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Sir Sydney Carlyle Cockerell (July 16, 1867 – May 1, 1962) was a British museum curator, collector, and well-connected figure in the literary world.

He made his way initially as clerk in the coal business, until he met John Ruskin. According to John Ruskin by Tim Hilton (p.816) , around 1887 Cockerell sent Ruskin some sea shells, which he collected. At that time he had already met William Morris. Cockerell tried to patch up a quarrel between Ruskin and Octavia Hill (Hilton p. 832), who had been a friend of his late father Sydney John Cockerell, and godmother to his sister Olive.

From 1891 he gained a more solid entry to intellectual circles, working for the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. The architect Detmar Blow was a friend (Hilton p.843). He acted as private secretary to William Morris, becoming a major collector of Kelmscott Press books; was secretary also to Wilfrid Scawen Blunt; and was Thomas Hardy's executor. He was on friendly terms with Charlotte Mew, Viola Meynell, and T. H. White.

From 1908 to 1937 he was Director of the Fitzwilliam Museummarker, in Cambridge.

He appears as one of a circle of three figures in the book by Dame Felicitas Corrigan, The Nun, the Infidel, and the Superman, with Stanbrook Abbess Dame Laurentia McLachlan and George Bernard Shaw. It was later dramatised by Hugh Whitemore as The Best of Friends, which was produced on stage at the Hampstead Theatremarker in 2006 [258556] and on TV in 1991 [258557].


The bee expert Theodore Dru Alison Cockerell (1866–1948), who settled in the USA, was his brother, as was the book binder Douglas Bennett Cockerell (1870-1945). The inventor Christopher Cockerell was his son, and the book binder Sydney Maurice Cockerell his nephew.


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