As Seen In:
"The Best Of Friends"
Sir John Gielgud
Sir Sydney Carlyle Cockerell (1867-1962) 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 Museum, in Cambridge.