Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 11.djvu/194

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Cockburn
Cockburn
188


the middle height, with a handsome and intellectual face, fond of outdoor exercises, and a devoted lover of nature. Among friends he was a delightful companion, and his general unconventionality and genial familiarity with his countrymen of every class contributed to make him one of the most personally popular of Scotchmen. On hearing of his death, a few weeks after that of John Wilson, 'Christopher North,' Carlyle wrote of him in his 'Journal' as 'in all respects the converse or contrast of Wilson; rustic Scotch sense, sincerity and humour, all of the practical Scotch type. . . . Cockburn, small, solid, and genuine, was by much the wholesomer product; a bright, cheery- voiced, hazel-eyed man; a Scotch dialect with plenty of good logic in it, and of practical sagacity; veracious, too. A gentleman, I should say, and perfectly in the Scotch type, perhaps the very last of that peculiar species' (Froude, Thomas Carlyle, a History of his Life in London, ii. 158). In 1856 appeared Cockburn's posthumous volume of 'Memorials of his Time,' containing his autobiography up to his appointment to the solicitor-generalship, interspersed with sketches of Scottish social and political history, and with characteristic anecdotes of Edinburgh notables. Its graphic sketches of men and manners were accompanied by reflections on the social changes which Cockburn had witnessed in Scotland and Edinburgh, and the volume was very successful. In some strictures on it, above all in those contained in an article in the 'Law Review and Magazine' for August and November 1856, then generally attributed to Brougham, Cockburn's veracity was seriously impugned. It was successfully defended in the 'Edinburgh Review' for January 1857 in an article, 'Scottish Lawyers and English Critics,' which also gave an interesting description of Cockburn's personal appearance, habits, and peculiarities, with an excellent estimate of his character and career. In 1874 was issued in two volumes Cockburn's 'Journal . . . 1831-44,' a work resembling the 'Memorials,' of which it is a continuation, though its interest, if the same in kind, is less in degree. Among its contents is a valuable contemporary record of the development of the strife which issued in the disruption of the Scottish kirk. A number of letters of Cockburn's on Scotch politics and law reform, addressed to a Scotch whig M.P., and latterly a minor minister and government official, are published in a volume of 'Letters chiefly connected with the affairs of Scotland from Henry Cockburn to T. F. Kennedy, M.P., with other Letters from eminent persons during the same period, 1818-1852 ' (1874). The copy in the British Museum Library of 'The Chronicle of the City ' (by Douglas Cheape), a squib produced by the Edinburgh election of May 1834, when Sir John, afterwards Lord, Campbell was returned, contains explanatory manuscript notes by Cockburn. The publication of an edition of 'Lord Cockburn's Works,' begun at Edinburgh in 1872, stopped with the reissue of the 'Life of Jeffrey' and the 'Memorials.'

[Cockburn's writings, especially the Memorials and the Journal; Chambers's Biog. Dict. of Eminent Scotsmen; Cassell's Old and New Edinburgh; authorities cited.]

F. E.

COCKBURN, JAMES (fl. 1783), colonel 35th foot, commandant at St. Eustatius in 1781, was second son of Dr. James Cockburn, and grandson of Dr. William Cockburn [q. v.], physician-general to the British army in the Duke of Marlborough's campaigns. During a long and meritorious service of thirty-six years, mostly in the 35th foot, of which he was adjutant from 1757 to 1772, he was several times wounded, and fought under Wolfe at Quebec, in the subsequent conquest of Canada, and in the American campaigns of 1775-6, including the battles of Bunker's Hill and White Plains. He was in command at St. Eustatius when that island, garrisoned by detachments of the 13th and 15th foot and a few artillery, was surprised and captured by a small French naval squadron on 26 Nov. 1781. For this he was tried by a general court-martial, held at the Horse Guards 31 May 1783, which sentenced him to be cashiered. He died soon afterwards. Cockburn married Lætitia Little, heiress of the ancient Irish houses of Rossiter and Devereux, and by her had several children. His eldest son, William, succeeded his uncle in the baronetcy and estates of Cockburn of Cockburn and Ryslaw, Berwickshire, and served with distinction in the army in India [see Cockburn, Sir William, lieutenant-general].

Printed copies of the court-martial proceedings, one edition with numerous notes (London 1783), will be found in the British Museum Library. The Egerton MSS. also contain two letters, one from Cockburn to Brigadier Christie announcing the capture of St. Eustatius, and the other from Mrs. Lætitia Cockburn, dated Greenwich, 18 March 1781, to General Vaughan, thanking him for having appointed her husband to the post of quarter-master-general (in the West Indies), an appointment he appears never to have taken up.

[Burke's Baronetage; British Museum Catalogues.]

H. M. C.

COCKBURN, JAMES PATTISON (1779?–1847), major-general royal artillery, was born about 1779. He entered the Royal