Author Topic: Robert Cocking 1776 (or 7) - 1837  (Read 1566 times)

Offline antman111

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Robert Cocking 1776 (or 7) - 1837
« on: Monday 05 June 17 10:01 BST (UK) »
I am looking for information on Robert Cocking, the experimental parachutist who fell to his death at Lee, Kent, on 24 July 1837. A great deal has been written about his death, but little is known about his life.

Specifically, I would welcome any information regarding his birth and/or parentage.

JE Hodgson in his book, 'The History of Aeronautics in Great Britain' (OUP, 1924) wrote that he "was the son of an Irish clergyman" - but did not footnote this claim.

Thanks in anticipation.

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Offline ShaunJ

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Re: Robert Cocking 1776 (or 7) - 1837
« Reply #1 on: Monday 05 June 17 13:31 BST (UK) »
There was a Reverend Ralph Cocking who was a subscriber to "The Works of Jonathan Swift" published in 1765. Must be a possibility.

EDIT Hmm maybe not - he died in 1773. "The Rev. Doctor Ralph Cocking, near forty Years Rector of the Parish of Raheny " per Irish newspaper reports.
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Offline ShaunJ

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Re: Robert Cocking 1776 (or 7) - 1837
« Reply #2 on: Monday 05 June 17 13:46 BST (UK) »
Just looking at a funeral report which lists the chief mourners. These include

Mr H P Cocking, grandson
Mr John Phillips, brother in law
Mr H Phillips, a nephew
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Offline ShaunJ

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Re: Robert Cocking 1776 (or 7) - 1837
« Reply #3 on: Monday 05 June 17 13:56 BST (UK) »
H P Cocking was Henry Cocking of 25 John Street, Lambeth Walk, shopman to a stationer.

Probably Henry Percy William Cocking, baptised 14 October 1816 at St James' Piccadilly, son of Richard and Caroline.

A Richard Percy Cocking was baptised at St Paul's Dublin on 13 March 1794, father Robert, mother Jane. A sister Rebecca was baptised there on 28 February 1796
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Offline antman111

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Re: Robert Cocking 1776 (or 7) - 1837
« Reply #4 on: Monday 05 June 17 20:44 BST (UK) »
Dear ShaunJ,

Well done! You have been busy and productive. Whilst the names you cite are all familiar to me, I have never delved into their backgrounds as you have. Thank you, too, for eliminating Ralph from the enquiry.

The most intriguing, I think, is Richard Percy Cocking: 'baptised at St Paul's Dublin on 13 March 1794, father Robert, mother Jane'.

That suggests he (RPC) could either be a brother, or, alternatively, a son of Robert Cocking (1776-1837), does it not? Is there any way of getting closer?

Meanwhile, according to my notes, Robert Cocking ('Widower') married Anna Maria Hooke at St Mary's, Lambeth, on 9 October 1828 - on which occasion one of the witnesses was a J ? Phillips, so that tallies nicely.

Likewise, on 13 June 1826, he found himself in the Court For the Relief of Insolvent Debtors, a bankrupt 'Artist and Ornamental Screen and Card Rack Manufacturer' - Copartner with Richard Percy Cocking. See: https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/18250/page/1251/data.pdf

Anything you can add will be gratefully received.

PS you might have thought that an experimental parachute jumper, might think to make a will. Not so, Mr Cocking, apparently. Not one that I can trace - so far.

Offline jonwicken

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Re: Robert Cocking 1776 (or 7) - 1837
« Reply #5 on: Friday 09 June 17 17:24 BST (UK) »
The 1828 marriage of Robert Cocking to Anna Maria Hooke shows that she was a spinster and they married by license.

It would probably be worth obtaining the license to see what age was given for him there as this might be different to the age of 61 given in the newspapers at his death.

However I am not sure where the licenses for this church would be. Presumably at Lambeth Palace? Does anyone know?

Offline Bookbox

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Re: Robert Cocking 1776 (or 7) - 1837
« Reply #6 on: Friday 09 June 17 18:04 BST (UK) »
The 1828 marriage of Robert Cocking to Anna Maria Hooke shows that she was a spinster and they married by license.

It would probably be worth obtaining the license to see what age was given for him there as this might be different to the age of 61 given in the newspapers at his death.

The licence was issued by the Archbishop of Canterbury, through the Faculty Office, and was dated 7 October 1828. The allegation is perhaps unlikely to state Robert Cockingís age, because he was already a widower.

However I am not sure where the licenses for this church would be. Presumably at Lambeth Palace?

The originals are indeed held at Lambeth Palace, and their standard information sheet is here
www.lambethpalacelibrary.org/files/Marriage_Records_0.pdf

A printout of the allegation can be ordered from the microfilm held at the Society of Genealogists on the link below, stating the date of the licence (not of the marriage), cost £15.00.
http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/books-publications/faculty-office-marriage-licence-allegation

Alternatively, you can apply to Lambeth Palace for a copy of the allegation, but itís normally easier and quicker from the SoG.



Online amondg

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Re: Robert Cocking 1776 (or 7) - 1837
« Reply #7 on: Friday 09 June 17 21:02 BST (UK) »
The Evening Chronicle, London 28 July 1837  Henry Cocking of 25 John Street, Lambeth Walk, Stationer has seen the body of Robert Cocking and declared that it is his grandfather.

This is at the beginning of the inquest procedures.
Also reported in the Taunton Courier 2 August 1837 and probably many more newspapers.

So was Henry Percy William Cocking 1816-1840 son of Richard and Caroline the same Henry Cocking who testified at the inquest or another Henry Cocking.?
If so it would establish that he was the grandson of Robert.


Added when HPWC died he was of Saville Place aged 24 buried St Mary Lambeth 5 April 1840.

Offline jonwicken

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Re: Robert Cocking 1776 (or 7) - 1837
« Reply #8 on: Friday 09 June 17 23:55 BST (UK) »
Richard Percy Cocking married Caroline Sophia Tornquist on 15 Jun 1816 at St Luke, Chelsea.

According to this old post, she was born in Sweden:

https://www.ancestry.com/boards/surnames.tornquist/9/mb.ashx

Richard and Caroline were the parents of Henry Percy William Cocking (1816-1840).

So yes it would all appear that Richard Percy Cocking's father Robert Cocking had a first wife Jane who he married presumably in Ireland and he was in Dublin in the 1790s.

Robert Cocking's second wife Anna Maria Cocking was born abt 1786 and died before 27 May 1876 aged 90 in the registration district of Edmonton. she was buried on 27 May 1876 at West Norwood Cemetery.

I have found her in the 1861 census in Newington as an independent with an annuity. She is in the 1871 census in Tottenham with her niece and great niece.

As Henry Percy William Cocking died in 1840 in Lambeth I had a look for other Cockings in the area.

To my surprise there were two Richard Percy Cockings in the Birth and Death registers.

The first was for a Richard Percy Cocking who was born in Westminster in 1838. The GRO index shows the mother's maiden name was Lloyd and that there was another child born to this unknown Cocking and unknown Lloyd in 1840 called Jane Percy Cocking.

I have not been able to find the parents names as yet. But there is this family in the 1841 census in Chelsea which might be them:

Sarah Cocking   30
Louisa Cocking   7
Fanny Cocking   4
Richard Cocking   2
Jane Cocking   7 Mo

The second Richard Percy Cocking was born in Lambeth 1847 and his mother's maiden name was Hobson.

With this information I was able to find the marriage for a Robert Cocking to a Mary Ann Hobson on 7 November 1844 at St Mary Lambeth. This marriage shows that his father was Richard Cocking (deceased) a stationer. Robert Cocking was a butcher of New Cut.

So it seems clear that the original Richard Percy Cocking who married Caroline Sophia Tornquist in 1816 had at least two sons. One being Henry Percy William (1816-1840) and the other being Robert Cocking who married in 1844. 

This second Richard Percy Cocking died aged 14 months in 1848 in St Saviour Southwark.

In the 1841 census this Robert Cocking is in Streatham and is shown as a butcher. His age is given as 20 so a date of birth around 1821.

Looking at the GRO birth index with the mother's maiden names, after their marriage in 1844, Robert Cocking and Mary Ann Hobson had the following chidren:

COCKING, CAROLINE  ANN     mmn HOBSON
GRO Reference: 1845  D Quarter in SAINT GEORGE HANOVER SQUARE

COCKING, RICHARD  PERCY     mmn HOBSON     
GRO Reference: 1847  D Quarter in LAMBETH  Volume 04  Page 321
DIED 1848

COCKING, MARY  ANN ELIZABETH    mmn HOBSON
GRO Reference: 1850  M Quarter in LAMBETH  Volume 04  Page 294
DIED 1854

COCKING, CHARLES  ROBERT     mmn HOBSON 
GRO Reference: 1851  J Quarter in LAMBETH  Volume 04  Page 292

COCKING, BENJAMIN  JOHN     mmn HOBSON
GRO Reference: 1853  M Quarter in LAMBETH  Volume 01D  Page 300

And that is all on the Cockings for now!