The English Parliament under the Stuart monarchs was at the centre of politics as never before. It established itself in practice as the ultimate political authority in the country. Its debates and actions of the period remain at the heart of British constitutional and legal ideas, and the English Civil War and Interregnum of 1642-60, the result of a bitter confrontation between the king and Parliament, is perhaps the most dramatic series of political events in British history.
1603 to 1625, James I
The status of the monarchy started to decline under the reign of James I. He was a firm believer in the divine right of kings. This was a belief that God had made someone a king and as God could not be wrong, neither could anyone appointed by him to rule a nation.
James expected Parliament to do as he wanted; he did not expect it to argue with any of his decisions. However, Parliament had one major advantage over James – they had money and he was continually short of it.
During the reign of James I, our ancestors were recorded as follows:
1603 – Court of Chancery, Six Clerks Office. Hamond Coxon v John Malyn. Subject: Chiefly personal matters.
1603 – Court of Chancery. Six Clerks Office. Stevenson v Robert Cockson and others. Subject: tenement and land held of the manor of Nettleham.
1604 – Northumberland Quarter Sessions. Edward Coxon of Rea, yeoman and others. At Kirkwhelpington stole two ewes worth 4s each from Percival Browne.
1607 – Diocese of Chichester, Episcopal Records. Deposition. Richard Coxon of Rewell Lodge where he lived for 3 years more or less and before at Houghton about 18 years. He was born in Slaugham. Aged about 45 years.
1609 – Rylands Charters, London. Malachi Coxon, citizen and tallow chandler of London, deceased. Acknowledgement by Francis Davies, apprentice of Malachi Coxon to William Coxon of a bequest made under his Will.
1615 – Northumberland Quarter Sessions. John Coxon, Yeoman of Rottenrowe and others broke into common pasture land at Sweetehupp, Throckrington.
1620 – Court of Star Chamber. Atkinson v Henry Coxon and others. Subject: Litigation, farming.
1625 to 1649, Charles I
The English Civil War has many causes but the personality of Charles I must be counted as one of the major reasons. Few people could have predicted that the civil war, that started in 1642, would have ended with the public execution of Charles. His most famous opponent in this war was Oliver Cromwell – one of the men who signed the death warrant of Charles.
By 1642, relations between Parliament and Charles had become very bad. Charles had to do as Parliament wished as they had the ability to raise the money that Charles needed. However, as a firm believer in the divine right of kings, such a relationship was unacceptable to Charles.
In 1642, he went to Parliament with 300 soldiers to arrest his five biggest critics. Someone close to the king had already tipped off Parliament that these men were about to be arrested and they had already fled to the safety of the city of London where they could easily hide from the king. That was the beginning of his end.
During the reign of Charles I our ancestors were recorded as follows:
1623 – Mayor of Chester. Mayors letters. William Coxson was served a letter of execution, whereupon he was imprisoned.
1625 – Court of Chancery, Six Clerks Office. Coxton v Coxon litigation.
1625 – Court of Chancery, Six Clerks Office. Cockson alias Coxon and others v Prise. Litigation.
1628 – Northumberland Quarter Sessions. Thomas Coxsone of le stobbs, yeoman stole 14 sheep worth £5 from John Eansley of Bilsmore.
1629 – Northumberland Quarter Sessions. Thomas Coxson alias Hinte of Stobbes, yeoman and others stole one black horse worth £4 from William Dixson of Fenwicke.
1630 – Cholmondeley of Cholmondeley, Cheshire. Copyhold of Robert Coxon, one messuage and tenement in Runcorne.
1638 – Prerogative Court of Canterbury. Will of John Holton, servant of Lancelott Coxon of Limehouse, Middlesex.
1640 – Prerogative Court of Canterbury. Will of Thomas Coxon (or Coson) Mercer of Wisbech, within the Isle of Ely, Cambridgeshire.
1640 – Papers of the Combe Family of Earnshill, Curry Revel, Somerset. Admission of Thomas Coxon to ppty. held at the manor of Northall.
1641 – Prerogative Court of Canterbury. Will of Katherine Coxon, Widow of Winchcombe, Gloucestershire.
1647 – Prerogative Court of Canterbury. Will of William Coxson, Hosier of Winchcomb, Gloucestershire.
1648 – Faversham Borough Records, Cinque Ports. Injunction and complaint in Henry Coxen of Faversham, Brewer v John Larkin.
1649 to 1660, English Civil War and then Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector
Oliver Cromwell occupies a unique place in English history. Between 1653 and 1658 he ruled the UK, with more or less the same powers as a monarch, but as he was ‘Lord Protector’ of the Commonwealth, he had no crown. However, in the beginning he was just a Member of Parliament for Cambridge, from a fairly humble background, but with a strong Puritan faith and a desire to ensure the country was ruled justly.
During the English Civil War and the times of Oliver Cromwell our ancestors were recorded as follows:
1650 – Prerogative Court of Canterbury. Will of Katherine Coxon, widow of Saint Leonard Foster Lane, City of London.
1652 – Prerogative Court of Canterbury. Will of Henry Coxen, Yeoman of Davington, Kent.
1654 – Prerogative Court of Canterbury. Will of Christofer Coxon, Husbandman of Bratoft, Lincolnshire.
1658 – Court of Chancery, Six Clerks Office. Henry Coxon v John Cremer and others. Subject: Property in Walsoken, Elm, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire.
1658 – Prerogative Court of Canterbury. Will of Nicholas Coxen, Yeoman of Snelston, Derbyshire.
1659 – Court of Chancery, Six Clerks Office. John Rawlins v John Coxens and others. Subject: Property in Ravensden, Bedfordshire.
1660 to 1685, Charles II
Charles was popularly known as the Merry Monarch, in reference to both the liveliness and hedonism of his court and the general relief at the return to normality after over a decade of rule by Cromwell and the Puritans. Charles’s wife, Catherine of Braganza, bore no live children, but Charles acknowledged at least twelve illegitimate children by various mistresses.
During the reign of Charles II our ancestors were recorded as follows:
1661 – Court of Chancery, Six Clerks Office. Redfern v Defendants Thomas Coxon and Elizabeth Coxon his wife. Subject: Money matters, Derbyshire.
1664 – Court of Chancery, Six Clerks Office. Richard Coxon and John Dalby v Robert Holland and others. Subject: Money matters, Lincolnshire.
1667 – Court of Chancery, Six Clerks Office. John Atkin v Richard Coxon and others. Subject: Money, Lincolnshire.
1667 – Parish of Oakley, Buckinghamshire. Thomas Coxon of Brill, yeoman. Demise of pasture in Little London, Oakley. Consideration: £18, term 99 years.
1667 – Hobbs Collection. Parish of Brill. Assignment of Mortgage. Thomas Coxon of Brill, yeoman.
1669 – Prerogative Court of Canterbury. Will of William Coxon, Yeoman of Snelston, Derbyshire.
1669 – Derbyshire Record Office. Title Deeds, Repton. Settlement of marriage of John Barton and Mary, sister of Edward Coxon of Ambaston, Elvaston, yeoman of 3 acres of land and rood meadow in lieu of dowery.
1672 – Northern Assizes. Criminal deposition in Northumberland, Edward Coxon, Matthew Coxon Senior and Matthew Coxon Junior.
1672 – Prerogative Court of Canterbury. Will of Lewis Coxon of Wapping, Middlesex.
1675 – Court of Chancery, Six Clerks Office. Defendant James Coxon, Middlesex. Subject: Money matters.
1675 – Court of Chancery, Six Clerks Office. James Coxen v Henry Rowe Ford and others. Subject: Farm called Bagtor, Devon.
1678 – Court of Chancery, Six Clerks Office. John Welbye v John Coxen. Subject: Money.
1678 – Court of Chancery, Six Clerks Office. Paul Darby v John Coxen and others. Subject: Money, Middlesex.
1678 – Prerogative Court of Canterbury. Will of James Coxen, Goldsmith of St Botolph without Aldgate, London.
1679 – British Library. Manuscript Collection. John Coxon, Sailor, journals relating to his voyages from Jamaica to Porto Bello and South America.
1679 – Pares of Leicester and Hopwell Hall. Bond to indemnify the overseers of the poor of Ockbrook against payment of poor relief by John and Elisha Coxon of Ambaston as sureties for William Coxon and his family, newly arrived.
1679 – Court of Chancery, Six Clerks Office. John Game v John Coxen. Subject: Personal estate of James Austen, deceased.
1681 – Court of Chancery, Six Clerks Office. Robert Coxon v Charles Edwards. Subject: Money matters, Cambridgeshire.
1681 – Northern Assizes. Criminal deposition in Cumberland. Margaret Coxon.
1682 – Court of Chancery. Six Clerks Office. Edward Baker and Rebecca Baker his wife v John Coxen and another. Subject: Money, Middlesex.
1683 – Court of Canterbury. Will and Probate of Thomas Coxon of Burton, Lincolnshire.
1683 – Court of Chancery. John Coxon v Sir John Mordaunt bart and others (defendants). Subject: Money matters.
1684 – Court of Chancery. Six Clerks Office. Balderstone v John Coxson and others defendant. Subject: Money, Middlesex.
1684 – Court of Chancery, Six Clerks Office. John Yarrow v Anne Coxen and another. Subject: Money, Northumberland.
1685 to 1688, James II
James II is best known for his struggles with the English Parliament and his attempts to create religious liberty for English Roman Catholics and Protestant nonconformists, against the wishes of the Anglican establishment. He was the last Roman Catholic monarch to reign over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland.
During the reign of James II our ancestors were recorded as follows:
1687 – Court of Chancery, Six Clerks Office. Coney v Coxen. Personal estate of the late James Coxon of London. [Coxen and Coxon spelled correctly]
1687 – Exchequer, Kings Remembrancer. Deposition taken by Commission from Christopher Coxon, Mercer and others relating to Township of Friskney, Lincoln.
1687 – Old Bailey, London, Proceedings. John Holland , and Ann Holland his Wife, were Tryed for breaking the house of Thomas Coxon of the Parish of St. Clement Danes , on the 28th. of March 1687, about seven of the Clock in the afternoon, and taking thence a silver Boul, value 40 s. one Caudle Cup, value 30 s. two silver Spoons, one silver Taster and 3 l. in Moneys.
1688 to 1702, Mary II and William III
The Revolution of 1688, was the overthrow of King James II of England by a union of English Parliamentarians with the Dutch William III (William of Orange). William’s successful invasion of England with a Dutch fleet and army led to his ascending of the English throne as William III of England jointly with his wife Mary II of England.
During the reign of William and Mary our ancestors were recorded as follows:
1693 – Prerogative Court of Canterbury. Will of Cuthbert Coxson, Mariner of South Shields, Durham.
1694 – Diocese of Chester. M. Coxon. Lease of house etc in Little Stonegate.
1694 – Court of Orphans. John Coxon, Citizen and Goldsmith.
1696 – Court of Chancery, Six Clerks Office. George Coxon v William Coxon. Litigation of property in Elodon, Northumberland.
1698 – Minutes of Court of Governors, St Thomas’s Hospital, London. 17th March 1698, Jno. (John) Coxon is listed as a Governor. The minutes of 3rd October 1701 reported that he had deceased.
1700 – Prerogative Court of Canterbury. Will of John Coxon, Goldsmith of London.
1702 to 1714, Queen Anne
The last years of the 17th century had seen differing policies pursued by parliaments in England and Scotland which included disagreements over the succession. The solution seemed to be unification and so on 1 May 1707 England and Scotland were combined into a single kingdom, and Anne became the first sovereign of Great Britain. One British parliament would meet at Westminster, and there would be a common flag and coinage but Scotland would keep its own established Church and its systems of law and education.
Anne died on 1 August 1714. Her only surviving son William had died in 1700, prompting parliament to pass the Act of Settlement (1701) to ensure a Protestant succession. Anne was therefore succeeded by the German Protestant prince George, Elector of Hanover.
During the reign of Queen Anne our ancestors were recorded as follows:
1707 – Court of Chancery, Six Clerks Office. John Coxon v Howard. Property in Wetheral, Penrith, Cumberland.
1708 – Court of Chancery, Six Clerks Office. Matthew Coxson v Elizabeth Askam, widow. Subject: Money, Yorkshire
1711 – Prerogative Court of Canterbury. Will of John Cockson alias Coxson, Mariner of Aldgate, Middlesex. Died in H.M.S. ‘Resolution’.
1713 – Certificate by Lord Mayor and Aldermen of London. Declaration made before them by Francis Coxen, Master and Part Owner of the ‘Kent’.