Lt. Col. Richard Cocke

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Richard Cocke

Also Known As: "Richard Cocke of Henrico"
Birthplace: Sidbury, Shropshire, England
Death: Died in Richmond, Henrico County, Virginia, United States
Place of Burial: Henrico, Virginia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Cocke and wife of Thomas Cocke
Husband of Temperance Cocke and Mary Cocke
Father of Captain Thomas Cocke, of Henrico; Richard Cocke the Elder; Elizabeth Cocke; William Cocke of the Low Ground; Richard Cocke the Younger and 3 others
Brother of Eleanor Cocke

Occupation: Planter, politician
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Lt. Col. Richard Cocke

Richard Cocke

  • baptized: 13 December 1597, Parish of Sidbury, Shropshire, England
  • Death: October 4, 1665 Bremo, Henrico, Virginia
  • Parents: Thomas Cocke & his wife
  • Married: Temperance Bailey, Mary Aston

Additional Curator's Notes:

Richard Cocke, born in 1602 [1597] and died in 1665, was neither Richard the Elder nor Richard the Younger. He married twice and had a son named Richard with each wife. Richard, son of Temperance Baley, was known as Richard the Elder to distinguish him from his younger brother, son of Mary Aston, and known as Richard the Younger. Maria Edmonds-Zediker, Volunteer Curator, 1/3/2014



Birth Location Leeds, Yorkshire, England Bremo,Henrico,Virginia,USA

For English parentage, see:

Magazine of Virginia Genealogy

Vol. 45, No. 3

August 2007

Origins of Richard Cocke of Henrico County, Virginia

by Steven R. Day

Richard COCKE , Sr. Lt Col. 1602 - 1665

   * BIRTH: 1602 
   * BAPTISM: 5 Sep 1602, Stottesdon, Shropshire, England 
   * DEATH: 1665 

Family 1 : Temperance BAILEY

  1.  Thomas COCKE , I
  2.  Richard COCKE , the Elder  1639-1706
  3.  Elizabeth COCKE 

Family 2 : Mary ASTON

  1.  William COCKE
  2.  John COCKE
  3. +Richard COCKE , the Younger  c. 1657
  4.  Edward COCKE 

From William and Mary Quarterly - The most powerful of theHenrico familieswere the Randolphs, Cockes, Eppses and Byrds.Of the English ancestry of Richard Cocke (circa 1600-1665) andFrancisEpped (died ante 1655) nothing definite is known(1), but fromtheir firstappearances in the colony, which was quite early, they bothoccupied a very solid position. RichardCocke amassed considerable means for the times in which he lived butjust whatwere his other occupations, besides planting and politics, isnot nowknown. His sons and grandsons, at one time or another, occupied nearly every office of dignity and profit in Henrico County and as the years went by and other parts of the colony

Richard was the son of John and Elizabeth Cocke. He came to Virginia from England during the early 1600's, and patented some 8000 acres of land, mostly in Henirco County, Virginia. He was a tobacco planter, and took a leading part in the affairs of the colony, serving as a member of Burgess in 1632, 1644, and 1654. He was a Lt Col in the Virginia Militia, and a member of the Grand Assembly of Virginia.

Richard was married twice, first to Temperance Bailey, the widow of John Browne, and second to Mary Aston. Temperance had children by her previous marriage, and Richard was appointed their trustee and guardian. Richard had two sons named Richard, one from each marriage. The oldest called Richard "the Elder", and the youngest was called Richard "the Younger".

Over his lifetime, Richard accumulated a sizable fortune. He owned three plantations ("Bremo", "Curles", and "Malvern Hills") of thousands of acres, stock of cattle and sheep, as well as a grist mill. In his will, dated 4 October 1663, Richard left 1/3 of his estate to his wife Mary, and the remainder mostly to his children.

Richard was buried at one of, if not the oldest graveyard in Virginia, located about 16 miles southeast of Richmond. In his will, he asked "to be Intered in my Orchard near my first wife". There is a memorial mounted on a stone wall near his grave that reads:













The 2 children of Richard and Temperance were: Thomas, born about 1638 in Colonial Virginia, died in 1697, married twice, had 7 known children; and Richard "The Elder", born 10 December 1639, died 20 November 1706, buried at Bremo; married Elizabeth, had 4 known children.

The 5 children of Richard and Mary were: Elizabeth, born about 1653; William, born 1655, died February 1693, married twice - to Jane and to Sarah Dennis, had 3 known children; Richard "The Younger", my ancestor; John, born about 1655, married Mary Davis; and Edward, born about 1666, died 1734, married Mary.

(Ref: Cockes and Cousins, Vol I and Vol II, by Leonie Cocke and Virginia Cocke; message board, and numerous family trees)

Emigrated from Leeds, Yorkshire, England before 1636. See Cockes And Cousins. Vol. I, 1967, concerns descendants of Richard Cocke, born 1639. Vol. II, 1974 concerns descendants of his brother Thomas. See Genealogical History of Our Ancestors, 1977, by William L. and Anna Clay Rutherford, for details of Richard's history and descendants.

Richard Cocke arrived in Virginia prior to 1632 and settled on the James River, near present-day Richmond. Some researchers believe that Richard Cocke came from the town of Pickthorne, located in Stottesdon Parish, Shropshire, England.

One of Richard's sons, Col. Thomas Cocke, named his home "Pickthorne Farms," perhaps in memory of the family's ancestral village. There was a Cocke family in Pickthorne, Shropshire, around the time that Richard Cocke emigrated.

In addition, Richard Cocke's plantation on the James River was known as Malvern Hill. It must have reminded someone of the Malvern Hills in England, which are only a few miles from Pickthorne.

The Marquis de Lafayette camped at Malvern Hill in July-August 1781. During the Civil War, General Robert E. Lee attacked Major General George B. McClellen's Union Army of the Potomac at Malvern Hill as it retreated to the James River from the gates of Richmond.

The Malvern Hill House survived the battle as a Federal headquarters, but burned down in 1905. Only the ruins of the chimney and foundation are left today.

Richard the younger Richard Cocke I's son come from a 2nd marrage to Mary Aston. The son's and grandsons (Richard Cocke I ) at one time or another, occupied nearly every office of dignity and profit in the county." and "the most powerful families were the Randolphs, Cockes, Eppses, Byrds, Kennons and Pleasantses, who continue to occupy the exalted positions which their founders in Virginia first occupied, to the very end." In the Virginia House of Burgesses from 1632 onward, one or more memebers of this family sat in nearly every session.


Magazine of Virginia Genealogy

Vol. 45, No. 3

August 2007

Origins of Richard Cocke of Henrico County, Virginia

by Steven R. Day

Graduate of Caius College Cambridge

Possessed 8000 acres in 1600

Member of the Virginia Militia

Member of the Virginia General Assembly

Burgess 1632, 1644, 1654

Richard Cocke of Henrico, Virginia By Steven R. Day November 1, 2007

English Origins

The Parish of Stottesdon lies in Shropshire, England. (Another name for Shropshire is Salop). In the late 1500s, the Parish of Stottesdon consisted of about sixteen small communities including Pickthorn, Walfurlong, the Heath, Walton, and Stottesdon. Most of these communities had between three and ten families. Stottesdon had about twenty families. This was the time of Queen Elizabeth I and William Shakespeare. Pickthorn dates back to a bit before 1165. In 1582, Pickthorn belonged to John Purslow who leased the land to about four families. William Cocke and his brother, Thomas Cocke, headed two of these families. Other members of the Cocke family lived nearby in Walfurlong and the Heath. William and Elizabeth Cocke had sons named Richard, Thomas, William, John, a daughter named Margery all of whom were unmarried in November of 1582. They also had a daughter who married Thomas Deuxhill. William and Elizabeth may have also had a son, Robert. It was in 1582 that William (the father) died at Pickthorn.[i][1] In the winter of 1596, Elizabeth Cocke was living in the parish of Stottesdon (probably in Walton) at the home of her son-in-law, Thomas Deuxhill.[ii][2] She was very ill. Elizabeth’s granddaughters, Mary and Joyce Deuxhill, had spent three nights watching over Elizabeth. In the early hours of Christmas morning, Elizabeth realized that death would soon claim her. She asked Mary to call her son, John Cocke, who was sleeping in another room of the house. That same morning, Roger Deuxhill (brother of Mary and Joyce), arose early and set out from his home for a trip to Bewdley Market. On his way, he stopped to check on his grandmother, Elizabeth. It was about the break of day when Roger entered the house and found Mary and Joyce (his sisters) with John Cocke (his uncle) gathered to hear the last will and testament of Elizabeth. Elizabeth directed that all debts due from her son, Thomas, should be forgiven. All the rest of her tangible possessions were to be given to Elizabeth’s son, John. Elizabeth lived another three days. Thomas Cocke (son of William and Elizabeth) married and had a daughter, Eleanor, who was baptized in the Parish of Stottesdon.[iii][3] Thomas also had a son, Richard Cocke, who was baptized on December 13, 1597 in the Parish of Sidbury, which is just over one mile to the northeast of Pickthorn.[iv][4] On this cold winter day, the choice of the Parish of Sidbury was about 1/4 mile closer than the Parish of Stottesdon. It was this Richard Cocke of Pickthorn who would later travel to Virginia.

Settlement in Jamestown

Three ships carrying the first 105 settlers sailed from London in December of 1606. In May of 1607, they arrived at what would become Jamestown, Virginia. The first supply ship returned with 100 to 120 additional settlers in January of 1608 to find only 38 survivors of the original settlers. By the end of 1609, a total of between 500 to 735 people had come to Jamestown. In May of 1610, another ship arrived and found only 60 survivors. Ninety percent of the colonists had died during the first three years due to starvation, disease, and Indian attacks. In August of 1610, the Swan arrived at Jamestown from London. The Swan was about the seventeenth ship to bring settlers to Jamestown, Virginia. A young girl named Cecily was one of the passengers. She was about ten years old. When Cecily was about 16 years old, she married a man named Baley. They had a daughter named Temperance Baley near 1617. Cecily’s husband died within the next few years. Life in early Jamestown was harsh. As previously mentioned, many colonists died from starvation, disease, or Indian attacks. Any woman needed a husband to provide protection and food. Cecily married for a second time to Samuel Jordan. It was in 1620 that Samuel was recognized for 10 years and Cecily was recognized for nine years in Virginia. Cecily was about 20 years old. This would have been young in England, but was not young in Jamestown. Any person who had lived 10 years in Jamestown had survived through difficult trials. Both Samuel and Cecily were given the titles of “Ancient Planters” and granted land. Samuel was granted 450 acres of land and Cecily was granted 100 acres of land.[v][5] This was just outside of Jamestown at the confluence of the James and Appotomattox Rivers. Samuel named his land “Jordan’s Journey”. The document that granted land to Samuel and Cecily Jordan (in 1620) noted that it was adjacent to land owned by Temperance Baley (Cecily’s daughter) who would have been only 3 years old at the time. Temperance had inherited her land from her father. On March 22, 1622, the Pohatan Indians launched a massacre killing 347 of the settlers at and near Jamestown. One survivor rowed out to Jordan’s Journey providing a warning that the Indians were coming. This gave time to prepare and few lives were lost at Jordan’s Journey. It seems a horrible reality that if Cecily’s first husband had not died, it is likely that Cicely and Temperance would not have survived the Indian massacre. Temperance Baley married John Browne when she was about 13 years old. They had two children. John died after they had been married only two years. By 1632, Richard Cocke had come from Pickthorn, England to Virginia. He married John Browne’s widow, Temperance Baley, and provided 6,397 pounds of tobacco to pay for the debts of John Browne. Richard Cocke was extremely successful in Virginia. In 1636, Richard Cocke received 3000 acres of land for the transportation of 60 people to Virginia.[vi][6] Richard Cocke and Temperance had two children. Their first son, Thomas, was named after Richard’s father. Their second son was named Richard. Temperance died rather young. In 1639, Virginia was realizing that they needed to control the quality and quantity of tobacco that they were growing in order to keep prices up. The General Assembly mandated the destruction and burning of excess and low quality tobacco. No more than twelve hundred thousand pounds was to be grown for the year and for the next two years. Fourteen viewers were appointed for Henrico County. Richard Cocke and two others were appointed for Curles, Bremo, and Turkey Island.[vii][7] Richard Cocke later married Mary Aston. Richard and Mary had five children. Their first son, William, was named after Richard’s uncle and grandfather. Their second son, John, was named after Richard’s uncle. Their third son was named Richard. To differentiate the two sons named Richard, the son by Richard’s first wife, Temperance, was called Richard the Elder. The son by Richard’s second wife, Mary, was called Richard the Younger. Richard and Mary had a third child, Elizabeth, named after Richard’s grandmother. Richard and Mary also had a fifth child, Edward who was born shortly after Richard’s death. Over the years, Richard Cocke continued to build his plantations. He owned three plantations named Curles, Bremo, and Malvern Hills. These totaled over 7,000 acres of land. These plantations that Richard Cocke had built would remain in the family for generations. When Richard Cocke wrote his last will and testament in 1665, he asked to be buried in his orchard near his first wife (Temperance). Richard was 68 years old when he was buried at Bremo, but only his two oldest sons had reached the age of majority. Richard asked his oldest son, Thomas, to operate his mill to provide for the rest of the children until they should come of age.

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Lt. Col. Richard Cocke's Timeline

December 13, 1597
Shropshire, England
December 13, 1597
Sibury Parish, Shropshire, England
Age 29
Age 39
Bremo Bluff, VA, USA
Age 40
Curles Neck, Henrico, Virginia
December 10, 1639
Age 41
Henrico County, Virginia
Age 49
Age 53
Henrico, VA, USA
Age 54
Henrico, Virginia, USA
Age 55