The collection contains 55 letters from English museum curator Sir Sydney Cockerell (1867-1962)
chiefly to American scholar Muriel J. Hughes (born 1903), as well as some additional letters to Hughes from Cockerell's secretary
Dorothy Hawksley (1884-1970), and a few later pieces of ephemera.
Sir Sydney Carlyle Cockerell (1867-1962) was born on July 16, 1867. He married Florence Kate
Kingsford (died 1949) in 1907, and had two daughters and one son. From 1889-1892, he
worked as a coal merchant before going to work as a secretary to William Morris and
the Kelmscott press 1892-1898. Between 1900-1904, he was in a partnership with Sir
Emery Walker. At the age of 70, Cockerell retired after being the director of the
Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge for 30 years (1908-1937). Just before and a couple
years after leaving the Fitzwilliam Museum, he was the European Adviser to Felton
Trustees of National Gallery of Victoria, 1936-1939. During his long career, he was
Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge, 1910-1916, and of Downing College, 1932-1937. He
was the literary executor of William Morris, Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, and Thomas Hardy.
He was knighted in 1934 by the King of England. He was Hon. Litt. D. Cambridge; and
Hon. Fellow of Downing College since 1937. For the last 10 years of his life, he was
confined to his bed after heart problems. He died on May 1, 1962.
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