John Coke

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Sir John Coke
George White, The Right Honourable Sr. John Coke Kt. (1724).jpg
Sir John Coke
Born 1563
Trusley in Derbyshire
Died 1644
Tottenham
Education Westminster School & Trinity College, Cambridge
Occupation Civil servant
Spouse(s) Mary Powell[1]
Parents Richard and Mary Coke

Sir John Coke (5 March 1563 – 8 September 1644) was an English office holder and politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1621 and 1629.

Coke was the son of Richard and Mary Coke of Trusley, Derbyshire. He was educated at Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge.[2] After leaving the university he entered public life as a servant of William Cecil, Lord Burghley, afterwards becoming deputy-treasurer of the navy and then a commissioner of the navy, and being specially commended for his labours on behalf of naval administration.

In 1621 Coke was elected Member of Parliament for Warwick.[3] He was appointed a Master of Requests in 1622 and was knighted in 1624. In 1624 he was elected MP for St Germans and was re-elected for the seat in 1625.[3] In the parliament of 1625 Coke acted as a secretary of state; in this and later parliaments he introduced the royal requests for money, and defended the foreign policy of Charles I and Buckingham, and afterwards the actions of the king. His actual appointment as secretary dates from September 1625. He was elected MP for Cambridge University in 1626 and 1628. Disliked by the leaders of the popular party, his speeches in the House of Commons did not improve the king's position..

King Charles ruled without a parliament from 1628 and he found Coke's industry very useful to him. Coke kept his post until 1639, when he was scapegoated for the humiliating Pacification of Berwick with the Scots. Dismissed from office, he retired to his estate at Melbourne in Derbyshire, and then resided in London, dying at Tottenham on 8 September 1644.

Coke in his earlier years had been a defender of absolute monarchy and greatly disliked the papacy. He was described by Clarendon as "a man of very dumb education and a narrower mind"; and again he says, "his cardinal perfection was industry and his most eminent infirmity covetousness."

Coke's elder son, Sir John Coke was a Parliamentarian in the English Civil War, while his younger son Thomas Coke was a Royalist.

The Coke family continued to own Melbourne Hall until George Lewis Coke, an ambiguous figure who died childless. His sister married the family's lawyer and the Coke name was lost.

References[edit]

Parliament of England
Preceded by
Sir Greville Verney
John Townsend
Member of Parliament for Warwick
1621-1622
With: Sir Greville Verney
Succeeded by
Sir Edward Conway
Francis Lucy
Preceded by
Richard Tisdale
Sir Richard Buller
Member of Parliament for St Germans
1624-1625
With: Sir John Stradling 1624
Sir Henry Marten
Succeeded by
Sir Henry Marten
Sir John Eliot
Preceded by
Sir Robert Naunton
Sir Albert Morton
Member of Parliament for Cambridge University
1626-1629
With: Thomas Eden
Succeeded by
Parliament suspended until 1640
Preceded by
The Earl of Worcester
Lord Privy Seal
1625–1628
Succeeded by
Sir Robert Naunton