Henry Cooke (composer)

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Henry Cooke (Captain Henry Cooke; c. 1616 – 13 July 1672) was an English composer, actor and singer. At the outbreak of the English Civil War he was a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal and joined the Royalist cause, in the service of which he rose to the rank of Captain. With the Restoration of Charles II he returned to the Chapel Royal as Master of the Children and was responsible for the rebuilding of the Chapel and the introduction of instrumental music into the services. The choristers in his charge included his successor and eventual son-in-law Pelham Humfrey, as well as Henry Purcell and John Blow.

Cooke was one of the five English composers who created music for Sir William Davenant's The Siege of Rhodes (1656), often called the first English opera.


Cultural offices
Preceded by
Thomas Day
Master of the Children of the Chapel Royal
Succeeded by
Pelham Humfrey