Rev. John Cockin (c.1782-1861)

The Rev. John Cockin was a well-known Independent dissenting minister who preached at the Lane Independent Chapel, Holmfirth, for 43 years.


He was born around 1782 in Thornton, Bradford, the son of the Rev. Joseph Cockin of Honley and his wife Hannah (née Hall).[1]

He became a minister in 1806, having been influenced by the Rev. Henry Venn (Vicar of Huddersfield from 1759 to 1771).

He married Mary Bovingdon on 16 March 1813 at Chesham in Buckinghamshire. The couple had five known children before her death (which seems to have occurred prior to 1841):

  • Joseph Cockin (1818-1899)[2]
  • Mary Cockin (1820-?)[3]
  • James Cockin (1823-1876?)[4]
  • John Cockin (1825-1876?)[5]
  • Hannah Cockin (1826-1906?)[6]

In Congregationalism in Yorkshire (published 1868), the following details were given in relation to Cockin's years at Lane Independent Chapel:

He was minister during forty-three years, and was well known in the Riding as an active and Evangelical expounder of truth. He was frequently employed on public occasions, and was an energetic itinerant in the district. During his ministry the chapel was twice enlarged, the chapel-house improved, two school-rooms were built, and additional burial-ground bought, the whole at a cost of £1500. Mr. Cockin's defective person rendered him unable to walk much, or even to sit steadily on horseback ; he is said to have fallen 200 times from his horse, yet he never sustained serious injury. During some years he was a preacher annually at Hoxton Chapel, London, where his services were much esteemed. He had a great love for literature, in some branches of which he was well read. He published a life of his father, Joseph Cockin, and a work entitled, "Reflections after Reading," which has considerable merit.

Around 1849, he left Holmfirth and retired to Halifax, residing at 3 Bond Street, where he died on 17 October 1861.

He had expressed his wishes to be buried in Holmfirth and his funeral took place on Wednesday 23 October. A funeral cortège, consisting of "a plumed hearse, followed by four mourning coaches" left Halifax and arrived at Holmfirth Town Hall where, as a mark of respect, all businesses had closed for the day. The procession then moved to Lane Chapel where he was buried "in the company of the many souls which had he had given for his hire during the long period in which he had ministered to their spiritual wants." The Huddersfield Chronicle noted that the "deceased lived in times when Dissenters were much persecuted, but he was a valiant solider of the Cross."[7]

Notes and References

  1. Although some sources state he was born in Honley, his place of birth was given as Thornton on the 1851 and 1861 Censuses.
  2. Born 10 March 1818 in Holmfirth. Married Abigail Maria Kirby (1819-1880) in 1846. Was a "Gum Salesman and Independent Lay Preacher" (1871 Census). Died 19 December 1899 in Manningham, Bradford.
  3. Born 23 April 1820 in Holmfirth.
  4. Born 21 January 1823 in Holmfirth. Believed to have married Martha Moulding and possible died 7 March 1876 in Halifax.
  5. Born 27 January 1825 in Holmfirth. Believed to have died in 1876 in Cheshire.
  6. Born 4 November 1826 in Holmfirth. Believed to have married Robert Gamwell and died in 1906 in Humberside.
  7. "Holmfirth: Funeral of the Rev. John Cockin" in Huddersfield Chronicle (26/Oct/1861).