PEAKE, Edward (c.1545-?1607), of Sandwich and Ash, 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. c.1545, yr. s. of Nicholas Peake of Sandwich by Joan, da. of Roger Manwood of Sandwich. educ. I. Temple 1560. m. (1) Elizabeth, da. and h. of Thomas Norton of Faversham, at least 6s. 5da.; (2) 22 July 1586, Mary, da. of Thomas Cox of Berks., wid. of one Tysar of Sandwich, at least 1s. 2da.3

Offices Held

Jurat, Sandwich from Dec. 1571, mayor 1575-6, 1576-7, 1586-7, 1592-3, 1597-8;4 brodhull rep. many times aft. 1572.5


As a younger son Peake did not inherit the family’s main residence in Sandwich, but his father left him a house and quay there, together with the nearby manor of Ash. Either Edward or his son made Ash the principal seat, turning the family from townsmen into country gentlemen. Peake was returned to Parliament in 1576, during his first mayoralty, at a by-election caused by the elevation of his relative Roger Manwood to the bench. From that date onwards he sat in every Parliament until his death. In 1584 he and Edward Wood were successsful when four candidates took part in the election. There was a contest in 1586 also, but a letter from the lord warden, passing on the Privy Council’s request that the 1584 Members should be returned again, carried the day. Where details survive, Peake was paid 4s. a day parliamentary wages.6

Peake is not mentioned by name in the journals of the Commons before 1593, but, as a Member for a port town, he could have sat on committees concerning fish (6 Mar. 1587 and 5 Mar. 1593), statutes (28 Mar. 1593) and brewers (3 Apr. 1593). He was put on the committees for privileges and returns (5 Nov. 1597), forestallers (8 Nov.) and maltsters (12 Jan. 1598). As a burgess of a port town he could have attended the committees on monopolies (10 Nov. 1597), the navigation bill (12 Nov.), the Great Yarmouth charter (23 Nov.), mariners (9 Dec.) and corn (3 Feb. 1598). In 1601 he was again of the committee for privileges and returns (31 Oct.) and that on alehouses (5 Nov.). He could also have attended the main business committee (3 Nov.) and committees considering cloth workers (15 Nov.), monopolies (23 Nov.) and ships and seamen (9 Dec.). On 3 Dec. 1601 he made his only recorded speech, urging greater protection for coastal towns and their ships against the Dunkirk pirates:

Every day men come home, their goods and all they have taken away, yea their very apparel; and if the ships might also be carried away they would do it ... We had need to cherish this subject, I think him to be the best and most necessary member of the commonwealth, I mean the navigator.

Peake was one of the committee appointed to consider the matter.7

In addition to his activities in Sandwich, Peake was a representative at the Cinque Ports brodhull and one of the Ports’ ‘solicitors’ in a legal action against the city of London in 1593. In 1598 he was given the honour of administering the oath to the new lord warden, and was one of the canopy bearers at James I’s coronation, a traditional duty for barons of the Ports. Earlier he had been prominent in the preparations for the Queen’s visit in 1573, and was an officer in the local musters.8

His standing in eastern Kent is shown by his appearance in a number of local commissions appointed by the Privy Council. With Sir Thomas Scott, the dean of Rochester, and others, he was ordered to investigate the disturbances in Hythe connected with the mayoralty of Christopher Honeywood, and in 1587 he and other Sandwich men were instructed to send under guard to Canterbury the ringleaders in the ‘late intended commotion in those parts’. He also carried out commissions from the lord warden, especially with regard to the restraint of suspected persons from going overseas. In 1599 he interrogated ten Sandwich men suspected of carrying ashore goods from a Dutch ship which had run aground on the Goodwin sands.9

The date of Peake’s death has not been found. A parliamentary by-election to choose his successor took place on 11 Jan. 1608.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: M.R.P.


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
  • 2. Ibid.
  • 3. Vis. Kent (Harl. Soc. lxxv), 135, 141; J. Cowper, Cant. Mar. Lic. 1568-1618, p. 320.
  • 4. There are discrepancies as to the mayors, 1591-3, between Vis. Kent, p. 144 and W. Boys, Sandwich, i. 419.
  • 5. Sandwich, new red bk. 1568-81, f. 56; Boys, i. 419 seq.; Cinque Ports black bk. passim.
  • 6. PCC 10 Loftes; Sandwich year bks. 1582-1608, ff. 26, 59, 101, 179, 234, 295.
  • 7. D’Ewes, 412, 487, 511, 514, 552, 555, 556, 562, 570, 592, 622, 624, 626, 642, 649, 666, 674; Townshend, Hist. Colls. 103, 281.
  • 8. Cinque Ports black bk. ff. 60, 67, 79 et passim; Boys, i. 213, 692; Add. 33511, ff. 150 seq.
  • 9. CSP Dom. 1581-90, p. 87; 1591-4, p. 394; 1598-1601, p. 162; APC, xv. 154.