Bornpossibly Yorkshire, England, circa1520–1530
DiedLondon, England, 1591
Humphrey Cole was a highly skilled scientific instrument maker.
While the date of Humphrey Cole’s birth is unknown, his writings suggest it was around 1520–1530. He was raised in the north of England, most likely Yorkshire. Cole’s wife Elizabeth survived him, and it is not known if he had any children.
Cole’s early employment for the Crown in the Tower mint from around 1558 to about 1578 shaped his later life work. As a diesinker or sinker of irons, his job was to produce the dies used to strike coins. Feeling that the salary was “lacking sufficient maintenance for me and my family,” Cole looked for additional sources of income. His metallurgical knowledge helped him become part of the group that established the Company of Mineral and Battery Works, which received its Royal Charter in 1568. In addition, the Crown appointed him in 1577 and 1578 to be one of the cómmissioners who examined the ore brought by Martin...
- Ackerman, Silke, Humphrey Cole: mint, measurement, and maps in Elizabethan England, 1998, London, British Museum.Google Scholar
- Gunther, R.T., “The Great Astrolabe and Other Scientific Instruments of Humphrey Cole” in Archaeologia, or, Miscellaneous tracts relating to antiquity, volume 76, also called Second Series: volume 26 (1927), pp. 273–317, Oxford, Society of Antiquaries of LondonGoogle Scholar