CHEKE, Thomas I (1561-1618), of Mottistone, I.o.W. and Lincoln's Inn, London

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



Family and Education

bap. 27 Apr. 1561,1 1st s. of James Cheke (d.1574) of Mottistone and Elizabeth, da. of one Thornhill of Wooland, Dorset.2 educ. Christ Church, Oxf. BA 1583; Thavies Inn 1583; L. Inn 1583, called 1591.3 m. (1) by 1589, Dorothy, da. of William Geffrey, merchant, of Newport, I.o.W., 3s. 2da.;4 (2) aft. 14 Sept. 1617, ‘his young wife’, s.p.5 suc. grandfa. 1575.6 d. 22 Jan. 1618.7

Offices Held

Escheator, Hants and Wilts. 1593-4;8 freeman, Southampton, Hants 1599,9 recorder 1611-d.;10 j.p. Hants by 1601-d., chairman of q. sess.;11 freeman, Yarmouth, I.o.W. 1604, steward 1609-d.;12 commr. survey, Sandown Castle, I.o.W. 1608,13 subsidy, I.o.W. 1608,14 gaol delivery, Southampton 1611-d.;15 steward to Winchester chapter by 1614-d.16


Cheke’s ancestors settled in the Isle of Wight in the mid-fourteenth century.17 Cheke himself was a lawyer, described by Sir John Oglander* as ‘a good scholar and a very honest man, [who] often gave the charge at the sessions of Winchester’.18 In 1604 he was elected for Yarmouth, four miles from Mottistone, the first of the senior branch of his family to sit. He was appointed (as ‘Mr. Chock’) to committees for bills to relieve creditors affected by parliamentary privilege (26 Apr. 1604) and to abolish benefit of clergy for stabbing (4 May).19 He does not appear again in the records of the Parliament until 5 June 1610, when he was among the first Members to take the oath of supremacy.20 In 1609 he was appointed steward of Yarmouth on its incorporation. He was considered for the bench of Lincoln’s Inn in 1610, but passed over.21

Cheke succeeded William Brocke as recorder of Southampton in 1611 and was returned for the town to the 1614 Parliament.22 He unsuccessfully nominated his son Thomas at Whitchurch on his interest as steward to the dean and chapter of Winchester, but subsequently managed to persuade the borough of Yarmouth to elect Thomas as its junior Member.23 His only contribution to the Addled Parliament was to agree with William Hakewill* on 5 May that a vote of supply would be premature.24 He drew up his will on 14 Sept. 1617, in which he left instructions for the sale of all his alienable property to pay off his debts and provided portions totalling £1,120.25 He remarried shortly afterwards. He had long been ‘much troubled with the stone in the bladder’, and consequently sought medical treatment. Although he survived surgery the operation indirectly led to his death, for, being ‘too busy’ with his second wife his surgical scars reopened. He died on 22 Jan. 1618.26

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Virginia C.D. Moseley / Rosemary Sgroi


  • 1. Misc. Gen. et Her. (ser. 5), x. 296-7.
  • 2. Vis. Hants (Harl. Soc. lxiv), 54; PROB 11/56, f. 193.
  • 3. Al. Ox.; LI Admiss.; LI Black Bks. ii. 20.
  • 4. W. Berry, Hants Gen. 98.
  • 5. PROB 11/131, f. 400.
  • 6. Hants RO, 1575B/12.
  • 7. C142/367/14.
  • 8. List of Escheators comp. A.C. Wood (L. and I. Soc. lxxii), 150.
  • 9. HMC 11th Rep. III, 22.
  • 10. Soton Assembly Bks. 1611-14 ed. J.W. Horrocks (Soton Rec. Soc. xxiv), 20-1.
  • 11. C66/1549, 1620, 1988; Royalist’s Notebk. ed. F. Bamford, 140.
  • 12. Add. 5669, f. 7; R. Worsley, Hist. I.o.W. 160.
  • 13. SP14/34/29.
  • 14. SP14/31/1.
  • 15. C181/2, ff. 160, 298v.
  • 16. Hants RO, 44M69/G2/41.
  • 17. Royalist’s Notebk. 139.
  • 18. Ibid. 140.
  • 19. CJ, i. 185a, 198a.
  • 20. ‘Paulet 1610’, f. 15.
  • 21. LI Black Bks. ii. 133; W.R. Prest, Rise of the Barristers, 411.
  • 22. Soton Assembly Bks. 1611-14, p. 37.
  • 23. Hants RO, 44M69/G2/41.
  • 24. Procs. 1614 (Commons), 154.
  • 25. PROB 11/131, f. 400.
  • 26. C142/367/14; Royalist’s Notebk. 140.