Edward Cocker

1 portrait

Edward Cocker, after a print by Richard Gaywood, (1657) - NPG 274 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Edward Cocker

after a print by Richard Gaywood
oil on canvas, feigned oval, (1657)
14 3/4 in. x 11 3/4 in. (375 mm x 298 mm)
Purchased, 1868
Primary Collection
NPG 274


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For some years Cocker ran a boarding school in London, teaching writing and arithmetic. Shortly after 1665 he moved to Northampton and published a series of manuals of calligraphy under such titles as Art's Glory, or the Penman's Treasury of 1657. His fame rests upon a posthumous publication, Cocker's Arithmetic, being a Plain and Easy Method of 1678, the most popular mathematical manual ever compiled, passing through more than one hundred editions. According to Samuel Pepys, Cocker also had a remarkable knowledge of the English poets. Shown here with pen and paper, his sudden death at the age of fourty-four was attributed by ballad-writers to a surfeit of brandy.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Piper, David, Catalogue of Seventeenth Century Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery, 1625-1714, 1963, p. 78
  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 133

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