Sir Charles Cotterell (1615-1701)
Son of Sir Clement (Groom Porter to James I); Aisstan-Master of Ceremonies 1641-6, Master 1660-86; M.P. for Cardigan 1663-Jan. 79. He translated (with William Aylesbury) Davila's *Storia delle guerre civili di Francia* (1630) and his *Cassandra* (1652), was a translation of La Calprenède's prose romance, *Cassandre* (1642–9). http://res.oxfordjournals.org/content/60/245/406.…
His son Clement (born c. 1650) became a close friend of Sandwich -- accompanied his son Sidney on the Grand Tour, served in the Madrid embassy and klopst his life, like Sandwich, in the Battle of Sole Bay. Sir Charles was one of the six bannerol bearers in Sandwich's funeral. (L&M Companion) In 1667, Sir Charles suggested a calculating instrument, called arithmetical compendium (Instrument for Arithmetick). It was a combination of Napier's rods with a bead abacus, used to avoid writing down the partial products of multiplication using the rods. Cotterel's idea however was published several years later, circa 1670, when the scientific instrument maker Robert Jole (brother in the Clockmakers' Company, based in London), produced his version of the device. http://history-computer.com/CalculatingTools/Gadg…
Sir Charles Cotterell (1615-1701)
Cotterell’s father, Sir Clement Cotterell, from an obscure Norfolk family, became groom-porter to James I and VI, married a Lincolnshire heiress, and sat for Boston in 1624. The small property, valued at only £160 p.a., had to be sold before the Civil Wars.
Charles Cotterell also became a courtier, and served in the Cavalier army. On the execution of King Charles, he went to Antwerp, where he housed royalist fugitives, and was steward to Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia 1652-5, and secretary to Henry, Duke of Gloucester 1655-Sept. 1660. He was knighted on 6 Mar. 1645.
Returning at the Restoration Sir Charles Cotterell became master of ceremonies. A man of culture and learning, he translated works from French, Italian and Spanish, and joined the literary circle around ‘the matchless Orinda’ [poet Katherine Fowler Philips]. He helped to save her husband, James Philipps, from the worst consequences of his membership of two High Courts of Justice.
Sir Charles became an inactive Member of the Cavalier Parliament, sitting on only 44 committees.
In 1664 he served on a committee for establishing St. James Piccadilly as a separate parish.
He was noted as a court dependant in that year and on many lists from 1669-1677.
In 1677, he was named to the committee for educating children of the royal family as Protestants.
In A Seasonable Argument he was said to have obtained £11,000 by virtue of his offices, and he was again noted as a court supporter on both lists in 1678.
In the last two sessions, he was appointed to the committees to summarize foreign commitments and to translate Edward Coleman’s [Popish Plot] letters.
On 28 Nov. 1678, in Sir Charles Cotterel MP's only recorded Parliamentary speech, he conveyed to the House information about the Plot derived from Dutch intelligence in Frankfort, which he was ordered to communicate to the Lords.
Sir Charles Cotterell MP did not stand again, but remained as master of ceremonies until allowed to resign in favour of his son in 1686.
He died on 7 June 1701, and was buried in St. Martin in the Fields, the only member of his family to sit in Parliament.
For his complete House of Commons biography, see
Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.