Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Coke, George

COKE or COOKE, GEORGE, D.D. (d. 1646), bishop successively of Bristol and Hereford, was brother of Sir John Coke [q. v.], secretary of state, and son of Richard Coke of Trusley, Derbyshire, by Mary his wife, daughter and heiress of Thomas Sacheverell of Kirby, Nottinghamshire (Wood, Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, ii. 882). He was educated at Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, where he obtained a fellowship, and in 1605 he was junior taxor of the university (Addit. MS. 5865, f. 65 b). After taking orders he obtained the rectory of Bygrave, Hertfordshire, where, Fuller quaintly observes, ' a lean village (consisting of but three houses) maketh a fat living ' (Worthies, ed. Nichols, i. 255; Chauncey, Hertfordshire, ed. 1700, p. 45). On 10 Feb. 1632-3 he was consecrated bishop of Bristol (Godwin, De Præsulibus, ed. Richardson, pp. 497, 565), and in July 1636 he was translated to the see of Hereford (Le Neve, Fasti, ed. Hardy, i. 216, 471). During the rebellion he was one of the protesting bishops, and was imprisoned on that account. When Colonel Birch [see Birch, John, 1616-1691] took the city of Hereford in 1645, he rifled the bishop's palace and after wards took up his habitation there till the Restoration. Moreover he had great part of the revenues of the see to his own use, 'and to this day,' wrote Walker in 1714, 'the manor of Whitborn, by the sorry compliance of some who might have prevented it, continues in his family' (Sufferings of the Clergy, ii. 94). The bishop died at Quedgley, Gloucestershire, 10 Dec. 1646, and was buried in Erdesley parish church. After the Restoration a handsome altar-monument was erected to his memory in Hereford Cathedral (Rawlinson, Hist. of Hereford, p. 218).

[Authorities cited above; also Lloyd's Memoires (1677), p. 600; Fuller's Church Hist. lib. xi. 183; Heylyn's Cyprianus Anglicus (1671), pp. 214, 459, 460.]

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