Thomas Cockman

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Revd Dr Thomas Cockman, Doctor of Divinity (1675–1745) was an Oxford academic and administrator. He was Master of University College, Oxford.[1][2]

Thomas Cockman was Rector at Chidingstone in Kent in 1705.[3]

Cockman's mastership at University College was a contested one, with William Dennison, who also served as Master between 1722–29. There were two disputed elections held in 1722. Cockman appealed to the Crown and was declared Master of University College in 1729. The success of Thomas Cockman's appeal involved accepting that King Alfred had founded the College. This myth originated from the late 1380s but it was widely believed by Cockman's time. The ruling at the court hearing meant that the Visitor of University College, who is responsible for resolving such disputes, should be the Crown rather than the University.

In 2008, University College acquired a painting including Thomas Cockman.[4] The painting had remained in Thomas Cockman's family, but was auctioned at Sothebys. The picture is presumed to be a celebration of the success of Cockman's appeal to the Crown to be declared Master of University College in 1729.


  1. ^ Cockman, Thomas (1675-1745) Master of University College, Oxford, miscelleneous correspondence and papers, GB/NNAF/P139362, Nationa Archives, United Kingdom.
  2. ^ Darwall-Smith, Robin, A History of University College, Oxford. Oxford University Press, 2008. ISBN 978-0-19-928429-0.
  3. ^ Parishes: Chidingstone, The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 3 (1797), pp. 210–227.
  4. ^ A contentious succession, Univ Newsletter, Issue 30, Trinity Term 2008.
Academic offices
Preceded by
Arthur Charlett / William Dennison
Master of University College, Oxford
Succeeded by
John Browne