5 he signed an agreement with the lord treasurer, Sir Robert Cecil, to carve a monument above Queen Elizabeth's grave in Westminster Abbey for 600l. The work was completed at the end of 1606. On 17 March 1607-8 Colt was employed on a second monument in Westminster Abbey above the grave of the Princess Sophia, the infant child of James I, who was born and died in the preceding June, and in September 1608 it was agreed that this monument should also commemorate the princess's sister Anne, who had died in the previous December. Colt received for this work 215l. On 28 July 1608 Colt was nominated the king's master-carver, and on 3 March 1608-9 he was granted a suit of broadcloth and fur to be renewed annually for life. In 1611 he carved 'a crown on the head of the Duke of York's barge,' and in the following years he was employed in decorating the king's and queen's private barges. The last payment for this work was made on 14 Oct. 1624. Between 1610 and 1612 he is credited with having designed and superintended the building of Wadham College, Oxford, but this statement is probably due to a confusion of Colt with (Sir Thomas) Holt, who has better claims to be regarded as the architect. Colt is met with as late as 1641, when he was imprisoned in the Fleet, and released by the warden. A petition was presented to the House of Lords in this year praying for an inquiry into the warden's lenient conduct (Hist. MSS. Comm. 4th Rep. 111). A letter (7 Jan. 1610-11) from Colt to Suffolk and Salisbury is among the manuscripts at Longleat.

Colt's name appears to have been originally 'Poultrain,' and in early life he is often described as 'Powtran or Poutraine, alias Colt,' but he was afterwards known only as Colt or Coult. He had a house in Bartholomew Close, and is described as living in Farringdon Ward in 1618, when his name appears in a list of foreigners then resident in London, together with that of John Colt, probably his son, who was also a sculptor and a native of Arras. A daughter Abigail was buried, at the age of sixteen, in St. Bartholomew's Church 29 March 1629, and his wife, Susan, in 1646. He had another son named Alexander.

[Pell Records, ed. Devon (1836), 21, 27, 50, 60, 88, 139, 249, 289; Foreigners resident in England, 1618-88 (Camd. Soc.), xxiv. 80; Walpole's Anecdotes, ed. Wornum (1862), 195, 238; Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. v. 434; Stanley's Westminster Abbey, 152-3, 156; Cal. State Papers (Dom. 1603-1610), 449, 496, 524; Redgrave's Diet, of Artists.]

S. L. L.