« AnteriorContinuar »
To the Right Honourable
GEORGE JOHN LORD VERNON
Baron of Kinderton in the County of Chester the following Memoir is respectfully inscribed by his obliged and faithful servant
N. HARRIS NICOLAS.
MEMOIR OF CHARLES COTTON.
"Al l he desires, all that he would demand,
The family of Cotton, of which the subject of this memoir was a younger branch, is hoth ancient and honourable ; and his immediate ancestor, Sir Richard Cotton, Comptroller of the Household and 'Privy Councillor to Edward the Sixth, was settled at Warblenton, in the county of Sussex, and at Bedhampton, in Hampshire.3 His grandfather, Sir George Cotton, who died in 1613, left issue by Cassandra , Mac William,4 his wife, two children, Charles and Cassandra. The latter died unmarried before the year 1649, and an elegy was written on her decease by the friend of her father and brother, Colonel Richard Lovelace.5 •
Charles Cotton, the father of the poet, and the only son of Sir George Cotton, is said to have lived at Ovingdean in Sussex; but having married Olive, the daughter of Sir John Stanhope, of
1 Sir George Cotton (the poet's grandfather) who died in 1613. is described in the Heralds' Visitation of Staffordshire in 1664, as " a younger son of Cotton, of Warblenton, in the county of Sussex, and of Bedhampton, in the county of Hants ;" but though considerable trouble has been taken to ascertain the connection, it has not been successful. Sir George Cotton of Warblenton was living in 1595, and by Mary, daughter of Jobn Shelley, of Michelgrove, in Sussex, had several children, but none ol the name of Charles or George are mentioned in the pedigrees of the family ; and it is doubtful whether Sir George Cotton (the grandfather of the poet) was a younger son of Sir George Cotton by Mary Shelley, or whether he was that identical person, who may have married Cassandra Mac William to his second wife, and by her have been the father of a son named Charles, who was possibly so called after Charles Earl of Kent, the hushand of Susan Cotton, sister of the said Sir George Cotton of Warblenton.
"It is most probable that Cassandra Mac William was the daughter of Henry Mac William, by Margaret or Maria, daughter and cobeir of Richard Hill, Sergeant of the Wine-cellar to Henry VII I., and widow of Sir Jobn Cheeke, Secretary of State and Preceptor to Edward VI. The said Maria Hill was one of the maids-of-honour to Queen Elizabeth. Vide Harleian MS- 8o1, f. 4o, and Anthony Wood's MSS. 8469, f. ioab. Cassandra Mac William is said, in the Visitation of Staffordshire in 1664, to have been the "daughter and heiress of Mac William," but the pedigree in the Harleian MS. 891, states that Henry Mac William had by Margaret (or Maria) Hill two sons, Henry and Ambrose, and three daughters, Susan, the wife of Edward Saunders, Cicely, and Cassandra.
4 Lncastn, 8vo, 1649, p. 11a "An E'egie on the death of Mrs Cassaniia Cotton, only sister to Mr C. Cotton.''