In 1801 he joined the Batavian navy, and by 1807 was posted to the Dutch East Indies. In 1821 he commanded a military expedition to Palembang to suppress a local uprising. Later, as lieutenant governor-general (1826-1830), De Kock led the fight against Prince Diponegoro in the Java War.
The triumphant commander was declared a baron in 1835, and served in the Dutch government as minister of foreign affairs and minister of state from 1836-1842. He remained a member of the upper chamber of parliament until his death. He died in The Hague on April 12, 1845.