COCKERELL, Edmund (by 1510-59/60), of London.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
b. by 1510. m. Ursula, da. of Henry Huttoft of Southampton, Hants.2
Clerk of the pells, the Exchequer 1555-d.3
One of a large family of Guernsey merchants, Edmund Cockerell moved to London, being admitted to the freedom of the City as a grocer on 23 Nov. 1531, and was later joined there by his brother Thomas, who ‘made the chief of his substance into a stock’ shortly before his death in 1538. The brothers were involved in various ventures with the Huttofts and other leading merchants of Southampton, and in his will, which was witnessed by John Huttoft and John Fryer, Thomas left Edmund a share in the Mighell Cokerell and made him his executor and residuary legatee.4
Cockerell and his wife were involved in the misfortunes suffered by the Huttofts in 1535, when Henry Huttoft was left to shoulder an enormous load of debts. Among the associates who lost heavily in this disaster was John Mill I, who tried to recover his losses by seizing Huttoft’s goods and books of account. When Huttoft died intestate in the early 1540s, Edmund and Ursula Cockerell were appointed administrators of his estate; they claimed in 1547 that Mill still had most of it in his possession. Cockerell acted as attorney for Sir Fulke Greville and his wife Elizabeth when they sold their lands in Guernsey to Thomas Fasshyn and his father in 1545. One of Fasshyn’s daughters married John de Vic, to whom lands in Surrey were committed in January 1556 by Cockerell and John Austen, and Cockerell was an executor of the will of Fasshyn’s son.5
Late in 1555 Cockerell was appointed clerk of the pells in the Exchequer, a declining office which he strove to revive at the cost of dissension with his colleagues. He must have owed the place to the treasurer, William Paulet, Marquess of Winchester, whose continuing patronage after Cockerell’s death is seen in his request to the mayor and aldermen of London for the widow to remain in the city house in London Wall which she and her husband had occupied. Cockerell had perhaps come under Winchester’s aegis either through the Grevilles, Lady Greville’s aunt being the wife of Winchester’s eldest son, or through the treasurer’s kinsman (Sir) Hugh Paulet, since 1550 governor of Jersey, and when in May 1554 Winchester’s third son Chidiock Paulet became captain of Portsmouth the way was open for Cockerell to obtain one of the seats there. He did so in the three remaining Parliaments of Mary’s reign, sitting first with John de Vic, probably already another of Winchester’s servants. Nothing is known of his part in the proceedings of the House save that (as befitted the client of so notorious a ‘trimmer’ as Winchester) his name is not to be found either among the ‘seceders’ from the Parliament of November 1554 or on the list of opponents of a government bill in that of 1555.6
Cockerell was admitted to the freedom of Southampton in September 1559 but was dead by October 1560: in the absence of a will nothing further has come to light about him. He had a namesake who with his wife Alice leased the tithes of Nether Cerne, Dorset, and another who had a grant of a wardship in April 1566.7
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: Patricia Hyde
- 1. Huntington Lib. Hastings mss Parl. pprs. where Cockerell’s christian name is given in error as Edward.
- 2. Date of birth estimated from admission to freedom of London. C1/1176/54.
- 3. Eliz. Govt. and Soc. ed. Bindoff, Hurstfield and Williams, 220-30.
- 4. City of London RO, Guildhall, rep. 8, f. 198v; PCC 23 Dyngeley; St.Ch.2/25/108, 258; C1/771/44; C. Platt, Med. Southampton, 216.
- 5. C1/1176/54, 1223/46; CPR, 1555-7, p. 114; Black Bk. of Southampton (Soton Rec. Soc.), iii. 152n.
- 6. City of London RO, rep. 14, f. 399.
- 7. HMC 11th Rep. III, 20; CPR, 1563-6, pp. 224, 396.