Robert Bruce Cotton – not our line

M.P. of Huntingdonshire in 1557

Thomas Cotton ca 1536 – 1615 | his parents
& Elizabeth Shirley | her parents
& Dorothy Tamworth | her parents
of Connington, Huntingdonshire, England

This is my working hypothesis – the way I see it as of this moment!!

This Thomas Cotton was M.P. of Huntingdonshire in 1557.
He was a rich country gentleman.

His first wife was Elizabeth, daughter of Francis Shirley of Staunton-Harold, Leicestershire & Dorothy Gifford.
they had two sons and three daughters.
Elizabeth died while the children were young.
Thomas’s second wife was Dorothy, daughter of John Tamworth, of Hawsed, Leicestershire.
they had three sons and three daughters.

Children of Thomas Cotton and Elizabeth Shirley:
1. Sir Robert Bruce Cotton 22 Jan 1570/1 Denton – 6 May 1631 Connington
[he was knighted 11 May 1603] 1st Baronet of Connington
B.A 1585 Trinity College, Cambridge

Portrait of Robert Cotton, commissioned 1626
and attributed to Cornelis Janssens van Ceulen

ca 1593 married Elizabeth Brocas
a. #2 Sir Thomas Cotton 1594 – 13 May 1662 Connington
married Margaret Howard
i. #3 Sir John Cotton 1621 – 12 Sept 1702 aged 81
married Dorothy Anderson
1. John Cotton died 1681
a. #4 Sir John Cotton 1679 – 5 Feb 1730-1
married 1708 Elizabeth Herbert d. 11 Feb 1721-2
married 2nd Elizabeth Honywood d. 3 April 1702
2. #5 Sir Robert Cotton 1669 – 12 July 1749
a. #6 Sir John Cotton [died without issue and the title became extinct
married 2nd Alice Constable
i. son
ii. Robert Cotton M.P. for Cambridgeshire
iii. son
iv. son
2. Thomas Cotton ca 1572 –
3. Lucy Cotton
4. Dorothy Cotton
5. Johanna Cotton
Children of Thomas Cotton and Dorothy Tamworth:
1. Henry Cotton [died 1614]
2. Ferdinand Cotton
3. John Cotton
4. Catherine Cotton
5. Frances Cotton
married Baron Edward Montagu
of Boughton, Northamptonshire.

6. Rebecca Cotton

‘COTTON, Sir ROBERT BRUCE (1571–1631), antiquary, was eldest son of Thomas Cotton of Connington, Huntingdonshire (M.P. for Huntingdonshire in 1557), by his first wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Francis Shirley of Staunton-Harold, Leicestershire. Thomas Cotton was a rich country gentleman, descended from a family of well-ascertained antiquity, originally settled in Cheshire.
In the fourteenth century William, son of Edmund Cotton or de Cotun, acquired by marriage the extensive Ridware estates in Staffordshire, which descended to the eldest branch.
In the fifteenth century a younger son of this branch, William, was slain at the second battle of St. Albans in 1461, and lies buried in St. Margaret’s Church, Westminster.
He married a wealthy heiress, Mary, daughter of Robert de Wesenham, and from this marriage the antiquary was directly descended.
Mary de Wesenham was granddaughter and ultimate heiress of Sir John de Bruis or Bruce, who claimed descent from the Scottish kings and owned the manors of Connington, Huntingdonshire, and Exton, Rutlandshire.
Sir Robert always insisted with pride on his ancestral connection with the royal line of Scotland, and added his second name of Bruce to keep it in memory.
Mary de Wesenham married a second and a third husband, Sir Thomas Billing [q. v.] and Thomas Lacy, and died in 1499, but was buried at St. Margaret’s with her first husband, and bequeathed the estates of Connington, Huntingdonshire, and Exton, Rutlandshire, to Thomas Cotton, her eldest son by him.
In 1500, 1513, and in 1547, the antiquary’s immediate ancestors, all named Thomas Cotton, were high sheriffs of Huntingdonshire and Cambridgeshire.

Sir Robert was born at Denton, three miles from the family seat at Connington, on 22 Jan. 1570 –1, and was baptised five days later.
Soon after their marriage his parents had removed to a small house at Denton, which was pulled down early in this century, in order ‚”to be more at liberty from the incommodiousness of their own seat arising from a great accession of new domestics” (Collins,Baronetage, 1720, p. 187; Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. vi. 449–51). A younger son, Thomas, born a year later, was always on most affectionate terms with the antiquary.
His sisters were named Lucy, Dorothy, and Johanna.
The mother died while her children were young, and the father married as his second wife Dorothy, daughter of John Tamworth, of Hawsted, Leicestershire, by whom he had six other children –three sons, Henry (d. 1614), Ferdinand, and John; and three daughters, Catherine, Frances, and Rebecca.’
Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 12 -Cotton, Robert Bruce –by Sidney Lee ?

Connington House was pulled down in 1753.

“There is a record that John and Henry Cotton, London merchants and half-brothers of Sir Robert Bruce Cotton, purchased Broughton Hall in the county of Northampton.
Their sister, Frances, was married to Baron Edward Montagu of Boughton, Northamptonshire.
Henry Cotton died young, but it would be interesting to see if John left any family.
He would be about the right age to be the father of John Cotton of York Co., VA.” Michael Cotton

This was not the case. His father was John Cotton ca 1587, Wood Ditton, CBG, England, m Elizabeth Ridge. [from research by Michael Cotton and Jean T. Coton after finding a transcript of John Cotton of York’s 1683 will on line.]

Thomas Cotton 1529 -1600
& Lucy Harvey