Ralph Cocking

No Dates

Claimant or beneficiary


According to Augustus Hardin Beaumont, Cocking had been an overseer on the Lewisburgh estate ‘or in that neighbourhood’. (When asked who owned the estate, Beaumont replied: I do not remember; it is not the custom in the island of Jamaica, in speaking of an estate, to refer to the proprietor; you describe it by its name; few persons, in speaking of the estate, think about the absentee proprietor.’)

Cocking was then appointed as a stipendiary magistrate: having owned enslaved people he then had apprentices (though Beaumont thought that he held them 'in right of his wife'). The apprentices were mainly domestics with some possibly working in a jobbing gang with others. And while Cocking was a ‘humane man’ Beaumont reports that the extent of flogging increased with apprenticeship. This was because in planters there were two ‘distinct characters’: when dealing with other free men; when dealing with the enslaved: ‘all [planters] think that the negroes are an inferior race of beings’.

Benjamin McMahon worked for Ralph Cocking in 1822 when Cocking was overseer of Crawle estate: '"He was a young man, very plausible and cunning, and ready to do any thing to get into favour with his employers. He was very ambitious, and ready to make any sacrifices to accomplish this aim. He was a cruel tryant to the poor slaves; he flogged without mercy, and was unkind and unfeeling to them in every respect. The only good point I ever saw in Mr. Cocking was, that he was liberal to his book-keepers, at table."

Rev. Ralph Daly Cocking, son of Ralph Cocking, born in Jamaica c. 1836, was incumbent of St John's Church, Kilburn, 1867-1870 and perpetual curate of Holy Trinity Church, Brighton, from 1870. He was presumably the namesake of Ralph Cocking's co-owner of enslaved people Richard Daly (q.v.). The Royal Pavilion & Museums collection includes a cartoon of Rev. Ralph Daly Cocking from the Brightonian 10/11/1883. Another son, James R. Cocking, had a daughter Marcella Melvillina Sloan Cocking, born in Jamaica c. 1864.


PP1836 (560) Report from the Select Committee on Negro Apprenticeship in the Colonies, pp. 364-66. Evidence of Augustus Hardin Beaumont.

Benjamin McMahon, A Description of Jamaica Planters, viz Attorneys, Overseers and Book-keepers, With Several Interesting Anecdotes (1839) pp. 46-49.

The Clergy List, with which is Incorporated the Clerical Guide and Ecclesiastical Directory, 1897 (London, 1897) pp. 193; https://dams-brightonmuseums.org.uk/assetbank-pavilion/action/viewAsset?id=923&index=89&total=11201&categoryId=1&categoryTypeId=2&collection=Open%20Collections%20(BY-SA)&sortAttributeId=732&sortDescending=false [accessed 15/10/2017]; The Times 14/07/1883 Marriages: On the 12th. inst., at Holy Trinity, Waltham Cross, Herts, by the Rev. Ralph D. Cocking, M.A. Incumbent of Holy Trinity, Brighton, uncle of the bride, assisted by the Rev. V. F. Hammond, M.A., Vicar of Drighlington, Yorks, uncle of the bridegroom, and the Rev. R. Faraker, Curate of Waltham Cross, George Thomas, only son of Captain Charleton, of Blackheath, late 69th. Regt., to Marcella Melvillina Sloan, only daughter of the late James R. Cocking, Esq., Jamaica, granddaughter of the late Ralph Cocking, Esq., Stipendiary Magistrate, Jamaica, and adopted child of Miss Chapman, Cheshunt.

We are grateful to William Norton, Siddharth Singh Ahlawat and Cheryl Hazell for their assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

Ralph Daly, James R.

Associated Claims (1)

£699 11s 1d

Associated Estates (3)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1823 [EA] - → Overseer
1828 [SY] - 1834 [LA] → Joint owner
1832 [EA] - → Attorney

Relationships (1)

Business associates
Notes →
Co-owners of Newport Lodge in St Thomas-in-the-Vale...