Godolphin, John

, an eminent civilian, the third son of John Godolphin, esq. was descended from an ancient family of his name in Cornwall, and born Nov. 29, 1617, at Godolphin, in the island of Scilly. He was sent to Oxford, and entered a commoner of Gloucester-hall, in 1632; and having laid a good foundation of logic and philosophy, he applied himself particularly to the study of the civil law, which he chose for his profession; and accordingly took his degrees in that faculty, that of bachelor in 1636, and of doctor in 1642-3. He has usually been ranked among puritans for having written two treatises published by him in 1650 and jL 1651, entitled, 1. “The Holy Limbec, or an extraction of the spirit from the Letter of certain eminent places in the Holy Scripture.” Other copies were printed with this title, “The Holy Limbec, or a Semicentury of Spiritual Extractions,” &c. 2. “The Holy Harbour, containing the whole body of divinity, or the sum and substance of the Christian Religion.” But | whatever may be the principles maintained in these works, which we have not seen, it is certain that when he went to London afterwards, he sided with the anti-monarchical party; and, taking the oath called the Engagement, was by an act passed in Cromwell’s convention, or short parliament, July 153, constituted judge of the admiralty jointly with William Clarke, LL. D. and Charles George Cock, esq. In July 1659, upon the death of Clarke, he and Cock received a new commission to the same place, to continue in force no longer than December following.

Notwithstanding these compliances with the powers then in being, he was much esteemed for his knowledge in the civil law, which obtained him the post of king’s advocate at the restoration: after which, he published several books in his own faculty then in good esteem, as “A View of the Admiral’s Jurisdiction,1661, 8vo, in which is printed a translation by him, of Grasias, or Ferrand’s “Extract of the ancient Laws of Oleron;” “The Orphan’s Legacy, &c. treating of last wills and testaments,1674, 4to. And “Repertorium Canonicurn,” &c. 1678, 4to. In this last piece he strenuously and learnedly asserts the king’s supremacy, as a power vested in the crown, before the Pope invaded the right and authority, or jurisdiction. He died April 4, 1678, and was interred in St. James’s church, Clerkenwell. 1


Ath. Ox. vol. II. Gen. Dict. Coote’s Catalogue of Civilians.