COKE, Richard (1622-69), of Thorington, Suff.
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Family and Education
bap. 8 Sept. 1622, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Henry Coke† of Thorington by Margaret, da. and h. of Richard Lovelace of Kingsdown, Kent. educ. King’s, Camb. 1637. m. lic. 26 June 1647, Mary, da. of Sir John Rous of Henham, Suff., 1s 1da. suc. fa. 1661.1
J.p. Suff. July 1660-d., commr. for assessment Aug. 1660-d.; freeman, Dunwich 1661; dep. lt. Suff. by 1667-d.2
Coke’s father was the fifth son of Sir Edward Coke, who settled Thorington on him in 1620. He represented Dunwich, four miles from Thorington, in the Short and Long Parliaments until disabled as a Royalist and fined £300. Nothing is known of the activities of Coke himself during this period, but he was later described as ‘an active honest Royalist’, and proposed for the order of the Royal Oak, when his income was estimated at £1,000 p.a.3
Coke was returned for Dunwich with his brother-in-law, John Rous I, in 1661, doubtless as a court supporter. An inactive Member of the Cavalier Parliament, he was appointed to the committee of elections and privileges in two sessions, and to 16 others, of which the most important were to consider the uniformity bill (3 July 1661) and the charges against Lord Mordaunt (25 Oct. 1667). His three recorded speeches in 1668 show that he was a strong Churchman. In Suffolk, he said,
many parsons there had altered the liturgy from ‘as many as are here present’ to ‘as few as are here present’.
During a debate on the King’s speech on 8 Apr. he moved that ‘dissenters should bring in their proposals to the House and show their reasons why they do dissent from the government established’. On 7 May he pointed out that Sir Robert Howard, in a list of bills left unfinished by the House, had omitted the conventicles bill. He was buried at St. Peter Hungate, Norwich on 11 Nov. 1669.4