COOKE, John (c.1587-1626), of King's Lynn, Norf.

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.1587.1 m. (1) 27 July 1608, Joan da. of one Walldinge (?Wallinge), 2s. 2da.; (2) bef. 1618, Elizabeth, wid. of William Leedes, 1da.2 d. 20 Sept. 1626.3

Offices Held

Customer, King’s Lynn 1617-d.,4 freeman 1623,5 alderman 1623-d.,6 capt. militia ft. 1623-d.,7 town auditor 1623-4.8


Cooke’s family background is unknown, but he may have been related to John Cooke, the swordbearer of King’s Lynn who was removed from office for imbecility in 1594.9 In 1615 Cooke obtained the lease of the right to impose tolls for bulk-breaking, carrying ballast, anchorage, and metage in the port of King’s Lynn, in return for an annual rent of £32. This was apparently renewed in 1620 and probably remained in his possession at his death.10 From 1617 he served the town as customer, receiving a yearly fee from the Crown of £49 0s. 14d.11 Shortly after his admission to the town’s freedom in 1623 he was appointed an auditor of its accounts and a captain of the Lynn militia.12 In this latter capacity the corporation lent him and Capt. Thomas March a barrel of powder in June 1624, for six months.13

Cooke was twice elected to Parliament for Lynn, but neither in 1625 nor 1626 did he leave any trace on the Commons’ records. In 1626 the Lynn corporation instructed him to purchase military equipment while he was in London for the town’s defence. Although he was sent £70, he returned with items costing in total £86 7s., including two cups for the town’s collection of plate and unspecified ‘parliament writings’ costing £3 12s.14

Cooke died intestate on 20 Sept. 1626, three months after the second Caroline Parliament was dissolved. His monumental inscription in St. Margaret’s, King’s Lynn describes him as someone ‘whose life and conversation was pleasing to God and Man’.15 The right to administer his estate was granted to his widow.16 Neither of Cooke’s sons entered Parliament.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Chris Kyle



  • 1. MI, St. Margaret’s, King’s Lynn.
  • 2. King’s Lynn, St. Margaret’s par. reg.; PROB 6/12, f. 112.
  • 3. MI, St. Margaret’s, King’s Lynn.
  • 4. E351/619, unfol.
  • 5. Cal. Lynn Freemen, 145.
  • 6. Norf. RO (King’s Lynn), KL/C7/10, f. 201r-v.
  • 7. Ibid. f. 204v.
  • 8. Ibid. ff. 211v, 218v.
  • 9. Ibid. C7/8, f. 41.
  • 10. Ibid. ff. 72v, 154v.
  • 11. E351/619, unfol.
  • 12. Norf. RO (King’s Lynn), KL/C7/10, ff. 204v, 211v.
  • 13. Ibid. f. 220.
  • 14. Ibid. ff. 253v, 260v.
  • 15. Norf. RO (King’s Lynn), unnumb. John Greene mss; MI, St. Margaret’s King’s Lynn.
  • 16. PROB 6/12, f. 112.