Show ContentsCockayne History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Cockayne is an ancient Anglo-Saxon name. It was a name given to a person who was a person who was considered a dreamer derived from the Old French word "coquaigne," which referred to an imaginary paradise. Accordingly other references show Cockaigne or Cockayne as a medieval mythical land of extreme luxury as noted in poems like "The Land of Cockaigne."

Early Origins of the Cockayne family

The surname Cockayne was first found in Warwickshire, where many of the family claim descent from Baddesley Ensor, a parish, in the union of Atherstone in the hundred of Hemlingford, which dates back to the Domesday Book [1] where it was listed as Bedeslei and later as Baddesley Endeshower in 1327 [2].

Another branch of the Cockayne (or Cokayne) family settled at Ashbourne, Derbyshire since the twelfth century where they owned the manors of Ashbourne Hall and Pooley Hall until the late 1600s.

One of the earliest records of the family was Sir John Cokayne (d. 1438), an early English judge, son of Edmund Cokayne of Ashbourne in Derbyshire and Pooley in Warwickshire. "In 1400 he was created chief Baron, was summoned to the council in the following year, and created a justice of the common pleas in 1405. In May of this year he was accused in parliament of having seized by force the manor of Baddesley Ensor in Warwickshire, and of keeping the owners out of possession, and was ordered to appear in person to answer to the charge. Of the further proceedings in this matter there is no record. The manor, however, remained in his possession, since by his will, which he made before starting for France with the military expedition sent to the aid of the Duke of Orleans in his struggle with the Duke of Burgundy in 1411-12, he entailed it upon his son John. " [3]

Today, Cockayne is a hamlet and ridge in North Yorkshire but his village dates back to only 1972 when the 1925 acre Bransdale estate was transferred to the National Trust through National Land Fund. For the most part, the village is owned by the National Trust.

Early History of the Cockayne family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cockayne research. Another 99 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1193, 1219, 1221, 1228, 1273, 1332, 1661, 1671, 1509, 1547, 1561, 1626, 1613, 1619, 1602, 1661, 1631, 1687, 1658, 1688, 1687, 1716, 1608 and 1684 are included under the topic Early Cockayne History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cockayne Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Cockayne has appeared include Cockayne, Cokayne, Cocaine, Cokayn, Cokein, Cokaigne, Cokkaigne, Cokkayn, Cockayn and many more.

Early Notables of the Cockayne family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Thomas Cokayn, who was knighted during the reign of King Henry VIII (1509-1547); Sir William Cockayne (Cokayne) (1561-1626), English merchant in London, alderman, the first Governor of Londonderry (1613) and later Lord Mayor of London in 1619; Charles Cokayne, 1st Viscount Cullen (1602-1661); Brien Cokayne, 2nd Viscount Cullen (1631-1687); Charles Cokayne, 3rd Viscount Cullen (1658-1688)...
Another 63 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cockayne Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Australia Cockayne migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Cockayne Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Septimus Cockayne, British Convict who was convicted in Rotherham, Yorkshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Eden" on 12th March 1842, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Island) [4]
  • Edward Cockayne, English convict from Nottingham, who was transported aboard the "Adelaide" on April 16, 1855, settling in Western Australia [5]

New Zealand Cockayne migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Cockayne Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Harriet Cockayne, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Merrington" in 1867
  • John Cockayne, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Merrington" in 1867
  • Anne Cockayne, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Merrington" in 1867
  • Clara Cockayne, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Merrington" in 1867

Contemporary Notables of the name Cockayne (post 1700) +

  • T. William Cockayne, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Utah, 1972 [6]
  • Benjamin Cockayne, American Democratic Party politician, Postmaster at Grave Creek, Virginia, 1841-49 [6]
  • Thomas Oswald Cockayne (1807-1873), English philologist, educated at St. John's College, Cambridge [7]
  • William Cockayne (1717-1798), English astronomer, son of the Rev. George Cockayne, vicar of Doveridge in Derbyshire [7]
  • David Cockayne FRS (1942-2010), English electron microscopist and university professor at the University of Oxford
  • Ben Cockayne (b. 1983), English rugby player
  • Mr. Thomas Cockayne, British sheriff, held the joint position of Sheriff of Nottingham, England from 1510 to 1511 and 1535 to 1536
  • Mr. Robert Cockayne, British sheriff, held the joint position of Sheriff of Nottingham, England from 1546 to 1547
  • Edward Alfred Cockayne (1880-1956), English physician who identified Cockayne syndrome
  • Leonard Cockayne FRS (1855-1934), New Zealand horticulturist awarded the Darwin Medal in 1928

The Cockayne Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: En bon espoyr
Motto Translation: In good hope.

  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 15th December 2021). Retrieved from
  5. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 17) Adelaide voyage to Western Australia, Australia in 1855 with 261 passengers. Retrieved from
  6. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 4) . Retrieved from
  7. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020 on Facebook