He had been a Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford in 1522, and then became a Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford in 1527. He was Junior Proctor of Oxford University in 1531. It was some years before he was elected Master of Balliol College, in which post he served in the years 1539–1545.
With the accession of Queen Mary, he was chosen to succeed the former Carmelite John Bird, who had been deprived because he was married, as Bishop of Chester. Cotes was consecrated on 1 April 1554 by bishops Stephen Gardiner of Winchester, Edmund Bonner of London, and Cuthbert Tunstall of Durham, and received papal provision on 6 July 1554. However, he held the post for only a short period of time before he died in c. January 1556.
His arms were blazoned: Argent, fretty Azure, on a canton Or a lion rampant Sable.
- Masters of Balliol. Balliol College Archives & Manuscripts . Retrieved on 10 July 2016.
- Bishops of Chester. British History Online. Retrieved on 10 July 2016.
- John Foxe's Book of Martyrs. Retrieved on 10 July 2016.
- The Armorial Bearings of the Bishops of Chester. Cheshire Heraldry. Retrieved on 10 July 2016.
- F. Sanders, 'George Cotes, Master of Balliol and Bishop of Chester', in Notes and Queries 1894 series 8-V (1894) 48-49.
- F. Huskisson & E. Marshall, 'George Cotes, Master of Balliol and Bishop of Chester', in Notes and Queries series 8-V (1894) 153.
|Master of Balliol College, Oxford
|Bishop of Chester
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