Sir George COTTON of Combermere, Knight

Born: , Combermere, Cotton, Cheshire, England

Died: 25 Mar 1545, Whitchurch, Cheshire, England

Father: John COTTON (Esq.)

Mother: Cecily MAINWARING

Married: Mary ONLEY (b. 1517 - d. 1560) (dau. of John Onley of Catesby Castle and Jane Pontesbury) (m.2 Sir Ralph Bagnall of Dieulacresse) 1525, Cheshire, England


1. Dorothy COTTON (b. 1530 - d. 06 Jun 1608) (m. Edward Torback)

2. Elizabeth COTTON (b. 1536- d. 1594) (m. William Francis)

3. Mary COTTON (C. Derby / C. Kent) (b. ABT 1541 - d. 16 Nov 1580) (m1. Edward Stanley, 3rd Earl of Derby - m2. Henry Grey, 6th Earl Grey of Ruthin)

4. Winifred COTTON (1544-) (m. Thomas Dering)

5. Richard COTTON (Sir) (b. 1545 - d. 1602) (m.1 Jane Seyliard - m.2 Phillippa ? - m.3 Mary Mainwaring)

6. Winnifred COTTON (d. 1559)

7. Robert COTTON

8. Dorothy COTTON

9. George COTTON

The Cotton Family of Combermere Abbey has an extensive family ancestry that is directly descended from Henry II of England, Charlemagne and the ancient Kings of Wessex. There are also many other notable family descendants. The Cottons of Combermere rose to great heights in the reign of Henry VIII, and this was due in a measure to the alliances with other families by marriage.

George and his younger brothers, Sir Richard Cotton, MP (d. 1556); Robert (d. 1591); WilliamRalph and Thomas Cotton were sons of John Cotton, esquire, of Cotton in Wem by his wife Cecily Mainwaring, dau. of Thomas Mainwaring, esquire, of Ightfield by his wife Jane Sutton, dau. of John Sutton, B. Dudley.

In 1531 George was a favorite companion of the King in his exercises of archery and was said to have won much prize money at the butts, or 'rounds', at Tothill Fields near Westminster.

Sir George Cotton was member of Privy Council of Henry VIII; knighted by King Henry VIII; grantee of Combermere, Co. Salop 1541, a former Christian monastery founded in 1130 AD and at one time the third largest church in Cheshire, with its church, bell tower, Lake of Combermere and the cemetery, all by the King's letters patent. In this grant were lands called Dodcote in County Salop, Cliffe and Hales in Drayton, Erdlet Grange in Staffordshire, Wincell Grange in County Cheshire and Cotes Grange in Derbyshire. This was mostly in recognition of Sir George’s service as governor in the household of the King’s illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond and Somerset since 1526.

His younger brother Richard was the Duke’s comptroller and the two brothers allied with the Duke’s chamberlain, Sir William Parr, against Richard Croke, the Greek scholar whom Henry VIII had appointed his son’s tutor. Croke complained that they falsified the accounts and kept Richmond from his studies, but the Cotton brothers remained on friendly terms with the King who in Jun 1531 paid them £20 for three ‘sets’—either games or wagers—which he had lost to them in Greenwich Park.

In an inventory taken following his death in Jul 1536, it was recorded that Richmond had given his half-brother George Talboys more clothing and it had been delivered by Richmond's personal attendant and friend, George Cotton.

George pulled down most of the abbey of Combermere buildings except the abbots' lodgings. The original building had a stone ground floor with timber above. Sir George's son, Richard, remodelled the house in 1563.

Obtained 2/3 of Newhall Manor. Vice-chamberlain of the Household to Prince Edward. Steward of Bromfield, Yale, and Chirk.

Married Mary Onley, dau. of John Onley, Esq., of Catesby, co. Northampton, by Jane Pontesbury, dau. of Thomas Pontesbury of Albrighton, co. Salop. He and his wife were granted the abbey of Combermere by the King, and the manors of Wilkesley and Pulton, co., Chester.

Sir Richard Cotton

Sir George died at Combermere on 25 Mar 1545. His widow, who had married secondly Sir Ralph Bagnall of Dieulacresse, died at Combermere on 14 Mar 1559/60.