COLE, Edward (c.1549-1617), of Winchester, Hants.

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

b. c.1549, 5th s. of John Cole, merchant, of Sudbury, Suff. and Elizabeth, da. of John Martyn; bro. of Martin†.1 m. by 1578, Christian (bur. 5 June 1614),2 da. of William Heycraft of Winchester, 4s. 2da.3 bur. 2 Nov. 1617.4

Offices Held

Freeman and alderman, Winchester 1578-d., bailiff 1579-80, mayor 1587-8, 1598-9, 1612-13;5 registrar, Winchester dioc. 1584-d.;6 actuary, Winchester Coll. 1596-d.;7 j.p. Winchester 1602;8 commr. gaol delivery, Winchester 1604-d.9


As the younger son of a merchant family Cole settled in Winchester and became a notary public, serving both the municipal and diocesan administration.10 Having represented the city in Elizabeth’s last Parliament, he was re-elected in 1604. In the records of the first Jacobean Parliament it is often difficult to distinguish him from Anthony Cole, the Member for Hull. On 7 May 1604 he was listed as ‘Mr. Cole of Winchester’ among those willing to give evidence on purveyance, a grievance keenly felt in Hampshire.11 By constituency he was appointed to committees for bills for the relief of parishes infected with plague (18 May), to prevent the alienation of episcopal property (19 May) and to confirm a Chancery decree for the sale of land by Sir Thomas Waller* (2 June).12 It was probably Cole who, on 5 June, intervened in the debate on the bill to continue, revive or repeal expiring statutes, but the substance of his contribution has been lost.13 Three days later he informed the House of a conversation in which John Howson, a royal chaplain, had made insulting remarks about Parliament. The matter was referred to a sub-committee but seems to have gone no further.14

In the second session Cole was named in full to the committee for the revived Waller land bill (27 Feb. 1606),15 and appointed by surname only to committees for a bill to regulate the conduct of parliamentary elections (3 Apr.), and deprive a peccant wife of her dowry (17 May).16 In the third session he was appointed as ‘Mr. Cole’ to consider bills to regulate ecclesiastical courts (29 Nov. 1606), strengthen the authority of the churchwardens of St. Saviour’s, Southwark (25 Feb. 1607), and augment poor livings (15 May).17 He was named a third time to the revived Waller estate bill (6 March).18 He left no trace on the records of the fourth and fifth sessions.

Cole does not seem to have stood for re-election in 1614. His portrait, which still hangs in the Guildhall, was painted in 1616, when he was aged 67.19 He was buried on 2 Nov. 1617 in the cathedral under an ornate monument.20 No will has been found. He was succeeded as registrar by his eldest son, Edward.21 None of his direct descendants sat in Parliament, though a cousin, Thomas, was elected at Winchester in 1660.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Virginia C.D. Moseley / Rosemary Sgroi


  • 1. J.E. Cole, Fam. of Cole, 11; Misc. Gen. et Her. ii. 238-9; H.F. Waters, Genealogical Gleanings in Eng. 1219-20.
  • 2. Soc. Gen., Cole mss.
  • 3. Hants RO, W/B1/1, f. 202; Vivian, Vis. Cornw. 90.
  • 4. J. Vaughan, Winchester Cathedral, 281.
  • 5. Hants RO, W/B1/1, ff. 198, 199; W/F2/2, f. 229; W/F2/3, ff. 4v, 92v, 232; Stowe 846, ff. 2, 4v.
  • 6. N and Q (ser. 4), x. 218
  • 7. CSP Dom. 1595-7, p. 228.
  • 8. C181/1, f. 36.
  • 9. C181/1 f. 94; 181/2, f. 261v.
  • 10. S. Himsworth, Winchester College Muniments, i. 26; Hants RO, W/F2/3, ff. 48v, 66, 68v.
  • 11. CJ, i. 202a.
  • 12. Ibid. 213b, 214b, 231a.
  • 13. Ibid. 232b.
  • 14. Ibid. 235a, b.
  • 15. Ibid. 275a.
  • 16. Ibid. 293a, 310a.
  • 17. Ibid. 326a, 340b, 374a.
  • 18. Ibid. 349b.
  • 19. N and Q (ser. 4), x. 218.
  • 20. Vaughan, 281.
  • 21. N and Q (ser. 4), x. 218.