The Times/1939/Obituary/Charles Cotton
Mr. C. Cotton
The Six Kings of Cantebury
Mr. Charles Cotton, Knight of Grace of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem and honorary librarian of Christ Church Cathedral, Canterbury, as announced in our later editions on Saturday, died at The Precincts, Canterbury, on September 28, at the age of 83. He was well known as an archaeologist and in The Times of January 7, 1935, wrote an article describing his discovery of a manuscript which helped to identify the six kings of the Cathedral screen.
Born at Twickenham on February 7, 1856, he was the youngest son of the late Mr. H. P. Cotton, of Cockington, Torquay, formerly of the Treasury. He was educate at Western Grammar School, London, and at King's College School, London, and recived his medical training at St. George's Hospital and in Edinburgh. He was F.R.C.P.E., and M.R.C.S. (Eng.). In 1883 he was appointed physician to St. Barnabas Convalescent Home, Ramsgate, and 12 years later became senior physician at Ramsgate General Hospital and Seamen's Infirmary. He had also been surgeon to the Royal Naval Sick Quarters at Ramsgate, Broadstairs, and Kingsgate. In 1910 he was appointed County Director of the Voluntary Aid Detachments, Territorial Force, and in 1911 took up the post of Commissioner commanding No. 8 District (Kent, Surrey, and Sussex), St. John Ambulance Brigade. During the last War he served with 13 auxiliary hospitals.
Cotton will be best remember by the work he did at Canterbury and by the books he wrote embodying his researches. He wrote also on other matters, and in 1895 produced the "History and Antiquities of the Church and Parish of St. Lawrence, Thanet. In 1907 he published "The Bardon Papers: Being a History of the Bardon Papers Relating to Mary, Queen of Scots, 1586." "Notes on the Documents in the Cathedral Library at Canterbury relating to the Grey Friars in Collectanea Franciscana II" appear in 1922, and "The Grey Friars of Canterbury" two years later, a very complete and scholarly record of the grey-coated brethren. "The Saxon Cathedral of Canterbury and The Saxon Saints Buried Therein" appeared in 1929, and in his book Cotton gathered up all the material existing for the replanning of the vanished church. The volume, which was furnished with excellent plans and facsimiles, filled a gap in cathedral literature and brought together usefully much scattered information of an obscure period. Cotton edited "The Treatise of Gervase on the Burning and Repair of the Church of Canterbury in 1174." In 1930 he produced "A Kentish Cartulary of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem" which contained an exhaustive survey of the properties held in Kent by the Order from the twelfth century to is suppression in 1540, and again during its re-establishment by Mary Tudor in 1558.
He married Adelaide, daughter of the late Major-General R. T. Leigh, Bengal Staff Corps, and had one son. Mrs. Cotton is a Lady of Grace of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem.