Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Cokayne, Thomas (1587-1638)

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COKAYNE, THOMAS (1587–1638), lexicographer, born at Mapleton, Derbyshire, 21 Jan. 1587, was of the family of Cokayne or Cockaine, of Ashbourne, Derbyshire, and was son and heir of Sir Edward Cokayne, his mother being Jane, daughter of Nicholas Ashby of Willoughby-in-the-Wolds, Nottinghamshire (Cockayne Memoranda, i. 35). He was educated at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, which he left without taking a degree. About 1607 he married Ann, daughter of Sir John Stanhope of Elvaston, Derbyshire, by whom he had two sons and five daughters, the eldest being Sir Aston Cokayne [q. v.] He abandoned his wife and children at Ashbourne, and hid himself in London under the name of Browne. Lodging in Gray's Inn Lane, he died there in 1638, aged 51 (ib. 36), and was buried in St. Giles's Church, 27 Jan. In 1640 the inquisition into his property was held, this being the last of the kind in his family (ib. ii. 222 et seq.).

Wood says, that Cokayne published an ‘English-Greek Lexicon, containing the derivations and various significancies of all the words in the New Testament, with a complete index in Greek and Latin,’ in London, 1658, and printed with it an ‘Explanation on Romans II, with all the Greek dialects in the New Testament.’ This statement is accepted in the ‘Cockayne Memoranda.’ Wilson's assumption that Thomas Cokayne is confused with George Cockayne, independent minister, to whom he assigns the lexicon, is improbable. Wood states that ‘he had assistants in this work.’ No copy is in the British Museum.

[Cockayne Memoranda, 1889-73. i 222 et seq.; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), iii. 470; Wilson's Dissenting Churches, iii. 279-81.]

J. H.