Samuel Cocking (1842 in Ireland - 26 February 1914 in Yokohama, Japan) was a British merchant in Yokohama arriving in 1869, shortly after the “Opening of Japan”. He is most famous for the large greenhouse (660 m2 (7,100 sq ft)) and gardens that he developed in Enoshima. He married Miyata in 1872.
His company, “The Cocking Trading Company” specialized in art, antiques and specialty plants, but it was his importation of carbolic acid (phenol) in 1877 that made his initial fortune. Carbolic acid was used as a disinfectant, particularly against cholera.
In 1880, he purchased (in his wife’s name) the highlands, including derelict Buddhist shrines, on the island of Enoshima and began building the botanical gardens and a villa. The 'Abolish the Buddha. Destroy Sakyamuni' policy of the new Meiji government had made the land available. In 1887, he added a power plant (which later became origin of the Yokohama Cooperative Electric Light Company). His garden is now operated by the city as the Samuel Cocking Garden.
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