This page and its posts will set out to illustrate the background of the Coghill Family.

The family lineage is recounted in Debrett’s and Burke’s Peerage and further information is provided here and in Posts to this website under the Category ‘Coghill’.

There have been several hypotheses about the original Coghill from which there is no clear consensus and no glaringly obvious answer as to who the first Coghill really was – if indeed there was a single originator of the name.

Of the opinions articulated in various sources, there has been a regular recital of an old story suggesting that the first known Coghill ancestor was a John Cockhill of Cock Hill who lived in the fourteenth century.

Indeed, Burke’s Peerage refers to the family origins as follows:

“Sir John Coghill of Coghill Hall, W.R., Yorks., and Drumcondra, co. Dublin. LL.D., Master in Chancery in Ireland, seventh in descent from John Cockhill of Cockhill, living at Drumcondra in the reigns of Richard II and Henry IV”

Colonel Bellingham’s Diary (1688-1690) recounts the similar story as follows:

“he [Sir John Coghill] was Master in Chancery in Ireland.  He was the seventh in decent from John Cockhill of Cockhill, who was in the reigns of Richard II and Henry IV living at Russesborough” [1]

It is certain that the Coghill family has firm roots in the historic Doomsday town of Knaresborough in the West Ridings of Yorkshire.

Some distance outside Knaresborough is a hill called Cock Hill, near to the River Cock, and this may have given rise to a man being called John of Cock Hill, mutating to John O’Cockhill and finally to John Cockhill.  On the other hand, in the absence of any documentary evidence to support this hypothesis, this may be no more than a flight of fancy.

1. John Coghill (living 1437)

Another interesting alternative is offered by an old book about Knaresborough (Knaresborough and its Rulers by William Wheater, 1907)  as follows:

Burke commences the lineage with Sir John Coghill LL.D., Master in Chancery in Ireland;  he has, however, a footnote to record that the knight was seventh in descent from John Cockhill, living at Knaresburgh in the reigns of Richard II and Henry IV.  The rolls explode the “Cockhill of Cockhill” nonsense.  John was a shrewd clothier, probably a descendant of a John o’ the Cog-hill, where were made rough cloths called “cogs” in vogue before our John saw the light.  This career presents him as the builder of Coghill Hall, on the site of the very old Wether Hall an ‘outside’ magisterial residence when the lord of Scriven was a sheriff and the Danesgeld was paid at Danyell-brygg.”

Whatever the origins, the first mention I have found of John Coghill is with the nickname ‘Ready Money John’ trading as a clothier in ‘lez tentures’ or at ‘le Tentergate’, described by William Wheater as follows:

Two old features of Bond-end [“wholly in Scriven-with-Tentergate, is an ancient roadway, first marked by the British trackway through the forest from Ottley to Boroughbridge”] were Wederall-garth and the Baiards croft.  The former is now represented by Conyngham House, formerly Coghill Hall, built by the Coghills in the first half of the fifteenth century.  At that time three members of the family are in evidence, Margaret, a widow, the mother of John and William and her family.  John Coghill was a clothier in ‘lez tentures’ at ‘le Tentergate’; well-known, probably as “ready-money John”, and appreciative of the instrument he used; in the police records certified for risky accumulation.  Keen rivalry existed between John Coghill and his neighbour John Roundell, although in different trades.  For one thing both were keen to grab property in Harrogate, then in unprecedented success.  John Pykeryng and Agnes his mother, widow of Robert Pykeryng, in 1442 surrender by John Dykson, sergeant of the bailiff of the liberty of Knaresburgh, “Wederallgarth in le bondende” to John Coghill.  John Roundell, a considerable owner in Harrogate and Knaresburgh, had just died, leaving a widow, Margaret Christiana Roundell, and Robert Roundell.  With his sharp-witted neighbour no longer watching him, Coghill enclosed ‘a road to the Nydd at the north end of Danyell-brygg”, probably the present carriage entrance to Conyngham House.”

It seems, therefore, that “Ready-Money” John lent money extensively and he obtained Wether Hall in Knaresborough and subsequently engaged in several property transactions to build up his estate and on the site constructed a new hall, COGHILL HALL.  According to William Wheater:

One of the oldest trading sites was the Pelwell, the “pale field” where the ‘pale’ is a fixed boundary – as the English Pale in Ireland wherein the English lived under their own laws apart from the Irish.  That is the Pelwell of Bond-end.  The early cloth-workers gathered here… The Coghills are of this district.  In 1437, John Coghill obtains two acres in Pelwell from William Burton, and a rood from Agnes Pickering, widow.”

In 1461 John Cokill exchanges an acre and a half upon Bygyngbarth in Knaresburgh fields with John Cundall, for half an acre upon Pelwell.”

In 1462, the Knaresborough court records show that a John Coghill was accused of cloth-stealing when he “is found to have in his possession a grey horse, a ‘tunic de velwett, blod color’, a piece ‘des beuges’; though he pleads ‘not guilty’ and seeks inquiry”.  [2]

2. Thomas Coghill (Coughyll)

James Henry Coghill in his book ‘The Book of Coghill’ written in [1878] notes that Thomas Coghill (or Coughyll), son of John Cockhill (almost certainly a deviation from the John Coghill referred to above, not least because Coghill Hall was passed down through the family by successive wills) married Marjory Slingsby in 1461.  I am assuming, for the purposes of this treatise, that Thomas Coghill was John Coghill’s son but I am aware of the possibility of having missed a generation.

m. Marjory Slingsby 1461

Marjory Slingsby was the daughter of John Slingsby of Scriven Hall on the outskirts of Knaresborough by his marriage to Joan Calverley, daughter of Walter Calverley.

3. Thomas Coghill

Thomas and Marjory had at least two sons, Thomas Coghill and Robert Coghill and we know that Thomas married twice, firstly to Jane Tempest, daughter of Sir Thomas Tempest and secondly to Anne Nettleton

m2. Anne Nettleton

Anne Nettleton was the daughter of a gentleman [?] Nettleton Esq., of Roundegrange and his wife who was the sister of Sir Robert Suttle (or Sothill) knight of Suttle (Sothill) Hall, Yorkshire.

4. Marmaduke Coghill

Marmaduke Coghill was the eldest son of Thomas and Anne, and, in 1555, rebuilt Coghill Hall near Knaresborough (now Conyngham Hall).  Marmaduke married Maude Pulleyn.

m. Maude Pullein

Maude Pulleyn (or Pulleyne or Pullein) was the daughter of John Pulleyne (Esq., of Killinghall, Steward of Knaresborough and Ripon, by his wife Jane Roos (daughter of Thomas Roos Esq., of Ingmanthorp).

5. Thomas Coghill

Thomas Coghill was the eldest son of John and Maude and succeeded his father in the 22nd year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1580).  He married Isabel Tallentyre.

m. Isabel Tallentyre

Isabel Tallentyre was the daughter of [?] Tallentyre Esq., of Carlisle and the sister of William Tallentyre, incumbent of Kirby Overblows in Yorkshire and Routhbury in Northumberland.

6. Thomas Coghill

Thomas and Isabel had two sons and three daughters, of whom the eldest son was Thomas Coghill.  Thomas married Beatrice Halley.

m. Beatrice Halley d. 1623

Beatrice Halley was the daughter of William Halley Esq., of York and was buried at Knaresborough July 9th 1623.

7. John Coghill chr. 1615

John Coghill was the eldest of three children, was baptised at Knaresborough, March 11th 1615 and married Lucy Tancred.

m. Lucy Tancred

Lucy Tancred was the daughter of Charles Tancred Esq., of Whixley, who died in 1644 and sister of Sir Richard Tancred (knighted by Charles I for his services and sufferings during the Civil War). His pedigree is well documented elsewhere.

8. Sir John Coghill LLD  d. 1699

The only documented child from the union of John and Lucy was Sir John Coghill LL.D., who qualified in law was patronised by Bramall, Archbishop of Armagh (also a Yorkshireman) and became Master in the High Court of Chancery in Ireland.  He was knighted in Dublin Castle on 5th June 1686 by Henry, Earl of Clarendon, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.  Sir John lived at Belvedere House in North Dublin[3] and married Hester Cramer.

m. Hester Cramer  d.1722

Hester Cramer was the daughter of Colonel Tobias Cramer (died 1680) who had been awarded lands at Ballyfoyle (Co. Kilkenny) following the Civil War in Ireland and (by some accounts) was Sheriff of Dublin in 1653.  His father Balthazer Cramer died in 1650 and was the son of Tobias (von) Cramer who originated from Lower Germany (or possibly Strasbourg) and was made a Free Denizen of Ireland on 28th May 1639 and died in 1649.

9. Hester Coghill

Hester and John had nine children of whom five sons died young, a daughter, Mary Coghill died unmarried, Dr. Sir Marmaduke Coghill, born 28th December 1673, died unmarried (1739) but had a long and distinguished career as a lawyer, a judge and an MP, living at Drumcondra House in North Dublin; Dr James Coghill lived at Belvedere House adjacent to Drumcondra and married Anne Pierson and Hester Coghill who married her first cousin Oliver Cramer.

m. Oliver Cramer 15/11/1700

Oliver was the son of Balthazer Cramer, Hester Cramer’s eldest brother, who inherited Ballyfoyle Castle and lands from his father.

10. Balthazer John Cramer

Amongst other issue, Balthazer John  Cramer was Hester and Oliver’s eldest son (the last of the family to inhabit Ballyfoyle); Oliver Cramer was the younger (married a Miss Rudkin and had two children, Hester Cramer and Marmaduke Cramer.  Marmaduke had several children. [4]

m.    Judith Butler

Balthazer John Cramer married Judith Butler the daughter of Viscount Brinsley Butler (The First Viscount Lanesborough), two sons of whom were alive when Dr Sir Marmaduke Coghill died and inherited under the terms of Dr Sir Marmaduke Coghill’s will, [5] both changing their surnames in the process; the eldest John Balthazer Coghill (né Cramer), and Oliver Coghill (né Cramer) who, under the terms of Marmaduke’s will, inherited the Yorkshire Estates and is later found living at Coghill Hall having married Anne Hucks, a descendant of the (London Branch of the) Coghill family.[6]

11. Sir John Balthazer Coghill, bt.

John Balthazer assumed the name of Coghill under the terms of Dr Sir Marmaduke Coghill’s will and was an MP and was made a baronet in 1788 [7].  He married Mary Hort.  Sir John died in Bath in 1790.

m. Mary Hort

Mary Hort was the sister of Sir John Hort who received his baronetcy in 1787 and daughter of Rev. Josiah Hort (Archbishop of Tuam) and his wife Lady Elizabeth Fitzmaurice, daughter of the (22nd) Lord Kerry. [8]  Sir John and Lady Mary had nine children, the eldest of whom was Sir John Thomas Coghill, 2nd bt, who travelled greatly around Europe and assembled a collection of art and artefacts (including a collection of Greek and Etruscan vases known as ‘The Coghill Vases’);  Sir John Thomas Coghill sold Coghill Hall to Lady Conyngham in 1796 and with the proceeds bought Randalls Park in Leatherhead.  He died at Caen in Normandy in 1817 and his eldest brother Josiah Coghill Cramer inherited the Coghill estates and title and changed his name to Coghill, becoming Admiral Sir Josiah Coghill Coghill, 3rd bt.

12. Adm. Sir Josiah Coghill, bt

Shortly after his brother’s death, Adm. Sir Josiah Coghill purchased and settled at Ballyduff (Co. Kilkenny).   He married twice, firstly (in 1803) Sophia Dodson and had three daughters, Caroline, Josephine and Emmeline; and secondly, (in 1819) Anna Maria Kendal Bushe.

Anna Maria Kendal Bushe

Anna Maria Kendal Bushe was the daughter of Lord Chief Justice Charles Kendal Bushe “The Incorruptible” (son of Rev. Thomas Bushe and Katherine Doyle) and Anne Crampton (daughter of John Fiennes Twistleton Crampton).  Josiah and Anna Maria had nine children including Sir John Joscelyn Coghill, 4th bt. (1826 to 1905).

13. Sir John Joscelyn Coghill bt

Sir John Joscelyn married the Hon. Katherine Plunket (d. 1881), daughter of John Span Plunket (son of William Conyngham Plunket and Catherine McCausland) and Charlotte Bushe (sister of Anna Maria Bushe).

m.  Katherine Plunket   d. 1881

Sir John Joscelyn and Katherine had seven children of whom the first two sons, Nevill Josiah Aylmer Coghill, VC died at Isandula in the Zulu Wars and Sir Egerton Bushe Coghill, 5th bt inherited the baronetcy.  Their third son was Claude (‘Joe’) Plunket Coghill.

14.  Claude Plunket Coghill

Claude became Lord Darnley’s land agent for his estates in Athboy, Co. Meath,  and, with the position came a house, ‘Frankville’.  Close to Athboy at ‘Drewstown House’ lived the McVeagh family and Claude married Maude Mary McVeagh, daughter of Ferdinand McVeagh.

m.  Maude Mary McVeagh

Claude and Maude, before inhabiting Frankville, lived at ‘Johnsbrook’, next door to Drewstown House where their son Joscelyn Kendal Bushe Coghill was born.  Joscelyn had two sisters, Elfrida Hester Brooke (‘Hebe’) Coghill and Ethel Maude Wynch Coghill.

15.  Joscelyn Kendal Bushe Coghill

Joscelyn Kendal Bushe Coghill went to school at Repton, left Ireland and travelled to Canada and then to Borneo (Sarawak) where he was foreman of a rubber plantation.  He married Maud Evelyn Filder, daughter of Leslie Philips Filder and Ada Trigg in 1925 at Booterstown, Dublin, having met her on a trip to Eastbourne, Sussex.

m.  Maud Evelyn Filder

Joscelyn and Evelyn had three children – two  daughters Sheila and Muara and a son Lt. Col. John Kendal Plunket Coghill OBE.  Joscelyn was captured by the Japanese in World War II and imprisoned until after VJ day.

16.  John Kendal Plunket Coghill

John married Diana Mary Callen, daughter of Frederick Callen and Winifred ‘Betty’ Barson on 6th October 1951 in Asmara, Eritrea.

[1] (from Bertram Windle’s paper) It is thought this a mistranscription from the original (poss. Knaresborough?)

[2] Knaresborough and its Rulers by William Wheater, 1907, published by Richard Jackson, Leeds

[3] Now St Patrick’s Training College for Teachers

[4] Thomas Cramer (the letter-writer) is descended from this Marmaduke Cramer.

[5] Dr Sir Marmaduke Coghill, in his will, provided that the descendants of his brother James’ daughter (also Hester Coghill, who married firstly Lord Tullamore, Earl of Charleville; and secondly Major Sir John Mayne) should inherit the Coghill fortune (including Coghill Hall, Drumcondra, Belvedere etc.,).  To this end, her second husband changed his name to Coghill as provided in the will.  Hester died without issue.  The will provided further, in this event, that the descendants of  Marmaduke’s sister, Hester, would be his heirs on changing their names to Coghill, and treated with those offspring alive at the time of his will.

[6] Thomas Cramer’s letter (See Bertram Windle’s paper) refers to Oliver Coghill and Anne Hucks having no issue and the estate reverting to Oliver’s elder brother.

[7] According to Burke’s Peerage this was 21st August 1778 (Windle’s paper cites 1788)

[8] Fitzmaurice is an important historic Irish family

Transcription of part of a book written in 1879 by James Henry Coghill of the American branch of Coghills (my copy is one of 250 copies privately printed for presentation – in this case, inscribed to “Field Marshal His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge with the Author’s Compliments, September 1880“)



Coghill, Cogshull, Cogghill, etc in the Close Roles of the fourteenth century


Further research into the Coghills and Cramers was written and privately published by BERTRAM COGHILL ALAN WINDLE, LL.D., F.R.S., F.S.A. which I have transcribed below:



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