The Cokayne family in Ashbourne, Derbyshire

The Cokayne Memoranda describe the long association of the Cokayne family with the small market town of Ashbourne in Derbyshire.  The church of St. Oswald was central to the medieval community of Ashbourne and has important memorials to some of the early leading members of the Cokayne family.  To date we have not researched family links with Ashbourne, but there are a number of good descriptions of the church and memorials on other websites:

The Ashbourne Town website has a good description of St. Oswald's Church.  The Friends of St Oswald's Church have published a booklet on the history of the church, which provides some additional information on the Cockayne memorials.

Craig Thornber's website of Ashbourne images has excellent photographs of the Cokayne memorials in St Oswald's Church.

We include a selection of photographs taken in the North Transept and Boothby Chapel below.

The oldest memorial is the tomb of Sir John Cokayne, who died in 1372 and was steward to John of Gaunt.  The effigy of his son, Sir Edmund (d. 1403 at the Battle of Shrewsbury) was added in 1412.

Next to this tomb is that of Sir Edmund's son and heir, Sir John Cokayne of Ashbourne and Pooley who died in 1447 (below).

In the north-east corner of the Boothby Chapel is the tomb of Sir Thomas Cokayne (d. 1537) and his wife Barbara FitzHerbert (below).  Sir Thomas was known as the 'magnificent' and was knighted by Henry VIII at the Battle of Tournay in 1513.  In his will he made provision for the creation of a marble tomb to the value of £8.

Along the north wall of the Boothby Chapel is the tomb of Francis Cokayne, Sir Thomas's oldest son and heir, who died in 1538 and his wife Dorothy Marrow (below).

Finally, outside of the Boothby Chapel on the north wall of the north transept is the dominant and magnificent memorial to Sir Thomas Cokayne (d. 1592) and his wife Dorothy Ferrers.  It lists the names of their three sons and seven daughters (see below).  Ironically, Sir Thomas's will stipulated that he wanted 'no vain pomp nor foolish ceremonies' for his funeral and that 'instead of a tomb...set in the wall by my father's tomb in my choir at Ashborne church some small monument of brass'.

Some of the Cokayne tombs in the Boothby Chapel of St Oswald's, Ashbourne (below).

Fragments of medieval glass in the north window of St Oswald's, Ashbourne, clearly showing part of a Cokayne arms (below).