Hamlet Cocker was born sometime in the fourth quarter of 1855. He was baptised on 29 November that year at Royton, near Oldham, in Lancashire.
Hamlet married Grace Greenwood sometime in the second quarter of 1882, the marriage is registered in Oldham. And Grace is my 1st cousin 3x removed. Our common ancestors are Martin Gawthrop and Ann Kighley, my 3x great grandparents.
I have the family in the census returns of 1891, 1901 and 1911 living at 317 Rochdale Road, Royton. Hamlet’s occupation is described as “cotton mill manager”. They had three children – Hannah, Amy Gertrude and Maude. Sadly Amy died in infancy less than a year old in 1885.
Grace was the next member of the family to pass away – she died at the relatively young age of 51 on 29 February 1908.
Incredibly tragedy struck the family again three and a half years later when Hamlet died on 6 August 1911 in “curious circumstances”. His death was reported in the Preston Herald on 9 August 1911.
DIRECTOR FOUND DROWNED
A SINGULAR FATALITY
Mr Hamlet Cocker, the managing director and salesman of the Woodstock Spinning Company, Royton Junction, and a director of many other cotton companies, was found drowned in curious circumstances. The No. 1 mill of the Woodstock Company was being extended, and Mr Cocker’s body was found in a hole, containing 16 inches of water, in the ground where the work was going on. There was no suggestion of suicide.
At the inquest Mr Cocker’s daughter said that he left home on Sunday morning to visit Woodstock Mill. Mr Granville Tither, the cashier and secretary at the mill, said he concluded that Mr Cocker had been looking to see if the rain had done any damage to the work of extension. The hole was three yards square and two yards deep. He thought that Mr Cocker was seized with dizziness and fell in. He saw him in a fit of dizziness about two years ago at the mill. A police sergeant said he considered that if Mr Cocker had been conscious when he fell in he could have got out of the hole.
The Deputy Coroner said that Mr Cocker was obviously drowned. There was nothing to suggest that he had fallen from any part of the building and there was no suggestion that he had committed suicide.
The jury returned a verdict of found drowned.
In his will Hamlet left effects totalling £8770 3s to his unmarried daughters, Hannah and Maude.