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(Sir) Anthony Cooke and Anne Fitzwilliam

(Sir) Anthony COOKE.
Born in 1504, of Gidea Hall, Essex, England; and of Blythe, York, & Nottingham, England.; son of (Sir) John COOKE and Alice SAUNDERS.

Privately educated in Latin, Greek, poetry, history, and mathematics. (S4).

Galton, in whose youth he lived, called him the most learned man of his time. He lived a retired and studious life. (S4).

He married Anne, daughter of Sir William Fitzwilliam of Milton, Northampton. He educated his children, Anthony, Richard, Edward, William, Mildred, Ann, Margaret, Elizabeth, and Katherine. For a time, he also instructed the son of Lord Seymour. This led to his being appointed tutor to young Edward, Prince of Wales, later Edward VI, King of England.(S4).

At Edward’s coronation, he was made knight of the Bath. That same year he entered Parliament to represent Lewes, and served as one of the visitors commissioned by the Crown to inspect the dioceses of London, Westminster, Norwich, and Ely. Two years later he served on two ecclesiastical commissions. And in the new decade, he attended the discussions held between Roman catholics and protestants hosted by Sir William Cecil and Sir Richard Moryson. The following year he was rewarded with a grant of land.(S4).

After Mary captured control of England, he was taken to the Tower and accused of complicity in Lady Jane Grey’s movement. He escaped from the Tower and Mary’s control by fleeing to Strasburg, Germany.(S4).

On the accession of Elizabeth, he returned home, was elected a member of Parliament for Essex, and carried the Act of Uniformity to the House of Lords. The following year he was named a commissioner for visiting Cambridge University, the dioceses of Norwich and Ely, and Eton College; and received the oaths of ecclesiastics. Five years later he was the steward of the liberty of Havering-atte-Bower. He received Queen Elizabeth at Gidea Hall, the rebuilding of which, begun by his great-grandfather, he had just completed. (S4).

He was exiled during Mary I's reign, but returned to England and served as MP from Essex under Elizabeth.

He died on 11 June 1576. His memorial is at the church of Romford, Essex, England.

From Gulling Sonnets. (S6).
by Sir John Davies
[Dedicatory Sonnet]

HERE my Chameleon Muse herself doth change
to diverse shapes of gross absurdities,
And like an Antic1 mocks with fashion strange
The fond2 admirers of lewd gulleries.
Your judgement sees with pity, and with scorn
The bastard Sonnets of the Rhymers base,
Which in this whisking age are daily born
To their own shames, and Poetry's disgrace.
Yet some praise those and some perhaps will praise
Even these of mine : and therefore these I send
To you that pass in Court your glorious days;
Yet if some rich rash gull these Rhymes commend
Thus you may set this formal wit to school,
Use your own grace, and beg him for a fool.
J. D.

1 = motley-dressed jester or fool. (Grosart).
2 = foolish. (Grosart).
Gulleries: trickeries, frauds.
Whisking: a) fast-moving; b) great.
Gull: fool, dupe.
Set: . .school, set him straight.
Beg: . .fool, show him for a fool.

Daughter of (Sir) William FITZWILLIAM and Ann HAWES.

She married Sir Anthony Cooke.

  1. (William?) COOKE. [Our ancestor is one of the children of Sir Anthony and Anne. Which one is unknown, but William is thought to be the most likely. Especially since his wife's name is Frances, he seems to be the most likely one to be the father of Francis COOKE. William married Frances GREY. They had four sons and two daughters, (names unknown).
  2. Mildred COOKE. Born 24 AUG 1524 at Romford, Essex, England. She married Sir William Cecil, Lord Burghley, on 21 DEC 1545. Sir William was Principal secretary and advisor to Queen Elizabeth I, Sir William was Secretary of State from 1558 and Lord Treasurer from 1572. Lord Burghley was guardian of Edward deVERE,17th Earl of Oxford, and later his father-in-law. Some claim, and many dispute, that Edward deVERE, rather than Shakespeare, was the author of Hamlet and that Lord Burghley served at the inspiration for the character Polonius. Lord Burghley completed the fabulous Burghley House as his second home in 1587. They had six children, three who died in childhood. She died (10 MAR 1587)(5 APR 1689-S8)(4 Aug 1598) at (Burghley House-S8), Wessex, England. (Burghley House is located about 80 miles north of London, near Peterborough.)
  3. Ann COOKE. Born 1528 in Wessex, England. She married Sir Nicholas BACON in 1553 at Gidea, Essex, England. She died in 1610 in Wessex, England. Buried at St. Michaels Church, St. Albans, England. She became the foster mother of SIR FRANCIS (FRANCISCUS), KNIGHT BACON Wessex, England. At 28 years of age LADY became the mother of ANTHONY BACON Wessex, England, 1558. She resided in York House, Next To The Queen's Palace, England 1579. Lady Anne Bacon was Sir Nicholas Bacon's second wife. She was the daughter of Sir Anthony Cooke, governor of Edward VI. The Cooke family were connected with Stratford, being large landowners. She was a perfect housewife, as well as being a very clever woman. She had been the tutor to the young King Edward. She had a strong character and her accomplishments were many and varied. She was familiar with classical languages. In her private letters she quotes Latin freely. In her twenty-second year she translated and published Ochines Sermons from the Italian. When Francis was two years old she translated from the original Latin, Bishop Jewels Apology for the Church of England. Her fame as a literary woman was such that Theodore Beza, years after this, dedicated to her his Meditations. She was a deeply religious woman, strictly puritanical...."A very saint of God," says Francis Bacon in after years. The day started with family prayers and ended with stories of Classical Adventures, Morality Tales and the Ancient Myths. Her home shone with the beauty of holiness like a sanctuary in those dark days of intrigue, hypocrisy, corruption and vulgar debauchery. Lady Bacon died in 1610, over eighty, being a little better than frantic in her old age, says Bishop Goodman. She had been for years under the care of Francis Bacon. Her goodness to him cannot be over-estimated. Her intellect and life were reflected in him in a variety of ways. She was his staunch friend and ally. She spent her money to assist him in his literary enterprises. She maintained the Queen's secret and acted the part of foster-mother with tact and discretion. She was the head Lady-in-Waiting to Queen Elizabeth when Francis was born. This is amply proved by a letter written by Lady Bacon to Anthony. Francis had apparently been by something she had said or done or written, and so she writes to the elder (foster) brother, who apparently knows the real relationsip, to mollify Francis by explaining that he has misunderstood. In writing to Anthony she makes this remarkable statement. (Explain to him): it is not my meaning to treat him as a ward: Such a word is far from my Motherly feeling for him. I mean to do him good. Such a significant phrase reveals the real relationship of the parties. He was the ward of Lady and Sir Nicholas Bacon, not their son. It is therefore quite consistent that Francis Bacon should write to Sir Toby Matthew, and refer to Anthony as his friend, not as his brother. He is speaking of having lost two dear friends. One he has lost "by absence." That was Matthew. The other by "death." He names him "Mr. Anthony Bacon." He did not call him "brother", but a friend in whom he could confide." Similiarly in the Northumberland Manuscript he writes, "Anthony comfort and consort" but he did not write "brother." (A note by J. Edward Morgan, California) True, he signs the dedication of his Essays to Anthony, Your entire loving brother, for they were brother-masons as well as foster brothers.
  4. Anthony COOKE.
  5. (Sir) Richard COOKE. Born in 1531. He married Ann CAWNTON (Cauton). He died on 3 October 1579. He is also said to be the father of Francis Cooke, but evidence for this is not given.
  6. Edward COOKE. (1557–1584). He is also said to be the father of Francis Cooke.
  7. Margaret COOKE. She married (Sir) Ralph Rowlett on 27 June 1558. She was buried on 3 August 1558 at St. Mary Staning, London.
  8. Elizabeth COOKE. She married (1) John, Lord RUSSELL after 12 December 1574. She married (2) Thomas HOBY. She was buried on 2 June 1609, Bisham, Sussex, England.
  9. Katherine COOKE. Born about 1530. She married Sir Henry KILLIGREW. She was called a learned lady. She was buried on 27 December 1583.