William COOKE

Member of Parliament

Born: 1537, Gidea Hall, Essex, England

Died: 14 May 1589, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Middlesex, England

Buried: 19 May 1589, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Middlesex, England

Father: Anthony COOKE of Gidea Hall (Sir)


Married: Frances GREY 28 Aug 1569


1. Francis COOKE (b. ABT 1566 - d. 1675, Boston, Massachusetts)

2. Anne COOKE

3. Mildred COOKE

4. William COOKE (b. 21 Sep 1574 - d. 5 Jul 1579)

5. Frances COOKE

6. William COOKE of Highnam Court (Sir Knight)

7. Anthony COOKE (b. 23 Sep 1583 - d. 19 Feb 1587)

8. Thomas COOKE (b. 10 Oct 1584 - d. 5 Jul 1585)

9. John COOKE (b. 30 Oct 1575)

10. Edward COOKE (b. 31 Dec 1576 - d. 19 Sep 1591)

The details in this biography come from the History of Parliament, a biographical dictionary of Members of the House of Commons.

Second surv. son of Sir Anthony Cooke of Gidea Hall and bro. of Richard. Educ. ?Peterhouse, Camb. 1553, ?Trinity Hall, Camb. 1554; ?G. Inn 1554. Married Frances, da. of Lord John Grey of Pirgo, Essex. Clerk of the faculties 1560; clerk of the liveries in ct. of wards from 3 Oct 1562; escheator, Essex and Herts. 1574-5; j.p.q. Mdx. from c.1583.

Cooke's early career is difficult to distinguish from those of his many namesakes. Possibly instead of receiving a formal education in England he accompanied his father into exile during the reign of Queen Mary. He owed his seats in Elizabeth's first two Parliaments to his brother-in-law Sir William Cecil, who was no doubt anxious to reinforce the radical protestant group in the House of Commons. Cecil also obtained for him a lucrative office in the court of wards, partly to provide for Sir Anthony Cooke in his old age; Cooke secured the reversion for his own son shortly before his death. He accompanied the Queen on her progress to Cambridge in 1564 and was made an MA of the university. In 1569 he was granted the wardship of Thomas, son of Walter Strickland. He resided mainly in London, though he had lands also in Essex, Warwickshire, Devon and Kent. His will, made 6 Mar 1588 and proved 9 Dec 1589, is that of a wealthy man. He left 1,000 each to his elder daughters, 800 to the youngest, and smaller legacies to his three sons upon whom he entailed his lands. The afflicted French and Dutch church received 10. Henry Killigrew, Sir Henry Grey, Francis Bacon, James Morice and Francis Rome were executors, and Lord Burghley was overseer. Thomas Windebank and Vincent Skinner were among the witnesses. This most zealous and virtuous gent. died 14 May 1589 and was buried at St. Martin-in-the-Fields on the 19th.


Nichols, Progresses Eliz. i. 180

Par. Reg. St. Martin-in-the-Fields (Had. Soc. Reg. XXV), 17, 131, 133.

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