Sir Charles Cockerell 1st Bart.

18th Feb 1755 - 6th Jan 1837

Claimant or beneficiary

Biography

East India Company official, East India banker and MP, whose firm was awarded compensation for several estates on Mauritius as mortgagees. In one further case Sir Charles Cockerell was shown as owner. After abolition, the Cockerell firm was active in the recruitment in India of indentured labourers for Mauritius. His father's interests in the West Indies identified in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography entry for Sir Charles Cockerell have not yet been identified, although e.g. Debrett's Baronetage 1835 confirms that John Cockerell (1714-1767) died in Antigua. John Cockerell late of Bishops Hull had been a prisoner in the King's Bench in 1765.

5th son of John Cockerell of Bishop’s Hull, Somerset and Frances (died 1769), daughter and co-heir of John Jackson of Clapham, Surrey. His siblings included the architect Samuel Pepys Cockerell (1753–1827).

Married (1) Mary Tryphena (died 8 October 1789), 11 March 1789 at Calcutta. She was the daughter of Sir Charles William Blunt, 3rd Bt. There were no children. (2) Hon. Harriet Rushout, 13 February 1808, daughter of John Rushout, 1st Baron Northwick. (Rushout was MP for Evesham, 1761-1796). 1 son and 2 daughters. Cockerell was created a baronet, 25 September 1809.

MP for various constituencies between 1802 and 1837: see Political Legacies. He was also Mayor of Evesham in 1810 and again in 1833; sheriff of Gloucestershire, 1814-15. A director of the Globe Insurance Company 1811.

Writer, East India Company (Bengal) 1776, factor 1782; assistant. at Bhagalpur 1783, collector 1784; junior merchant 1785, senior merchant 1790; postmaster-general Bengal 1784-1792, returned to Britain 1801; commissioner, Board of Control for India 1835-7. Assisted Wellesley during the Mysore war 1798-9, by making his ‘financial arrangements’ with the Bengal government and commanded the military force raised within the civil service during the war. His baronetcy resulted from Wellesley’s recommendation.

Arrived in Bengal in 1776, attached to the surveyor-general’s office of the East India Company. Befriended by Warren Hastings and Richard Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley in turn. At the same time he became a partner in a 'house of agency'. ('Houses of agency were a relatively new development in British India. They handled the concerns of Europeans in India, acting as their agents for their business dealings, arranging remittances to Britain, and financing shipping, plantations, and other private enterprises.' [Oxford DNB]). In 1784 became a partner in the agency house created by William Paxton. Subsequently managed the Calcutta house (as Paxton and Cockerell, later Paxton, Cockerell and Trail, 'the most successful agency concern of its time'.(ODNB)

Returned to England in 1801. Became partner in the London house of Paxton, Cockerell, and Trail (later Cockerell and Trail, and Cockerell & Co.), which dealt in Indian business as well as banking for British clients.

Also became a director of the Globe Insurance Company, the Arkendale and Derwent Mining Company, and the Gas, Light, and Coke Company.

Lived at Sezincote, Gloucestershire, formerly owned by his late brother John, a colonel in the EIC service. He ‘embellished it in the oriental style said to have inspired the Prince Regent’s Brighton pavilion’. Remained an East India agent with the same partners as in India. As an EIC stockholder was entitled to four votes for the directorate by 1806. Also had a house at Hyde Park Corner, London.


Sources

History of Parliament online: entry by J. W. Anderson / R. G. Thorne; History of Parliament online: entry by Philip Salmon; Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, entry by P. J. Marshall and Willem G. J. Kuiters, online edn. revised 2008; London Gazette 10531 15 June 1765 p.7.

NB that neither the ODNB entry nor the History of Parliament entries make any mention of the Cockerell interests in Mauritius.

The portrait of Cockerell is by Henry Bone, after Andrew Plimer, pen and ink, September 1809. National Portrait Gallery, NPG D17640.


Further Information

Absentee?
British/Irish
Spouse
(1) Mary Tryphena Blunt (2) Harriet Rushout
Children
2 daughters and 1 son
Wealth at death
£140,000
School
Winchester [1767-69 ]
Occupation
Banker and politician
Rubinstein
1837/18
Oxford DNB Entry

Associated Claims (1)

£1,450 5s 10d
Awardee

Legacies Summary

Commercial (1)

Senior partner
 

Imperial (1)

East India Company
Administrative  
notes →
Occupied various roles in the EIC: see general biographical notes. His association with the EIC continued after leaving India in...

Political (1)

MP
 
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Tregony Cornwall
1802 - 1806
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Lostwithiel Cornwall
1807
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Bletchingley Surrey
1809 - 1812
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Seaford Sussex
1816 - 1818
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Evesham Worcestershire
1819 - 1830
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Evesham Worcestershire
1831 - 1837

Relationships (2)

Father → Son
Uncle → Nephew

Addresses (1)

Sezincote, Gloucestershire, South-West England, England