HOOKE, Sir Humphrey (1629-77), of King's Weston, Glos.
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Family and Education
b. 6 Aug. 1629, 1st s. of Thomas Hooke (d.1643) of Bristol by 1st w. Mary Burrus. m. Florence (d. 3 Sept. 1692), da. of Thomas Smith† of Long Ashton, Som., 2s. d.v.p. 1 da. suc. gdfa. Humphrey Hooke 1659; kntd. 21 Feb. 1661.1
Commr. for militia, Bristol Mar. 1660; j.p. Glos. July 1660-2, 1670-d., sheriff 1661-2; keeper, Kingswood chase 1661-?d.; member of merchant venturers, Bristol 1661; commr. for assessment, Bristol 1661-4, 1666-9, Glos. 1663-74, loyal and indigent officers, Bristol 1662, col. of militia ft 1662-?d., dep. lt. 1662-d., alderman 1662-4, commr. for pressing seamen 1665, recusants, Glos. and Som. 1675.2
Hooke’s grandfather, born in Chichester, was probably a cousin of John Hooke. He became a Bristol merchant and represented the city in the Short and Long Parliaments until expelled as a monopolist. After the Civil War he was fined £669 as a royalist delinquent, but this was reduced to £125 in consideration of his contributions to the parliamentary forces. At the Restoration Hooke was knighted and recommended for the order of the Royal Oak, with an income of £1,500 p.a., while his half-brother, who had inherited a Surrey estate, was created a baronet. Hooke married into a county family and took up residence at King’s Weston, four miles from Bristol, although he did not sever all ties with his birthplace. At the general election of 1661 he was nominated, possibly against his will, in opposition to Lord Ossory (Thomas Butler). There was a double return, but Hooke, who had signed Ossory’s indentures, renounced his claim until his opponent was summoned to the Lords in 1666. He then renewed his petition, and was seated on the merits of the election.3
An inactive Member of the Cavalier Parliament, Hooke made no speeches and was appointed to only ten committees, none of which was of political importance, though in 1667 he took part in the inquiry into the shortage of timber in the Forest of Dean. His financial position was deteriorating, and, despite two defaults in attendance, he did not scruple to exact £77 from the corporation in 1669 for arrears of parliamentary wages, which he used to satisfy a debt to one of the aldermen, and he received the same reward from the merchant venturers as his very active colleague John Knight I on the renewal of their charter in 1670. John Milward described Hooke as ‘a loyal person’, but he was not on either list of the court party in 1669-71. In 1675, however, he received the government whip from Secretary Coventry, he was included among the court supporters on the working lists and by Sir Richard Wiseman, and Shaftesbury marked him ‘doubly vile’. He died on 16 Oct. 1677, heavily in debt to Thomas Earle and others. His trustees, Hugh Smith and William Cooke, sold King’s Weston to Sir Robert Southwell.4
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: John. P. Ferris
- 1. F. W. Todd, Humphrey Hooke of Bristol, 47, 49, 55.
- 2. J. Latimer, Bristol in the 17th Century, 302; Merchant Venturers (Bristol Rec. Soc. xvii), 30; Bodl. Carte 32, f. 48; Bristol RO, AC/C74/35; CSP Dom. 1663-4, p. 301; 1664-5, p. 390; CSP Ire 1660-2, p. 634.
- 3. Deposition Bks. (Bristol Rec. Soc. vi), 248-9; Vis. Hants (Harl. Soc. lxiv), 84; Keeler, Long Parl. 221-2; Cal. Comm. Comp. 1629; CJ, viii. 250, 644.
- 4. Merchants and Merchandise (Bristol Rec. Soc. xix), 157, Merchant Venturers, 18, 71; Milward, 16; Todd, 199-202; Bristol RO, AC/C77/6.