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The Virtual Museum is not aware of extensive research locally into the Pocock family, but the following may be of some help to future family historians:

John Lander wrote to the HHA in Aug 1996 whilst researching the Tent Methodists, who visited Hungerford several times in 1814, 1817 and 1818, before they were established as a separate Methodist group in 1820 when the leaders were expelled from the Wesleyan Society in Bristol. The leader of the Tent Methodists was George Pocock, born in Hungerford in 1774, the 'son of a Church of England clergyman'. (see John Lander's letter)

The then HHA Archivist, John Allen replied, listing Baptisms:

Parish Baptisms in the name Pocock:
Jan 16 1733. George White s/o John Pocock
Sep 7 1733 Elizabeth d/o John Pocock
Mar 1 1737 John Pocock supposed to be 40 years
Apr 17 1737 Ann d/o Edward Pocock
Aug 30 1738 Rebecca d/o John Pocock
Nov 11 1739 Mary d/o John Pocock
Nov 4 1743 Jeremiah s/o John & Ann Pocock
May 9 1744 Hannah d/o John & Elizabeth Pocock
Dec 6 1745 Hannah d/o John & Ann Pocock
Mar 13 1747 Ann d/o John & Elizabeth Pocock
Apr 28 1751 Rachel d/o John & Elizabeth Pocock
Jul 15 1753 Edward s/o John & Elizabeth Pocock
Jan 20 1771 Hannah d/o Moses & Sarah Pocock
Mar 29 1772 Jamima d/o John & Mary Pocock
May 29 1774 George s/o John & Mary Pocock
Sep 24 1775 Fanny d/o Moses & Sarah Pocock
Jun 26 1776 John s/o Elizabeth Pocock (Base Born)
Dec 20 1778 George s/o Moses & Sarah Pocock
Jan 4 1782 Mary Ann d/o Edward & Mary Pocock
Jun 19 1785 Anne d/o Moses & Sarah Pocock
Oct 19 1787 James s/o Edward & Mary Pocock

Baptisms Solemnized in the Parish of Hungerford Circuit Count of Berks:
29 Feb 1871 William George s/o Thomas & Sarah Pocock - Shalbourne. Labourer.

The Berkshire Burial Index compiled by the Berkshire Family History Society, lists the following:

Burials with surname Pocock:

(Widow) 20 Mar 1795
Ann 6 Nov 1796 (Wife of John)
Ann 19 Sep 1805
Daniel 17 Nov 1727
Edward 1 Feb 1823 (69) High St
Elizabeth 28 May 1726 (widow)
Elizabeth 23 Mar 1736/7 (daughter of John)
Elizabeth 21 Apr 1779 (daughter of Edward)
Elizabeth 24 Dec 1782 (widow)
Elizabeth 9 Jun 1815 (27) Kintbury
Elizabeth 7 Jan 1816 (42) (wife of John), Edington
Fanny 12 Nov 1777 (daughter of Moses)
Grace 9 May 1770 (spinster)
Hannah 21 Jan 1810 (42)
James 13 Jan 1731/2
James 9 Aug 1833 (22) (son of James & Sarah), Church Lane
James 25 Mar 1848 (72) Hungerford
John 16 Nov 1696
John 12 Sep 1771
John 7 Oct 1791
John 5 Dec 1796
John 1 Sep 1890 (77), Hungerford
Joseph 3 Apr 1697, Idington (presumably Eddington!)
Leah 4 Dec 1847 (27), Hungerford
Louisa 11 Dec 1864 925), Hungerford
Maria 6 Jun 1890 (79), Charnham St
Mary 23 Feb 1792 (wife of Edward)
Mary 3 Jan 1853 (44), Hungerford Union
Moses 6 May 1812 (76)
Rachel 25 Jul 1831 (80)
Raph 29 Sep 1696
Rebecca 5 Jan 1713/4 (widow)
Rebeccah 2 Sep 1738 (daughter of John)
Richard 3 Nov 1726
Sarah 3 Dec 1691 (wife of John)
Sarah 6 Jan 1736/7 (widow)
Sarah 20 Oct 1803 (wife of Moses)
Sarah 13 Mar 1854 (73), Hungerford
Stephen 28 Aug 1790 (son of Edward)
William 18 Nov 1835 (21) (son of James & Sarah), Church Lane
William 27 Aug 1870 (29), Hungerford

Burials with the surname Pococke:
Ann 30 Aug 1676 (widow)
Edward 11 Mar 1639/40
Henry 4 Oct 1671 (senior)
John 17 Sep 1667 (senior)
John 30 Jan 1724/5

Barry Hallett of Paraparaumu, New Zealand, contacted by email Feb 2011. "We know that one branch of the Pocock family was living in Hungerford in the very early part of the 19th century - John Pocock and his wife Elizabeth (nee Smith). John and Elizabeth were married in Aldbourne, Wiltshire on 30 September 1805. John was living in Hungerford at the time of their marriage. At least two children were born in Hungerford.

I was interested in the research that John Lander was undertaking concerning George Pocock. George is the Grandfather of W G Grace (the famous cricketer). Part of the reason for my research into the Pocock family was because Joan's Mother had said that W G Grace was related to her Grandfather.

I have found that John Lander has published a book of his research: "Itinerant Temples: Tent Methodism, 1814 - 1832" ISBN: 9781842271513."

Robin Gilbert contacted the Virtual Museum (Apr 2014) with the following additions, corrections and comments:

"The assertion of Dr Lander that the father of George Pocock was a Church of England clergyman is also made in his book Itinerant Temples, and he seems to suggest there (though he does not explicitly state) that the evidence for it and for the statement that "the family as a whole gained no meaningful spiritual Christian convictions under their father's guidance" is in a letter of 1803 from George Pocock's brother, the Revd John Pocock, quoted in the Tent Methodist Magazine in 1823.

However, although that letter does indeed refer to Hungerford when the Pocock brothers were growing up there as a particularly godless place, it makes no specific reference to the elder John Pocock, let alone suggest that he was a clergyman. It is anyway a little odd, it seems to me, if he was a clergyman, that the register in which the baptisms of his children are recorded refers to him simply as "John Pocock". I have tried, so far without success, to make contact with Dr Lander to ask him what in fact led him to the belief that the elder John Pocock was ordained."

Mr Allen seems to have missed one relevant baptism: George Pocock's elder sister Elizabeth was baptised in Hungerford on 9 April 1770; she died in Frome in March 1797.

George Pocock was indeed a remarkable man, whose omission from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography is surprising. One of his sons, Ebenezer, was also apparently born in Hungerford, in 1807, though the information in census returns is inconsistent on the point.

I attach two family trees showing the families of George Pocock and of his father.

Since writing to you last Friday, I have discovered that there was a dynasty of ordained Pococks as Rectors of St John the Baptist, Mildenhall, which, though in Wiltshire, is not far from Hungerford.

There are in the Wiltshire & Swindon Archives ( a number of 18th century legal documents dating from 1725 to 1742 that name a Revd John Pocock, clerk, of Mildenhall and, in 1776, a Revd Richard Pocock, Rector of Mildenhall (who married Elizabeth Long at Steeple Ashton, Wiltshire, on 28 June 1764 and whose will, proved in 1788, also seems to be in the Wiltshire Archives). This document of 1776 also refers to a John Pocock of Fawley, Berks, gent. - apparently the same person, though described as a yeoman of North Fawley, features in two other documents of 1764 and 1768, the latter also involving a John Coxhead of Hungerford, tallow chandler.

Fawley, like Mildenhall, is not many miles from Hungerford. One wonders whether John Pocock of Fawley may have been a relative of the Revd Richard Pocock of Mildenhall and even whether he may also have been the father of George Pocock, but that can be no more than fanciful speculation.

ODNB articles show that the Revd John Pocock of Mildenhall (1713-1767) succeeded his father Edward Pocock as Rector and that he was the grandson of the celebrated orientalist Edward Pocock(e), Prebendary of Christ Church, Oxford. (ODNB, sv, Edward Pococke (1604-1691) and Edward Pococke (c.1648-1726).

Despite the Christ Church, Oxford, connection, he is thus not to be identified with the John Pocock(e), son of Hugh Pocock(e) of Chaddleworth, Berkshire, who was ordained Deacon in Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, on 18 December 1720 and was Chaplain of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, in 1722, though it is possible that they may have been related.

St John the Baptist, Mildenhall, contains monuments to the younger Edward Pocock and to the Revd Richard Pocock ("EDWARD POCOCK 1726, pilasters with segmental cornice. Reverend RICHARD POCOCK, 1787, variegated marbles with crest swept up to urnand pinecone finial" - In 1808, the Rectorship of Mildenhall was again held by a Revd John Pocock (Ecclesiastical and University Annual Register for 1808).

Other references:


Reference: 947
Covering dates: 16th - 20th Centuries
Held by Wiltshire and Swindon Archives
Extent 16 sub-fonds
Source of acquisition: The Rt. Hon the Viscount Long of Wraxall
Creators: Long family of Rood Ashton, Wiltshire

[no title] 947/1710 1785-1803


Original will of Elizabeth, wife of the Revd. Richard Pocock of Mildenhall (formerly Elizabeth Long, daughter of Richard Long of Rood Ashton, d.1760, and Ann his wife), written and signed by the testatrix, 1785, (d.1805).
Will of the Revd. Richard Pocock. Proved P.C.C. 1788. Another original will of Elizabeth Pocock as a widow, undated (paper watermarked 1796), and a copy of her final will dated 1798, with codicils of 1802 and 1803.

Name: Richard Pocock
Marriage Date: 28 Jun 1764
Parish: Steeple Ashton
Residence: Mildenhall
Spouse: Elizabeth Long
Spouse Residence: of This Parish
Document Type: Licence

Person: Pococke, John (1713 - 1767) [1713 = date of ordination, not birth]
CCEd Person ID: 66854
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View Person Record for Pococke , John

show details Comments

Education Events:
Show details MA : Oxford / Christ Church

Ordination Events:
show details deacon : 29/03/1713 (Talbot, William/Oxford 1699-1715)
show details priest : 27/05/1716

Appointment Events:
show details Rector : Mildenhall (24/04/1727 - 16/11/1763 )
show details Vicar : Compton (15/06/1731 - 27/05/1767 )
show details Prebendary : Salisbury cathedral, prebend of Gillingham minor (02/12/1746 - 09/08/1759 )

Robin Gilbert sent (Jul 2017) some further information:

"The will of Rachel Pocock (1751-1831) clearly establishes that one of her brothers was the father of the Revd John Pocock (1769-1804) - and thus of his younger brother George Pocock.  The fact that her nephew John is afforded the title of Reverend in the will, but his father referred to simply as “my late brother John Pocock”, makes it almost certain that the elder John Pocock was not a clergyman;  it seems probable that the oft-repeated claim that he was ordained arose out of an early confusion with his elder son.

The will also names several other of Rachel’s siblings, nephews and nieces and gives the married names of two of her sisters, Bett and Hannah, which in turn allows their husbands to be further identified via surviving marriage allegations. See the attached pedigree.

Rachel’s parents’ names (and those of her siblings Bett, Hannah and Edward named in the will) are given in the baptismal register as John and Elizabeth. Ann Pocock, daughter of John and Elizabeth, baptised 13 March 1748, is not mentioned in the will, but was presumably another sister. It seems probable that Rachel’s brother John was the John Pocock, son of John, baptised in Hungerford on 27 February 1737 (a baptism not listed on your website, but attested from records available on Ancestry).  Unfortunately, however, in this case, the mother’s name is not given.

The will also mentions “John Pocock, son of my nephew John Pocock and Elizabeth his wife of Kingsclere in the county of Hants”.  It is probable that John Pocock of Kingsclere was another child of Rachel’s brother Edward, given that an Edward Pocock of Hungerford married Mary Head at Kingsclere in 1777, but unfortunately Edward died intestate, so there is no will of his to provide confirmation.

It may also be worth mentioning on your website that, on 27th June 1842, when he was 15, William Gilbert Rees (1827-1898), a grandson of George Pocock, later the godfather of the cricketer William Gilbert Grace and the founder of Queenstown, New Zealand, saved another boy from drowning in the Hungerford Canal and was subsequently awarded the Bronze Medal of the Royal Humane Society.  (W.G.Rees married one of his many cousins, Rebecca Frances Gilbert, a daughter of George Mowbray Gilbert, a second cousin of my great-grandfather and son-in-law (twice over!) of George Pocock.)"

See also:

- John Lander's letter about George Pocock, born 1774

- Vicars of Hungerford

- Curates and Assistant Priests of Hungerford

- Family tree of George Pocock

- Family tree of John & Mary Pocock

- Family and Hungerford relatives of Rev'd John Pocock of Frome (1769-1804)