GODWIN (GODDEN), Sir John (c.1634-88), of London and Chatham, Kent.
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Family and Education
b. c.1634. m. (2) lic. 13 June 1666, aged 32, Anne, da. of John Timbrell, anchor-smith, of Portsmouth, Hants, 2s. 1da. Kntd. c.1680.1
Lt. RN 1665-8, clerk in victualling office by 1669-79, surveyor-gen. 1679; commr. resident at Chatham 1679-86, special commr. 1686-d.; elder bro. Trinity House 1686-d. 2
J.p. Kent 1680-d., Essex, Hants, Mdx., Suff., Surr., Suss. and Westminster 1687-d.
Godwin may have been akin to the coachman who prosecuted Edward Hales I for breach of the Test Act in the well-known collusive action designed to confirm the dispensing power; but the name in its less aristocratic form is so common in Kent that the matter must remain uncertain. He served under Jeremiah Smith both at sea, in the second Dutch war, and afterwards in the victualling office. He was appointed resident navy commissioner at Chatham in 1679, and returned for Queenborough in 1685, but he was not active in James II’s Parliament, being appointed only to consider a naturalization bill. He gave affirmative answers on the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws, and was approved as court candidate in February 1688. But early on the morning of 3 Mar. his neighbour Sir John Berry found him in his London home ‘in a weak and declining condition’, and he was buried at St. Olave’s Hart Street a week later. Nothing further is known of the family.3