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)
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This portraitback to top
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
Events of 1657back to top
Current affairsThe Humble Petition and Advice, a revision of the constitution, offers Lord Protector, Oliver Cromwell the crown. Proposals to bestow monarchical powers upon Cromwell may have stemmed from the influence of Chief Justice Oliver St John. Cromwell declines the crown.
Art and scienceThe pamphlet, Killing Noe Murder, accuses Lord Protector, Oliver Cromwell of tyranny and advocates for his assassination. Published in Holland by agitator and later conspirator, Edward Sexby with the assistance of royalist Silius Titus, uncertainty surrounds the authorship of the pamphlet.
Oliver Cromwell establishes the General Post Office.