Robert Cooke (organist)

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Robert Cooke (1768 – 22/23 August 1814) was an English organist and composer, from 1802 organist of Westminster Abbey.


St Martin-in-the-Fields, from an 1820 publication

Cooke was born in Westminster, London, son of the organist and composer Benjamin Cooke; he succeeded his father as organist of the church of St Martin-in-the-Fields in 1793. He was appointed organist at Westminster Abbey on the death of Samuel Arnold in 1802, and was master of the choristers of the Abbey by 1805.[1]

On 22 or 23 August 1814 he drowned in the River Thames near Millbank; it was supposed he took his own life. He was buried in the west cloister of Westminster Abbey.[1][2]


Cooke wrote an Evening Service in C (1806), and a collection of chants for the choir of the Abbey. He also wrote an "Ode to Friendship", and several songs and glees, of which a collection of eight was published in 1805.[1][3]


  1. ^ a b c "Cooke, Robert (1768–1814)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/6176. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ Benjamin and Robert Cooke Westminster Abbey, accessed 21 May 2017.
  3. ^ Heron-Allen, Edward (1887). "Cooke, Robert (fl.1793-1814)" . In Stephen, Leslie (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. 12. London: Smith, Elder & Co. p. 93.

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