BROOKE, alias COBHAM, Henry I (1538-92), of Sutton at Hone, Kent.
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Family and Education
b. 5 Feb. 1538, 7th s. of George, 9th Lord Cobham, and bro. of George, John, Thomas and William†. Uncle of William† and Henry Brooke alias Cobham II . educ. Trinity, Camb. 1547 (impubes). m. Anne, da. of Sir Henry Sutton of Notts., wid. of Walter Haddon, 3s. 2da. Kntd. 1575.2
Employed on missions abroad 1561, 1567, 1570, 1575; ambassador in Paris 1579-83; j.p. Kent by 1573, custos rot. c.1584, dep. lt. 1588; gent. pens. 1560.3
This Member, who generally used the name of Cobham, was a younger brother of William Brooke†, 10th Lord Cobham, lord warden of the Cinque Ports and lord lieutenant of Kent. He matriculated impubes at Cambridge, and once wrote that he had received part of his education in the household of the Earl of Devon. During Mary’s reign he had been in the service of the Princess Elizabeth. He was first used by the Queen in her diplomatic service when he accompanied Sir Thomas Chaloner† to Spain in 1561, afterwards being employed on missions to the Archduke Charles at Vienna in 1567, to Antwerp, Speyer, Paris and Madrid in 1570, and again to Madrid in 1575. From 1579 to 1583 he was resident ambassador in Paris where, in 1581, he was joined by Francis Walsingham. Though the Queen in 1570 and 1572 granted him leases of lands in Kent, Berkshire and Leicestershire, and though the patent roll for 11 Jan. 1571 notes the grant to him of no less than four offices in reversion (which he would be able to sell as they fell in) Cobham made the usual assertions that during his embassies abroad his salary was insufficient to meet his expenses.4
During intervals between embassies, Cobham bore his share of administrative responsibility in Kent, as justice of the peace, in defence preparations and as a commissioner for disarming recusants. In 1566 his brother was presumably responsible for his election at Winchelsea, following the death of Richard Chambers. The parliamentary journals contain no reference to any activity in this session. His return to England in 1583 enabled him to play a fuller part in county affairs, and he became a deputy lieutenant to his brother the lord lieutenant. In 1586 he was elected to the senior county seat for Kent and as such he was appointed to the committee on the subsidy bill on 22 Feb. 1587. He was also named to committees in this Parliament on Orford haven (7 Nov.) and to draw up a petition to the Queen for the execution of Mary Stuart (14 Nov.). Two years later, when he sat in the House of Commons for the third time, it was as junior Member to his nephew Henry, heir to William, Lord Cobham. He was appointed to the committee of privileges and returns 8 Feb. 1589. On 27 Feb. and 6 Mar. he was among the Commons who, with the Speaker, attended on the Queen to hear her response to their petitions about the purveyors bill. On 10 Feb. 1589 he was named to a committee to consider the election of new MPs to replace those who were sick, and on 29 Mar. he was appointed to the committee on the treasons bill. He died 13 Jan. 1592. No will has been found. His inquisition post mortem mentions property at East and West Malling, Sutton at Hone, and Crayford in Kent.