COTTERELL, Sir Clement (c.1585-1631), of Wilsford, Lincs. and Whitehall, Westminster

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

b. c.1585, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Robert Cotterell of Southrepps, Norf. and Anne, da. of Nicholas Bohun of Fressingfield, Suff.1 educ. Eton 1595.2 m. 1606, Anne, da. of Henry Allen, yeoman, of Wilsford, 2s. 5da. (3 d.v.p.).3 suc. fa. aft. 1607;4 kntd. 26 Dec. 1620.5 d. 10 Nov. 1631.6

Offices Held

Servant to Sir George Villiers (later 1st duke of Buckingham) by 1616.7

Muster-master, Bucks. 1617-22;8 v. adm. Lincs. 1620-d.;9 j.p. Lincs. (Kesteven) 1622-d.;10 commr. Forced Loan, Lincs. 1627,11 sewers, Lincoln and Lincs. 1629-31,12 knighthood compositions 1630.13

Groom-porter 1619-d.;14 commr. starch manufactures 1620.15


Cotterell’s grandfather owned manorial property in Norfolk by 1511. Cotterell himself acquired by marriage in 1606 a small property in Lincolnshire, later estimated to be worth £160 a year.16 By this time, however, his father, Robert, was in deep financial difficulty, and in 1607 he was forced by his creditors to obtain a private Act of Parliament authorizing him to sell his estate.17 It is not known when Robert died, but Cotterell’s inheritance must have been minimal.

Cotterell subsequently entered the service of the rising royal favourite George Villiers, who described him as ‘one of whose honest and civil carriage I have had long trial’ when he obtained for him the post of muster-master of the Buckinghamshire militia in 1617.18 Two years later Villiers, now marquess of Buckingham, followed this up with a grant for life of the groom-portership at Court, at the cost of antagonizing the lord chamberlain, the 3rd earl of Pembroke.19 The matter was only finally settled when James I intervened on Cotterell’s behalf.20 The post conferred the right to control and licence bowling alleys, tennis courts and similar places of recreation, together with all gambling, in and around London.21

In 1620 Buckingham, now lord admiral, appointed Cotterell vice admiral of Lincolnshire. The post gave Cotterell sufficient local standing to be returned to the third Jacobean Parliament for Grantham, a borough some eight miles from Wilsford. He was nominated to only one committee, on preparing the petition against recusants (15 Feb. 1621).22 In 1624 he was elected for both Boston and Grantham, choosing the latter, possibly by arrangement with Sir William Armyne, 1st bt.*, who took over his seat at Boston.23 During the course of the Parliament Cotterell received only a single appointment, on 9 Apr., this being to consider a private bill for the exchange of lands between Prince Charles and Sir Lewis Watson*.24 He does not appear to have stood for Parliament again.

In July 1628 Cotterell was granted £5,000 as royal bounty.25 He died intestate on 10 Nov. 1631, aged 46, and was buried at St. Martin-in-the-Fields; administration of his estate was granted to his widow.26 Portraits of Cotterell and his wife are held at Rousham Park in Oxfordshire.27 His son, Sir Charles Cotterell, sat for Cardigan Boroughs in the Cavalier Parliament.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Paula Watson / Rosemary Sgroi


  • 1. Le Neve’s Knights (Harl. Soc. viii), 409-10; Vis. Suff. (Harl. Soc. n.s. ii), 180-1.
  • 2. Eton Coll. Reg. comp. W. Sterry, 87.
  • 3. Lincs. Peds. (Harl. Soc. l), 10; St. Martin-in-the Fields 1550-1619 (Harl. Soc. Reg. xxv), 154; St. Martin-in-the Fields 1619-36 (Harl. Soc. Reg. lxvi), 17, 31, 190, 235, 259.
  • 4. HLRO, O.A. 3 Jas.I, c. 29.
  • 5. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 176.
  • 6. C142/488/71.
  • 7. Egerton Pprs. ed. J.P. Collier (Cam. Soc. xii), 484.
  • 8. Eg. 860, ff. 50, 56.
  • 9. Vice Admirals of the Coast comp. J.C. Sainty and A.D. Thrush (L. and I. Soc. cccxxi), 35.
  • 10. C231/4, f. 134; C66/2527.
  • 11. SP16/73/45.
  • 12. C181/4, ff. 40, 83v.
  • 13. E178/7154, f. 66; 178/5414, ff. 5, 9, 13.
  • 14. CSP Dom. 1619-23, p. 97; T. Rymer, Foedera, vii. pt. 3, pp. 158-60.
  • 15. CD 1621, vii. 441.
  • 16. T. Allen, Hist. Lincs. ii. 292.
  • 17. W. Rye, Norf. Fams. 126; Bowyer Diary, 56; HLRO, O.A. 3 Jas.I, c. 29.
  • 18. Egerton Pprs. 484.
  • 19. R. Lockyer, Buckingham, 65-66.
  • 20. HMC Hatfield, xxii. 105; Chamberlain Letters ed. N.E. McClure, ii. 263, 265, 275.
  • 21. VCH Mdx. ii. 285.
  • 22. CJ, i. 522b.
  • 23. Ibid. 716a.
  • 24. Ibid. 758b.
  • 25. CSP Dom. 1628-9, p. 205.
  • 26. St. Martin-in-the-Fields (Harl. Soc. Reg. lxvi), 264; PROB 6/14A, f. 71.
  • 27. Lipscomb, Bucks. i. 118.