Some notes on John's Cockerill ancestors

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This page covers Northamptonshire families in the maternal line of John's grandmother Eleanor BAZELEY. The narrative starts with seventh great grandfather Richard COCKERILL.

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Richard COCKERILL (d.1740)

Richard's birthplace is unknown. He married Ann and the only two known children were born abt 1680 and 1684. He is named as serving as churchwarden in Wappenham in 1686, 1712, 1715 and 1718 in a list compiled by his great great grandson Henry COCKERILL in 1790. Between 1675 and 1712, Richard and Ann are named as sponsors of a number of baptisms recorded in The Wappenham Parish Registers. Otherwise, the earliest known contemporary record is an indenture relating to lease of land dated 1692. This identifies him as "Richard CORKRELL of Wappenham, Butcher". Later indentures dated 1704 and 1705 quote his occupation as Grazier.

Richard was party to an agreement for lease and release of land in 1723 as part of the marriage settlement of his son William to Martha CHILD. When William died three years later, Richard was named as executor in the will.

In his own will dated 1728, Richard is described as a Gentleman. The will named his son Robert as executor and residual beneficiary and made specific bequests to Robert's children Robert, Richard, Mary and Anne. Richard died in 1739. There is a monumental inscription to his two sons on an inside wall of St Mary's Parish Church in Wappenham.

No siblings of Richard have yet been identified.

Robert COCKERILL (b.Abt 1680)

From the age given on his memorial in Wappenham Parish Church, Robert was born abt 1680, but his birthplace is unknown. He was the first born son of Richard and Ann COCKERILL. In 1701, he married Elizabeth PURRIOR in Wappenham and they went on to have at least thirteen children. Six of them are known to have died in infancy.

Robert was residual beneficiary on his father's death in 1740. Robert is named as serving as churchwarden in Wappenham in 1747. Elizabeth and Robert died in Wappenham in 1750 and 1758 respectively.

Robert's only known sibling is his brother William (b.1684) who married Martha CHILD (daughter of Thomas and Francis CHILD) in 1723 and died in 1726 at the age of 42. William and Martha had two children - Richard and Thomas.

Robert COCKERILL (b.1707)

Robert was born in Wappenham in 1707, the fourth child of Robert and Elizabeth COCKERILL, and confirmed at Towcester in August 1720. On his grandfather Richard's death in 1739, he inherited one quarter of a yard of land in Wappenham. This land was originally purchased by Robert's uncle William with money loaned to him by Richard and left to Richard on William's death.

When Robert married Mary Ann MERCER from Hackleton in Northampton in 1741, his occupation on the marriage licence was described as Grazier. Robert and Mary had ten children in Wappenham. Robert is named as serving as churchwarden in Wappenham in 1744 and 1767. In 1762, Robert was party to an agreement for the purchase of pasture lands in Wappenham from Abraham CASSELLS. Robert died in Wappenham in 1779. He does not appear to have left a will.

Of Roberts siblings, Mary (b.1710) was named in the wills of her father and grandfather. She married Thomas ADAMS. Her sister Anna (b.1712) and her brothers Henry (b.1718) and Richard (b.1722) were named in their grandfather's will.

Henry COCKERILL (b.1743)

Henry was born in Wappenham in 1743, the eldest child of Robert and Mary Ann COCKERILL, and confirmed at Towcester in 1758. On his grandfather's death in 1758, he inherited land in Wappenham held in trust by his father until he reached the age of twenty one. In 1764, Henry was party to a complex prenuptual agreement prior to his marriage to Jane SPIERS of Hanley (or Handley) near Towcester. Under the agreement, Jane's father John SPIERS paid Henry the sum of nine hundred pounds, four hundred of which was to be paid to a Mr NEWMAN of Banbury, Oxfordshire to release a charge held on the property inherited by Henry from his grandfather. In turn, Henry agreed to pay an annuity of twenty pounds per annum to John SPIERS during his lifetime with provision also for his wife. Henry was subsequently named in documents dated June 1764 relating to the purchase of land in Wappenham for one hundred and twenty pounds. In 1779, Henry's mortgage of one hundred and forty four pounds on property in Wappenham was assigned to William TAYLOR on the death of the original mortgagee Edward AMOS. Henry raised a further one hundred pounds from Benjamin WINKLES of Eastcote by a mortgage on land at Wappenham dated May 1780.

Henry married Jane in May 1764 in Wappenham and they had five children. All were baptised in Towcester which suggests that Henry and Jane remained at Hanley at least until 1773. In 1781, Henry's occupation was stated as Grazier on the Wappenham Militia List. Henry's wife Jane was named as administratrix when her mother died intestate in 1787.

Henry died in Wappenham in 1791. His will made bequests, inter alia, of two hundred pounds to his son Robert and five hundred pounds each to his daughters Jane and Phyllis. The house contents were divided equally between Henry's wife and two daughters, his third daughter Elizabeth having died in 1788. The remainder of the estate was left to his son Henry who was named as sole executor. There is a monumental inscription to Henry and his wife on an inside wall of St Mary's Parish Church in Wappenham.

Of Henry's siblings, Elizabeth (b.1745) inherited one hundred and fifty pounds in her grandfather's will. Fuller Mercer COCKERILL (b.1747) married Catherine KYNASTON and had at least one child in Wappenham before moving to Oswestry, Shropshire where a further eight children were born. Catherine and Fuller died in Oswestry in 1817 and 1819 respectively. Phillis (b.1750) died in 1766 at the age of 16 and is named on a family memorial in Wappenham Parish Church. Richard (b.1752) married Marie BULL in Greatworth and had one son. John (b.1755) married Hannah CLARKE in Daventry and had three daughters all of whom were baptized in Wappenham. Sarah (b.1761) had one daughter out of wedlock in 1787.

Click here to see a PDF report of known descendants of Henry Cockerill

Robert COCKERILL (b.1767)

Robert was baptized in Towcester in 1769 the second child of Henry and Jane COCKERILL. In 1791, he inherited two hundred pounds on the death of his father. Robert married Sarah SEAWELL in Wappenham in 1792. There were two children. Sarah inherited ten pounds on the death of her father in 1800. She died in Wappenham in 1804. Robert then married Mary ROBERTS in 1806. They had no children. Robert died in Wappenham in 1811.

Of Robert's siblings, Henry (b.1765) had moved from Towcester to Wappenham by 1792 when he was described as a Yeoman in the document releasing his legacy under his father's will. Jane (b.1769) married the Rev Isaac HURST and had eight children. The last six were born in Bedfordshire where the family had settled in Milton Ernest by 1800. Elizabeth (b.1771) died at the age of 16. Phyllis (1773) first married Robert TRASLER and had four children. On his death, she married William WILLS and had a further five children. There is a memorial to Elizabeth in Wappenham Parish Church.

John Spiers COCKERILL (b.1792)

John was baptized in 1792 the eldest child of Robert and Sarah COCKERILL. He was a farmer in Wappenham at the time of his first marriage to Elizabeth PHILLIPS in 1821. They had four children. When his uncle Henry COCKERILL died in 1823, John inherited cottages, land and woods in Wappenham and was named as executor. Later that year, he was named in a release under which he purchased from his aunt Jane HURST the annuity bequeathed to her by her brother Henry COCKERILL.

John is named as an Assessor for Land Tax in Wappenham in 1823, 1829, 1830 and 1831. On the 1823 Land Tax Return, he was exonerated from payment of the assessment of £6-13s-1¼d as his uncle had previously paid a commuted sum. This level of assessment made John the fourth largest landowner in the parish. In 1827, he is recorded as an Overseer of the Poor in Wappenham. In the electoral register for 1833, John is recorded as occupying a freehold house and land in Wappenham.

In 1829, John purchased two newly erected cottages in Wappenham from Clifford WILLS and immediately mortgaged them to John HENSON for the same amount. The loan was repaid in 1855 to the administrator of the estate of John HENSON. In 1830 John and Elizabeth COCKERILL mortgaged property in Wappenham to John LOVELL for one thousand nine hundred pounds. In 1836, the mortgage was assigned to William LOVELL in the amount of two thousand pounds. By this time, Elizabeth had died and John had married Ann PITTAM from Woodend. They had two daughters and two sons. In 1851, the two sons were lodging in Wappenham in the household of Job JONES who was a schoolmaster.

John continued to farm in Wappenham until his death in 1858. His will provided a dwelling place for his widow and her four unmarried children. Most of his property in Wappenham went to his eldest son Henry with property in Helmdon left to his second son Robert. There were specific bequests of cash and property and his widow and unmarried children each received an allowance of five shillings per week together with an equal share of the remaining personal effects. John's eldest son Henry COCKERILL and his son-in-law William HINDES were appointed joint executors.

John's only true sibling Jane (b.1804) died in infancy.

Eleanor COCKERILL (b.1839)

Photo of Eleanor COCKERILL

Eleanor was born in Wappenham in 1839 the second child of John Spiers COCKERILL and Ann PITTAM. On her father's death in 1858, she inherited the sum of fifty pounds together with an allowance of five shillings per week. In 1861, she married Thomas BEAZLEY (or BAZELEY) from Grandborough in Warwickshire. They had ten children, the first five being born in Pattishall. By 1871 the family had moved to Northampton where the other children - including John's grandmother Eleanor BAZELEY - were born. Thomas was variously employed as wheelwright, blacksmith and farmer in Northampton living respectively in the parishes of St Sepulchre, All Saints and St James. By 1901, he was working on his own account running a livery stables in Cooper Street. In 1911, Eleanor was a widow living in Stockley Street in Northampton, but John's father James MARIS remembered his grandmother Eleanor spending the last few years of her life living with his parents at Semilong Place in Northampton up to her death in 1918.

Eleanor had four step siblings and three true siblings. Of her step siblings, Henry (b.1821) married Betsy HURST from King's Sutton and had four children. His inheritance from his father included thirty seven acres in Wappenham and he remained farming there until his death in 1887. Robert (b.1823) married Elizabeth PETTIFER from Helmdon and had three children. He inherited land in Helmdon from his father and remained farming there until his death in 1894. William (b.1825) married Emmaline HADLAND from Floore and had five children. He inherited one hundred pounds from his father. After his marriage he farmed up to 75 acres in Willoughby, Warwickshire. By 1871, however, he was described as a farmer "out of business" and was living in Everdon, Northants where he remained until his death in 1899. On the 1881 and 1891 census returns, he was recorded as an agricultural labourer. Jane (b.1829) married William HINDES from Abthorpe where the family lived until her death in 1865. So far as is known, they only had one child. Jane worked briefly as a dressmaker.

Of Eleanor's true siblings, Sarah Anne (b.1838) and John Spiers (b.1840) remained unmarried and lived in Wappenham until their deaths in 1871 and 1879 respectively. Thomas (b.1842) married Jane BEAZLEY, sister of his brother-in-law Thomas. He inherited a cottage in Wappenham from his father and remained in the village. His occupation was variously described as shoemaker, gardener and "living on own means". Thomas and Jane had five children.

Page last modified: 9 February 2022