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Coke
Coke
249

and episcopalian churches in America. Porteus consulted John Moore, archbishop of Canterbury, who rejected the proposal, construing it as involving 'a presumption that all the regularly ordained clergy of the church of England are immoral.' It is impossible to follow the record of Coke's cosmopolitan labours in the mission field. In this department neither zeal nor resource ever failed him. By the conference of 1804 the committee for the management of foreign missions was reorganised, with Coke, 'the general superintendent of all the missions,' as its president. He never surrendered his own direct control of the work of the missionaries, who, on their part, were devoted to him. His last enterprise was a voyage undertaken with a view to promote the evangelisation of India. Early in 1813 he had unsuccessfully applied to the prime minister, Lord Liverpool, for the appointment of bishop in India, offering 'to return most fully into the bosom of the established church.' He set sail from Portsmouth in the Cabalva on 30 Dec. 1813. On the voyage his health failed; six days after passing the island of Galega, in the Indian Ocean, he was found dead of apoplexy in his cabin on 3 May 1814. His body was committed to the deep. In 1828 a monument was erected to his memory in the Priory church of Brecon. He married, first, in April 1805, Penelope Goulding (d. 25 Jan. 1811, aged 48), daughter of Joseph Smith, an attorney at Bradford, Wiltshire; secondly, at Liverpool in December 1811, Ann (d. 5 Dec. 1812, aged 56), daughter of Joseph Loxdale of Shrewsbury. There was no issue by either marriage. Coke was a man of short stature and bright winning countenance. His nature was impulsive (Southey says 'his Welsh blood was soon up') and not unambitious, but he was an unselfish worker of generous spirit. He had a private fortune of some 1,200l. a year. He did much to bridge the interval in methodism between the period of Wesley and that of Jabez Bunting [q. v.], and to him, more than to any other, the creation of the vast network of the methodist foreign missions is due.

Coke's publications were numerous, the earliest being a sermon on education, 1773; the folio wing are the most important:

  1. 'The substance of a Sermon preached at Baltimore … before the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church on 27 Dec. 1784, at the ordination of the Rev. Francis Asbury to the office of Superintendent,' 1784, 12mo (text Rev. iii. 7, 8). Charles Wesley published 'Strictures ' on this sermon.
  2. 'The Doctrines and discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church of America,' 1787, 12mo; revised 1798, 12mo (this was drawn up in conjunction with Asbury).
  3. 'The State of Dewsbury House,' 1788.
  4. 'Address to the Methodist Society in Great Britain and Ireland, on the settlement of the Preaching Houses,' 1790.
  5. 'Extracts of the Journals of the Rev. Dr. Coke's Five Visits to America,' 1790, 8vo (dedicated to Wesley as his 'first publication of any magnitude;' preface, 25 Jan. 1790, says the journal of his first visit was then first printed, the others being reprints).
  6. 'The Life of the Rev. John Wesley, A.M.,' 1792, 8vo (portrait); often reprinted (see above).
  7. 'A Commentary on the Old and New Testaments,' 1803-8, 4to, 6 vols. (a compilation largely from Dodd, and partly from manuscripts of the father-in-law of Maclaine, the translator of Mosheim).
  8. 'A History of the West Indies,' &c., Liverpool, 1808-11, 8vo, 3 vols.
  9. Revised edition of Samuel Wesley's 'Life of Christ,' 1809, 12mo, 2 vols. (the original poem was published in 1693, fol.)
  10. 'Six Letters … to the Methodist Societies,' 1810 (defending Wesley's doctrine of justification from the attack of Melville Home).
  11. 'History of the Bible,' 1812 (partly printed, but never finished).
  12. 'The Cottager's Bible' (left unfinished, but since completed and issued by the Methodist Book Committee).

In some he was greatly helped by Samuel Drew [q. v.] Coke published also funeral and other sermons.

[The Life of Coke was written by Jonathan Crowther, and more briefly by Joseph Sutcliffe; then, at the request of his executors, by Samuel Drew, 1817 (portrait); next, by J. W. Etheridge, 1860 (portrait), on the whole the best, though it contains much superfluous writing; lastly, by W. Moister, 1871, a popular sketch. Harvard's Narrative of … the Mission to Ceylon, &c., 1823, gives an account of Coke's last voyage and death. See also Osborn's Alphabetical Arrangement of Wesleyan Methodist Ministers, 1869, p. 208; Tyerman's Life and Times of Rev. John Wesley, 1871, vol. iii.; Humphreys's Memoirs of Deceased Christian Ministers, 1880, pp. 151, 257; Cat. of Oxford Graduates, 1851, p. 138.]

A. G.

COKE, THOMAS WILLIAM, Earl of Leicester of Holkham (1752–1842), was the eldest son of Robert Wenman (who on succeeding to the estate of his maternal uncle, Thomas Coke, earl of Leicester, assumed the surname and arms of Coke) by his wife Elizabeth, daughter of George Chamberlayne, afterwards Denton, of Wardington, Oxfordshire. He was born on 4 May 1752, and educated at Eton, after which he travelled abroad, spending a considerable time at Rome, where he acquired the name of 'the handsome Eng-