Godolphin, John (DNB00)

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GODOLPHIN, JOHN (1617–1678), civilian, second son (by Judith Meredith) of John Godolphin, who was younger brother of Sir William Godolphin (d. 1613), was born at Scilly, 29 Nov. 1617. He became a commoner of Gloucester Hall (afterwards Worcester College), Oxford, in the Michaelmas term of 1632; distinguished himself in the study of philosophy, logic, and the civil law; graduated as B.C.L. in 1636 and D.C.L. in 1643. He took the puritan side, and on 30 July 1653 was appointed judge of the admiralty, with William Clarke and Charles George Cock. After Clarke's death Godolphin and Cock were reappointed in July 1659 to hold the same office until 10 Dec. following. Upon the Restoration he became one of the king's advocates, though his name does not appear on the register. He died ‘in or near Fleet Street,’ 4 April 1678, and was buried in Clerkenwell Church. He was four times married, and had by his first wife a son, Sidney, who was governor of Scilly, and whose daughter Mary married Henry Godolphin, provost of Eton [q. v.]

Godolphin wrote the following books upon law and divinity, which are dry, though apparently learned abstracts: 1. ‘The Holy Limbec, or an Extraction of the Spirit from the Letter of certain eminent places in the Holy Scripture,’ 1650. ‘The Holy Limbeck, or a Semi-Century of Spiritual Extraction,’ &c., is the same book with title altered. 2. ‘The Holy Arbor, containing a Body of Divinity. … Collected from many Orthodox Laborers in the Lord's Vineyard,’ 1651. 3. ‘Synēgoros thalassios, a view of the Admiral Jurisdiction …’ 1661 and 1685 (appendix has a list of lord high admirals after Spelman, and an extract from the ancient laws of Oleron, translated from Garsias alias Ferrand). 4. ‘The Orphan's Legacy, or a Testamentary Abridgement’ (in three parts, on wills, executors, and legacies), 1674, 1677, 1685, 1701. 5. ‘Repertorium Canonicum, or an Abridgement of the Ecclesiastical Laws of this Realm consistent with the Temporal,’ 1678, 1680, 1687. ‘Laws, Ordinances, and Institutions of the Admiralty of Great Britain,’ 1746 and 1747, is not, as stated by Watt (Bibl. Brit.), a reprint of No. 3.

[Wood's Athenæ (Bliss), iii. 1152–3; Coote's English Civilians, p. 81; Echard's Hist. of England (1718), iii. 500; Boase and Courtney's Bibl. Cornub.]