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COOLIDGE, Susan. See WOOLSEY, SARAH C. COOMBE, Thomas, clergyman, born in Philadelphia, 21 October, 1758; died in London, 15 August, 1822. He was graduated at the College of Philadelphia in 1766, and in 1768 went to England, where he was ordained priest and appointed chaplain to the Marquis of Rockingham. He returned to Philadelphia in 1772, and was chosen an assistant minister of Christ church and St. Peter's. On 20 July, 1775, the day appointed for a general fast by the Continental congress, he delivered a sermon, which was published (Philadelphia, 1775; 3d ed., Newport, 1776). Mr. Coombe supported the cause of the colonies until the passage of the Declaration of Independence, but felt that his ordination-oath did not permit him to follow the same course after that event. This decision caused him to be looked upon with suspicion, and just previous to the occupation of the City he was ordered to be arrested; but the order was not executed, and, after the British left the City in 1778, he obtained permission to go to New York, whence he sailed for England. He was subsequently chaplain to the Earl of Carlisle, and in 1794 was appointed chaplain in ordinary to the king. The degree of D.D. was conferred upon him in 1781 by the University of Dublin. He was an eloquent and impressive preacher. Josiah Quincy, Jr., speaks of one of his extempore prayers "which, in point of sentiment, propriety of expression, and true sublimity, excelled anything of the kind" he had ever heard. Dr. Coombe was the friend of Sir Joshua Reynolds, Johnson, and Goldsmith. He published two poems: "Edwin, or the Emigrant" (Philadelphia, 1775), and "The Peasant of Auburn" (London, 1783).
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