COOKE, James (d.1746), of Ashtead Park, nr. Epsom, Surr.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
3rd s. of Thomas Cooke of Hackney, Mdx. and bro. of Sir Charles Cooke. m. Anne, 1s. 1da.
Director, R. Exchange Assurance.
Under Queen Anne, Cooke, a wealthy Turkey merchant, acted as English banker at Constantinople, where he met and lent substantial sums of money to Charles XII of Sweden in the years 1711-14. A German diplomat wrote of him: ‘c’est un fort galant homme, et je puis dire, que je n’ai jamais connu de si belles qualités dans un marchand’.1 In 1722 he stood for Tregony, ousting Daniel Pulteney, who wrote immediately after the election:
You will have seen by a former [letter] from me that my election is over. An interest was making against me for Sir Ch. Cooke’s brother, this was managed by one Vincent and, as I have been assured, came ultimately from Mr. Walpole; you will judge by this how sincere he is to his brother minister, Sunderland, upon whose account only he could think of opposing me.2
Defeated in 1727, he did not stand again. He died 19 Nov. 1746.