Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 11.djvu/294

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Colemans, who played and sang so that the diarist 'spent the night in an extasy almost,' and on 3 Jan. following Coleman ' sang my words I set, of "Beauty, retire," and they praise it mightily.' Mrs. Coleman does not seem to have sung on the stage on any other occasion than the production of the 'Siege of Rhodes;' neither she nor her husband took part in the revival of Davenant's work in 1662. Coleman is mentioned by a contemporary as 'one of the greatest renown for his abilities in singing.' He died at Greenwich on Sunday, 29 Aug. 1669. He seems to have been in bad circumstances, for administration of his goods was granted on 16 Sept. following to Thomas Loup, a creditor, his widow Catherine consenting. Compositions by Coleman are to be found in 'Select Musical Ayres and Dialogues,' and Playford's 'Musical Companion;' a few other songs by him are in the British Museum, Lambeth Palace, and Fitzwilliam Museum libraries.

[Authorities as under Charles Coleman (d. 1664); Cheque Book of the Chapel Royal, ed. Rimbault, pp. 94, 128, 214; State Papers, Chas. II, Domestic Series, xlix. Docquet; Pepys's Diary, ed. Braybrooke; Batchiler's Life of Susanna Perwich.]

W. B. S.

COLEMAN, EDWARD (d. 1678), conspirator, was probably born before 1650. Brought up as a protestant, with extreme strictness, he revolted against the puritans, embraced Romanism, and is always supposed to have been admitted to the society of the Jesuits, several of whom held a correspondence with him from St. Omer and Paris, and held secret meetings with him in London. His conversion must have taken place before 1673, probably in 1670. His zeal and ability secured the countenance of James, duke of York, and he became secretary to the duchess, Mary of Modena, a post which he seems to have held in 1674 and later. A vain, meddling man, of shallow intellect, prodigal expenditure, inordinate conceit, and strong ambition, his strength was early wasted in enforced fasts. His sad, sunken eyes, and his lean, withered countenance, showing more ghastly pale while surrounded by his black peruke, gave him at least the appearance of one zealously affected towards ecclesiastical discipline. He was always ready to flatter and cajole foreign ecclesiastics by news-letters and by visits, even involving a journey to Paris without any authorising 'pass.' In 1674, and with few intervals to near the close of 1675, he held such dangerous communications, beseeching aid from foreign powers. His first correspondence in France was by letters addressed to Sir William Throckmorton, which led him into a second correspondence with La Ferrier, alias Le Phaire, on whose death in September 1675 he sent a letter to Père la Chaise, the confessor and almoner of Louis XIV. He corresponded also with the pope's nuncio at Brussels, avowedly in furtherance of a supposed proposal from the pope to furnish a sum of money, provided that Charles II would accord greater indulgences to the catholics in England. The Duke of York sent Coleman to Brussels to arrange with the nuncio, who disclaimed the authority to discuss such a proposal, but offered his services in a private capacity to bring the scheme to an issue after Coleman's return. This seems to have somewhat damped the ardour of the intriguing convert, for the correspondence with the higher ecclesiastics then became infrequent, or wholly ceased for several years. Titus Oates [q. v.], who had already given evidence of the 'popish plot,' appeared before the council on 28 Sept. 1678, and accused Coleman and other persons, who were ordered for immediate arrest. At the suggestion of Danby, Coleman's papers were to be searched for strictly. The warrant for his apprehension was sent out on Sunday night, 29 Sept. His papers were found, some of recent date in paper bags; the incriminating letters of earlier years were in a deal box, slightly nailed down. These were carried off, but Coleman's wife declared him to be absent. On Monday morning he came forward voluntarily, and offered himself to the secretary of state, Sir Joseph Williamson. In the afternoon he was heard before Sir Robert Southwell, and others of the council, in presence of Oates, who was unable to recognise him, and Coleman replied to the accusation of 'those vile things as thinking himself innocent.' He was only committed to the messenger. His papers were not searched carefully till a week later. The informer seemed about to lose credit when the murder or suicide of Sir Edmondbury Godfrey revived the flagging interest. Parliament reassembled amidst great excitement on 21 Oct., and on Saturday, 23 Nov. 1678, Coleman was arraigned for high treason, and the trial took place on Wednesday, the 27th, at the king's bench bar, before the lord chief justice, William Scroggs, who showed the strongest prepossession. Coleman declared that he had not continued the correspondence beyond 1674. Oates swore that he had carried a treasonable letter from Coleman to the rector of St. Omer, containing a sealed answer to Father La Chaise, with thanks for the ten thousand pounds given for the propagation of the catholic re-