Thomas Coggeshall (c. 1702—1768) seems to have led a pleasant life, but he left few traces during it. He did subscribe to Kirby’s Historical Account and Method of Perspective, as well as six copies Richard Canning’s book on Ipswich charities. He was a grandson of the Henry Coggeshall who invented a slide rule for lumber measurement and whose treatise on the use of the slide rule ran through many editions with varying titles. The third edition was The art of practical measuring easily perform’d, by a two foot rule, which slides to a foot….
Rev. Francis Haslewood reords Thomas Coggeshall’s monument in St. Matthew’s church thus:
Beyond whatever inheritance Coggeshall had from his father, he also inherited lands and money from his cousin John, and he died a wealthy man. The Gentlemen’s Magazine claimed he had left between £6000 and £7000, a not inconsiderable sum for the time. His will shows the interconnections between many of the local families. Coggeshall left the bulk of his estate to a cousin William, and to William’s daughter Martha, to another cousin William, and to some relatives on his mother’s side (his mother was a Cannell). As trustees for the property he appointed `Mr. John Hingestone son of my late worthy friend Mr. Mileson Hingestone and the Reverend Richard Canning son of my worthy friend the Reverend Mr. Canning of Ipswich’. He also made Rev. Canning an executor. The friendship presumably accounts for the six copies of Canning’s book that he subscribed for. Among many minor bequests to relations, he gave fifty pounds each to `Mr. Samuel Kilderbee of Framlingham and his two sons and daughter’ (Kilderbees and Coggeshalls were related by marriage a couple of generations earlier). To his `good friend’ Rev. John Clubb he gave four hundred pounds, to his `very intimate friend’ the elder Richard Canning he gave five hundred pounds. He also gave money to Elizabeth Craighton, widow of the publisher William Craighton, and to Craighton’s nephew Mr. Jackson (the widow and nephew had continued the publishing business including the Ipswich Journal after the death of William Craighton). He gave twenty pounds to Joshua Kirby and his brother William. Towards the end of the will is a long list of further friends to whom he gives 10 guineas each, including a `Mr. Gainsborough’ who is not specified further.
After a life with ‘plentiful Fortune favouring his natural love of ease’, he demonstrated in his will a great concern to pass on his fortune to friends, relatives, and charities.