COSSEN, Henry (-d.1619), of Truro, Cornw.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press




Family and Education

m. Philippa (bur. 5 Sept. 1639), 7s. (1 d.v.p.) 3da. bur. 7 Nov. 1619.1

Offices Held

Burgess, Truro from 1589, alderman by 1605, mayor and j.p. 1605-6.2


Cossen’s parentage is unknown, but he probably belonged to the family of that name found at St. Ives and elsewhere in west Cornwall.3 He appears to have settled in Truro during the mid-1570s, and was sufficiently prominent there by 1589 to become a founding member of the corporation. Although he was numbered among Truro’s wealthier residents in the town’s valuations for subsidy ten years later, the nature of his livelihood is unclear.4 Elected to Parliament for the borough in 1604, doubtless on the corporation’s own interest, he left no trace in the Commons’ records, apart from being granted leave on 21 Mar. 1606 to return home on account of his wife’s illness and his pressing responsibilities as mayor.5

Cossen made his will on 12 Oct. 1619, its bequests including the provision of funds for an annual loan of £6 to local young men, presumably for commercial purposes. The interest accrued from the loan, which was to be administered by the Truro corporation, was partly intended to fund an annual sermon in the town, a godly objective which also found expression in the almost contemporaneous will of Cossen’s 1604 parliamentary partner, Thomas Burges I. Cossen left his younger sons legacies of up to £80, and his wife an annuity of £20 and selected household goods, including a ‘London bedstead’. He died a few weeks later, and was buried at Truro parish church on 7 November.6

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Paul Hunneyball


  • 1. Reg. St. Mary’s, Truro ed. S.E. Gay et al. (Devon and Cornw. Rec. Soc.), 245, 262, 277; PROB 11/134, ff. 194v-5; Cornw. RO, C970/1.
  • 2. C66/1334; CJ, i. 288a.
  • 3. Cornw. RO, C170; FP133/1/1; J.H. Matthews, Hist. St. Ives, 153.
  • 4. E179/88/229, 260; STAC 5/A32/13.
  • 5. CJ, i. 288a.
  • 6. PROB 11/134, ff. 194v-5v; 11/142, f. 472.