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COCKER—COCK-FIGHTING

was remarkable for its clearness, pathos and simplicity; and his conversational powers were unrivalled among his contemporaries. The extent of his literary ability only became known after he had passed his seventieth year, on the publication of his biography of Lord Jeffrey in 1852, and from the Memorials of his Time, which appeared posthumously in 1856. He died on the 26th of April 1854, at his mansion of Bonaly, near Edinburgh.


COCKER, EDWARD (1631–1675), the reputed author of the famous Arithmetick, the popularity of which has added a phrase (“according to Cocker”) to the list of English proverbialisms, was an English engraver, who also taught writing and arithmetic. He is credited with the authorship and execution of some fourteen sets of copy slips, one of which, Daniel’s Copy-Book, ingraven by Edward Cocker, Philomath (1664), is preserved in the British Museum. Pepys, in his Diary, makes very favourable mention of Cocker, who appears to have displayed great skill in his art. Cocker’s Arithmetick, the fifty-second edition of which appeared in 1748, and which has passed through about 112 editions in all, was not published during the lifetime of its reputed author, the first impression bearing date of 1678. Augustus de Morgan in his Arithmetical Books (1847) adduces proofs, which may be held to be conclusive, that the work was a forgery of the editor and publisher, John Hawkins; and there appears to be no doubt that the Decimal Arithmetic (1684), and the English Dictionary (second edition, 1715), issued by Hawkins under Cocker’s name, are forgeries also. De Morgan condemns the Arithmetick as a diffuse compilation from older and better works, and dates “a very great deterioration in elementary works on arithmetic” from the appearance of the book, which owed its celebrity far more to persistent puffing than to its merits. He pertinently adds,—“This same Edward Cocker must have had great reputation, since a bad book under his name pushed out the good ones.”


COCKERELL, CHARLES ROBERT (1788–1863), British architect, was born in London on the 28th of April 1788. After a preliminary training in his profession, he went abroad in 1810 and studied the great architectural remains of Greece, Italy and Asia Minor. At Aegina, Phigalia and other places of interest, he conducted excavations on a large scale, enriching the British Museum with many fine fragments, and adding several valuable monographs to the literature of archaeology. Elected in 1829 an associate of the Royal Academy, he became a full member in 1836, and in 1839 he was appointed professor of architecture. On Sir John Soane’s death in 1837 Cockerell was appointed architect of the Bank of England, and carried out the alterations that were judged to be necessary in that building. In addition to branch banks at Liverpool and Manchester he erected in 1840 the new library at Cambridge, and in 1845 the university galleries at Oxford, as well as the Sun and the Westminster Fire Offices in Bartholomew Lane and in the Strand; and he was joint architect of the London & Westminster Bank, Lothbury, with Sir W. Tite. On the death of Henry Lonsdale Elmes in 1847, Cockerell was selected to finish the St George’s Hall, Liverpool. Cockerell’s best conceptions were those inspired by classic models; his essays in the Gothic—the college at Lampeter, for instance, and the chapel at Harrow—are by no means so successful. His thorough knowledge of Gothic art, however, can be seen from his writings, On the Iconography of Wells Cathedral, and On the Sculptures of Lincoln and Exeter Cathedrals. In his Tribute to the Memory of Sir Christopher Wren (1838) he published an interesting collection of the whole of Wren’s works drawn to one scale.


COCKERILL, WILLIAM (1759–1832), Anglo-French inventor and machinist, was born in England in 1759. He went to Belgium as a simple mechanic, and in 1799 constructed at Verviers the first wool-carding and wool-spinning machines on the continent. In 1807 he established a large machine workshop at Liége. Orders soon poured in on him from all over Europe, and he amassed a large fortune. In 1810 he was granted the rights of naturalization by Napoleon I., and in 1812 handed over the management of his business to his youngest son, John Cockerill (1790–1840).

Thanks to his own energy and ability, aided by the influence of King William I. of the Netherlands, John Cockerill largely extended his father’s business. King William secured him a site at Seraing, where he built large works, including an iron-foundry and blast furnace. The construction of the Belgian railways in 1834 gave a great impetus to these works, branches of which had already been opened in France, Germany and Poland. In 1838 Cockerill met with a carriage accident which nearly proved fatal, and the prospect of his loss resulted in the credit of the firm being so badly shaken that in 1839 it was compelled to go into liquidation, the liabilities being estimated at 26 millions of francs, the assets at 18 millions. This reverse, however, was only temporary. John Cockerill had practically concluded negotiations to construct the Russian government railways, when his constitution, undermined by overwork, broke down. He died at Warsaw on the 19th of June 1840. The iron works, among the largest in Europe, are still carried on under the name of La Société Cockerill at Seraing (q.v.).


COCKERMOUTH, a market town in the Cockermouth parliamentary division of Cumberland, England, 27 m. S.W. of Carlisle, on the Cockermouth, Keswick & Penrith, the London & North Western, and the Maryport & Carlisle railways. Pop. of urban district (1901) 5355. It is pleasantly situated on the river Derwent, at the junction of the Cocker, outlying hills of the Lake District sheltering it on the north, east and south. The castle has remains of Norman work in the keep, and other ancient portions (including the gateway) of later date, but is in part modernized as a residence. The grammar school was founded in 1676. The county industrial school is established in the town. The industries include the manufacture of woollens and confectionery, tanning and engineering, and there is a considerable agricultural trade. There are coal mines in the neighbourhood. A statue was erected in 1875 to the sixth earl of Mayo, who represented the borough (abolished in 1885) from 1857 to 1868. There is a Roman fort a mile west of the town, at Papcastle.

Cockermouth (Cokermuth, Cokermue) was made the head of the honour or barony of Allerdale when that barony was created and granted to Waltheof in the early part of the 12th century. At a later date the honour of Allerdale was frequently called the honour of Cockermouth. Waltheof probably built the castle, under the shelter of which the town grew up. Although it never received any royal charter, the earliest records relating to Cockermouth mention it as a borough. In 1295 it returned two members to parliament and then not again until 1640. By the Representation of the People Act of 1867 the representation was reduced to one member, and by the Redistribution Act of 1885 it was disfranchised. In 1221 William de Fortibus, earl of Albemarle, was granted a Saturday market, which later in the year was transferred to Monday, the day on which it has continued to be held ever since. The Michaelmas Fair existed in 1343, and an inquisition dated 1374 mentions two horse-fairs on Whit-Monday and at Michaelmas. In 1638 Algernon Percy, earl of Northumberland, obtained a grant of a fair every Wednesday from the first week in May till Michaelmas. The chief sources of revenue in Norman times were the valuable fisheries and numerous mills.


COCK-FIGHTING, or Cocking, the sport of pitting game-cocks to fight, and breeding and training them for the purpose. The game-fowl is now probably the nearest to the Indian jungle-fowl (Gallus ferrugineus), from which all domestic fowls are believed to be descended. The sport was popular in ancient times in India, China, Persia and other eastern countries, and was introduced into Greece in the time of Themistocles. The latter, while moving with his army against the Persians, observed two cocks fighting desperately, and, stopping his troops, inspired them by calling their attention to the valour and obstinacy of the feathered warriors. In honour of the ensuing victory of the Greeks cock-fights were thenceforth held annually at Athens, at first in a patriotic and religious spirit, but afterwards purely for the love of the sport. Lucian makes Solon speak of quail-fighting and cocking, but he is evidently referring to a time later than that