Alice Cokayne

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Alice Cokayne (Cockaine)

Also Known As: "Ellen Cokayne"
Birthdate: (71)
Birthplace: Ashbourne, Derbyshire, England
Death: 1466 (67-75)
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Sir John Cokayne, Kt., MP and Margaret Cokayne
Wife of Sir Ralph Shirley, Kt.
Mother of Ralph Shirley, Jr.
Sister of Sir John Cockayne
Half sister of John Cokayne, of Ashbourne & Pooley; William Cokayne; Reginald Cokayne and Roger Cokayne

Managed by: Ofir Friedman
Last Updated:

About Alice Cokayne

  • 'A gentry community: Leicestershire in the fifteenth century, c.1422- c.1485 By Eric Acheson
  • Pg. 161
  • To prevent his estate from being divided between the descendants of his grandfather's sisters, namely, Thomas, lord Stafford, and Alice Chaworth, Ralph Basset devised all his lands on his nephew, Hugh Shirley, son of Basset's uterine, or possibly illegitimate, sister, Isabel, with remainder to William Stafford, younger brother of Thomas. As Hugh Shirley had no rights by inheritance to the property and as William Stafford's claim was secondary to that of his elder brother, it is clear that lord Basset's device was intended to preserve the estate intact. . . . . The integrity of the Walsh family caput at Wanlif was similarly preserved, in its case by agreement between the husbands of the coheirs. Ralph Shirley III, husband of Elizabeth Walsh, received Wanlip, while William Littleton, husband of Elizabeth's sister, Ellen, was compensated by grants of other lands of equal value. . . . .
  • Pg. 248
  • When Hugh Shirley died in 1403 his estate included manors in Warwickshire, Suffolk, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire (Stemmata Shirleiana, p. 37). Under the terms of the will of Hugh's maternal uncle, the third and last Ralph, lord Basset of Drayton, Hugh was to receive the Basset inheritance provided he assumed the name and arms of Basset (Stemmata Shirleiana, pp. 34, 376). As this bequest was made at the expense of lord Basset's true heirs, Thomas earl of Stafford and Alice Chaworth, Hugh and his son, Sir Ralph I, did not have immediate and peaceful seisin of the property in question (G.E.C., II, pp. 3-4, n.f.). On 8 August 1424, however, Basset's last surviving feoffee, John Brown, released to Sir Ralph I numerous manors including the manors of Ragdale, Dunton Basset, Willow and Radcliff-on-Wreake in Leicestershire (C.A.D., v, A11388). Sir Ralph must have had de facto tenure of these manors before 1424 for he was appointed to Leicestershire's bench of JPs between 1514 and 1422, and . . . . Nevertheless, Sir Ralph Shirley expanded the estate he inherited by a judicious marriage to Joan, daughter and heir of Thomas Bassett, thereby adding the manor of Brailsford to the family holdings in Derbyshire (Dugdale, I, p. 622). Joan Bassett was dead before 1419, by which date Sir Ralph had taken 'Alice Cockayne as his second wife (H.M.C. Rut., IV, p. 52). Alice died in 1466 (E149/219/9).' The removal of the family's caput to Leicestershire was achieved through the marriage in 1423 of Sir Ralph's son and heir, Ralph II, to Margaret, daughter of John, and sister and heir of Thomas Staunton of Staunton Harold (L.R.O. 26D53/254: E149/127/12). At the time of their marriage, Ralph II was about fifteen years old while his wife was barely eighteen years. Margaret bore a son, John, who was born before 1426 but she must have died soon after this date. Ralph II's second wife Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Thomas Blount, was dead by 1457, but she had borne him five daughters and a son (L.R.O. 72'30/1/37; L.R.O. 26D53/192-3; Village Notes, IV, pp. 296-7). By 1458, Ralph II was married for the third time, to Lucy Ashton, widow of Sir Bertram Entwistle (L.R.O. 26D53/195; Stemmata Shirleiana, p. 49). Ralph Shirley II was an esquire of the chamber during the 1440s (E101/409/9, fos. 36v-7; E101/409/11, fo. 39; E101/409/16, fo. 35), but his career seems to have been otherwise undistinguished. He died in 1466, a few months after the death of his step-mother, Alice Cockayne (C140/19/18 MS 3). He was succeeded by his son John who, of all the fifteenth-century Shirleys, managed to made do with only one wife. John had married Eleanor Willoughby of Nottinghamshire by 1456 and she presented him with a large family of twelve children (L.R.O. 26D53/1947; Stemmata Shirleina, p. 51). In his will, dated 26 March 1485, he made provision for eleven of these children (L.R.O. 26D53/1947). John's son and heir, Ralph III, had already married around 1474, when he was about fourteen years old, to Elizabeth, daughter and coheir of Thomas Walsh (q.v.) (L.R.O. 26D53/543). Their only child, a daughter Anne, married Sir Thomas Pulteney (q.v.) (L.R.O. 5D53/86, fo. 1). In 1496 Ralph, III married Anne Vernon of Derbyshire but by 1507 he had a third wife, Anne Warner (L.R.O. 26D53/2552; Stemmata Shirleiana, p.39). By his fourth and final wife, Joan Sheffield, Ralph III eventually sired a son, Francis (Dugdale, II, p. 622). Ralph III died in 1513 (L.R.O. 26D53/1948). The Shirley family was undoubtedly one of Leicestershire's most wealthy knightly families. Nevertheless, after the death of Sir Ralph I in or aroung 1443, no member of the family assumed the dignity of knighthood, preferring instead to accept distraint for failing to do so (Stemmata Shirleiana, p. 43; E159/234). In 1436, Sir Ralph had been assessed in Derbyshire on an income of L100 per year but his mother, Beatrice, wife of Hugh had an income of L92 while another Ralph Shirley probably Sir Ralph's son, was assessed n L40 (E179/240/266). Beatrice lived until 1440 while Ralph II's step-mother almost outlived him (C139/101/65 MS 2; E149/219/9). John Shirley had a step-mother and a large family to provide for, too. Shirley resources, therefore, were thinly spread during the fifteenth century. In the 1470's, both John and Ralph III were members of lord Hantings' retinue (Durnham, 'Lord Hastings' indentured retainers 1461-1483', pp. 119, 120), but during the period considered for office bearing, neither man performed administrative service in the county. Ralph III did, however, become sheriff of Leicestershire in 1493 (Lists and Indexes, IX, p. 146). There was, nevertheless, a family tradition of activity on behalf ot the duchy of Lancaster. Hugh Shirley had been constable of Castle Donington from 1400 and master-forester at Duffield in 1402 (Somerville, I, pp. 573, 556); Sir Ralph I was appointed master-forester in the honor of Leicester for life in 1414 (Somerville, I, p. 568); Ralph III was master-forester at Duffield in 1493, steward and then constable at Melbourne, steward of Appletree hundred and steward of Castle Donington (Somerville, I, pp. 557, 558, 559, 573).
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  • 'A Topographical History of the County of Leicester: the ancient part ... By John Curtis
  • Pg. 187
  • Willoughes. Wilges. Hamlet of Rakedale, is depopulated and incorporated with Rakedale. -- At the conquest Henry held under Robert de Buci 2 caruates of waste.9 The subsequent owners have been the same as those of Rakedale. In 1379 Ralph Basset, for the chaplains of the chantry of Bartholomew Burghersh, held the manor as of the honor of Winton.10 In 1439 Beatrice, wife of Hugh Shirley, held the manor.11 In 1466 'Raph Shirley and Alice, his wife, held the manor.12'
  • ________________________________
  • 'A genealogical history of the dormant, abeyant, forfeited, and extinct ... By Sir Bernard Burke
  • Pg. 126
  • By letters Patent, dated 11 August, 1642.
  • Lineage.
  • The Cockyns, Cockeyns, or Cockaynes were of importance in the co. of Derby soon after the Conquest, and were seated at Ashbourne, in that shire, where some magnificent monuments of the family still remain.
  • ROBERT COCKEYN, Esq., of Ashborne, living 1284 ( son of William Cockeyn, by Alice his wife, dau. of Hugh de Dalbury), by Elizabeth his wife, had two sons and three daus. The elder son,
    • WILLIAM COCKEYN, of Ashburne, in 1299, by Sarah, his wife, had issue, 1 JOHN, living at Ashburne, 1305, father of JOHN COCKAYNE, who, by Letitia his wife, was father of another JOHN COCKAYNE, a person of great distinction temp. EDWARD III. This last-named John Cockayne m. Cecilia Vernon, of the co. of Derby, and had two sons, viz.,
      • EDMUND, of whom presently.
      • John (Sir), of Bury Hatley, co. Bedford, ancestor of the family of COCKAYNE, OF COCKAYNE-HATLEY.
      • The elder son,
      • EDMUND COCKAINE, Esq., of Ashburne, m. Elizabeth, dau of Sir Richard de Herthull, of Pooley, co. Warwick, and had a son,
        • SIR JOHN COCKAINE, J.P., a commissioner of assay, M.P., who m. Isabel, dau. of Sir Hugh Shirley, ancestor of the Earl of Ferrers, and d. 1438, having had,
          • I. JOHN, who m. Anne, dau of Sir Richard Vernon, and was ancestor of the Cockaines, formerly of Ashburne, co. Derby.
          • II. WILLIAM, of whom presently.
          • III. Roger. IV. Reginald.
          • ' I. Ellen (or Alice), m. to Sir Ralph Shirley, Knt.
          • The 2nd son,
          • WILLIAM COCKAINE, was father of Thomas Cockaine, Esq. the father of Roger Cockaine, of Baddesley, co. Warwick, the father of WILLIAM COCKAINE, of London, skinner, and also merchant-adventurer in Muscovy, Spanish Portugal, and Eastland Companies, of which last he was a governor. This William m. Elizabeth, dau. of Roger Medcalfe, of Wensgale, and d. 18 November, 1599, leaving a son and heir,
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  • 'Alice Cokayne1
  • 'F, b. circa 1402, d. 28 May 1466
  • Father Sir John Cokayne b. c 1381, d. 7 Jun 1438
  • Mother Margaret b. c 1383, d. b 1422
  • ' Alice Cokayne was born circa 1402 at of Ashbourne, Derbyshire, England.1 She married Sir Ralph Shirley, Sheriff of Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire, son of Sir Hugh Shirley, Constable of High Ferrers Park & Donington Castle, Grand Falconer of Ireland and Beatrix Brewes, before 14 May 1419.1 Alice Cokayne died on 28 May 1466 at of Shirley, Derbyshire, England.1
  • 'Family Sir Ralph Shirley, Sheriff of Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire b. 23 Apr 1391, d. c 1443
  • Citations
  • 1.[S15] Douglas Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry, p. 748-749.
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Alice Cokayne's Timeline

Ashbourne, Derbyshire, England
Age 71
Age 71