Sunday, September 21, 2014

Cockerell, John Thomas

Updated January 30, 2015

John Thomas Cockerell, inn-keeper, was listed as a resident of Hong Kong in 1846. He ran the inn named Commercial Inn in 1846.

H.M.S. Plover and Young Hebe. The two vessels which surveyed the Coast of China from Shanghae to Hong Kong, under Capt. Collinson, RN CB and Lieut Bate RN in 1842-43-44-45, colored lithograph by [s.n.] Ackermann. Credit: National Maritime Museum, London.

Selected Bibliography: Tarrent, William, The Hong Kong Almanack and Directory for the Year 1846, 1848, 1850, Hong Kong: China Mail, resp. 1846, 1848 and 1850.

4 comments:

Gary said...

Hi
John Thomas Cockerell was born in London, England in 1819. He arrived in Sydney, Australia in 1841 as a Steward on the vessel 'Jane'. In 1843 he married 15 year old Jane Manuell and in 1846 he and Jane left Sydney for Hong Kong. There is a reference to him also having a job at the Commissariat's Store in Hong Kong, (Probably as well as running the Commercial Inn). In 1848 he left Hong Kong and returned to Australia as the owner and Captain of a small vessel called the 'Young Hebe' which he had probably bought from the British East India Company. The 'Young Hebe' was a former Royal Navy Schooner that had been used to survey the coast of China. I understand Hebe Haven may have taken its name from the vessel after she sought haven there during a Typhoon. On returning to Australia, John's first port of call was Adelaide. Here he sold his cargo of tea, sugar, matting and candy as well as the Young Hebe, before returning to Sydney. Sadly the Young Hebe was wrecked of the South Australian coast in 1849 with the loss of all hands. John went on to live a long, adventurous and challenging life and died at Lismore in Australia in 1907.
Cheers
Gary Leonard (John's 3rd Great Grandson)

Rudi Butt said...

Hi Gary
Thanks so much for the information. I'll update the article soon. Found and posted an image of Young Hebe, moored, probably, in Hong Kong.
Best wishes,
Rudi
Hong Kong

Rudi Butt said...

Hi Gary,
A historian from Lismore, New South Wales wishes to make contact with you. Please, if you wish to response, write to me at this address: rudibutt@hotmail.com so that I can give you his contact information.
Best wishes,
Rudi
Hong Kong

Gary said...

I was pleasantly surprised that my comments of the 26th January attracted interest from Robyn, a researcher from John Thomas Cockerell's final resting place at Lismore in New South Wales. Robyn is a member of the local Richmond River Historical group and she has been researching John from a local history perspective. We shared our knowledge of John's life and in doing so, Robyn brought to my attention a letter John had published in the 'Queenslander' Newspaper of the 19th of December 1868 that provided some interesting facts about John's life in early Hong Kong, including a claim that he was the holder of the first Publican's General Licence ever issued at Hong Kong. You can read the full letter published on 'Trove' which is the Australian National Library website, but, be aware, that John's surname is incorrectly recorded as 'Cockerill' and it appears he may have mistakenly written 1842 for 1843. The reference is 1868 'AUSTRALIAN PANICS.', The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939), 19 December, p. 4. The direct link is: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article20321945.

Robyn also identified a further record in the 'Sydney Morning Herald' that shows John and his 15 year old wife, Jane, left Sydney for Hong Kong in November 1843 not 1846 as I state in my previous Post. See it online by following the link: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12421353.


Cheers

Gary Leonard


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