BROOKE, alias COBHAM, John (1535-94), of Newington, Kent.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. 22 Apr. 1535,1 4th s. of George, 9th Lord Cobham, and bro. of George, Thomas, William and Henry Brooke alias Cobham I. Uncle of William and Henry Brooke alias Cobham II. educ. travelled abroad 1554-5; I. Temple 1556. m. by 1561, Alice, da. of Edward Cobbe of Cobbs Place, Kent, wid. of Sir John Norton of Northwood in Milton, Kent.

Offices Held

J.p. Kent by 1564, commr. musters by 1573; capt. Foresight 1576; at Dunkirk 1582; with Leicester in the Netherlands 1586; commr. survey Isle of Sheppey 1587.


Brooke was a Marian exile, in Padua by 23 Aug. 1554, and in Venice as a member of the Earl of Bedford’s household by 31 July 1555. He probably owed his seats in Parliament and his naval and military career to his brother William, 10th Lord Cobham. His parliamentary activity was minimal. He may have been the ‘Mr. Cobham’ who was appointed to a committee on fines and recoveries on 13 Feb. 1576. On 23 Mar. 1593, the MPs for Queenborough were appointed to a committee on kerseys.

Brooke had some sort of claim to the office of clerk to the council in the marches of Wales, for in January 1591 he accused Fulke Greville of depriving him of it, and appealed to the Privy Council for redress. Nothing came of it, and, for the remainder of his life, as far as is known, Brooke remained in Kent, fulfilling the regular local duties of a minor country gentleman.

He made his will 8 Feb. 1594, proved 26 Sept. He asked to be buried at Newington next to his wife, appointed his heir and nephew, Sir William Brooke, sole executor and provided an annuity of £10 for his sister-in-law Mary.2

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Authors: W.J.J. / K.B.


  • 1. Coll. Top. et Gen. vii. 352 states that he was b. on a Thursday, which, together with the birth date of his bro. Thos., settles John’s b. date as 22 Apr. 1535, not 1534.
  • 2. CP ; Hasted, Kent, ii. 413; vi. 63-4; W. Berry, Kent Peds. (1830), p. 149; Arch. Cant. xi. 208; xii. 139; Cam. Misc. x. 116; CSP Ven. vi. 145; D’Ewes, 507; CJ, i. 105; CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 460; 1581-90, p. 197; APC, ix. 175; xx. 233, 235; xxii. 252; Lansd. 683, f. 50; HMC Hatfield, ii. 512, 516; R.C. Strong and J. A. Van Dorsten, Leicester’s Triumph, 112; Add. 38823, f. 34; PCC 62 Dixy.