Matthew Cocking (1743 - 1799)

He was born in England to Richard Cochin & Jane Carlton. Matthew sailed to Hudson Bay in the company's (Hudson Bay Company) ship, the King George, landing at York Factory in September of 1765. In June of 1772 he began his inland journey's to the plains of Saskatchewan (and the Blackfoot), returning to York Factory in June of the next year. He warned his superiors of the intrusion of the "pedlers" from Montreal on Hudson Bay Company lands and advised pushing trading operations inland. Cocking with Samuel Hearne were ordered to establish HBC's first inland settlement from York Factory (Cumberland House), he left York factory in July of 1774. He never caught up with Hearne (who left before him), instead wintering up the Red Deer River and arriving back at York Factory in June the next year. The winter of 1775/76 he releived Hearne at the Cumberland House, competing with the Montreal "pedlers" in the area. Until Cocking took command of York Factory himself in 1781, he wintered inland competing with traders of the North West Company from Montreal. Matthew Cocking wrote in August 1782 from York Factory: "...I believe never Letter in Hudson's Bay conveyed more doleful Tidings than this. Much the greatest part of the Indians whose Furrs have been formerly & hitherto brought to this Place are now no more, having been carried off by that cruel disorder the Small Pox. ... the whole tribe of U'Basquiou Indians ... are extinct except one Child...". In August of 1782 he returned to England in the same ship which brought him 17 years before. He settled near York, England where a sister & half-brother lived and died in Easingwold, England. Matthew had three native wives 1) A-pis-ta-squa-sish 2) Le-lo-es-com 3) Ke-che-cho-wick. His son-in-laws by his metis daughters were: Thomas Stayner (b.1770 London), William Hemmings Cook (b.1768 England - d.1838 Manitoba), John Pocock Holmes and a Mr.Budd.