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For other people named William Cotton, see William Cotton (disambiguation). William Cotton FRS (12 September 1786 - 1 December 1866) was an English inventor, merchant, philanthropist, and Governor of the Bank of England from 1842 to 1845. Cotton was born in Leyton, the son of Joseph Cotton, who made his fortune with the East India Company. He was educated at the nearby Chigwell Grammar School. His father was Joseph Cotton, Deputy Master of Trinity House in 1803, and a director of the East India Company. His brother, John Cotton, later became a director and chairman of the East India Company. In 1807 Cotton became a partner in the cordage manufacturers, Huddart & Co., in Limehouse, and was later general manager until, 1838. He became governor of the Bank of England in 1842, with the usual term of two years being extended to three in recognition of his securing a new charter for the bank with the passage of the 1844 Bank Charter Act. During his time at the bank, he developed a machine for the weighing of gold sovereigns, which was capable of weighing twenty-three coins every minute to an accuracy of one ten-thousandth of a grain. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society from 1821. He served as High Sheriff of Essex in 1838[1]. In his lifetime Cotton was active in the funding Canon Nathaniel Woodard's national network of Woodard Schools, and passive in the funding and establishment of new churches throughout the East End of London. He married in 1812; to Sarah Lane, a daughter of Thomas Lane of Leyton Grange. Their son William Charles Cotton was a clergyman and apiarist; another son was the eminent jurist Henry Cotton. References ^ London Gazette: no. 19586. p. 232. 1 February 1838. Retrieved 2008-09-21. External links Works by William Cotton at Project Gutenberg "William Cotton 1786 - 1866". Halhed genealogy & family trees. Retrieved 2011-02-24.  Biography at Everybody's Guide to Money Matters at Government offices Preceded by Sir John Henry Pelly Governor of the Bank of England 1842 - 1745 Succeeded by John Benjamin Heath Persondata Name Cotton, William Alternative names Short description Date of birth 12 September 1786 Place of birth Date of death 1 December 1866 Place of death