|Church||Church of England|
|Born||2 June 1773|
|Died||30 April 1858|
|Parents||Sir James Cockburn, 8th Baronet and Augusta Anne Ayscough|
|Alma mater||St John's College, Cambridge|
Sir William Cockburn, 11th Baronet  (2 June 1773 – 30 April 1858, Kelston)  was a Church of England clergyman. He was Dean of York (1823–1858) and was famously defended on a charge of simony by his nephew Sir Alexander Cockburn, 12th Baronet in 1841.
Cockburn was the third son of Sir James Cockburn, 8th Baronet and his second wife Augusta Anne Ayscough. His maternal grandfather was Francis Ayscough, Dean of Bristol. In 1853 Cockburn was made a baronet after the death of his brother, George.
In 1805, he married Elizabeth Peel (died 16 June 1828  ), sister of Sir Robert Peel.  She gave birth to three sons. James, the eldest, died in 1845 at the age of 38,  Robert, the second son, died in 1850, aged 42,  and George, the third son, died in 1850, aged 37.  In 1830 Cockburn married Margaret Pearce, the daughter of a Colonel Pearce, but they had no children. 
Cockburn was educated at Charterhouse School and St John's College, Cambridge, graduating as twelfth wrangler in 1795 and receiving his MA in 1798 and DD in 1823.  A fellow of St John's from 1796 to 1806, he was the first Christian Advocate of Cambridge University from 1803 to 1810.   He was also a vocal scriptural geologist. 
William Cockburn was ordained in the Church of England as a deacon in 1800 and as priest the following year. In 1822 he became the Dean of York, the chief place of authority and dignity in the cathedral and a position he held until his death in 1858.   From 1832 onwards he was also rector of Kelston, Somerset, near Bristol, where he generally spent half the year. 
In 1824 he was elected as a Vice-President of the Yorkshire Philosophical Society. 
At age 84, Cockburn died in Kelston on 30 April 1858, after more than a year of growing infirmities. 
In 1829 a fanatical Methodist set fire to the Minster causing considerable damage. As Dean, Cockburn was responsible to manage the repairs, which he did not do well. A second, accidental fire in 1840 again caused massive damage. Conflicts over the restoration work and Cockburn's unwise financial management finally reached a boiling point in 1841, when a York prebendary accused Cockburn of simony. Cockburn was foolishly frank, muddled his accounts, used repair funds for non-repair purposes, was intolerable to clear-thinking accountants and made too many independent decisions. Eventually, litigation involving the Archbishop of York led to a judgment deposing Cockburn from the Deanery. Cockburn appealed to the court of the Queen's Bench, which ruled "almost contemptuously" in favour of Cockburn, being particularly critical of the prosecuting attorney, Dr. Phillimore, Regius Professor of Civil Law at Oxford, for his ignorance of the applicable laws. The reputation of the Minster suffered badly from this affair. However, the whole city of York was pleased that Cockburn was still dean and tried to raise money to give him a token of their respect. When Cockburn discovered the plan, he insisted they not do it because it would foster unpleasant memories for everyone. 
Historian Gillespie describes even "reasonably respectable" Cockburn's views as clerical "fulminations against science in general and all its works",  and listed his works  as among "clerical attacks on geology and uninformed attempts to frame theoretical systems reconciling the geological and scriptural records." 
Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet, was a British Conservative statesman who served twice as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom simultaneously serving as Chancellor of the Exchequer (1834-1835) and twice as Home Secretary. He is regarded as the father of modern British policing, owing to his founding of the Metropolitan Police Service. Peel was one of the founders of the modern Conservative Party.
Earl Peel is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. The Peel family descends from Robert Peel, eldest son of a wealthy cotton merchant. The family lands, known as Drayton Manor, in the County of Stafford would become more commonly known in modern-day as an amusement park. The family seat is Elmire House, near Ripon, North Yorkshire.
Lord Aylmer, Baron of Balrath, in the County of Meath, is a title in the Peerage of Ireland. It was created in 1718 for the naval commander Matthew Aylmer, the second son of Sir Christopher Aylmer, 1st Baronet, of Balrath. Lord Aylmer's son, the second Baron, represented Rye in the House of Commons. The latter's grandson, the fourth Baron, succeeded his kinsman as seventh Baronet, of Balrath, in 1776. The titles remain united. He was succeeded in both titles by his son, the fifth Baron. He was a general in the Army and served as Governor General of Canada from 1830 to 1835. Lord Aylmer assumed by Royal licence the additional surname of Whitworth in 1825 on the death of his uncle Charles Whitworth, 1st Earl Whitworth. On his death the titles passed to his younger brother, the sixth Baron. He was an admiral in the Royal Navy.
Thomas Philip de Grey, 2nd Earl de Grey, 3rd Baron Grantham, 6th Baron Lucas, KG, PC, FRS, of Wrest Park in the parish of Silsoe, Bedfordshire, was a British Tory statesman. Born "Thomas Philip Robinson", his surname changed to "Weddell" in 1803 and to "de Grey" in 1833.
William Conyngham Plunket, 1st Baron Plunket, PC (Ire), QC was an Irish politician and lawyer. After gaining public notoriety as the prosecutor in the treason trial of Robert Emmet in 1803, he rose rapidly in government service. He become Lord Chancellor of Ireland in 1830 and served, with a brief interruption, in that post until his retirement in 1841.
William Yates Peel, was a British Tory politician.
Sir George Savile, 8th Baronet of Thornhill FRS was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1759 to 1783.
Sir Francis Cockburn served in the British Army, played an important role in the early settlement of eastern Canada and was a colonial administrator.
Sir Alexander James Edmund Cockburn, 12th Baronet was a British jurist and politician who served as the Lord Chief Justice for 21 years. He heard some of the leading causes célèbres of the nineteenth century.
Ainscough is an Old Norse, Scandinavian surname, also spelled Ayscough, Aiskew, Askew, Ascough and Aynscough.
There have been two Cockburn Baronetcies in the Baronetage of Nova Scotia.
Sir James Cockburn, 8th Baronet was a Member of the Parliament of Great Britain for Linlithgow Burghs from 1772 to 1784 and a Director of the East India Company.
Sir James Cockburn, 9th Baronet, of Langton, Berwickshire was British Governor of Bermuda from 1811 to 1812, from 1814 to 1816 and from 1817 to 1819.
Lady Cockburn and Her Three Eldest Sons (1775) is an oil on canvas portrait by Joshua Reynolds. Work began on the picture in 1773, and, in Grand Manner fashion, Reynolds exploited two classical paintings: the attitude of the child on the left was modelled on Cupid in Velázquez's Toilet of Venus whilst the general composition was inspired by Anthony van Dyck's Charity. The painting passed to Mister Cockburn's son George, and then to his daughter, Mrs Hamilton, the wife of Sir James Hamilton. It was bequeathed to London's National Gallery in 1906. The painting is one of the few signed by Reynolds: Lady Cockburn's dress bears his signature and the year 1775.
Scriptural geologists were a heterogeneous group of writers in the early nineteenth century, who claimed "the primacy of literalistic biblical exegesis" and a short Young Earth time-scale. Their views were marginalised and ignored by the scientific community of their time. They "had much the same relationship to 'philosophical' geologists as their indirect descendants, the twentieth-century creationists." Paul Wood describes them as "mostly Anglican evangelicals" with "no institutional focus and little sense of commonality". They generally lacked any background in geology, and had little influence even in church circles.
Sir Charles William Strickland, 8th Baronet was an English barrister and a rower who was in the winning crew in the first Grand Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta. He was President of the Yorkshire Philosophical Society.
Sir Charles Turner, 1st Baronet was a British politician and Lord Mayor of York.
Charles Wellbeloved was an English Unitarian divine and archaeologist.
Augustus Duncombe was Dean of York from 1858 until his death.
Sir George Savile, 1st Baronet of Thornhill was an English politician and the lineal ancestor of the Marquesses of Halifax.
In this work he defined his job as Christian advocate to be "to offer replies, according to the best of his abilities, to such new arrangements as may be published against the divine mission of Jesus Christ" (p. 3). Here he complained of the inadequate undergraduate training of men for the ministry and offered suggestions for improving theological and ecclesiastical knowledge.