Corys of London & Cambridge

CAMBRIDGE: We have in our records some descendants of Norfolk Corys who resided in Cambridge. James Cory  (1733-1793) Rector of Kettlestone, was Moderator of Cambridge University and Head of Perse School (Norfolk Corys Table A4) and John Cory (1651-1727) Rector of Landbeach. (Norfolk Corys Table A11)

However, it was Reginald Radcliffe Cory (1871-1934) of the South Wales branch who is especially known for his association with Cambridge.  He was sent from Wales to study law at Trinity College in 1892 and was inspired by the special Botanic Gardens. In 1906 Reginald began to develop the garden at his family home at Dyffryn House, open today under RHS.

Reginald Radcliffe Cory gave generously during his lifetime, bequeathing much of his fortune to Cambridge University Botanic Garden, regularly making up the shortfall in the Garden's running costs from 1919-34. Reginald's bequest provided the Limestone Terraces in the 1950's and new books are bought annually from the Cory Fund.  After his death bequests were made of his collections; priceless books to RHS Lindley Library; stunning porcelain to the Fitzwilliam and British Museums. (Tree English Corys: D1)

Cory Lodge was built in 1924/5 as a residence for the Director of the Botanic Garden, and was converted to a library and administrative offices in 1984/5. There is a rose of the 'shrub species'  grown at Cory Lodge called the Rosa xcoryana H which is a deep shade of pink, an example of which is featured on our home page. Reginald Cory's cup is awarded each year for the best hybrid.

A quote from the Alumni Cantebrigiensis reads:

"Very short-sighted,
he is said to have
pursued a hen down Windsor Hill, under the belief that she was his own lost hat."

William Johnson Cory

William Johnson Cory was a fellow of King's College, Cambridge.  He was a pupil at Eton from 1832-1841, and a master, from 1845-1872.  He wrote Ionica; Clovelly Beach, nine stanzas of  three-line verse- published in the Devonian Year Book 1931; and the famous Eton Boating Song, first published in the June 1865 issue of the Eton Scrap Book, the Royalties supplying the Drummond-Cory music prize, (Drummond being the composer of the music).

Yet he was not born a Cory but changed his name appending Cory to William Johnson. William chose the Cory name after his paternal grandmother Bridget Johnson, neé Cory, (baptised Marhamchurch, Cornwall in 1740) who was the daughter of John and Dorothy Cory of the Holsworthy line of mercers and clergy, a line that goes back to John Cory who was buried at Holsworthy on 22 January 1692. (Tree English Corys: H1 & H2)

 From the poem: - A House and a Girl

William Johnson Cory (1823-1892)

The strawberry tree and the crimson thorn
And Fanny's myrtle, and William's vine,
And honey of beautiful jessamine,
Are gone from the homestead where I was born.

I gaze from my Grandfather's terrace wall,
And then I bethink how once I slept,
Through rooms where my Mother had blest me,
and wept,
To yield them to strangers, and part with them all.