Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 11.djvu/209
tutorship in his college. Thence he retired to the college living of Ware in Hertfordshire, and in the discharge of his clerical duties burst a blood-vessel, thereby fatally injuring his health. Advised to try a southern climate, he travelled abroad, and died at Rome 3 March 1845. He married a daughter of Dr. Batten, principal of Haileybury College, and left seven children. His attainments were various. Besides taking the first place in the mathematical tripos, he had competed successfully for classical honours; he was a good modern linguist, an excellent musician and draughtsman, and a skilled botanist. His published works on science, with the exception of an anonymous tract on 'The Principles of the Differential Calculus,' were exclusively devoted to optics. The first of these, entitled 'An Elementary Treatise on Optics' (Cambridge, 1823, 2nd edit. 1825), made little pretension to originality. Based on Dr. Whewell's lectures, it was, however, the first attempt to make English students acquainted with modern methods of investigation in the subject treated. His next work, entitled 'A System of Optics,' published at Cambridge, in two parts, 1829-1830, raised higher his claims as an independent inquirer in mathematical physics. The first part, 'A Treatise on the Reflection and Refraction of Light,' contained a very complete investigation of the paths of reflected and refracted rays; while in the second, styled 'A Treatise on the Eye and on Optical Instruments,' were explained the theory and construction of the various kinds of telescope and microscope. On 22 March 1830 he read a paper 'On the Improvement of the Microscope' before the Cambridge Philosophical Society (Transactions, iii. 421), the strong recommendation contained in which of the 'grooved sphere' lens, first described by Brewster in 1820 (Edin. Phil. Jour. iii. 76), brought it into general use under the designation of the 'Coddington lens' (Encyc. Brit. xiv. 769, 8th edit.) He wrote besides, 'A few Remarks on the New Library Question, by a Member of neither Syndicate' (Cambridge, 1831), and 'The Church Catechism explained, enlarged, and confirmed by quotations from Holy Scripture' (London, 1840). His name occurs on the first list of members of the British Association. He was one of the earliest members of the Royal Astronomical Society, was a fellow of the Geological and Royal Societies, and sat on the council of the latter body in 1831-2.
[Mem. R. A. Soc. xvi. 484; Annual Eeg. (1845), p. 257; Gent. Mag. (1845), ii.90; Monthly Notices, vii. 48; Encyc. Brit. xvi. 260, 9th edit.]
CODDINGTON, WILLIAM (1601-1678), governor of Rhode Island, New England, a native of Lincolnshire, was born in 1601. He was chosen in England to be an 'assistant' or magistrate to the colony at Massachusetts Bay, and arrived at Salem 12 June 1630, along with the governor and the charter, after which he was several times re-elected. He is said to have built the first brick house in Boston, where he was a 'principal merchant.' For some time he was treasurer of the colony. Having in opposition to Governor Winthrop and the ministers of Boston warmly espoused the cause of Mrs. Anne Hutchinson, he was so chagrined at the result of the trial that he abandoned his lucrative business in Boston, and joined the emigrants who in 1638 left for Rhode Island. His name appears first on the covenant signed by eighteen persons at Aquidneck, or Rhode Island, 7 March 1638, forming themselves into a body politic 'to be governed by the laws of the Lord Jesus Christ, the King of kings.' After a more formal code was drawn up he was appointed judge at Portsmouth, then the chief seat of the government, three elders being joined with him in the administration of affairs. At Portsmouth he held office for a little over a year; he was then appointed judge at Newport, and when Portsmouth and Newport were united in 1640, he was appointed the first governor. The four towns, Portsmouth, Newport, Providence, and Warwick, were united in 1647, and he was the second president chosen, holding office from May 1648 to May 1649. This year he made an unsuccessful attempt to have Rhode Island included in the confederacy of the United Colonies of New England. In 1651 he went to England, and was commissioned governor of Aquidneck Island, separate from the rest of the colony; but as the people were jealous lest his commission should affect their laws and liberties, he resigned it, and for a time retired from public life. In his later years he was, however, prevailed upon to accept the chief magistracy. He died 1 Nov. 1678.
[Callendar's Historical Discourse on the Civil and Religious Affairs of the Colony of Rhode Island in vol. iv. of Collections of the Rhode Island Historical Society; Savage's Winthrop; Savage's Genealogical Dictionary of New England Settlers; Hutchinson's History of Massachusetts Bay.]