People: Cotton, Sir George







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Career: George Cotton was born about 1495, the second son of John Cotton of Cotton in Shropshire. He became an esquire of the body to Henry VIII and obtained a number of official appointments, being knighted in 1542. By the time of his death, he had been appointed vice-chamberlain to the future Edward VI.

In August 1539 he and his wife, Mary (Onley), were granted the monastery and lands of Combermere Abbey, near Nantwich in Cheshire. The Cotton family built a house there which is thought to incorporate part of the old monastic buildings. The Tudor house survived until the early nineteenth century when it was extensively remodelled in the Gothic style by cladding the existing walls.

Sir George and Lady Mary Cotton were granted the manors of Wilkesley and Poulton in Cheshire by Henry VIII and, as indicated in EDC 5/1/10, other grants from the King included the farm of the parish of Great Budworth.

George Cotton died in 1545 and his will is held by The National Archives.

The images are of Combermere Abbey, the black and white image of the house in the Tudor period is from Ormerod’s Cheshire, courtesy of HathiTrust.


Pedigrees made at the Visitation of Cheshire, 1613, eds. Sir George J. Armytage and J. Paul Rylands (The Record Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, 58, 1909).

George Ormerod, The History of the County Palatine and City of Chester, vol. 3 (second edition, revised and enlarged by T. Helsby, London, 1882).

Will held by The National Archives, PROB 11/30/417: Will of Sir George Cotton, Vice Chamberlain to the Prince

Victoria County History online:


EDC 5/1/10 – plaintiff

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