Cooke, Anthony (DNB00)

COOKE, Sir ANTHONY (1504–1576), tutor to Edward VI and politician, born in 1504, was the son of John Cooke of Gidea Hall, Essex, by Alice Saunders, and great-grandson of Sir Thomas Cooke [q. v.], lord mayor of London in 1462. He was privately educated, and rapidly acquired, according to his panegyrist Lloyd, vast learning in Latin, Greek, poetry, history, and mathematics. He lived a retired and studious life in youth; married Anne, daughter of Sir William Fitzwilliam of Milton, Northamptonshire, and Gains Park, Essex, and was by her the father of a large family. To the education of his children he directed all his energies. His daughters Mildred, subsequently wife of Lord Burghley, and Ann, subsequently wife of Sir Nicholas Bacon [see Bacon, Ann, Lady], became, under his instruction, the most learned women in England. His success as a teacher in his own family, with whom the son of Lord Seymour was for a time educated, led to his appointment as tutor to Prince Edward (afterwards Edward VI). At his pupil's coronation Cooke was made knight of the Bath. On 8 Nov. 1547 he was returned to parliament for Lewes, and in the same year was one of the visitors commissioned by the crown to inspect the dioceses of London, Westminster, Norwich, and Ely; the injunctions drawn up by him and his companions are printed in Foxe's ‘Acts and Monuments.’ Two years later he served on two ecclesiastical commissions, of markedly protestant tendencies. In November and December 1551 he attended the discussion held between Roman catholics and protestants at the houses of Sir William Cecil and Sir Richard Moryson, and his public services were rewarded (27 Oct. 1552) with a grant of land. On 27 July 1553 he was committed to the Tower on suspicion of complicity in Lady Jane Grey's movement, but in May 1554 arrived in Strasburg and attended Peter Martyr's lectures there. He stayed at Strasburg, where he became intimate with the scholar Sturm, for the following four years, and regularly corresponded with his son-in-law Cecil (Hatfield Calendar, i. 140–146). On Elizabeth's accession he returned home; was elected M.P. for Essex (23 Jan. 1558–9, and 11 Jan. 1562–3), and carried the Act of Uniformity to the House of Lords. In the discussion of this bill Cooke differed from all his friends. He ‘defends,’ wrote Bishop Jewel to Peter Martyr, ‘a scheme of his own, and is very angry with all of us’ (Zurich Letters, Parker Soc. 32). Cooke was nominated a commissioner for visiting Cambridge University (20 June 1559), the dioceses of Norwich and Ely (21 Aug. 1559), and Eton College (September 1561), and for receiving the oaths of ecclesiastics (20 Oct. 1559). In 1565 he was steward of the liberty of Havering-atte-Bower, and three years later received Queen Elizabeth at Gidea Hall, the rebuilding of which, begun by his great-grandfather, he had then just completed. The house was pulled down early in the last century. In July 1572 he was associated with the lord mayor in the government of London in the temporary absence of Elizabeth, and was commissioner of oyer and terminer for Essex (20 Oct. 1573) and an ecclesiastical commissioner (23 April 1576). Cooke died 11 June 1576, and was buried in the church of Romford, Essex, where many other members of his family were buried. An elaborate monument, inscribed with Latin and English verse, was erected there to his memory. By his wife he had four sons, Anthony, Richard, Edward (M.A. Cambridge 1564), William (M.A. Cambridge 1564), and five daughters. The eldest daughter, Mildred, became second wife of William Cecil, lord Burghley; Ann was second wife of Sir Nicholas Bacon; Margaret was wife of Sir Ralph Rowlett, and was buried on 3 Aug. 1558 at St. Mary Staining, London; Elizabeth was wife first of Sir Thomas Hoby, and secondly of John, lord Russell, son of Francis, second earl of Bedford; and Katharine was wife of Sir Henry Killigrew. Cooke's executors under his will, dated 22 May 1576, and proved 5 March 1576–7, were his sons-in-law Bacon and Burghley and his two surviving sons Richard and William. The heir, Richard, steward of the liberty of Havering-atte-Bower, born in 1531, died 3 Oct. 1579, and was succeeded by his son Anthony (1559–1604), with the death of whose third son, William, in 1650, the male line of the family became extinct (Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. xii. 480).

A Latin translation, dated 1560, of Gregory Nazianzen's ‘Theophania,’ attributed to Cooke, is in the British Museum (MS. Royal 5 E. xvii). He contributed Latin verses to the collections published on the deaths of Martin Bucer, Catherine and Margaret Neville, and to Carr's translation of ‘Demosthenes.’ The ‘Diallacticon de veritate natura atque substantia corporis et sanguinis Christi in Eucharistia,’ edited by Cooke and first published in 1557, is not by him, but by his friend John Ponet or Poynet, bishop successively of Rochester and Winchester, whose library came into Cooke's possession on the bishop's death in 1556. Peter Martyr's ‘Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans,’ 1558, was dedicated to Cooke. Five letters addressed by Sturm, Cooke's Strasburg friend, to Cooke between 1565 and 1567 are printed with ‘Roger Ascham's Letters’ (ed. 1864, ii. 93, 116, 121, 162, 164). They are chiefly requests for protection in behalf of foreign scholars visiting England.

[Cooper's Athenæ Cantab. i. 351–3, 563; Morant's Essex; Froude's Hist. ch. xxxvi.; Biog. Brit. (Kippis), 94–100; Ballard's Memoirs of Learned Ladies; Strype's Cranmer (1845), ii. 856; Strype's Cheke, 22, 47, 155; Strype's Memorials, II. i. 74, 385, III. i. vi. 24, 232; Strype's Annals I. i. 151, II. ii. 86; Burnet's Reformation; Fuller's Church Hist. ed. Brewer; Camden's Annals; Lloyd's Worthies; Fuller's Worthies. A pedigree of the family has been compiled from original sources by Mr. E. J. Sage of Stoke Newington.]

S. L. L.