Corker Family


The Corker Family in Ireland

A family history (pdf file) of the antecedents of Major-General Thomas Martin Corker is in Burke’s Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry, 1937, Irish Supplement.

A marriage licence dated 10 February 1631/2 was granted in the Archdeaconry of Chester for Robert Corker and Anne Jackson, ‘spinster of Prestbury, Cheshire’. Their wedding took place on 11 June 1632 at Prestbury, a village about 1.5 miles north of Macclesfield, Cheshire (1). Two of their sons settled in Dublin, Ireland: Edward Corker, born 1636, and Thomas Corker, born 1638.

In 1661 and 1663 Edward Corker and Thomas Corker respectively were admitted freemen of Dublin as members of the merchants’ guild (2).

Edward Corker (1636–1702) founded a sugar refinery in partnership with John Waller. The business was described in State Papers for Ireland dated 3 January 1668: (3)

Corker and Waller set forth by their petition that they have set up the manufacture of refining sugar in Ireland, and are the first persons to bring in that sort of manufacture to that kingdom. In their first attempt to do the same they lost two ships upon that coast laden with ‘utensells’ prepared for the work, worth £1,200. Besides that they have been at great charge in bringing the same to such perfection that they are able to refine more sugars yearly than in that our kingdom is expended and to sell them at easier rates than the like commodity can be imported from abroad.

In 1668 Edward Corker financed the rebuilding of the church at Carrickbrennan, the early name of Monkstown, near Dublin. An account states that the church had a weathercock with the initials E.C. [Edward Corker] and the date 1668 (4).

Edward Corker was Registrar in Court of Chancery in Dublin 16 June 1669. In the Irish Parliament he served as MP for Ratoath 1692–93, 1695–99 (5).

Edward Corker married Hester (Esther), the daughter of Sir Daniel Bellingham, the Lord Mayor of Dublin 1665–66. The parish register of St Michan’s Church, Dublin records baptisms of children of ‘Captain Edward Corker, also Corcor’, and his wife Esther: a son Bellingham, 29 May 1683, and a daughter Arabella, 30 November 1685 (6).

Edward Corker died 31 March 1702. He was buried at St Werburgh’s Church, Dublin, where a monument to his memory was installed (7).

Edward’s brother, the Dublin merchant Thomas Corker, married Abigail, the daughter of John Chambre of Stormanstown, County Louth. Thomas and Abigail Corker had four sons: Edward, born about 1666, Chambre, born 1677, Thomas, and William.

Edward Corker (ca. 1666–1734) had an active military career. In 1689 he was Ensign in Earl of Meath’s Regiment of Foot (previously commanded by Sir John Edgeworth, and later 18th Royal Irish). On 1 July 1690 the Earl of Meath’s regiment participated in the battle of the Boyne. Edward Corker was Captain-Lieutenant in Colonel Frederick Hamilton’s Regiment 24 August 1693 and Captain 20 August 1694. There is a record that Edward Corker was at the siege of Namur (in present-day Belgium) (8).

    The Siege of Namur, 1695, by Jan van Huchtenburg.
    In the foreground King William III, dressed in grey,
    confers with the Elector of Bavaria (from Wikipedia ).

Edward Corker sat in the Irish Parliament from 1713, until his death in January 1734, as MP for Rathcormack (County Cork) 1713–14, Midleton (County Cork) 1715–27, and Clonmines (County Wexford) 1727–34 (9). Edward Corker was High Sheriff of County Cork in 1719.

He married Margaret, the daughter of Peter Wallis of Shanagarry, County Cork. Margaret died July 1721 and was commemorated with a monument in St Colman’s Cathedral, Cloyne, County Cork (10). There is no record of surviving children from this marriage. The parish register of St Werburgh’s Church, Dublin records that Edward Corker, Esq., aged 67, of Eustace Street, was buried 29 January 1733/4 (11).

The Corker Coat-of-Arms

On 14 September 1666 Edward Corker, the Dublin merchant, was granted a coat-of-arms by Richard St George, the Ulster King-of-Arms of Ireland. In 1696 a renewed grant for a coat-of-arms was given to Edward Corker’s nephew and namesake Edward Corker of Dublin (12).

The Corker Arms displayed in
Burke’s Genealogical and Heraldic
History of the Landed Gentry
1937, Irish Supplement, page 2561.

The Latin motto below the shield is:   Sacrificium Deo Cor Contritum.
An English translation is:   My contrite heart is a sacrifice to God.
The Bible refers to a contrite heart. Psalm 51:17 says:
          My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken
          and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.


(1) FamilySearch Historical Records online.

(2) Freemen of Dublin online database , Dublin City Archives.
In 1651 the merchant John Corker was admitted a freeman of Dublin. From the Corker family history in Burke’s Landed Gentry (1937, Irish Supplement) it appears that John Corker was the uncle of the Dublin merchants Edward and Thomas Corker.

(3) Calendar of the State Papers relating to Ireland, 1666–1669, edited by Robert Pentland Mahaffy, London, 1908, p. 561 (available at State Papers Online 1509–1714 ).
Possibly the sugar was shipped to Dublin from Barbados. The development of sugar production in Barbados in the seventeenth century is described in Dr Karl Watson, Slavery and Economy in Barbados, BBC History online .

(4) Francis Elrington Ball, A history of the County Dublin; the people, parishes and antiquities from the earliest times to the close of the eighteenth century, Dublin, 1902, p. 42 (Internet Archive ). In the 1780s plans were started for the building of a new, larger Monkstown Church on a different site; the church built in 1668 by Edward Corker was left to become a ruin.

(5) Career details for Edward Corker are given in: Edith Mary Johnston-Liik, History of the Irish parliament, 1692–1800, 2002, Vol. 3, pp. 508–9. This reference gives a military career for Edward Corker that should be attributed to his nephew Edward Corker.

(6) Irish Genealogy . Pages of the transcribed parish register can be viewed.

(7) Benjamin William Adams, History and Description of Santry and Cloghran Parishes, County Dublin, 1883, p. 35 (Google eBook online).

(8) Corker may have been with Colonel Frederick Hamilton’s Regiment documented in the report: An exact account of the siege of Namur; with a perfect diary of the Campagne in Flanders, from the King's departure ... May the 12th to his return to London, Octob. 11th, 1695, p. 37 (Google eBook online).

(9) Edith Mary Johnston-Liik, History of the Irish parliament, 1692–1800, 2002, Vol. 3, pp. 508–9.

(10) C. M. Tenison, ‘Cork M.P.’s, 1559–1800’, Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, 1895, p. 234 (Google eBook online); Richard Caulfield, Annals of the Cathedral of St Coleman, Cloyne, Cork, 1882 (Internet Archive ).

(11) Irish Genealogy . Online images of the parish register can be viewed.

(12) R. Day, ‘Heraldry: The Corker Arms’, Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, 1894, pp. 153–154.

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