Patrick Cockburn (1678-1749)

(Researched by Keith Robertson Longhorsley LHS)

Vicar of Longhorsley (1728-1749)

Patrick Cockburn was born in Udny, Aberdeenshire, in 1678, the eldest son of John Cockburn.

Little is known of his early life, but when he received his M.A. from Edinburgh University on 17 August 1705 he was in “Batvia agens” (Holland).

In 1708, he married Catherine Trotter and moved to Nayland, Suffolk, to take up the curacy. The only reference to him in the Nayland registers is the entry on 13 April 1712 of “Mary, daughter of Patrick Cockburn, curate, and Catherine his wife”.

At sometime before 1714, he moved from Nayland to take up the post of curate at St Dunstan’s, Fleet Street. He received national attention in 1714 when he lost the post at St Dunstan’s when he refused to take the oath of abjuration. He then made a “scanty living” teaching Latin at a school in Chancery Lane.

His fortunes improved in 1726 when he again achieved national attention by deciding to take the oath and, on the 29 October 1726, he was appointed to the post of minister at St Paul’s episcopal chapel Aberdeen. Soon after he received this appointment, he was also appointed to the vicarage of Longhorsley. He did not resign his position at Aberdeen and move to Longhorsley until 1737, when he was instructed to do so by the Bishop of Durham who was dissatisfied with the behaviour of the curate of Longhorsley.

He published a number of pamphlets mostly concerning the debate about the oath of loyalty. While he was Vicar of Longhorsley, he wrote in 1739 “An Enquiry into the Truth and Certainty of the Mosaic Deluge” defending the universality of the flood.

In 1748, he wrote his will:

In the Name of God, Amen, this Twenty-fifth day of December, in the year of our Lord, One thousand seven hundred and forty-eight, I Patrick Cockburn, Vicar of Long Horsley in the County of Northumberland, being weak in Body but of perfect Mind and Memory, do make, constitute and ordain this my Last Will and Testament in manner following, that is to say, First I recommend my soul to the mercies of God thro’ the merits of my Redeemer and my body to be buried according to the discretion of my Executor hereafter named and to be laid in the Churchyard of Longhorsley, by the Grave of my Daughter, and as for my Worldly Goods I give and dispose of them in the manner following, that is to say, First I give and bequeath to Catherine my dearly beloved wife, the best Bed and all the Furniture in and there unto belonging, standing and being in the Room which at present is her lodging Room. Also, I give unto my said dearly beloved wife all the Books which are properly called hers. Also, I give and bequeath to my dear Daughter Catherine whatever Household stuff she shall think fit to choose for her own use, confirming to her all such Goods and effects as before the making of this Will she properly call’d her own. And as for the remainder of my Goods and Chattles moveable and unmoveables, I give and bequeath them unto my dear Son John Cockburn Esq. whom I make sole Executor of this my last will and Testament. In Witness whereof I hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year above written.

Signed sealed and declared to Patrick Cockburn

Be the Last Will and the Testator

In the presence of us

George Handyside

Isaac Johnson

Be it known to all Men by these presents, that I Patrick Cockburn, Vicar of Long Horsley in the County of Northumberland, have made and declared my Last Will and Testament in writing, bearing date the Twenty Fifth day of December in the year of our Lord, One thousand seven hundred and forty-eight. I the said Patrick Cockburn do by this present Codicil confirm and ratify my said last will and further I give and bequeath unto Margaret the wife of John Marshall by former servant the large wooden elbow Chair that stands in my Study. Also I give unto Jane Errington my late servant and to Mary and George my present Servants, to each of them a gift Common prayer Book of two shillings value each. Also, I give unto George Handyside my last bought Hatt. Also I give to the poor of Long Horsley parish the sum of one pound, which my intention is shall be distributed to poor widows or any Lame distressed persons within the said parish, to each one shilling. And my will and meaning is that this Codicil be, & be adjudged to be part and parcel of my said Last Will and Testament, and that all things therein contained and mentioned, be faithfully performed in as full and ample manner in every respect as if the same had been so declared and set down in my said Will. In Witness whereof, I the said Patrick Cockburn have hereto set my hand and seal the twenty-ninth day of December in the year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and forty-eight.

Signed sealed &declared

In the presence of us,

Ralph White

Isaac Johnson Patrick Cockburn

Patrick died on 4 January, 1748-9and was buried on & January 1749 at Longhorsley. (See article on Catherine Trotter Cockburn.)

The following obituary appeared in the Newcastle Weekly Courant 1749:

14th January. Last week died at Longhorsley, in Northumberland, in his 71st year, the Rev. Mr. Patrick Cockburn, Vicar of that parish; a gentleman who, if Learning, Piety and a Conscientious discharge of the Ministerial Duties were Recommendations to Preferment, would have appeared in a much higher Station of the Church. He officiated for some years in the Episcopal Church at Aberdeen, where both by his preaching and writing he was a strenuous defender of the Revolution Principals and of His Majesty’s Title to the Crown. His ingenious and learned vindication of the “Mosaic Deluge” for which Subscriptions are now raking in, will shortly be printed for the benefit of his widow, the celebrated Mrs. Cockburn, who by the writings she has printed on the most abstruse and most important Subjects has given proof so far sublime a genius as must entitle her to the public Regard on this and all other occasions.

The Title Page of his Book