Completed British 19th C, except portraits, Maritime Subjects, South East England: Artists and Subjects, Transport and Industry 68 Further information sought regarding painter of balloons, E. W. Cocks

Balloon Leaving Dover
Topic: Artist

The mysterious E. W. Cocks painted three pictures of balloons now in the Science Museum. Three others were sold at Christies on 22nd November 1968: lots 21–23, ‘James Sadler's “Ascent from Hackney”’, 'Crossing the Medway', and 'Ascent of Nassau Balloon from Vauxhall Gardens'. In addition, the British Museum owns a lithograph after Cocks’ 'The Royal Vauxhall Nassau Balloon'. This depicts the ascent of Robert Cocking in the 'Royal Vauxhall', later known as the 'Nassau Balloon', on Monday 24th July 1837.

Who was E. W. Cocks? Is it possible this name is a misspelling of ‘E. W. Cooke’? Was he a very accomplished amateur, possibly himself a balloonist, or a naval or military artist? Are the paintings in the Science Museum retrospective views of the first crossing of the English Channel by balloon on 7th January 1785 by Jean-Pierre Blanchard and John Jeffries, or of a later crossing? The inclusion of a paddle steamer might suggest that they are of a later crossing.

Were all the pictures painted for the same balloon-loving patron? Or was there an exhibition of balloon paintings in London, after the great achievement of a balloon flight in 1836 by Charles Green from Vauxhall Gardens to Weilburg, in ‘The Duchy of Nassau’, for which they were intended?

The collection comment: We have checked the Science Museum's People Authority record for information on E. W. Cocks.

There is an entry for him in ULAN: http://www.getty.edu/vow/ULANFullDisplay?find=e.w.+cocks&role;=&nation;=&prev_page=1&subjectid=500004995

His work was catalogued in the 1990s. During this time we narrowed his active dates from 19th century to 1825–1840. We could find no other information about the artist.

The description we give for this oil can be viewed here:
http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/online_science/explore_our_collections/objects/index/smxg-66113?agent=smxg-46423

As mentioned, there are two other oils by Cocks in the Collection:
http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/online_science/explore_our_collections/objects/index/smxg-66114

http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/online_science/explore_our_collections/objects/index/smxg-66118?agent=smxg-46423

There is also a coloured lithograph:
'The Royal Vauxhall Balloon, London, September 9th 1836', lithographed by F. Alvey, drawn by G. Black, published by William Spooner, recorded as produced by the Proprietors of Vauxhall, with added landscape setting. (Object Number: 1937-876).

Martin Hopkinson, Entry reviewed by Art UK

Completed, Outcome

Jade King,

E. W. Cocks was found to be Edward William Cocks (b.c.1803). Please see the discussion comments below for more details about the painter's life.

Thank you to all who participated in this discussion. The changes will appear online on the new version of Your Paintings, which will be available in early 2016.

67 comments

Cliff Thornton,

An article in the Journal of the Aeronautical Society (1957) states that Robert Hollond MP, accompanied Charles Green in the November 1836 flight to Nassau. After the flight Hollond commissioned E.W.Cocks to paint 6 scenes of the flight. These paintings remained in the Hollond family until 1913 when they were sold.

Cocks is also reported to have personally decorated the parachute canopy for Mr Cocking in his fatal attempt in July 1837.

Well done, Cliff, could you please give full bibliographical reference to this article (author, month/issue, page refs etc.) and perhaps summarise the evidence given in the article for the commission by Holland of Cocks. Then we just need to find out a bit more about Cocks himself.

Thanks for raising Martin: as already discussed via e-mail, its not E.W. Cooke, either on style and also because m' learned (late) former colleague and friend John Munday, whose knowledge of the latter was exhaustive and encapsulated in his bulky 1996 monograph, makes no mention of such subjects by him. I don't know what inflated the 1785 balloon (hot air?) but those shown are gas (which must at the time be hydrogen) and early/mid-19th century. As already mentioned to you, though I've not kept the details, an E.W. Cocks 'painter' of Blackfriars appeared on an insolvent debtors list in the 'Era' newspaper in the spring of 1843 - though there are other 'painters' in the same list so it could just be a coincidence of name with a house painter. However, if -as Cliff above suggests- Cocks was into painting balloon canopies as well as oils on canvas, he may have been an artisan with some range, (though not one that I've come across in a theatrical scene-painting or panoramic context).

Tim Williams,

In Gibbs-Smith's 'A History of Flying' Cocks is described as a 'local scenic painter' - local being near Vauxhall, where the balloon ascended. In 'Tales of the Caterpillar Club: Jump!' (Donald Glassman, 1930) he is described as the 'scenic artist at Vauxhall Gardens' - so presumably he worked at Vauxhall gardens.

Cliff Thornton,

Andrew, the bibliographical reference would be Journal of the Aeronautical Society Vol.61, p.iv, (1957). The information does not appear to have been in an article, so there is no associated author, unless it turns out to be in a letter to the editor? I came across the snippet on-line via Google Books. Further to the above information, the paintings appear to have been acquired by the wealthy early pilot Mortimer Singer. This must have been prior to 1917 when he placed one of Cocks paintings on loan to the Grosvenor Gallery for an aeronautical exhibition.

Cliff Thornton,

Martin, you wondered whether E.W.Cocks might have been a naval or military artist. This may be entirely coincidental, but in "A Biographical Peerage of the Empire of Great Britain" (1808) there is a section listing the sons, brothers, relatives of peers who were then serving in the army. In that list was a Captain E.W. Cocks, but I have not been able to trace him in any Army List of the early 1800s.

Martin Hopkinson,

Sir Montague Singer KBE purchased at least 8 paintings at the sale of John R Hollond in 1913. These were sold in 5 lots [156-160] at Christies 21 February 1930. One of them, 'the balloon leaving Dover' was illustrated in colour on p xv [no 48] of Lt -Col W Lockwood Marsh, 'Aeronautical Prints and Drawings', London, 1924

The paintings in the 1930 sale were 'The departure from Vauxhall Gardens on Monday 7 November 1836' 28 1/2 x 22 1/2 inches
Crossing the Medway, about 6 miles to the West of Rochester
'Leaving Dover'
'The Arrival at Calais'
'Off the Coast of Dover' all 10 x 13 1/2 in
'The Royal Balloon near Weilberg'
'The Balloon brought to anchor at Weilberg'
'The Ascent of the Vauxhall Balloon , with Mr Cocking's parachute, as it descended from the Royal Gardens in Vauxhall' 20 1/2 x 16 1/2 in

I have yet to see the Hollond sale catalogue

All these paintings are small - was there an intention to decorate one of the buildings in Vauxhall Gardens with ballooning pictures to commemorate the flights?

That's an interesting idea, bbut stuff at Vauxhall tended to be larger eg the 18th c. supper box paintings by Hayman et al, some of which survive, though I wouldn't discount it. Cocks was certainly on the strength there in the 1820s.

There is a small section on the regular scene-painters who worked at Vauxhall Gardens in Sybil Rosenfeld's 'Georgian Scene Painters and Scene Painting'(C.U.P 1981) pp. 142-3. This lists F. Thorn as 'artist to the gardens' (earliest date given 1823), and in 1822 'Thorn the younger', Merrick, Morris and Hollogan -the last two I know were regular artisan theatre scene-painters working at Drury Lane inter alia. Then (p.143), 'In 1828 six dioramic pictures of views on the Rhine by Cocks ornamented the walks as well as cosmoramic pictures by Childe which were dispersed in the King's Walk. Cocks also displayed a 'hydroptic' exhibition consisting of an allegorical picture of naval superiority blended with large bodies of fire [ie fireworks], whilst Childe created flying phantoms and illusions in the spectre walk and terrific, grotesque figures for the Hermit's walk.' There is no mention of his initials (inc in the index), and Sybil- whom I knew well as doyenne in this line of research- probably got the name from advertising bills or press reports. He's not in other likely theatre sources such her 'Short History of Scene Design in Great Britain' (1973); or James Winston's Drury Lane journal, or the memoirs of Charles Dibdin the Younger; or a list of Victorian scene-painter compiled by Hilary Norris in one of the half dozen issues of the magazine 'Theatrephile'; or in Richard Altick's monumental 'Shows of London' (1978) - so its fair to assume his Vauxhall connection was quite specific, whatever else he did, though various scene painters also worked in oil with more or less success: hence, perhaps his lighting on balloons as a subject speciality, given their close connection with Vauxhall. If he wasn't the man already mentioned as in financial straits in Blackfriars in 1843, the other likely area in which to look for him (or at least be aware he might turn up) would be Lambeth which had a long-standing scene-painting community in the early to mid/late-19th century.

Martin Hopkinson,

I was thinking that there may have been a plan for larger paintings based on these, possibly never realised

There may be material in the Cuthbert and Poynton collections at the Royal Astronomical Society which is of relevance

Osmund Bullock,

I think I may have the right man. According to the baptism entry for his son Edward George at St George the Martyr, Holborn (Queen Sq) - rather oddly recorded as happening twice, in both Nov 1825 & Jan 1826 - Edward William Cocks was an artist of 8 Boswell Court, wife's name Anne. This is most probably the Edward William Cocks who married Ann Mace at Paddington in Jan 1825 (though there are no further details). Ann Cocks is likely to have died not long afterwards, as I can find no further baptisms to the couple; and in Feb 1842 presumably the same Edward Wm Cocks, a widower, artist of Somerset Place, Hoxton, was married at St John the Baptist to Sarah Marshall of the same address. His father is given as Edward Cocks, Architect. See attached baptism/marriage entries.

This then leads us to the 1841 Census, and to Edward Cocks, painter, of William St (since 1912 Magee St), Kennington - William St was just 10 mins walk from Vauxhall Gardens (see attached map & census return). He is there with (his son) George Cocks (age '15' => born 1821/26) and Sarah 'Cocks' (i.e. his wife-to-be) - Edward's age is given as '35' (=> born 1801/06). I've not spent much time on this so far, but cannot at the moment find Edward in any later censuses: he may perhaps have died before 1851. I will do some more digging later tonight.

Martin Hopkinson,

Robert Hollond was MP for Hastings and interested in art.His wife was painted by Ary Scheffer in 1851 [National Gallery]

Martin Hopkinson,

Robert Hollond also owned the Getty version of Fragonard's 'The Fountain of Love' which was also in the sale of John R Hollond, his nephew, Christie 11 April 1913 see p.43 of National Gallery Technical Bulletin , 29, 2008, an article on the two versions by Mark Leonard, Ashok Roy and Scott Schaefer
There should be a decent length obituary of Robert Hollond

Tim Williams,

A Mr Cocks gave a 'hydroptic exhibition' at Vauxhall in 1828 - see 'Performance and Politics in Popular Drama: Aspects of Popular Entertainment in Theatre, Film and Television, 1800-1976' Bradbury, James, Sharratt (eds). Their source was information provided by Sybil Rosenfeld. This must have made one of the newspapers.

Osmund Bullock,

The "E W Cocks" of Blackfriars who went bankrupt in 1843 was indeed Edward William Cocks, our man. There is considerably more detail in the London Gazette notices (which describe him as an 'ornamental painter'), including a list of addresses that also confirm he is the Edward Cocks of William St in the 1841 Census. See attached three page pdf.

"Mr Cocks" features in admiring newspaper descriptions of (and posters for) panoramas, and paintings in the Rotunda, at Vauxhall Gardens between 1831 and 1839; clearly their main decorator (and a very busy one), he is described as "Artist to the gardens" and "the artist of the establishment". Some examples attached.

Cocks also went up at least once himself in Green's giant 80ft 'Royal Vauxhall' Balloon - the one that later travelled to Nassau and was re-named. Cocks was on its second flight on 21st September 1836, which flew a sedate 7 or 8 miles to Bromley in 40 minutes - see attachment. The maiden flight on the 9th had made faster but erratic progress, 26 miles down the Thames estuary beyond Gravesend in 80 minutes. The third one on the 27th (with the ultimately ill-fated Robert Cocking on board) positively raced away into Essex, landing 33 miles away near Chelmsford just 55 minutes later.

There is much on Green's ballooning exploits - he made 500 flights or more - here: http://aerosociety.com/News/Insight-Blog/1679/Balloon-pioneer-Charles-Green-amp-the-parachuting-monkey#gallery[m]/7/

And this remarkable scrapbook of early flight cuttings and ephemera held by the Smithsonian is the source of some of my mentions of Cocks: https://transcription.si.edu/project/6631

I still can't find Edward William Cocks, his second wife Sarah or his son (Edward) George in the later, more informative censuses, nor can I find suitable death or marriage records for any of them - they may have changed their name (or its spelling) after the bankruptcy, or perhaps went abroad. Nor can I find record of a baptism that is definitely him - all we know is that he was probably born c1803, and not in the county of Surrey. I've also drawn a blank with anyone who might be his architect father Edward.

Martin Hopkinson,

This is marvellous information, Osmund. Are there any descriptions of the paintings which Cocks executed for Vauxhall Gardens?

Morning Post of 2 June 1843 confirms Cocks's appearance before the Portugal Street court that day, which is when he was presumably committed to debtors prison: no obvious trace in newspapers of a death up to 1880

Osmund Bullock,

Martin, I think only the five described in those attachments, though it's possible there were one or two more that I omitted for brevity.

Pieter, I don't think that's how it worked. Cocks was already in the Debtors' Prison for London and Middlesex in April, and a temporary assignment of his property had been made. My understanding of the process at this period is that he would have applied to the Insolvent Debtors' Court for release, and the appearance in June would have been to decide if the amount raised from the sale of his seized property, combined with any further debt-repayment schedule, was enough to satisfy his creditors. If so, he would go free - but if they objected he could go back to prison. His application seems to have been unopposed, so I think he was probably released.

Martin Hopkinson,

1836 Cocks' Diorama of the New Houses of Parliament painted for Vauxhall Gardens 48 feet long 30 feet high

1840 15-16 June sale of pictures from Vauxhall Gardens
1841 12 October Ventom & Hughes sale included a further 24 pictures

Martin Hopkinson,

1838 Balloon Hall erected
1839 a Balloon Gallery is mentioned

publicpleasuregarden.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/pleasure-garden-over-there/vauxhall_7.html

Osmund Bullock,

Here's the/an original 1828 (3rd June) advertisement source for Cocks's Dioramas of the Rhine that decorated the walks at Vauxhall, and the allegorical naval hydraulic (or "hydropyric") exhibition with "scenery and decorations by Mr Cocks and assistants" - also mentioned is a painting by him of the Rialto Bridge on display in the ballroom. There were similar ads in the Morning Post from 31st May.

Tim Williams,

The Hydroptic exhibition does sound pretty spectacular, surely better than the Water Show Extravaganza at Watermouth Castle....

I seem to remember Finchcocks musical instrument museum in Kent having a comprehensive collection of Vauxhall pictures, one or two rooms being devoted to it. Perhaps some of Cocks's scenes made it into the background of other artists pictures of Vauxhall. I'm sure they would be interested to know about Cocks, who is emerging as a very interesting figure from the period.

Osmund Bullock,

I've just figured out some better search parameters for the BNA, and it's now clear that the Vauxhall displays, with 'cosmoramas' and moving panoramas painted by Cocks and his assistants, continued every year from 1828 until 1839, progressively gaining in size and magnificence till mid-decade. Here are some more newspaper ads and articles that fill in the rest of the 1830s - too lengthy to describe...except perhaps 1834's three-stage moving scenic representation of Ross's North Pole expedition covering 60,000 sq ft, complete with ships moving through icebergs, Eskimos, igloos, polar bears and real-water spouting whales!

Cocks must have been a remarkable artist: the scale, range and sheer quantity of his twelve years of paintings for the Gardens is astonishing. But despite his talents, the owners of Vauxhall went bankrupt in 1840 (owing a staggering £100,000), and for poor Edward that seems to have been that: three years later he, too, was bankrupt.

Martin, your references to the sale of the Vauxhall pictures is very interesting: I wonder if there are extant catalogues?

Tim, Finchcocks sounds most intriguing, too - and here is a webpage with lots more links to explore: http://www.vauxhallgardens.com/vauxhall_gardens_links_page.html

Martin Hopkinson,

Perhaps we should also be looking at accounts of Bullock's Museum in the Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly which had an interest in panoramas. Cocks could have started his career there in the 1820s

Martin Hopkinson,

Finchcocks is open on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, and Sundays in September. It then closes for the year

Martin Hopkinson,

I have not been able to able to find a location for the 1841 sale yet. The British Library has copies of the catalogue for the 1840 sale and a further one for 1859. A number of catalogues for sales of the property of the Hollond family are in the National Art Library.
I have not yet consulted Lugt
There is a book on Finchcocks in the British Library. When some one visits they should ask about Vauxhall Gardens material in its library

Martin Hopkinson,

There is a short guide to the Finchcocks Collection in the British Library

Martin Hopkinson,

I should have said that the above is in the National Art Library!

David Coke and Alan Borg did a big 'History of Vauxhall Gardens' in 2011 (Yale UP) in which he may be mentioned but as a Vauxhall 'house' painter over such a period from the 1820s to '40s, I rather doubt he's going to have much presence elsewhere given he's not a familiar name amid general theatre scenic painters. Whatever happened at Vauxhall in 1840, it in fact continued through the 1840s and only finally closed in 1859 when the land was sold. Cremorne Gardens on the Chelsea side (now site of the Lots Road power station) opened in the 1850s, but is there detailed literature on that, or the Egyptian Hall/Bullocks? (There's no mention in Raymond Fitzsimons, 'The Baron of Piccadilly', though mainly on Albert Smith's period there in the 1840s).

Martin Hopkinson,

There is a recent biography on Bulloch , which I reviewed a few years back - its bibiography might provide clues.

Osmund Bullock,

Pieter, Vauxhall folded in 1840 (before the season began) under its then owners, Gye and Hughes, who went so spectacularly bankrupt (net debts were actually a more modest £23K - £100K was the total of liabilities). It re-opened under different owners in 1841-2, but didn't open at all in 1843. Thereafter a series of different managers tried to restore its fortunes, but its glory days were over - and there's no sign that Cocks was employed there after 1839. This is an extensive chronology of the gardens (though Cocks is mentioned but once):
http://www.vauxhallgardens.com/vauxhall_gardens_fullchronology_page.html

There are many quite detailed references within this to sales of the pictures and other contents and structures. After its final closure in 1859 the "remaining pictures" were apparently bought for Cremorne.

This page is also very interesting - the first description there is by Dickens, and tells of unwisely visiting Vauxhall in daylight. It suggests that Cocks' artistic creations - the large ones, anyway - may have been (as one would expect) rather less impressive in the cold light of day! : http://www.victorianlondon.org/entertainment/vauxhallgardens.htm

Martin Hopkinson,

Royal Gardens, Vauxhall sale, Messrs Driver 22 August 1859
108 Three paintings marine views by Cox
109 Three ditto ditto

Martin Hopkinson,

David Coke and Alan Borg, Vauxhall Gardens. A History, Yale University of Press, 2001, pp. 317-18 Cox's panorama relating to Ross' expedition to the North Pole 1834

p. 336 Cocks in 1842 when the Gardens had been let to Bunn painted the disastrous fire at Hamburg of 5 May 1842

p. 293 two of Cocks' watercolours were in the 12 October 1842 Ventom and Hughes sale, both of which were bought by Abrahams
178 Bridge of Sighs at Venice watercolour on canvas 2440 x 2285

179 View of the Musical Festival at York Minster watercolour on canvas 2440 x 2135

Martin Hopkinson,

British Institution 1839 no 402 was a Vauxhall balloon picture according to John Bull, Sunday 10 February 1839, p. 70

Martin Hopkinson,

Christie 11 April 1913 sale of John R Hollond deceased lots 12- 30 were all balloon paintings - 26- 30 were paintings by Cocks
26 The departure for Vauxhall Gardens on Monday 7 November 1836 purchased by Horton
27 Crossing the Medway, about 6 miles to the west of Rochester
purchased by West
28 Off the coast, Leaving Dover, and the Arrival at Calais [3 pictures]
purchased by Sale
29 Near Weilberg, and the balloon brought to anchor at Weilberg[2 pictures]
purchased by Leaf [possibly the well-known watercolour collector]

30 The Balloon crossing a ravine, and the Balloon carrying a parachute [2 pictures]
purchased by Sale

There were 84 lots in all - the highlights being works by
Philippe de Champagne,Guardi , Bol and Cuyp as well as the Fragonard to judge by the prices

Martin Hopkinson,

Nothing about Cocks or anything noticeably relevant in Michael P Costeloe, William Bullock Connoisseur and Virtuoso ..., Bristol , 2008

Martin Hopkinson,

'Masquerade', Bell's Life in London and Sporting Chronicle, Sunday 11 June 1837 describes in detail several new views by Cocks at Vauxhall Gardens including 'A Grand Moving Panorama' of the balloon voyage 4000 feet in length
representing the ascent from the gardens, London from Greenwich Hall, Chatham, Dover, the Channel, Calais, Brussels, Coblentz, Ehrenbreitstein, and the descent of the balloon
The views were painted from the notes and observations of Mr Green during the voyage, and from sketches collected by the aerial crew whilst they were in Germany and France

Martin Hopkinson,

a lithograph of the balloon is the frontispiece to Die Reise der herren Karl Green, Robert Hollond and Thomas Monk Mason von London nach Weilberg am 7 und 8 November 1836 in den Luftschiffe Royal Victoria Nassau, Weilberg, 1837

Martin Hopkinson,

I have not yet seen a copy of the catalogue of the Vauxhall Gardens sale held by Mr William Leifchild at Garraway's Coffee House on Thursday 9 September 1841 [British Library]

The Vauxhall Gardens items at Finchcocks are probably prints to judge by Richard and Katrina Bennett, Finchcocks: past & present, 1989
- one suspects that these will be familiar 18th century prints , but it would be worth checking

It is surprising that there appears to be nothing new on Cocks in J H Burn's large collection of cuttings relating to Spring Gardens and Vauxhall Gardens [British Library CUP 401 k 7], although there are several prints of Cocking's parachute and other material relating to it. There is a small amount of material relating to Green as well

Martin Hopkinson,

Neither the Guildhall Library nor the Museum of London seem to
have Cocks material

Martin Hopkinson,

The British Institution 1839 no 402
G B Potts The Vauxhall Balloon descending at Wielberg [sic] in the Duchy of Nassau , from a sketch by R Holland [sic] Esq 4ft 9 in x 5 ft 10 in

Osmund Bullock,

The Athenaeum, 20th Feb 1841(also in the Morning Post): an advertisement for the Royal Gallery of Practical Science, Adelaide Street (aka the Adelaide Gallery) featured amongst its attractions a "Cosmorama of the Embarkation of the Body of Napoleon and The Bombardment of Acre, painted by Mr Cocks".

So far this is a good tally of scenic works for public gardens/entertainment sites but Cocks is also quite good as a 'gallery' painter if the SM examples are indicative. He's not in the RA lists but is there any mention in those for the (Royal) Society of British Artists etc, which I don't have to hand?

Osmund Bullock,

There is no listing for the name of Cocks (or Cock), nor a Cox with the right intitial, in Algernon Graves's 'Dictionary of artists who have exhibited works in the principal London exhibitions from 1760 to 1893'. See
https://archive.org/stream/dictionaryofarti00grav#page/58/mode/1up
This in theory covers the RA, BI, SBA, RWS & RI (formerly NWS) during the relevant period.

Thanks for that: so we have Edward William Cocks, born c. 1803, active (presumably) c. 1820-43 as an 'ornamental' and scenic painter in non-theatrical public entertainments, primarily as house artist at Vauxhall Gardens, and a competent oil painter of landscape ballooning subjects -plus a modest tally of works in both categories. How does this go from here allowing there seems to be no clear b. and d. date, or a gallery exhibition history?

Osmund Bullock,

Nowhere I can figure out, Pieter - and I have been methodically trying everything I can think of for many days. This has included exhaustive searches of births/deaths/marriages/censuses, the BNA - and today even Australian records (incl newspapers). I had found mention of an Edward Cocks with an interest in art in New South Wales in May 1843 (he won an artwork in a sort of lottery held by an Edinburgh association for encouraging Scottish art - a marble statue by Calder Marshall), and wondered if he might be EWC's untraceable father. But further digging has come to naught.

There was a promising 'Edward Cocks' whose death was registered in Southwark-Bermondsey-Rotherhithe in 1860 (it's the only possible London-ish one). But while the GRO death index doesn't give ages till 1866, I've in fact just found this chap's burial record, and he was only 33 - i.e. born c.1827. Another dead end.

'c.1820' is perhaps a little early for the start of his active years - the Science Museum mentioned 1825, and Nov 1825 is indeed the earliest reference to him being an artist I could find (his son's baptism record). 1828 was, I think, the first mention we found of his actual artistic activities, and 1842 the last.

One tiny thing to add before bowing out: although it seemed pretty certain, the 'Mr Edward Cocks' who went up in the big Vauxhall balloon on Sept 21st 1836 was definitely him (and not, say, his father) - one newspaper (the Cornwall Royal Gazette) gives slightly fuller details of the passengers, and he is there described as "artist of the gardens".

Martin Hopkinson,

Robert Hollond was the promoter of the flight to Weiburg according to one of the other passengers, Monck Mason - The Times, Saturday 17 December 1836 p. 7

For Hollond see Frederic Boase, Modern English Biography I , London, 1965, p. 1511
1808-77
The youngest son of William Hollond of Grosvenor Place and the Bengal Civil Service. He was a barrister and MP for Hastings from 1837 to 1852. John Hollins painted a portrait in 1836 of Hollond, Green and Monck Mason in front of a balloon. Holland left £350, 000. Hatton Turnor's Astra Castra, 1865, pp 139 and 158, and Monck Mason's Aeronautica, 1838 , pp. 1-98 are cited. There is also Mason's account of the voyage published in London very late in 1836. All these I will try to find

Edward Morris, who has done extensive research on British patrons and collectors of Ary Scheffer , may have more information. He is in the course of moving, but I will contact him when he is settled
The British Library only has flyers for, not the actual catalogue for the 1841. None of these flyers mention paintings

Martin Hopkinson,

The moving panorama is mentioned in The Times Tuesday 6 June 1837

Cocks does not appear in Jane Johnson, Works exhibited at the Royal Society of British Artists ..., 1975

Osmund Bullock,

Re a representation of the Great Fire of Hamburg by Cocks for Vauxhall in 1842, contemporary newspaper advertisements put this in slight doubt. There are indeed mentions in display ads during July and August of a "Grand Pictorial Representation of the City of Hamburg" - but it apparently showed the city as it was before the fire, and the description seems to attribute it to 'Marshall'. One of these attached.

Martin Hopkinson,

Mrs Hollond is reputed to be the model for St Monica in the National Gallery's Ary Scheffer 'St Augustine and St Monica' of 1854 which was bequeathed by Robert Hollond to the gallery
Mrs Hollond presented Boucher's 'Pan and Syrinx' to the gallery in 1880

Just to point out where someone has paid attention to Cocks before, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._W._Cocks) though this could now have further personal details, and of work, dates etc, added.

While tempting to see the SM pictures as from among those done for Hollond (or his family) it doesn't seem to be quite that simple. For a start, the sizes of 'Leaving Dover', 'The Arrival at Calais' and 'Off the Coast of Dover', all said to be 10 x 13 1/2 inches when sold in 1930 (ex-Singer), and which subject-wise would fit the three works comprising Lot 28 in the Hollond sale of 1913, do not match the larger sight-sizes of the canvases given on the Science Museum's web pages. (These also incidentally say the paddle steamers shown in two are 'anachronisms' because all are stated -wrongly I assume- to represent the Blanchard and Jeffries flight of 1785, not the Green/ Nassau flight). The SM's 'Balloon over Cliffs' (certainly Dover, as they say, since Shakespeare Cliff is in the background even if the representation of the castle in the foreground is rather odd) also has a different car below to the others and a parachute descending, so it presumably has nothing to do with the Nassau flight of 1836 either.

The 'Calais' one is also strange, since the high fortified town shown on what must be the north side of the port does not look like Calais at all: the town does have an old citadel, much more low lying, and not a feature that one easily finds in pictures of Calais of this period-or any other - though better shown on old maps. The apparently horizontal tricoleur to the right is presumably also a mistake (since otherwise Russian) and, though on a wooden fortification on the south side of the harbour entrance, that at Calais (Fort Rouge) was a piled 'island' structure that was well out to seaward. I can't think of an alternative location so perhaps its just artist exaggeration, especially if basing his work on sketches taken on the Green flight from the air (which has been mentioned).

The paintings were acquired by the Science Museum as part of the much larger 'Penn-Gaskell Collection' of early aeronautica in 1950, but perhaps they are versions rather than any of those done for Hollond?

Martin Hopkinson,

May be the Science Museum could tells us more on the provenance based on the papers associated with the Penn- Gaskell collection acquisition?
Pieter's points are important and should be taken on board.
Monck Mason also made sketches on the trip and these were used for the lithographs in his 1838 book

Martin Hopkinson,

In December Monck Mason dedicated his 1836 'Account of the Aeronautical Expedition from London to Weilberg accompanied by Robert Hollond Esq., Monck Mason and Charles Green, Aeronaut ' to Hollond 'to whose liberal and enterprising spirit this late expedition owes its origin and success.'

His 1838 'Aeronautica ...' gives an expanded account and opposite p. 29 is an engraving 'The Great Balloon' after a sketch by Hollond. Three lithographs by A Butler after sketches by Mason show
1. The environs of Liege from the Balloon at night [opp. p.53]
2. The Balloon passing over Coblentz [opp. p.73]
3. Descent of the Balloon in the Valley of Elbern [ opp. p. 84]

The landing place was in fact 3 leagues from Weilberg and the same spot where Blanchard had landed on a 1785 flight from Frankfurt

Mason's 1838 book provides a long list of balloonists, including p. 253 Mr E Cox [sic] 21st September 1836

There is also an illustration [opp. p.230] of M. Garnerin's and Mr Cockling's parachutes

Mason wrote several letters to The Morning Herald and The Times about the flight

Martin Hopkinson,

Hatton Turnor, Astra Castra. Experimental Adventures in the Atmosphere, London, 1865 , pp. 137 - 158 covers the flight to Nassau, but contributes nothing to help us

opposite p. 262 is a photozincograph of The Ascent of Mr Sadler and Captain Paget from Hackney, August 1811 based on a drawing on the spot

Martin Hopkinson,

The port represented in 'The Balloon over Calais' is certainly puzzling - more like Granville on the Cotentin Peninsula. The aeronauts including Wollond would surely have pointed out that it is nothing like Calais. May be we should check if Green undertook another Cross Channel flight in a different direction?

Martin Hopkinson,

The old town of Boulogne is of course on a hill and was surrounded by walls - but it does not look very like this representation. Perhaps we should check topographical prints of the city. Green did fly over it from Hastings in a flight of spring 1841

Martin Hopkinson,

This lithograph is AFTER not by Cocks - that is he provided the drawing from which presumably an experienced specialist lithographer worked

Quite so: I was speaking generally, its a very similar linear technique used for the 'keys' to many dioramas/ panoramas etc, including in the 'books of songs' of Christmas theatre pantomimes at Drury Lane and Covent Garden in particular in the same period. Standard playbill/ advertising-printer souvenir fare.

While this one rather brackets 'general 19th century' and 'maritime' its been hanging around long enough. PCF and the various participants have already received my consolidated summary of what we have discovered here about Edward William Cocks, active c. 1825-43, for forwarding to the collection and as a basis for their own summary, so can we now wrap this up?

Two of the Cocks images in the Science Museum, including this one, relate to Charles Green's 1836 balloon flight from Vauxhall Gardens to Nassau: it is only the third which is not yet clearly identified in terms of event, since it shows a parachute descent from a balloon with a different form of gondola over Dover - but if that is to be pursued it should be specifically in relation to that canvas (which needs a more specific title) and is here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/paintings/balloon-over-cliffs-179790

Sorry for not having contributed to this. Peter summed it up the answer to the original question a month or so ago "... so we have Edward William Cocks, born c. 1803, active (presumably) c. 1820-43 as an 'ornamental' and scenic painter in non-theatrical public entertainments, primarily as house artist at Vauxhall Gardens, and a competent oil painter of landscape ballooning subjects -plus a modest tally of works in both categories. ..."

Peter summed it up the answer to the original question a month or so ago "... so we have Edward William Cocks, born c. 1803, active (presumably) c. 1820-43 as an 'ornamental' and scenic painter in non-theatrical public entertainments, primarily as house artist at Vauxhall Gardens, and a competent oil painter of landscape ballooning subjects -plus a modest tally of works in both categories. ..."

Jade King,

The collection has been contacted specifically about this recommendation.

Jade King,

The collection has been contacted again about this recommendation.

Thank you: I assume they got/retained the rather long edited 'sorting-out' of all the above which I think I cc'd to everyone involved, but if not please just ask for another copy.

Jade King,

The collection confirm the changes.