John Cocks, 1st Earl Somers

John Somers Cocks, 1st Earl Somers (6 May 1760 – 5 January 1841), known as The Lord Somers /ˈsʌmərz/ between 1806 and 1821, was a British peer and politician.

The Earl Somers
Lord Lieutenant of Herefordshire
In office
MonarchGeorge III
George IV
William IV
Preceded byThe Earl of Essex
Succeeded byThe Lord Bateman
Personal details
Born(1760-05-06)6 May 1760
Died5 January 1841(1841-01-05) (aged 80)
Spouse(s)(1) Margaret Nash (d. 1831) (2) Jane Cocks (d. 1868)
Alma materSt Alban's Hall, Oxford

Background and education

Somers was the son of Charles Cocks, 1st Baron Somers, and Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Eliot. He was educated at Westminster and St Alban's Hall, Oxford.[1]

Political career

Somers sat as Member of Parliament for West Looe between 1782 and 1784,[1][2] for Grampound between 1784 and 1790[1][3] and finally for Reigate between 1790 and 1806.[1][4] The latter year he succeeded his father in the barony and entered the House of Lords. In 1817 he was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Herefordshire, a post he held until his death in 1841.[1][5] In 1821 he was created Earl Somers and accorded additional style Viscount Eastnor, of Eastnor Castle in the County of Hereford, to be the courtesy style of the eldest son of the Earl.[6]

Starting in the 1790s he had served with the Worcester Yeomen Cavalry.


Lord Somers was twice married. He married as his first wife Margaret, daughter of Reverend Treadway Russell Nash, on 19 March 1785.[7] They had three sons and one daughter. His eldest son, Edward Charles Cocks, a British Army officer, was killed at the Siege of Burgos in 1812 during the Peninsular War.

After his first wife's death in February 1831 he married as his second wife his first cousin, Jane, daughter of James Cocks and widow of Reverend George Waddington, in 1834. They had no children. Somers died in January 1841, aged 80, and was succeeded in his titles by his second but eldest surviving son, John. The Countess Somers died in November 1868.[1]



  • G. E. C., ed. Geoffrey F. White. The Complete Peerage. (London: St. Chaterine Press, 1953) Vol. XII, Part 1, p. 32.
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Sir William James, Bt
John Buller
Member of Parliament for West Looe
With: Sir William James, Bt 17821784
John Buller 1784
Succeeded by
John Lemon
John Scott
Preceded by
Sir John Ramsden, Bt
Thomas Lucas
Member of Parliament for Grampound
With: Francis Baring
Succeeded by
Thomas Wallace
Jeremiah Crutchley
Preceded by
Reginald Pole-Carew
The Lord Hood
Member of Parliament for Reigate
With: Joseph Sydney Yorke
Succeeded by
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Parliament of Great Britain
Member of Parliament for Reigate
With: Joseph Sydney Yorke
Succeeded by
Joseph Sydney Yorke
Philip James Cocks
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl of Essex
Lord Lieutenant of Herefordshire
Succeeded by
The Lord Bateman
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
Charles Cocks
Baron Somers
Succeeded by
John Somers-Cocks
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Earl Somers
Succeeded by
John Somers-Cocks
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