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Cook, Robert (1646?-1726?) (DNB00)


COOK, ROBERT (1646?–1726?), vegetarian, son of Robert Cook, esq., of Cappoquin, co. Waterford, was born about 1646. He was a very rich and eccentric gentleman, and generally went by the name of ‘Linen Cook,’ because he wore only linen garments, and used linen generally for other purposes. During the troubles in the reign of James II he fled to England and resided for some time at Ipswich (Addit. MS. 19166, f. 64). During his absence the parliament held at Dublin on 7 May 1689 declared him to be attainted as a traitor if he failed to return to Ireland by 1 Sept. following. His first wife was a Bristol lady, and in consequence of his visits to that city he caused a pile of stones to be erected on a rock in the Bristol Channel, which, after him, was called ‘Cook's Folly.’ By his second wife, whose name was Cecilia or Cicily, he had three sons and two daughters (Burke, Patrician, iv. 64). He died about 1726, and by his will directed that his body should be interred in the cathedral or church called ‘Tempul’ at Youghal, and that his shroud should be made ‘of linen.’

Cook was ‘a kind of Pythagorean philosopher, and for many years neither eat fish, flesh, butter, &c., nor drank any kind of fermented liquor, nor wore woollen clothes, or and other produce of an animal, but linen’ (C. Smith, Ancient and Present State of Waterford, edit. 1774, p. 371). In 1691 he published a paper (reprinted in Smith's ‘Waterford’), giving an explanation of his peculiar religious principles. The Athenian Society wrote an answer to his paper and refuted his notions.

[Authorities cited above.]

T. C.