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Sir Henry John Stedman Cotton
Male 1845 - 1915


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  • Prefix  Sir 
    Birth  13 Sep 1845  Kumbakonum, Tanjore, Madras, India Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender  Male 
    Travelled  1848 
    from Madras to England 
    • Lived for three years at Wanstead, Essex with parents, before they returned to India, leaving Henry and his younger brother James at a private dame's school in Woodford, they spending holidays with their grandfather Minchin at Hamslade House, Devonshire or with their great-uncle Benjamin Cotton formerly of Trinity House and then living at 8 Gloucester Terrace, Regent's Park, London. From Indian and Home Memories, by Sir Henry Cotton, publ. 1911 (London: T. Fisher Unwin), pp. 16-17.
    Census  30 Mar 1851  Oakford, Devonshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    UK 
    • as Henry J S Cotton / Grandson / age 5 / occupation Scholar at home / birthplace East Indies / living at Hamslade, Oakford, with grandparents James and Susan M Minchin, aunts Rosa Georgiana (born at sea), Manan S (born India) and Frances C (born India) Minchin, brother James S Cotton, visitor William Gordon Davidson, 3 servants + governess.
    Education  1856-1859  Oxford, Oxfordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Magdalen College School 
    • From Indian and Home Memories, by Sir Henry Cotton, publ. 1911 (London: T. Fisher Unwin), p. 18 and p. 22.
    Education  1859-1860  Brighton, Sussex, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Brighton College 
    • From Indian and Home Memories, by Sir Henry Cotton, publ. 1911 (London: T. Fisher Unwin), p. 22.
    Census  7 Apr 1861  Brighton, Sussex, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    UK 
    • as Henry J Cotton / Son / age 15 / occupation Scholar / birthplace East India / living at College Villa, Brighton, with parents Joseph J and Susan J Cotton, brother James S Cotton, sisters Jessie E, Mary R P, Phoebe L M and Susan C Cotton, aunt Frances C Minchin, 5 servants.
    Education  1861-1865  London, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    King's College 
    • First year studied applied science, but later mainly humanities. Immediately after his time at King's, he took and passed the Indian Civil Service Examination. From Indian and Home Memories, by Sir Henry Cotton, publ. 1911 (London: T. Fisher Unwin), pp. 28-38.
    Honors  25 May 1892 
    Companion, Star of India 
    • Notice of Honours in The Times, , p. , reads: INDIA OFFICE, MAY 25, 1892. / The Queen has been graciously pleased to make the following appointments to teh First, Second, and Third Classes of the Most Exalted Order of the Star of India:--- / To be a Knight Grand Commander. / ... / To be Knights Commanders. / ... / To be Companions. / ... Henry John Stedman Cotton, Esq., Bengal Civil Service, Officiating Secretary to the Government of Bengal, Member of the Legislative Council of Bengal.
    Occupation  1867-1902 
    Bengal Civil Service 
    • From documents in British Library, India Office Records: Private Papers [Mss Eur K490 - IOR Pos 12033] (A2A), as follows: IOR Neg 12037-38 [from Scope and Content] Papers of Sir Henry John Stedman Cotton (1845-1915), Bengal Civil Service 1867-1902, Chief Commissioner of Assam 1896-1902, Liberal MP 1906-10; and of his son Sir (Harry) Evan Auguste Cotton (1868-1939), Calcutta barrister, President, Bengal Legislative Council 1922-25.
      References in Indian and Home Memories, by Sir Henry Cotton, publ. 1911 (London: T. Fisher Unwin) indicate that he served first at Midnapore, then Chooadanga, then Calcutta.
      Record of services in The India List and India Office List for 1905, p. 468, reads: COTTON, SIR HENRY JOHN STEDMAN, K.C.S.I., late Indian C.S. --- Educ. at Magdalen Coll. Sch., Birghton Coll., and King's Coll., London; apptd. after exam. of 1865; arrived, 29th Oct., 1867; served in the Bengal rev. and jud. dept., and as offg. undersec. to govt. and offg. registrar, high court; asst. sec., govt. of Bengal, June, 1875; junr. sec., April, 1876; mag. and collr., Nov., 1878; offg. commr., Chittagong, 1879, and 1884; sec., board of rev., Jan., 1882; port commr., Calcutta, May, 1887; sec. to govt. of Bengal, finl. and municipal depts., May, 1890; member of Bengal legisl. council, June, 1892; chief sec. to govt., July, 1892; chief commr., Assam, Nov., 1896; addl. member of viceroy's Council, Dec., 1900; K.C.S.I., June, 1902; retd., Oct., 1902; author of a 'Memo. on the Rev. History of Chittagong,' 1880, 'Memo. on the Land Tenures of Bengal,' 1884, 'England and India,' 1883, and 'New India, or India in Transition,' 1885.
      Bengal Civil Service Gradation List 1869 (findmypast.co.uk) gives: Bengal Civil Service / B / No. 522 / Names: CLASS VI. Fortescue Willoughby Porter / Dates of Arrival: 1865-66 29 Oct. 67 / Actual Service, 1 Jan. 1869: 1 Y 2 M / Appointments, &c.: Asst. magt. and collr. of Nuddea, 21st July 1869. In charge of Chooadangah. With powers of a sub-magt., 1st class, 16th Nov. 1868.
    Occupation  1896-1902 
    Chief Commissioner of Assam 
    • From documents in British Library, India Office Records: Private Papers [Mss Eur K490 - IOR Pos 12033] (A2A), as follows: IOR Neg 12037-38 [from Scope and Content] Papers of Sir Henry John Stedman Cotton (1845-1915), Bengal Civil Service 1867-1902, Chief Commissioner of Assam 1896-1902, Liberal MP 1906-10; and of his son Sir (Harry) Evan Auguste Cotton (1868-1939), Calcutta barrister, President, Bengal Legislative Council 1922-25.
    Title  26 Jun 1902 
    Knighthood (K.C.S.I.) 
    • Entry in The Knights of England: A Complete Record..., by William Arthur Shaw, publ. 1971, p. 327, reads: 1902, June 26. HENRY JOHN STEDMAN COTTON, Indian Civil Service.
      Notice in The Times, 25 May 1892, p. 10, reads: INDIA OFFICE, MAY 25, 1892. / The Queen has been graciously pleased to make the following appointments to the First, Second, and Third Classes of the Most Exalted Order of the Star of India:--- ... / To be Companions. / ... Henry John Stedman Cotton, Esq., Bengal Civil Service, Officiating Secretary to the Government of Bengal, Member of the Legislative Council of Bengal.
    Election  1906-1910 
    Member of Parliament (Liberal) for East Nottingham 
    • From documents in British Library, India Office Records: Private Papers [Mss Eur K490 - IOR Pos 12033] (A2A), as follows: IOR Neg 12037-38 [from Scope and Content] Papers of Sir Henry John Stedman Cotton (1845-1915), Bengal Civil Service 1867-1902, Chief Commissioner of Assam 1896-1902, Liberal MP 1906-10; and of his son Sir (Harry) Evan Auguste Cotton (1868-1939), Calcutta barrister, President, Bengal Legislative Council 1922-25.
      Report in The Times, 25 January 1906, p. 15, reads: BIOGRAPHIES OF NEW MEMBERS. / ... / SIR HENRY JOHN STEDMAN COTTON, K.C.S.I., transfers a seat from the Unionist to the Liberal party by his election for East Nottingham. He is the second son of Mr. J. J. Cotton, of the Madras Civil Service, and was born in 1845. Educated at Magdalen College School, Brighton College, and King's College, London, he passed the Indian Civil Service examination in 1865 and went to Bengal in 1867, where, in 1873, he became Under-Secretary to the Government and successively Registrar of the High Court, Junior Secretary to the GOvernment, magistrate and collector of Chittagong, Acting Commissioner, Secretary to the Board of Revenue, Commissioner of Police and chairman of the Calcutta Corporation, secretary to the Government Revenue Department, the Financial Department, Chief Secretary to the Government, Acting Home Secretary to the Government of India, Chief Commissioner of Assam, and additional member of the Council of the Governor-General of India; bringing his distinguished career in Indian administration to a close by retirement in 1902. Sir Henry Cotton is the author of many publications in reference to Indian affairs. His book "New India" was published in a revised form in 1904. His correspondence and criticisms in relation to the Tibet expedition will be familiar to readers of the Times.
    Published  1911  London, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Indian & Home Memories 
    • Autobiography. Indian and Home Memories, by Sir Henry Cotton, publ. 1911 (London: T. Fisher Unwin).
    Died  23 Oct 1915  London (St. John's Wood), Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Year 1915 from "Penelope Cotton (Lyne) 1834-1900 and Family" at http://www.justd.com/lyne/.
      Obituary in The Times, 25 October 1915, p. 10, reads: DEATH OF SIR HENRY COTTON. / SYMPATHY WITH INDIAN "NATIONALISM." / Sir Henry John Stedman Cotton, formerly Chief Commissioner of Assam, and afterwards Liberal M.P. for East Nottingham, died at his residence in St. John's Wood Park on Saturday, at the age of 70. ...
    Will proved  1 Dec 1915  London, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1861-1941 (ancestry.com) gives: 1915. / COTTON sir Henry John Stedman of 45 St. Johns Wood Park Middlesex K.C.S.I. died 22 October 1915 Probate London 1 December to Harry Evan Auguste Cotton barrister. Effects £1769 4s.
    _UID  DE5E2EA908B740C7A316FED626E7D43D843D 
    Person ID  I3072  Halhed Genealogy
    Last Modified  14 Aug 2011 

    Father  Joseph John Cotton,   b. 30 Aug 1813, Tranquebar, Madras, India Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Dec 1867, Clifton, Gloucestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother  Susan Jessie Minchin,   b. 13 Dec 1823, Madras, Tamil Nadu, India Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Feb 1888, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  29 Mar 1842  Madras, Tamil Nadu, India Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID  F1084  Group Sheet

    Family  Mary Ryan,   b. 1848, Limerick, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1914 
    Married  1 Aug 1867  Freshwater, Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Bride's full name and date of marriage from notes on Julia Margaret Cameron photography exhibit at National Museum of Photography, at http://www.nmpft.org.uk/cameron/additionimages_detail.asp?id=2710&offset=104&offsetholder=98&exid=44.
      England and Wales, Civil Registration Index: 1837-1983 (ancestry.com) gives: Name: COTTON, Henry John S / Record Type: Marriages / Quarter: September / Year: 1867 / District: Isle of Wight / County: Hampshire Isle of Wight / Volume: 2b / Page: 882, for marriage to Mary Ryan.
      Listing in Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica, ed. Joseph Jackson Howard, 3rd ser., vol. 3, p. 113, reads: 1867 Aug. 1 Henry John Stedman Cotton, 21, B., Bengal C. Service, s. of Joseph John Cotton, Madras C. Service, & Mary Ryan, 18, Sp., of Freshwater, d. of James Ryan.
    Children 
     1. Sir Harry Evan Auguste Cotton,   b. 27 May 1868, Midnapore, Bengal Presidency, British India Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Mar 1939, Eastbourne, Sussex, England Find all individuals with events at this location
     2. Julian James Cotton,   b. 3 Oct 1869, Krishnagar, Bengal, India Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Jun 1927, Madras, India Find all individuals with events at this location
     3. Mary Cotton,   b. 4 Jun 1873, West Bengal, India Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     4. Albert Louis Cotton,   b. 12 Sep 1874, London (Camden), Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 May 1936, Eastbourne, Sussex, England Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified  26 Dec 2010 
    Family ID  F1083  Group Sheet