COSIN, Richard (c.1548-97), of Doctors' Commons, London; later of Cote and Ashton, Oxon.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer




Family and Education

b. c.1548, s. of John Cosin of Newhall, co. Dur. by Margery, da. of Henry Pudsey of Bolton. educ. Skipton sch.; Trinity Coll. Camb. 1561, scholar 1563, BA 1566, fellow 1566; adm. pens. Gonville and Caius 1568, MA 1569, LLD 1580; adv. Doctors’ Commons. 1585. unm.

Offices Held

Chancellor, diocese of Worcester Jan.-Dec. 1583; dean of the arches and vicar-general, diocese of Canterbury Dec. 1583; master in Chancery extraordinary bef. 1588, master in Chancery Oct. 1588; member of ecclesiastical commission.1


Cosin’s father died at, or shortly after, the battle of Musselburgh 1547, leaving Cosin to be brought up by his stepfather, one Medhope. His relationship, which the Durham connexion makes likely, to Bishop Cosin has not been established.

By no means the ‘unprofitable’ student that he professed to be, Cosin was always interested in the affairs of Cambridge and of Trinity College in particular. While at the University, his tutor was Whitgift, to whom he owed his first ecclesiastical appointment and whom he served for the greater part of his life. As the archbishop’s principal administrative and legal adviser, Cosin was associated with Whitgift’s transformation of the high commission and other reforms in the ecclesiastical judicature. In 1583, together with Whitgift and Fabian Phillips, Cosin served in the visitation of Hereford diocese. He was also on the commission to visit the cathedrals of Lichfield and Coventry and, in 1584, Gloucester. Between 1583 and 1584 he was a commissioner to exercise jurisdiction in the diocese of Winchester. Bishop Watson died in January 1584 a