Samuel Luke

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Sir Samuel Luke (1603–1670) sat in the House of Commons from 1640 to 1653 and in 1660, and was an officer in the Parliamentary army during the English Civil War.


Luke was baptised on 21 March 1603 in Southill, Bedfordshire. He was the son of Sir Oliver Luke Member of Parliament and his wife Elizabeth, daughter and coheir of Sir Valentine Knightley of Fawsley, Northants. He attended Eton from 1617 to 1619 and travelled abroad in 1623.[1] He was knighted on 20 July 1624. In April 1640, Luke was elected Member of Parliament for Bedford in the Short Parliament and was re-elected for the Long Parliament in November 1640.[1] In the latter election he is known to have had the support of much of John Bunyan's future congregation.[2]

Luke was governor of the Parliamentary outpost in Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire from late 1642 until June 1644 during the English Civil War [3] During the war he was also Scoutmaster to the Earl of Essex.[3][a] He subscribed to the Solemn League and Covenant and in 1648 was secluded from the Long Parliament under Pride's Purge.[4]

Luke inherited the family estate on the death of his father in 1651.[1] In April 1660, he was re-elected MP for Bedford in the Convention Parliament.[1] He died in 1670 and was buried on 30 August in Cople, Bedfordshire.[1]

Mention in literature[edit]

It is thought that Sir Samuel Luke was the basis for the title character of the satirical heroic poem Hudibras (1662) by Samuel Butler.[1]


On 2 February 1624 Luke married Elizabeth, daughter of William Freeman, Haberdasher and merchant, of London.[1]


  1. ^ William Everard, who went on to be a leader of the Diggers, was one of Luke's scouts.


  • Parliament of Great Britain (1753). The parliamentary or constitutional history of England;: being a faithful account of all the most remarkable transactions in Parliament, from the earliest times. Collected from the journals of both Houses, the records, ... 9. Printed; and sold by William Sandby. pp. 13, 14.
  • Helms, M. W.; Naylor, Leonard; Jaggar, Geoffrey (1983), "Luke, Sir Samuel (1603-70), of Woodend, Cople, Beds", in Henning, B.D., The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, History of Parliament Online
  • Hirst, Derek (1975). The Representative of the People?: Votes and Voting in England under the Early Stuarts. pp. 123–4.
  • Tibbutt, H.G. (1959). "The Civil War Letter-Books of Sir Samuel Luke". Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research. 37 (150): 91–92.
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Parliament suspended since 1629
Member of Parliament for Bedford
With: Sir Beauchamp St John
Succeeded by
Sir Beauchamp St John
Richard Edwards
Preceded by
Not represented in Restored Rump
Member of Parliament for Bedford
With: Humphrey Winch
Succeeded by
Richard Taylor
John Kelynge