Godwin, Dr. Thomas

, a learned English writer, and an excellent schoolmaster, was born in Somersetshire, in 1587; and, after a suitable education in grammar-learning, was sent to Oxford. He was entered of Magdalenhall in 1602; and took the two degrees in arts 1606 and 1609. This last year he removed to Abingdon in Berkshire, having obtained the place of chief master of the freeschool there; and in this employ distinguished himself by his industry and abilities so much, that he brought the school into a very flourishing condition; and bred up many youths who proved ornaments to their country, both in church and state. To attain this commendable end he wrote his “Roman Historiae Anthologia,” an English exposition of the Roman antiquities, &c. and printed it at Oxford in 1613, 4to. The second edition was published in 1623, with considerable additions. He also printed for the use of his school, a “Florilegium Phrastcon, or a survey of the Latin Tongue.” However, his inclinations leading him to divinity, he entered into orders, and became chaplain to Montague bishop of Bath and Wells. | He proceeded B. D. in 1616, in which year he published at Oxford, “Synopsis Antiquitatum Hebraicarum, &c.” a collection of Hebrew antiquities, in three books, 4to. Thi he dedicated to his patron; and, obtaining some time after from him the rectory of Brightwell in Berkshire, he resigned his school, the fatigue of which had long been too great for him. Amidst his parochial duties, he prosecuted the subject of the Jewish antiquities; and, in 1625, printed in 4to, “Moses and Aaron, &c.” which was long esteemed an useful book for explaining the civil and ecclesiastical rites of the Hebrews. He took his degree of D. D. in 1637, but did not enjoy that honour many years; dying upon his parsonage in 1642-3, and leaving a wife, whom he had married while he taught school at Abingdon.

Besides the pieces already mentioned, he published “Three Arguments to prove Election upon Foresight by Faith” which coming into the hands of Dr. William Twisse, of Newbury in Berkshire, occasioned a controversy between them, in which our author is said not to have appeared to advantage. 1


Ath. Ox. vol. II, Gen. Dict.