PEAKE, Edward (c.1542-1607), of Sandwich, Kent

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



c. Aug. 1576
1604 - July 1607

Family and Education

b. c.1542, 3rd but 2nd surv. s. of Nicholas Peake†, merchant (d.1560), of Sandwich and Joanna, da. of Roger Manwood†, draper, of Sandwich. educ. I. Temple 1560. m. (1) 30 May 1568, Elizabeth, da. and h. of Thomas Norton of Faversham, Kent, 6s. (3 d.v.p.) 5da. (3 d.v.p.); (2) lic. 22 July 1586, Mary, da. of Thomas Cox of Berks., wid. of one Tyser of Sandwich, 1s. 2da. (1 d.v.p.).1 suc. bro. 1570. bur. 25 July 1607.2

Offices Held

Jurat, Sandwich 1571-d.; representative to Brodhull 1572-1601;3 Capt. militia ft., Sandwich 1573-at least 1599, Mayor 1575-7, 1586-7, 1592-3, 1597-8;4 commr. to examine disposal of goods from ship wrecked on Goodwin Sands 1593,5 sewers, E. Kent 1604, Canterbury, Kent 1605.6


Peake’s father settled in Sandwich, married into the best family in the town, and was elected to the Parliaments of 1539 and 1555. His will, drawn up six weeks after Elizabeth’s accession, cautiously provided for such funeral service ‘as at that time by authority shall be set out’.7 When Sir Roger Manwood† became a judge, Peake succeeded him in the representation of the port, and held the seat for the rest of his life. He continued to reside in the town, though he owned an estate in the vicinity. Elected to his eighth successive Parliament in 1604, he received the standard parliamentary wage of 4s. a day.8 During the first session he was among those appointed on 14 Apr. to attend the conference on Union with Scotland. He owned a maltings, and so was named to consider bills concerned with ‘the true assize of casks’ (24 Apr.) and ‘the avoidance of deceit in selling, buying or spending of corrupt and unwholesome hops’ (18 May).9 He was also appointed to committees for the regulation of watermen (9 May), the relief of parishes infected with the plague (18 May), and the better execution of the gun laws (30 May).10

‘Weak in body’, Peake drew up his will on 17 Dec. 1605, but recovered sufficiently to travel to Westminster when the second session was resumed.11 He was appointed to committees for bills to restrict the erection of cottages (17 Feb. 1606) and to explain an old statute preferred by London’s leading livery companies for the execution of ordinances promulgated by guilds and corporations (28 Feb. 1606).12 His only other appointment concerned a measure for the export of beer, which he and Sir John Scott may have introduced, since their names headed the committee list (27 Mar. 1606). After Sir Robert Hitcham asked on 14 Mar. 1606 for an addition to be made to the two subsidies already offered, Peake desired ‘that the king’s wants might no more be mentioned’.13

In the third session Peake was named to eight committees, beginning with the free trade bill on 26 Nov. 1606, and the bill ‘to restrain the utterance of beer and ale’ in unlicensed alehouses (3 Dec. 1606).14 After the House of Lords had been infuriated by a message from the Lower House that claimed that some Commons’ Members were barons, Richard Martin reported on 5 Mar. 1607 that Peake had produced a precedent for this description of the representatives of the Cinque Ports. Peake’s intervention perhaps explains his subsequent inclusion in the notorious ‘Fart’ poem, whose authors depicted him boasting that he had ‘a precedent in store / for his [Henry Ludlow’s*] father farted the sessions before’.15 More seriously, he was added to the committee for privileges to consider a course ‘for the procuring of some more ease and conveniency’ for the Commons at conferences (12 Mar. 1607), and evidently chaired a committee for a naturalization bill, which he reported on 13 Mar. 1607.16 During the absence of the Speaker, the bill to repeal a clause in the Watermen’s Act was delivered to him as one of the ‘burgesses of port towns’ entitled to attend the committee (23 Mar. 1607). At the same time, he was also given the list of the committee to determine ‘what were meet to be done hereafter upon all occasions of the Speaker’s absence’; and on 19 June he was among those ordered to peruse the Journal for all entries affecting privilege since the commencement of the current Parliament.17 Peake’s standing was clearly on the rise, as he had achieved a position in the House equalled by few of its merchant Members. However, three weeks after the prorogation, on 25 July, he was ‘very solemnly buried’ at St. Clement’s, Sandwich.18

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: John. P. Ferris / Peter Lefevre / Andrew Thrush


  • 1. Vis. Kent (Harl. Soc. lxxv), 141; Vis. Kent (Harl. Soc. lxi), 48-9; PROB 11/44, f. 76; Soc. Gen., St. Peter’s, Sandwich par. reg.; Canterbury Mar. Lics. comp. J. Cowper, i. 320.
  • 2. Cent. Kent. Stud., St. Clement’s, Sandwich, par. reg.
  • 3. Cal. of White and Black Bks. of Cinque Ports ed. F. Hull, 284, 362.
  • 4. W. Boys, Sandwich, 419, 692; Add. 33511, f. 180.
  • 5. CSP Dom. 1591-4, p. 394.
  • 6. C181/1, ff. 100, 124v.
  • 7. PROB 11/44, f.76.
  • 8. E. Kent Archives Cent. Sa/AC6, f. 329.
  • 9. Cent. Kent. Stud., PRC17/56, f. 144v; CJ, i. 172a, 183b, 213b.
  • 10. CJ, i. 204a, 213b, 229a.
  • 11. Cent. Kent. Stud., PRC17/56, f. 143v.
  • 12. CJ, i. 269b, 275b.
  • 13. Ibid. 284a.
  • 14. Ibid. 325a, 327a.
  • 15. Ibid. 348b; Add. 34218, f. 20.
  • 16. CJ, i. 342b, 352a.
  • 17. Ibid. 386a, 1031b-32a.
  • 18. Ibid. 352a, 1031b, 1032a; Cent. Kent. Stud., St. Clement’s, Sandwich, par. reg.