Coffin, Edward

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Jesuit controversialist; b. Exeter, 1570 or 1571; d. Saint-Omer, France, April 17, 1626. He entered the English College, Rome, in 1588, was ordained in Rome (1593), and was sent to England (1594); he joined the Society of Jesus (1598) while on the mission. On his way to make his novitiate in Flanders, he was captured by the Dutch near Antwerp and sent back to England as a prisoner. He spent the next five years in jail, but on the accession of James I (1603) he was released and exiled. For nearly 20 years he was confessor at the English College, Rome. Near the end of his life he set out again for the English mission but got no farther than Saint-Omer. He wrote a number of books, including several controversial works against the English Protestants. He edited and contributed a lengthy introduction to Robert persons' posthumous reply to William Barlow, bishop of Lincoln, A Discussion of the Answere of M. William Barlow, 1612.

Bibliography: t. cooper, The Dictionary of National Biography from the Earliest Times to 1900 (London 18851900; repr. with corrections, 190809, 1921-22, 1938) 4:671672. Publications of the Catholic Record Society (London 1905) v.37. c. sommervogel et al., Bibliothèque de la Compagnie de Jésus (Brussels-Paris 18901932) 2:127071. j. gillow, A Literary and Biographical History or Bibliographical Dictionary of the English Catholics from 1534 to the Present Time (London-New York 18851902; repr. New York 1961) 1:522523.

[a. f. allison]