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To the Right Honourable


Baron of Kinderton in the County of Chester

the following Memoir is respectfully inscribed

by his obliged and faithful servant


August 1836.

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All he desires, all that he would demand,

Is only that some amicable hand
Would but irriguate his fading bays
With due, and only with deserved praise."

The family of Cotton, of which the subject of this memoir was a younger branch, is both 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. 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

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 John Shelley, of Michelgrove, in Sussex, had several children, but none of the name of Charles or George are mentioned in the pedigrees of the family; and it is doubtful whether Sir George Cotion (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 husband 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 coheir of Richard Hill, Sergeant of the -Wine-cellar to Henry VIII., and widow of Sir John 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. 801, f. 49, and Anthony Wood's MSS. 8469, f. 1026. 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.

5 Lucasta, 8vo, 1649, p. 112 “An Elegie on the death of Mrs Cassan dia Cotton, only sister to Mr C. Corton.”

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