Thomas Cheek

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For the Australian politician, see Thomas Cheek (Australian politician).

Sir Thomas Cheek or Cheke (died March 1659) was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons in every parliament between 1604 and 1653.

Cheek was the son of Sir Henry Cheek and his wife Frances Radclyffe daughter of Sir Humphrey Radclyffe of Elstow and sister of Edward Radclyffe, 6th Earl of Sussex. He was educated at York where his school fellows included Thomas Morton, afterwards Bishop of Durham, and Guy Fawkes. He lost his father while a minor as he wrote a Greek letter and Latin verses to the Lord Treasurer in 1586 in which he called himself an orphan, and spoke of his father being gone to the joys of heaven. In it he prays his Lordship, that as he was always a help and a sanctuary unto his father, so he would be to him.[1] Cheek was knighted by King James I on 11 May 1603.[2]

In 1604, Cheek was elected Member of Parliament for Harwich and was re-elected MP for Harwich in 1614 and in 1621. In 1624 he was elected MP for both Bere Alston and Essex, and chose to sit for Essex. He was MP for Bere Alston again in 1625 and was elected MP for Maldon in 1626. In 1628 he was elected MP for Colchester where he sat until 1629 when King Charles decided to rule without parliament for eleven years.[3] He was awarded MA from Cambridge University in 1629.[4]

Cheek was elected MP for Harwich in April 1640 for the Short Parliament and was re-elected for Harwich again in the Long Parliament in November 1640.[3] He survived at least until Pride's Purge.[5]

Cheek purchased Pirgo Park in Havering Essex from the Grey family. He died at "a great age", and was buried on 25 March 1659 in St Alban, Wood Street in the north chapel near his grandfather.[1]

Cheek married firstly a daughter of Peter Osborn. They were married nearly twenty years, but had no issue. He married secondly Lady Essex Rich, third daughter of Robert Rich, 1st Earl of Warwick. They had three sons, Robert, Thomas, Charles and five daughters, Frances, Essex, Anne, Isabel, and Elizabeth.

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Parliament of England
Preceded by
Member of Parliament for Harwich
1604-1622
With: Edward Grimston
Succeeded by
Sir Nathaniel Rich
Christopher Harris
Preceded by
Thomas Wise
Member of Parliament for Bere Alston
1624
With: Thomas Jermyn jun.
Succeeded by
Thomas Jermyn jun.
William Strode
Preceded by
Sir Francis Barrington, 1st Baronet
Sir John Deane
Member of Parliament for Essex
1624
With: Sir Francis Barrington, 1st Baronet
Succeeded by
Sir Francis Barrington, 1st Baronet
Sir Arthur Harris
Preceded by
Thomas Jermyn jun.
William Strode
Member of Parliament for Bere Alston
1625
With: William Strode
Succeeded by
Thomas Wise
Preceded by
Sir William Masham, 1st Baronet
Sir Henry Mildmay
Member of Parliament for Maldon
1626
With: Sir William Masham, 1st Baronet
Succeeded by
Sir Henry Mildmay
Sir Arthur Harris
Preceded by
Edward Alford
William Towse
Member of Parliament for Colchester
1628-1629
With: Edward Alford
Succeeded by
Parliament suspended until 1640
Preceded by
Parliament suspended since 1629
Member of Parliament for Harwich
1640-1653
With: Sir John Jacob, 1st Baronet 1640
Sir Harbottle Grimston, 1st Baronet 1640-1647
Capel Luckyn 1647-1648
Succeeded by
Not represented in Barebones parliament