William Cocking (1817-1874)

This page is a bare-bones entry for a specific person. More in-depth information may eventually be added. If you have any further details relating to this person, please leave a comment or get in touch!

William Cocking was a Huddersfield architect.


He was born in Huddersfield on 30 June 1817, the son of joiner John Cocking[1] and his wife Jane, and was baptised on 3 August 1817 at Huddersfield Parish Church.

He was educated at the school of Mr. Erza Priestley on Albion Street and then by Mr. Tattersfield at the Bank Chapel academy, Huddersfield.[2] Although he initially worked in his father's business as a joiner, he was described as a builder by 1845 and as an architect in the 1851 Census.

He was a member of St. Paul's Church and of Freemason's Lodge of Harmony (No. 275).[3]

He married twice: firstly on 26 June 1845 to Sarah Greenwood[4] (who died in 1846), daughter of joiner and timber merchant John Greenwood of Folly Hall, and then in 1852 to Emma Smith[5], daughter of drysalter John Smith. The known children from the two marriages are:

  • Sarah Jane Cocking (1846-1926)[6]
  • John William Cocking (1856-1927)[7]
  • Emma Louisa Cocking (1857-1940)[8]
  • Anna Maria Cocking (1859-1911)[9]
  • Lewis Smith Cocking (1861-?)[10]
  • Charlotte Ellen Cocking (1863-1939)[11]
  • Mary Alice Cocking (1864-1916)[12]

By the time of the 1861 Census, the family was residing on Prospect Row, Outcote Bank. By 1870, they have moved to Jockey Hall on Dog Kennel Bank, Almondbury.

In 1872 he was elected as a town councillor for the Huddersfield Central Ward.

He died "after a severe illness" on Monday 5 October 1874 at his home, aged 57. He was buried at St. Paul's Church on Saturday 10 October. John William Cocking then took over his father's business.

William's brother John, who had served as the Clerk to the Huddersfield Board of Guardians from 1859, died a couple of weeks later aged 49.[13]

Emma Cocking died on 8 February 1880, aged 57.

William's daughters Sarah Jane, Charlotte Ellen and Mary Alice lived together as spinsters and were recorded residing at 33 Somerset Road at the time of the 1911 Census, having moved from Dog Kennel Bank in the early 1900s.

Selected Local Works

Items marked † are from Edward Law's list and those marked ‡ are from Christopher Marsden's "Huddersfield Architects" document.


Notes and References

  1. Died 20th September 1854 aged 61, Huddersfield Chronicle (23/Sep/1854).
  2. "Death of Mr. Councillor Cocking" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (08/Oct/1874).
  3. He was initiated into the Lodge of Harmony on 17 November 1842 and his occupation recorded as a "joiner".
  4. Born 23 July 1819 and baptised 26 September 1819 at Huddersfield Parish Church.
  5. Born 7 May 1822 and baptised 30 March 1823 at Huddersfield Parish Church. Died aged 57 and buried on 10 February 1880 at St. Paul's Church, Huddersfield.
  6. Born 20 March 1846 and baptised 4 May 1846 at St. Paul's Church, Huddersfield. Father named as a "joiner". Seemingly did not marry and continued to reside on Dog Kennel Bank until at least the early 1900s. Died 22 February 1926.
  7. Born 3 April 1856 and baptised 16 May 1856 at Huddersfield Parish Church. Married Lutherna Alphena Ainley on 16 June 1881 at St. John the Baptist, Kirkheaton. Children: Frances Mary Hefford Cocking and Helena Lutherna Cocking. Died 28 December 1927 at Lower Hall, Kirkheaton.
  8. Born 12 October 1857 and baptised 2 December 1857 at Huddersfield Parish Church. Married manufacturer John Shaw Ainley on 17 June 1880 at St. Paul's Church, Huddersfield. Children: Katherine Mildred Inley, Mefford W.E. Ainley, Eric E. Ainley, and Gladys L. Ainley. Died 16 January 1940 in Cumberland.
  9. Born 31 July 1859 and baptised 29 May 1861 at Huddersfield Parish Church. Known as "Ria". Married commercial traveller (later chemical manufacturer and dyer) Herbert Fitzroy Clayton (son of auctioneer Michael Clayton) on 5 April 1882 at All Hallows, Almondbury. Children include: Herbert Fitzroy Clayton, Reginald Fitzroy Clayton (motor car engineer 1911 Census) and William Fitzroy Clayton (chemical manufacturer 1911 Census). Died 23 October 1911 at Craigmhor, Gledholt.
  10. Born 10 April 1861 and baptised 29 May 1861 at Huddersfield Parish Church. Worked as a drysalter. Married Jessie Sophia Garton (who died 6 May 1911) 10 June 1891 at Holy Trinity, Tottenham, and then Edith Jean Carr (daughter of carrier Joseph Samuel Carr) on 24 September 1919 at All Hallows, Almondbury. Children include Agnes Theodora Cocking, Kathleen Margaret Cocking, Gladys Evelyn Cocking, Lewis Garton Cocking (born 18 May 1899 and immigrated to Brazil in 1942), William Edward Cocking, and Olive Jessie Townsend Cocking.
  11. Born 15 February 1863 and baptised 17 March 1881 at St. Paul's Church, Huddersfield. Died 7 December 1939 at 158 Penistone Road and interned at Huddersfield Cemetery on 9 December.
  12. Born 28 May 1864. Died 15 April 1916.
  13. "Death of Mr. Cocking, Clerk to the Huddersfield Poor Law Union" in Huddersfield Chronicle (24/Oct/1874).
  14. "Improvement Commissioners' Meeting" in Huddersfield & Holmfirth Examiner (08/Jan/1853).
  15. The Buildings of Huddersfield Project.