CHEKE, Sir Thomas (1570-1659), of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster and Pyrgo, Havering, Essex

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



1640 (Apr.)
1640 (Nov.)
[1640 (Nov.)]

Family and Education

b. 7 Jan. 1570,2 1st s. of Henry Cheke† of Elstow, Beds. and the King’s Manor, York, clerk of the PC 1576-81 and sec. to Council in the North 1581-6, and Frances, da. of Sir Humphrey Radcliffe† of Elstow.3 educ. ? St. Peter’s, York g.s.; L. Inn 1590.4 m. (1) by 2 Mar. 1594, Katherine (d. 11 Feb. 1615), da. of Peter Osborne† of S. Fambridge, Essex and Chicksands, Beds., kpr. of privy purse 1551 and remembrancer of the exch., ?1da. d.v.p.;5 (2) by May 1616, Essex (d.15 Aug. 1658), da. of Robert Rich†, 1st earl of Warwick, 5s. (2 d.v.p.) 6da. (1 d.v.p).6 suc. fa. 1586; kntd. 11 May 1603.7 bur. 25 Mar. 1659.8 sig. Thomas/Tho[mas] Cheek.

Offices Held

Cllr. Virg. Co. 1619-at least 1623;9 member, Amazon River Co. to 1620,10 Somers Is. Co. 1620,11 Providence Is. Co. c.1632.12

Freeman, Boston, Lincs. 1620, Maldon, Essex 1626, Colchester, Essex 1628;13 commr. subsidy, Essex 1621-2, 1624, 1626, 1628, 1641;14 j.p. Essex 1621-32, by 1644-at least 1648, Havering-atte-Bower, Essex 1639;15 commr. oyer and terminer, Home circ. 1622-33, 1640, Essex 1622 (highways’ repair), 1629-at least 1645,16 sewers, Havering and Dagenham levels 1622-at least 1633, Dengie and Rochford hundreds 1633-at least 1645, Rainham bridge to Mucking mill, Essex 1627-at least 1644, Essex and Kent 1642;17 dep. lt. Essex 1625-6, 1643;18 commr. Forced Loan, Essex, Maldon, Harwich 1626-7,19 charitable uses, Essex 1629-at least 1630,20 gaol delivery, Havering-atte-Bower 1633-d., Essex 1644-at least 1645,21 perambulation of Waltham Forest, Essex 1641,22 Poll Tax 1641, Irish contributions 1642,23 sequestration of delinquents’ lands 1643, execution of Ordinances 1643, levy money 1643, defence of Eastern Assoc. 1643, New Model Ordinance 1645, national militia 1648.24

Elder, Essex classis 1646-8.25


Fairly described by one historian as ‘a man of substance and long parliamentary experience’ but ‘no boldly apparent political convictions’,26 Cheke, the eldest of three sons, was born into a well-connected family of zealous Protestants. His paternal grandfather, (Sir) John Cheke†, brother-in-law to William Cecil†, 1st Lord Burghley, had been successively tutor and secretary of state to Edward VI, while his father, Henry, the author of a play condemning the ‘devilish devices of the popish religion’, was an Elizabethan clerk of the Privy Council from Bedfordshire who spent the last years of his life in York as secretary to the Council in the North. Though never university-educated, Cheke acquired a knowledge of both Latin and Greek during his boyhood,27 perhaps at St. Peter’s grammar school in York, situated close to the official residence of the lord president of the Council in the North. On his father’s death in June 1586 Cheke, then aged 16, may have been taken in by the family of his father’s second wife, Frances Constable, as his admission to Lincoln’s Inn four years later suggests that he remained in Yorkshire. Alternatively, he may have returned to Bedfordshire, as his wardship was sold to the Exchequer official Peter Osborne†, his father’s neighbour, and the close friend and cousin-by-marriage of his paternal grandfather.28 By March 1594 Cheke had cemented his family’s ties with Osborne still further by marrying one of his many daughters, Katherine, whose portrait, now lost, is said to have depicted her as a great beauty.29

Cheke was granted special livery of his estates in November 1591, having inherited widely scattered lands from his father. In addition to a half-share in Elstow, these comprised one manor in Yorkshire, two in Devon and four in Somerset.30 He initially settled in eastern Somerset, at Stokelane and West Cranmore, but sometime between January 1602 and May 1603 he moved to the Westminster parish of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, having assigned his interest in Elstow to his uncle (Sir) Edward Radcliffe* and sold both the Yorkshire property and his Devon manors.31 The accession of King James may have raised Cheke’s hopes of securing office, but if his intention in resettling at Westminster was to exploit both his Cecil connections and those of his aged grandmother, Lady Mary Cheke, keeper of St. James’s Palace,32 he was to be sadly disappointed, as he got nothing beyond a knighthood.

In 1604 Cheke brought a Star Chamber suit against his tenants at West Cranmore, but the property proved to be more trouble than it was worth and in the following year he sold it off.33 He subsequently laid out £4,000 to purchase Hyde Hall manor in north-eastern Hertfordshire, but on finding that it was heavily encumbered he parted with it in 1610 to his cousin Thomas Cecil†, 1st earl of Exeter.34 Returned to Parliament for the Cornish borough of Newport in 1614, Cheke may have owed his election there to his ties with Exeter, as the borough was controlled by the Cecil-related Killigrews. He made scarcely any impression on the records of this, his first Parliament. He apparently never spoke - indeed he maintained his silence throughout all the Parliaments of which he was a Member before 1629 - and was named to just two legislative committees. These concerned the cost to the subject of respite of homage (2 May) and a measure to confirm the sale of the Huntingdonshire lands of the late Sir Edward Apsley (19 May). Cheke’s interest in the Apsley bill undoubtedly stemmed from the fact that the lands concerned were at Fletton, a few miles west of a manor in Elton belonging to Sir Thomas Beaumont II*, over which he had recently acquired a hold.35 Cheke was also appointed to attend a joint conference with the Lords regarding the marriage of Princess Elizabeth to the Elector Palatine (14 Apr.), and was detailed to form part of the 40-strong deputation sent to the king to assure James that the House had no intention of usurping his power to order a recess (28 May).36

In February 1615 Cheke’s wife of more than 20 years died when gangrene set in after the queen’s surgeon inadvertently cut an artery while attempting to cure a soreness in her arm.37 Lady Katherine’s sudden death, though tragic, cleared the way for Cheke to remarry, for until now he had failed to produce the heir necessary to prevent his estates from escheating to the Crown after his death. By May 1616 at the latest38 he had secured the hand of one of the daughters of Robert, 3rd Lord Rich, a marriage which ultimately resulted in the birth of five sons, three of whom survived into adulthood. The speed with which this alliance was accomplished is revealing, indicating not only the urgency which Cheke attached to the business of obtaining an heir, but also a prior association with Lord Rich. Indeed, Rich had earlier used Cheke’s name as a trustee in the purchase of his London residence, Allington House, Holborn, of which he was the occupier by November 1615.39 Moreover, in May 1614 Rich’s man of business and cousin, (Sir) Nathaniel Rich*, had acted as a trustee for Cheke in the purchase of some Huntingdonshire property.40 It seems likely that Cheke initially encountered the Rich family through the Osbornes, as Peter Osborne had owned property in Essex close to the Rich seat of Rochford Hall. Their association was probably forged on the basis of a shared religious outlook, as both Cheke and the Rich family saw themselves as members of the godly. In 1613 a sermon delivered at Paul’s Cross inveighing against the evils of hypocrisy was dedicated to Cheke by its author, the puritan clergyman Thomas Adams, who praised his virtue, ‘rare in these apostate times’.41

Marriage into the Rich family inevitably drew Cheke into close involvement with the affairs of his new in-laws. In April 1619 he was appointed to the board of the Virginia Company, of which Lord Rich’s eldest son, Sir Robert*, was a leading member; he subsequently shared his brother-in-law’s dissatisfaction at the manner in which the Company was being run.42 Between 1616 and 1619 he also lent his name to several deeds of conveyance involving both Lord Rich and Sir Robert, who succeeded to his father’s lately purchased earldom of Warwick in March 1619.43 Cheke enjoyed such close links with his wife’s family that he eventually left Westminster for Essex, where the Rich family was the dominant landowner. In 1620/1 he paid his brother-in-law, Warwick, £12,360 for three manors in the south west of the county, while in the following year he acquired the nearby manor of Pyrgo, from Henry, Lord Grey of Groby (Henry Grey, earl of Stamford†). Described by Norden in 1594 as ‘a fair house’, Pyrgo and its large gabled manor house formed the core of Cheke’s new estate.44 How Cheke acquired the capital to finance his Essex land purchases is not altogether clear, but in October 1617 he sold for £2,532 property he had acquired in Bedfordshire five years earlier, when it had been worth just £48 p.a.45 Moreover, in 1616 he finally sold off his remaining interest in Elstow.46 Cash realized from earlier land sales, augmented perhaps by money and property which presumably came into his hands following the death in November 1616 of his grandmother, Lady Mary Cheke, may have provided him with the remaining funds he needed.

As a newcomer to Essex, Cheke relied on his brother-in-law Warwick to obtain a parliamentary seat for him at Harwich in December 1620.47 However, he wisely took the precaution of arranging to be returned for the Lincolnshire borough of Boston in case Warwick’s influence proved ineffective. Cheke was connected to Boston through his cousin, the earl of Exeter, who had previously served as the borough’s recorder and who continued to expect to influence parliamentary elections there.48 Cheke and Exeter were probably already in close contact at around this time, for in May 1621 Cheke was named as a trustee in the marriage settlement for one of the daughters of Exeter’s eldest son, William Cecil†, Lord Burghley.49 On entering the Commons, Cheke plumped for Harwich rather than Boston,50 thereby signifying the importance he attached to his Rich connections. Once again he made little impression on the parliamentary records, being appointed to just four committees. These were established to prepare a petition regarding recusancy for presentation to the king (15 Feb.), examine the abuses of the warden of the Fleet (3 Mar.), naturalize the Scottish courtier Sir Walter Stewart (19 Mar.) and attend the king as part of a deputation from both Houses sent to communicate Parliament’s desire for an adjournment (2 June). In addition, Cheke was a teller for the noes in a motion to determine the validity of the return of the Westminster Members Sir Edward Villiers and William Man. As a former Westminster resident this was perhaps not surprising, but his side was defeated by 13 votes (22 March).51 Cheke is not mentioned as having participated in the winter sitting.

Appointed to the Essex bench in November 1621, Cheke donated £100 towards the Palatine Benevolence two months later.52 In 1624 Cheke sought election as junior knight of the shire with Warwick’s backing. Once again, he provided against the possibility of defeat by seeking a place at Bere Alston in Devon, a borough controlled by Lord Mountjoy, his wife’s (and Warwick’s) illegitimate half-brother. Returned for both constituencies, on his arrival at Westminster he naturally plumped for the more prestigious county seat.53 Shortly thereafter he presented to the Commons a bill which aimed to resolve a difficulty he had encountered in purchasing Hall Fee manor, Elton. The vendor, Sir Thomas Beaumont II, had previously mortgaged property in Leicestershire to Cheke for £2,950, and borrowed £3,000 from him. As Beaumont had failed to repay the loan Cheke had taken possession of Hall Fee in 1617, only to discover that Beaumont’s title to the manor was insecure, as Beaumont’s in-laws retained a concealed interest in the property. He consequently mounted an action in Chancery, in which Beaumont denied fraud and complained of ‘the corrupt and usurious contracts and agreements’ he had entered into with Cheke.54 The parliamentary bill, which received its first reading on 3 Mar., sought to secure clear title for Cheke and so end the litigation with Beaumont, which rumbled on while Parliament was sitting.55 To ensure the measure’s safe passage, Cheke and Warwick evidently mobilized their friends in Parliament. Thus the Commons’ committee appointed to consider the bill after its second reading on 9 Mar. included Warwick’s client Sir Francis Barrington and Barrington’s son-in-law Sir Gilbert Gerard. It also included Sir Peter Osborne, the nephew of Cheke’s first wife, with whom Cheke maintained a long-lasting contact. Osborne’s nomination is especially striking since he was named to no other committee during the Parliament. Cheke’s neighbour in south-western Essex, Sir Thomas Edmondes, was also appointed, as was Cheke’s lawyer in the law suit with Beaumont, (Sir) Heneage Finch, the recorder of London, who reported the bill on 7 April.56 The small committee established in the Lords on 24 Apr. may also have included well-wishers to the bill. Two of Cheke’s neighbours in south western Essex were named, the Lords Petre and Denny (Sir Edward Denny*), as was Lord Grey of Groby, from whom Cheke had purchased Pyrgo and over whose settlement of marriage (to the younger daughter of William Cecil, by now 2nd earl of Exeter) Cheke was a trustee. Moreover, the committee’s chairman, who reported in favour of the measure on 3 May, was Warwick’s first cousin, Robert Devereux, 3rd earl of Essex.57 Given such strong support in both Houses, Cheke’s bill rapidly passed into law.

Cheke was named to many more committees in 1624 than he had been in 1614 and 1621, among them the prestigious privileges’ committee (23 February). Several of his appointments reflected his personal interests or local concerns.58 As a sewer commissioner for the Havering and Dagenham levels he was naturally included on the committee for the River Lea bill (22 Mar.), while the proximity of his manor of North Weald to Chipping Ongar, the seat of the late Sir James Poyntz, presumably explains his appointment to the committee for a measure to facilitate the sale of one of Poyntz’s Essex manors (30 April).59 Cheke’s relationship to the Cecils perhaps explains his appointment to consider a bill concerning a Chancery decree which arose out of a law suit instigated by Henry De Vere, 18th earl of Oxford (9 Mar.), who had recently married one of the daughters of Cheke’s second cousin, William Cecil, now 2nd earl of Exeter.60 Religious enthusiasm undoubtedly lay behind his appointments to a joint conference with the Lords on recusancy (3 Apr.), and to committees to consider the state of religious teaching in schools and the universities (28 Apr.), the establishment of three lectureships in divinity (10 Apr.), and the regulation of inns and innkeepers (1 Apr.), a subject of intense interest to godly magistrates like Cheke.61 At least two of Cheke’s remaining committee appointments covered topics of broad interest to any landowner, namely depopulation (24 Mar.), recoveries and the levying of fines (3 Apr.), although he failed to attend the only meeting held to discuss the latter measure on 4 April.62 Several of Cheke’s legislative appointments, however, dealt with matters which evidently held little or no interest for him, such as the rights of the customary tenants of the Dorset manor of Beaminster Second (13 April). Although this committee met on five separate occasions, Cheke attended only one of its meetings (21 May). He also missed both sittings of the committee for the bill to confirm the title claimed by Lady Darcy to the advowson of Sutton church, Surrey, of which he had been named a member (7 May), and was absent from the single meeting held to discuss the bill to restore Carew Ralegh† in blood, to which committee he had also been nominated (8 April).63 He may have shown a similar disregard for a number of other bill committees to which he was appointed and in which he had no traceable interest. These concerned the Merchants of the Staple (24 Mar.); the naturalization of Sir Robert Anstruther, Sir George Abercrombie and John Cragge (10 Apr.); Lady Mary Bulkeley’s attempt to recover her lands in Anglesey (13 Apr.); the estate of Sir Edward Fisher (19 Apr.); abuses allegedly committed by the royal law courts (19 Apr.), and apothecaries (22 April).64 In addition to his committee appointments, Cheke was named to three joint conferences with the Lords. Apart from the recusancy conference already mentioned, one was established to set down in writing Parliament’s reasons for advising the king to break off the marriage negotiations with Spain (3 Mar.) and the other concerned monopolies (7 April).65 The only other occasion on which Cheke was mentioned in the records of this Parliament was on 17 Apr., when the House, responding to a report from Sir Nathaniel Rich, ordered legal proceedings against Cheke in Common Pleas to be stayed. The nature of these proceedings are unknown, but they probably formed part of the final stage of Cheke’s battle with Sir Thomas Beaumont.66

Cheke was initially considered by his brother-in-law Warwick for re-election as junior knight of the shire in 1625, but in the event the earl supported his tenant Sir Arthur Herrys* for the place, allowing Cheke to sit for Bere Alston instead.67 On taking his seat, Cheke was again named to the privileges’ committee (21 June), but though he attended both the Westminster and Oxford sittings he continued to play only a minor role in parliamentary affairs. Questions of a religious nature formed a large part of the subject matter of the handful of committees and conferences to which he was nominated. On 23 June he was appointed to attend the joint conference with the Lords for a general fast, having on the previous day acted as a teller in favour of petitioning the king to order just such an observance, while on the 24th he was named to the committee to petition Charles over matters of religion. Three days later he was appointed to the committee for the subscription bill, while on 8 Aug. he was ordered to attend a joint conference with the Lords on religion.68 His appointments to committees to consider bills for the assignment of debts in the Exchequer (23 June) and for ease in pleading of alienations were doubtless prompted by his former brother-in-law, Sir John Osborne, the lord treasurer’s remembrancer. Osborne’s interest in the measure was signalled by his son, Sir Peter, who sitting for Corfe Castle, asked that the officers of the Exchequer be heard at the committee for the alienations bill through their counsel.69 Cheke had no traceable interest in the subjects which formed the basis of his remaining committee appointments. These concerned bills to prevent the exposure of concealed lands (25 June), allow freedom in fishing (27 June), drain Erith and Plumstead marshes in northern Kent (28 June) and naturalize Sir Daniel Deligne of Harlaxton, Lincolnshire (11 August).70

Shortly after the dissolution Cheke was appointed an Essex deputy lieutenant by Warwick, who had himself recently been made co-lord lieutenant of the county. One of Cheke’s first duties was to help organize the defence of Harwich against the threat of a Spanish invasion. As the government was short of cash to pay for the forces that were being mustered to defend the port, he and his colleagues were constrained to borrow up to £1,000 each as a temporary solution.71 In the following January Cheke was again returned to Parliament. This time Warwick placed him at Maldon, a seat which would probably otherwise have been occupied by Sir Arthur Herrys had he not been pricked to serve as sheriff. He maintained his customary low profile at Westminster, being named to the privileges’ committee (9 Feb.) and an assortment of legislative committees, including one to consider two provisos contained in a deed of 1612 drawn up by his late cousin, Thomas, 1st earl of Exeter (24 May).72 His concern for the state of the Church led to his appointment to committees for bills to prevent abuses in the ministry (15 Feb.) and explain the provisions of the 1606 Recusancy Act (23 February).73 As a former Bedfordshire landowner he may have had more than a passing interest in the Richard Piggott bankruptcy bill, being named to the committee on 14 June.74 His remaining appointments - which dealt with bills regarding the establishment of the Charterhouse hospital (11 Feb.); simony (14 Feb.); the search for concealments (14 Feb.); John Thecker’s title to his estate (22 Feb.); the sale of lands belonging to Vincent Lowe of Derby, Anthony Hobart of East Anglia (both 1 Mar.) and Sir Brian Cave (6 Mar.); the transport of Welsh butter (6 Mar.); an Exchequer decree in a case concerning Mickelton manor, Gloucestershire between Sir Edward Fisher and Sir Francis Neale (23 Mar.) and the naturalization of Thomas Sotherne (27 Mar.)75 - are not easily explained. As one of the burgesses for Essex, however, Cheke would have been entitled to attend the committee for the bill to establish the ownership of recently drained marshland on Canvey Island (28 Mar.), a project in which Warwick had been heavily involved.76 Cheke was named to just one joint conference with the Lords, on 4 Mar., when he was required to consider a message sent to the Commons by the embattled royal favourite, the duke of Buckingham.77

Cheke appears to have taken little or no part in the attempt to impeach Buckingham in 1626, but as a close associate of Warwick, one of the duke’s leading enemies, he found himself the target of a vengeful government after Parliament was dissolved. Though not dismissed from the bench, unlike Warwick’s client Sir Francis Barrington, he was stripped of his position in the militia, and in August he received a government demand for a punitive ‘loan’ of £500.78 Towards the end of the month he and 12 other Essex magistrates registered their hostility to the Privy Seal loans by signing a letter urging the government to raise money ‘in a parliamentary way and not otherwise’.79 The Privy Council shortly afterwards abandoned this particular form of loan, and consequently Cheke probably never paid his contribution. However, in October 1626 the Privy Seal loans were replaced with a demand for a Forced Loan. Moreover, Cheke found himself included on the list of commissioners for Essex, Maldon and Harwich. Other members of Warwick’s circle in Essex, most notably Sir Francis Barrington, Sir William Masham* and Sir Harbottle Grimston*, now adopted a principled stand. Barrington and Masham refused to serve as commissioners, for which they were imprisoned, while Grimston was sent to the Fleet for withholding payment. Cheke, however, swallowed his principles, carrying out his duties as a commissioner and meekly contributing his share of the Loan money, amounting to £25. 9s.80 The only evidence he gave of continued dissatisfaction with government policy was in April 1627, when he signed a letter of protest to the Council after it ordered the county to contribute half the cost of the ship to be set forth by the borough of Colchester.81

If Warwick considered Cheke’s response to the Forced Loan supine, there is now no evidence of the fact. On the contrary, it seems probable that it was Warwick who, in 1628, was responsible for nominating Cheke to Parliament for Colchester, the only borough in Essex to have so far eluded the earl’s patronage. Cheke duly secured the senior burgessship, and on his arrival at Westminster he was appointed to the privileges’ committee for the fourth time in a row (20 March).82 One of the earliest duties of this committee was to determine whether the freemen’s election of Sir William Masham for Colchester’s junior seat rendered the corporation’s return of Edward Alford* invalid. As Masham was almost certainly the nominee of Cheke’s own patron Warwick, it seems likely that Cheke used his influence in committee to help resolve the dispute in Masham’s favour. However, as in the previous assemblies in which he sat, he never made a recorded speech, either in the House at large or the committee chamber. Indeed, Cheke maintained his by now customary low profile, failing to receive a single mention in the records for the 1629 session, and attracting only a handful of committee nominations in 1628. Two of these appointments related to bills whose contents he had been named to consider in 1626, these being measures to establish the Charterhouse Hospital (8 Apr.) and remove unworthy ministers from their parishes (19 April).83 A third legislative committee to which he was named dealt with the inheritance of the earl of Devonshire (Sir William Cavendish I*), who had been one of Warwick’s bitterest enemies in the dispute over the running of the Virginia Company. Perhaps not surprisingly, the committee attracted the membership of several of Warwick’s other relatives, namely Sir Nathaniel Rich, Sir Gervase Clifton (Warwick’s former brother-in-law), Sir Francis Barrington and the latter’s son Sir Thomas.84 Cheke’s remaining appointments concerned the disputed Cornish election of 1628 (20 Mar.), the billeting of troops and levying money to pay for them in Surrey (28 Mar.), and a petition from various counties against the charges set by London for metage and portage (25 June), which may have reflected the interests of his Colchester constituents.85 His committee appointments also included bills to forge peace and unity in the Church and commonwealth (7 Apr.), prevent clergyman from serving as magistrates (21 Apr.), outlaw bribery and the buying of judicial places (23 Apr.) and establish the tenants of Bromfield and Yale in north Wales (13 June).86 Finally, Cheke was named to attend two joint conferences with the Lords. One concerned a petition to the king to enforce the laws against Jesuits, priests and recusants, to which Cheke was added as an afterthought (26 March). The other was established to consider the liberties of the subject in the wake of the government’s recourse to the Forced Loan, arbitrary imprisonment, billeting and martial law (23 April).87

Cheke’s local influence waned after 1630. His name is conspicuous by its absence from the three successive commissions established between 1630 and 1632 to levy composition for knighthood,88 and he was dropped from the bench in 1632 and the commission for oyer and terminer for the Home circuit in 1633. He nevertheless remained close to Warwick, who was probably responsible for persuading him to invest in the Providence Island Company. Returned to both the Short and Long Parliaments, he sided with Parliament during the Civil War, when he was restored to the bench and the deputy lieutenancy, but was secluded at Pride’s Purge for his Presbyterian sympathies. An attempt to persuade the House of Lords to recognize his right to the barony of FitzWalter, which he claimed as next heir of the whole blood to his uncle Edward Radcliffe, 6th earl of Sussex, was overtaken by events, in particular the abolition of the Upper House in 1649.89 By the mid-1650s he was in his mid-eighties and complaining of the immobility caused by old age.90 Despite his infirmities he remained hugely wealthy: in his will, drawn up on 30 Aug.1658, he required his four son-in-laws to spend £32,000 in purchasing freehold land for the benefit of his grandson Robert.91 The precise date of his death has not been ascertained, but he was buried on 25 Mar. 1659 in the north chapel of St. Alban, Wood Street,92 where his paternal grandfather also lay interred. He was succeeded in his estates by his eldest surviving son, Robert, who resurrected Cheke’s claim to the barony of FitzWalter, but without success.93 No other member of Cheke’s family subsequently sat in Parliament.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Andrew Thrush


  • 1. Secluded 6 Dec. 1648.
  • 2. Calculated from C142/213/120 and WARD 9/316, f. 64.
  • 3. Vis. Essex (Harl. Soc. xiii), 177, 373.
  • 4. J. Strype, Life of Sir John Cheke (1821), p. 145; LI Admiss.
  • 5. C66/1411, m. 8; W. Winters, Waltham Holy Cross, 56; Chamberlain Letters ed. N.E. McClure, i. 578.
  • 6. Vis. Essex (Harl. Soc. xiii), 177, 373; St. Martin-in-the-Fields 1550-1619 (Harl. Soc. Reg. xxv), 50, 52, 102, 170, 176-7; St. Martin-in-the-Fields 1619-36 (Harl. Soc. Reg. lxvi), 5; J.P. Malcolm, Londinium Redivivum, iii. 216; D. Lysons, Environs of London, iv. 199; Le Neve, Mon. Angl. 1650-79, pp. 61-2.
  • 7. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 105.
  • 8. Strype, 146.
  • 9. Virg. Co. Recs. ed. S.M. Kingsbury, i. 227, 211; iv. 80.
  • 10. APC, 1619-21, p. 204.
  • 11. T.K. Rabb, Enterprise and Empire, 264.
  • 12. A.P. Newton, Colonising Activities of English Puritans, 126.
  • 13. J.F. Bailey, Transcript of Mins. of Boston Corporation, ii. 318; W.J. Petchey, Prospect of Maldon, 267; Essex RO, T/A 465/114, f. 69v.
  • 14. C212/22/20-1, 23; E115/104/94; 115/80/29; SR, v. 62, 84.
  • 15. C231/4, f. 129; 231/5, pp. 76, 339.
  • 16. C181/3, ff. 56, 68v; 181/4, ff. 1v, 109, 144v-5, 193; 181/5, f. 254.
  • 17. C181/3, ff. 43, 233; 181/4, ff. 76, 138; 181/5, pp. 454, 489, 497.
  • 18. Maynard Ltcy. Bk. ed. B. Quintrell, 93, 140-1; HMC 7th Rep. 556.
  • 19. Bodl. Firth C4, p. 257; SP16/52/64; C193/12/2, ff. 80v, 84.
  • 20. C192/1, unfol.
  • 21. C181/4, f. 139; 181/5, ff. 238, 254; 181/6, p. 272.
  • 22. C181/5, f. 208.
  • 23. SR, v. 107, 141.
  • 24. A. and O. i. 112, 169, 229, 292, 536, 621, 638, 965, 1082, 1236-7.
  • 25. H. Smith, ‘Presbyterian Organisation of Essex’, Essex Review, xxviii. 16.
  • 26. Maynard Ltcy. Bk. 369.
  • 27. Lansd. 51, ff. 29-30.
  • 28. WARD 9/316, f. 64.
  • 29. Strype, 146.
  • 30. CSP Dom. 1591-4, p. 127; VCH Beds. iii. 281; C142/213/20, 146.
  • 31. C66/1411, m. 8; 66/1501, mm. 11-12; C54/1660, 1723, 1760; VCH Beds. iii. 281. The sale of the Yorks. manor and one of the Devon properties raised £1,405. It is not known whether the Thomas Cheke, gent. who was resident in Cripplegate Ward Within in 1596 was this Member: Lansd. 81, f. 80v.
  • 32. CSP Dom. 1603-10, p. 153.
  • 33. STAC 8/86/23; C66/1660.
  • 34. C2/Jas.I/C10/74; R. Clutterbuck, Hist. and Antiqs. of Herts. iii. 579.
  • 35. See below.
  • 36. Procs. 1614 (Commons), 82, 120, 289, 377.
  • 37. Chamberlain Letters, i. 578.
  • 38. His eldest da., Frances, was bap. in Feb. 1617. See also Norf. RO, Hare ms 458.
  • 39. Abstracts of Wills in the PCC, 1620 ed. J.H. Lea, 200. For evidence that Lord Rich owned Allington by this date, see Rich Pprs: Letters from Bermuda ed. V.A. Ives, 5.
  • 40. C2/Jas.I/C15/77. For this property, Hall Fee manor, see below.
  • 41. T. Adams, The White Devil, or The Hypocrite uncased (1613), sig. A2r-v.
  • 42. Virg. Co. Recs. iv. 80. The suggestion that Cheke was a member of the Co. from 1612 is unfounded, as he was not named in the Co.’s 3rd charter: A. Brown, Genesis of US, 853.
  • 43. Norf. RO, Hare ms 359, 361-2, 458, 460, 539, 541-3, 987-91; C54/2419/7.
  • 44. VCH Essex, iv. 287-8; vii. 16; viii. 19; Leics. RO, DG7/2/1/1, p. 3; E115/87/72; C2/Chas.I/C106/14; Harl. 3959, f. 23.
  • 45. Beds. Historical Rec. Soc. ii. 100-1.
  • 46. VCH Beds. iii. 281.
  • 47. Harwich bor. recs. 98/3/37.
  • 48. Bailey, 322.
  • 49. Cal. North Pprs. in Bodl. ed. C.M. Borough, 18.
  • 50. CJ, i. 510b.
  • 51. Ibid. 522b, 536b, 563a, 569a, 637b.
  • 52. SP14/156/15.
  • 53. CJ, i. 716a.
  • 54. C2/Jas.I/C15/77; C24/55; C2/72; VCH Hunts. iii. 162. Hall Fee was conveyed to Cheke’s trustees, Sir Nathaniel Rich and Sir Peter Chapman.
  • 55. CJ, i. 676a; HLRO, O.A. 21 Jas.I, c. 42; C2/Jas.I/C2/23.
  • 56. CJ, i. 680a, 757a. Cheke continued to be connected with Osborne as late as 1642: Northants. RO, FH2719. For evidence that Finch was Cheke’s lawyer in the case, see C2/Jas.I/C2/72.
  • 57. LJ, iii. 317, 337.
  • 58. CJ, i. 671b.
  • 59. Ibid. 694b, 745a.
  • 60. Ibid. 680a; CP. The measure concerned a dispute with Magdalene Coll., Camb. over a house in Aldgate.
  • 61. CJ, i. 692b, 751b, 754a, 762b.
  • 62. Ibid. 748b, 754a; C.R. Kyle, ‘Attendance Lists’, PPE 1604-48 ed. Kyle, 209.
  • 63. CJ, i. 758a, 785b; Kyle, 213, 225.
  • 64. Ibid. 747b, 761a, 764b, 770a-b, 772b.
  • 65. Ibid. 676b, 757b.
  • 66. Ibid. 769a.
  • 67. Procs. 1625, pp. 682-3.
  • 68. Ibid. 218, 228, 240, 253, 422.
  • 69. Ibid. 230, 246.
  • 70. Ibid. 246, 253, 257, 457.
  • 71. Maynard Ltcy. Bk. 105.
  • 72. Procs. 1626, ii. 7; iii. 317.
  • 73. Ibid. ii. 44, 102.
  • 74. Ibid. iii. 444.
  • 75. Ibid. ii. 20, 32, 86, 158, 200-1, 348, 374.
  • 76. Ibid. ii. 385; P. Benton, Hist. Rochford Hundred, 824.
  • 77. Procs. 1626, ii. 195.
  • 78. E401/2586, p. 459.
  • 79. SP16/34/62.
  • 80. SP16/52/64; R. Cust, Forced Loan, 281.
  • 81. SP16/59/52.
  • 82. CD 1628, ii. 29.
  • 83. Ibid. 360, 564.
  • 84. Ibid. iii. 3.
  • 85. Ibid. ii. 29, 168; iv. 467.
  • 86. Ibid. ii. 323; iii. 3, 44; iv. 292.
  • 87. Ibid. ii. 120; iii. 44.
  • 88. E178/5287, ff. 4, 9, 13.
  • 89. HMC 4th Rep. 31.
  • 90. CCC, 1782.
  • 91. PROB 11/290, f. 102v.
  • 92. Several writers claim that he died on the same day that he was buried: H. Smith, Hist. Havering, 93; M.F. Keeler, Long Parl.; Oxford DNB.
  • 93. HMC 7th Rep. 127; CP sub FitzWalter.