Edward Charles Cocks

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Edward Charles Cocks (27 July 1786 – 8 October 1812) was a British Army officer and politician.

The eldest son of John Cocks, 1st Earl Somers, he was Member of Parliament for Reigate from 1806 to 1812.[1]

From December 1808 until 1812 he served in the Peninsular War, where alongside his regular duties, he worked as an 'observing officer'. These were officers who were tasked with probing deep behind the enemy lines to collect information on the enemy. He died, with the rank of Major, leading his men in an attempt to storm a breach at the Siege of Burgos.

He was a great favourite of his commander Arthur Wellesley, the future Duke of Wellington, who admired him for his bravery and sharp perception and who took news of his death badly. Wellesley entered (then Colonel) Frederick Ponsonby's room and paced up and down in total silence, much to his junior officers consternation, before stating quietly: "Cocks is dead".[2]


  1. ^ "House of Commons, Radcliffe-cum-Farnworth-Rochdale". Archived from the original on 3 December 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2009.
  2. ^ Holmes, Richard (2001). Redcoat: The British Soldier in the Age of Horse and Musket Page 336, Harper and Collins
  • G. E. C., ed. Geoffrey F. White. The Complete Peerage. (London: St. Chaterine Press, 1953) Vol. XII, Part 1, p. 32-33.

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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Joseph Sydney Yorke
Philip James Cocks
Member of Parliament for Reigate
With: Viscount Royston 1806–1808
James Cocks 1808–1812
Succeeded by
James Cocks
Hon. John Cocks