One of my famous relatives?

I found the details of this person, Edward Hancock, who seems like an interesting character. He was from Combe Martin in Devon, where my side of the Hancock family seems to originate from. It would be interesting to connect him to the later people in the Hancock tree from Combe Martin. Here’s a section of his bio from the History of Parliament website:

Hancock was admitted to the Inner Temple free of charge at the request of ‘his near kinsman’ the lord chief justice of common pleas, Sir James Dyer. He and another student constructed their own chambers there. About 1590 Sir Walter Ralegh, who may first have met Hancock through Adrian Gilbert, bought the clerkship of assize for him from Justice Manwood for £90, and thenceforward Hancock was Ralegh’s trusted servant, in possession of his private seal. When Ralegh went to Guiana, Hancock accompanied him. Hancock’s return for Aldborough was presumably obtained through the influence of (Sir) Thomas Heneage, chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, very likely at Ralegh’s request. As burgess for Aldborough he may have attended the committees concerning cloth (23 Mar.) and weirs (28 Mar.). William Strode II, himself a follower of Ralegh, presumably obtained Hancock’s return for Plympton Erle. At Barnstaple in 1601 Hancock was nominated by the Earl of Bath, though he had his own connexions with the borough, which paid him rent for Combe Martin manor, and after the election he sent the mayor a gift of venison. He sat on two minor parliamentary committees, the first concerning Rochdale, Lancashire, and second procedure, both on 11 Nov. 1601. After Ralegh’s fall Hancock committed suicide, in July 1603. Administration of his estate was granted to his widow 4 Nov., and a new administration to his daughter-in-law 28 June 1633.

Ralegh’s fall refers to the plot to remove James I from the throne after the death of Elizabeth I. The fact that the citation above mentioned a daughter-in-law obviously implied that there was a son. Edward does appear to have had a son William by his wife Dorothy.

HANCOCK, WILLIAM. B.A. 1619 (Incorp. from Oxford). S. of Edward, of Combe Martin, Devon, Esq. Matric. from Corpus Christi College, Oxford, June 7, 1616, age 14; B.A. (Oxford) 1618-9. Adm. at the Middle Temple, June 8, 1618. Died May 2, 1625. (Al. Oxon.)

I found that link in that well known book, “Cambridge Univeristy: Alumni cantabrigienses; a biographical list of all known students, graduates and holders of office at the University of Cambridge (Volume pt 1 vol 2)”

I think it makes sense that administration of the estate initially went to his widow Dorothy, then passed on when Dorothy remarried John Dodderidge. By that time William had died, so the estate moved to his daughter in law. William died in 1625 when he was about 23, so any child in 1633 would be around 8 and wouldn’t be taking charge yet. I haven’t found any record of a child yet – that’s the next step…


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