COKE, Henry (1591-1661), of Baylis House, Stoke Poges, Bucks. and Thorington, Suff.
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Family and Education
b. 27 Aug. 1591, 5th but 3rd surv. s. of Sir Edward Coke* and Bridget, da. and h. of John Paston† of Cookley, Suff.; bro. of Clement* and Sir Robert*.1 educ. Westminster; Queens’, Camb. 1607; I. Temple 1610.2 m. 24 Aug. 1619, Margaret, da. and h. of Richard Lovelace* of Hillingdon, Mdx., 7s. (3 d.v.p.) 3da. (1 d.v.p.).3 bur. 19 Nov. 1661.4
Freeman, Dunwich, Suff. 1640.10
Coke’s father, the renowned judge and parliamentarian Sir Edward Coke, was high steward of the borough of Chipping Wycombe, and as such was undoubtedly responsible for Coke’s election there in 1624. That said, Coke was presumably already well known locally, having been living eight miles away in a farmhouse on his father’s Stoke Poges estate.11 Coke is not mentioned specifically in the surviving parliamentary records for 1624, and it is likely that most, if not all, the references to ‘Mr. Coke’ refer to John Coke, who also sat and was older and, as a commissioner of the Navy, more prominent.
Henry Coke was re-elected in 1625. By that date John Coke had been knighted, so it is possible to state with certainty that this Member played no recorded part in the Commons’ proceedings. Returned for Chipping Wycombe for a third time the following year, Coke was joined by his fiery brother Clement. As he was excused attendance on 5 Apr. on the grounds that he was lying sick in the country, most of the references to ‘Mr. Coke’ in this Parliament must therefore refer to his brother. However, this Member probably received at least one committee appointment, as two men with his surname were named on 11 Feb. to consider the Charterhouse hospital bill, which measure Coke’s father piloted through the Commons in 1628.12
By October 1626 Coke was living at Thorington in Suffolk, the manor which his father had bought in 1593 and settled on him in 1620.13 He and his brother Arthur, together with Sir Nathaniel Barnardiston*, appeared before the Privy Council on 20 Dec. for refusing to contribute to the Forced Loan, but after promising to pay up he was discharged.14 There is no evidence that Coke sought election in 1628, but he represented Dunwich, near Thorington, in both the Short and Long Parliaments until disabled as a royalist. His income in 1655 was estimated at between £1,500 and £2,000 p.a. He was buried at Thorington on 19 Nov. 1661, by which date his eldest son Richard was sitting for Dunwich in the Cavalier Parliament. No will or grant of administration has been found.15
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Author: John. P. Ferris
- 1. Vis. Eng. and Wales Notes ed. Crisp, viii. 108, 110-11.
- 2. C.W. James, Chief Justice Coke, 112; Al. Cant.; I. Temple admiss. database.
- 3. A.J. Pearman, ‘Kentish fam. of Lovelace’, Arch. Cant. xx. 61; Vis. Eng. and Wales Notes ed. Crisp, viii. 111-16.
- 4. T.S. Hill, Regs. Par. of Thorington, 73.
- 5. C231/5, p. 39; C66/2859.
- 6. PC2/46, f. 373.
- 7. C181/5, ff. 103, 176.
- 8. SR, v. 156.
- 9. Northants. RO, FH133.
- 10. M.F. Keeler, Long Parl. 136.
- 11. CSP Dom. 1619-23, p. 355. He lived in Stoke Poges until at least June 1625. Vis. Eng. and Wales Notes, 113.
- 12. Procs. 1626, ii. 20, 431.
- 13. Hill, 25; Hundred of Launditch and Deanery of Brisley ed. G.A. Carthew, iii. 115-16.
- 14. APC, 1626, pp. 426-7.
- 15. Hill, 73n.; Keeler, 136-7.