8 Annotations

First Reading

Pauline  •  Link

from L&M Companion
Capt. George Cocke (c.1617-76). Baltic merchant and navy contractor, of London and Greenwich; a native of Newcastle upon Tyne (which played an important part in trade to Scandinavia). He was an influential member of the Eastland Company, dealt extensively in hemp and owned a tannery in Limerick. He had served in the Marquess of Newcastle's royalist army and had been taken prisoner 1643-4. His claim to have been in the confidence of Charles I (v.335) may, if true, have related to the King's stay in Newcastle. Pepys found him a lively companion, though inclined to talk and drink too much. He had a wide range of interests and was elected F.R.S. in 1666. He had a sinecure post in the Newcastle customs service, was a farmer of the hearth-tax and served on the commission of enquiry into the Chatham Chest. As Treasurer of the Commission for Sick and Wounded Seaman (1665-7) he ran into trouble with his accounts and had to face trial in 1670. There are several indications in the diary of his being regarded as untrustworthy. He was never employed on any of the Council committees for trade.
His house in London was in the parish of St Peter-le-Poer and was taxed on ten hearths. His (first) wife was Anna Maria Solomons of Danzig (where he live in 1656 as an agent of the Eastland Company). He had five sons at his death. Bounncker was given a ring at his funeral.

Pedro  •  Link

Captain Cocke

Had much to do with the Guinney Company in 1663.

Coventry (who was secretary) says...

"The Company being much steered by Sir Richard Ford, Captain George Cocke and Mr. Gray of the Court Party as they called it"

(Man of War...Ollard)

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

Captain George Cock, a merchant possessed of large tanning works in Limerick. On July 31st, 1660, he was rewarded for his services during the Civil War with the office of searcher of the port of Newcastle, his native place; commissioner for inspecting the chest; and in November, 1664, steward for sick and wounded seamen. Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, 1666, and died 1679.
---Wheatley, 1899.

Bill  •  Link

COCK, GEORGE (d. 1679), captain; served in Charles I's army; searcher of the port of Newcastle, 1660; steward for sick and wounded seamen, 1664: F.R.S., 1666; friend of Samuel Pepys.
---Dictionary of National Biography: Index and Epitome. S. Lee, 1906.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Then Captain Cocke coming to me to speak about my seeming discourtesy to him in the business of his hemp, ..." Now what? I suppose this refers to the contract of March 12, 1663:

"all the morning with Captain Cocke ending their account of their Riga contract for hemp." The drawing-up of this contract was begun 18 February. http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1…

Sam spent several days going over old accounts with Capt. George Cocke, learning about hemp, negotiating a deal, having it written up, etc. and now George wants to complain about bad treatment? He got lots of access to the decision-makers during the process. Fortunately this gripe session doesn't appear to have ruined the working relationship, but really ... Pepys was in no mood for this one!

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

I imagine his Riga connections began when he was in Danzig. Both were Hanseatic ports, trading with the vast Slavic hinterlands of Eastern Europe, and with significant commerce and social contacts with each other.

By her surname/patronymic, his wife may have had Jewish origins.


San Diego Sarah  •  Link

In 1665, during the plague times, Pepys often visited Capt. and Mrs. George Cocke in Greenwich, where he reports "... I lay the softest I ever did in my life, with a down bed, after the Danish manner, upon me, ..."

Cocke's wife, Anna Maria Solomons Cocke, came from Danzig. Maybe Pepys had had a couple of drinks, and misremembered Danzig for Denmark?

Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland) was a cultured and wealthy city, per this Wikipedia entry:

"In 1569, when Royal Prussia's estates agreed to incorporate the region into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the city insisted on preserving its special status. It defended itself through the Siege of Danzig in 1577 in order to preserve special privileges, and subsequently insisted on negotiating by sending emissaries directly to the Polish king.

"Danzig's location as a deep-water port where the Vistula river met the Baltic Sea made it into one of the wealthiest cities in Europe in the 17th centuries as grain from Poland and the Ukraine was shipped up the Vistula on barges to be loaded onto ships in Danzig, where it was shipped on to western Europe. As many of the merchants shipping the grain from Danzig were Dutch, who built Dutch-style houses for themselves, leading to other Danzigers imitating them, thus giving the city a distinctively Dutch appearance. Danzig become known as "the Amsterdam of the East", a wealthy seaport and trading crossroads that linked together the economics of western and eastern Europe ..."

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

L&M: Capt. George Cocke’s house was close to Gresham College; he also had a country house at Greenwich.

And elsewhere we are told:
Broad Street -- Pepys often visited this wide road in the City as Capt. George Cocke lived here, and it also contained the Excise Office, African House and, after 1664, the office and residence of the Navy Treasurer, Sir George Carteret. In the 1660's Broad Street included what's Fig Street on the 1746 map running NE from Threadneedle St. and not just its extension beyond Throgmorton St.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.