COTSFORD, Edward (1740-1810), of Winslade House, Clyst St. Mary, Devon

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



21 June 1784 - 1790

Family and Education

b. 6 Mar. 1740, s. of William Cotsford of Marylebone, London. m. 31 Oct. 1787, Lydia, da. of Rev. Henry Manning of Stoke, Devon, s.p.

Offices Held

Sheriff, Devon 1792-3.


Cotsford was appointed a writer in the East India Company in 1757, and joined the Madras Engineers in 1758. He served in the Manila campaign of 1762, and in 1768 was appointed resident at Ganjam. He then transferred to the Company’s civil service, and became a member of the council of Madras, and chief at Masulipatam. He wrote from Madras to Robert Palk, 17 Oct. 1778:1

If the state of things should put it in your power to serve me towards my promotion in this country, your assistance will always be very gratefully acknowledged by me. My presumption grows in seeing the small abilities of the present governor and council.

In 1781, however, he returned home, with a ‘considerable fortune’,2 and though his name was apparently considered for the governorship of Madras,3 he was not given further employment.

In November 1783 he received an increase to his fortune on the death of his mother,4 and in December unsuccessfully contested Hindon. He came forward once more at the general election and was again defeated; but was returned at a by-election for Midhurst. He steadily voted against Pitt. There is no record of his having spoken in the House.

Cotsford died 25 May 1810.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: J. A. Cannon


  • 1. HMC Palk, 323.
  • 2. Add. 19242, f. 191.
  • 3. Hickey’s Bengal Gazette, 24 June 1780.
  • 4. Gent. Mag. 1783, p. 982.