John Cotton and Cecily Mainwaring

John Cotton, esquire, was born about 1465, the son of William de Cotton and Agnes Yonge, and was of Coton, Shropshire, England (a village near the town of Wem). He was first recorded about 1500 (15 Henry VII).

John married Cecily Mainwaring. Cecily was the daughter of Thomas Mainwaring and Joan Sutton. She was of Ightfield, Shropshire, England. Cicely was said in some pedigrees to have died by 1516 but a Cycelye Cotton, whose will was dated 16 December 1549 and probated 7 May 1550 at the Consistory Court of Lichfield, may have been our Cicely. In this will, she called herself a widow of Stoke upon Terne and named "my son William Cotton and my brother Thomas Mainwaring" as executors.

John and Cecily’s children are:

  1. William Cotton, married Joan Bromley.
  2. Sir Richard Cotton, married Jane Onley (dau. of John Onley of Catesby, Northamptonshire, England, probably the sister of Mary Onley below), was of Bedhampton, Hampshire and Warbington, Southampton, England.
  3. Sir George Cotton, born about 1505 in Cotton, Wem, Shropshire, England, married Mary Onley. (dau. of John Onley and Jane Pontesbury, d. 14 Mar 1559/60 at Combermere, Shropshire, England), Sheriff of Denbighshire and esquire to the body of Henry VIII, granted the estate at Combermere Abbey in Shropshire by Henry VIII 3 Feb 1541/2, the manor of Wilkesley in Cheshire 3 Apr 1542, and the manor of Pulton in Cheshire 19 Aug 1543, knighted by Henry VIII in or before 1542, died 25 Mar 1545 at Combermere, Shropshire, England.
  4. Rauffe Cotton, lived in London, Middlesex, England.
  5. Thomas Cotton.
  6. Robert Cotton, buried in Richmond, Surrey, England.

If the Cycelye Cotton of the will mentioned above was our Cecily, then the following are also daughters:

  1. Ann Cotton.
  2. Maude Cotton.
Note: The will mentions sons "Rober" and William as well. Others mentioned are John Cotton ("base gotten son" (illegitimate son) of Rober), John Robinson, Alice Robinson, Mistress Maude Cochkins, Margaret Grene, Margaret Bats, Elizabeth Dod, "little Alice Robinson," Joan Robinson, and brother Thomas Mainwaring. John Robinson and John Stayning were witnesses.


  1. Combermere Abbey site,, visited 30 May 2017.
Records related to John and Cecily (Mainwaring) Cotton but not copied below due to copyright considerations:
  1. Boyer, Carl, Medieval English Ancestors of Robert Abell, Santa Clarita, CA: C. Boyer, 2001.

Coats of Arms

Cotton Arms:
Arms of the Cotton family

Cotton and Mainwaring arms joined (from
The joined arms of Cotton and Mainwaring

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Author: Michelle A. Boyd


Last updated 4 June 2017