Richard Cosin

Born: Richard Cosin was born in around 1548 in Hartlepool. His father, John Cosin of Newhall, was killed fighting in the Duke of Somerset’s army against the Scots near Musselburgh just before Richard was born. His mother, Margery Pudsey, was the daughter of Henry Pudsey of Bolton. After her husband’s death she married Roger Medhope of Skipton, and the family moved there.

Educated: Richard Cosin went to school in Skipton and later to Trinity College Cambridge, where he was awarded an M.A.

Married: Cosin never married.

Family:  He had no children.

Home: For most of his legal career Richard Cosin lived in London.

Known for: In 1583 Richard Cosin became Chancellor of the diocese of Worcester. In 1584 he became M.P. for Downton in Wiltshire. In 1589 Archbishop Whitgift appointed Richard Cosin as his vicar-general as well as dean of the Court of Arches. He was now a senior judge in one of the highest ecclesiastical courts in the land. In this capacity he took a leading role in proceedings against puritans. Cosin was the author of several works, which defended the Church of England against criticisms from the puritans. The most important of these was “An Apologie: of, and for Sundrie Proceedings by Jurisdiction Ecclesiastical”. He wrote this in 1591 to justify the jurisdiction of the church courts in dealing with the puritans.

Died: Richard Cosin died at his chambers in London on 30th November 1597. He was buried at Lambeth. 

Further Information:

“The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1558-1603” (ed.) P.W.Hasler (1981)

Dictionary of National Biography