|Memorial to Brian Cooke at Coates-by-Stowe|
The Story Of How The Cooke Family Became Baronets
Brian or Bryan?
Brian Cooke Esq. 1570 - 1653
The Devil Of Doncaster
The Content Of The Poem
Bevett v Cooke
Original Bellamy resided at Lambcote Grange, near Stainton. The Grange once belonged to Roche Abbey, but from 1570 was in the possession of the Bellamy family.
Bellamy was no stranger to enemies either, although these were prepared to go further than merely make up libellous rhymes against him. In 'Bellamy v Waterhouse' (1610), he claims of his riotous enemies "being all armed and weaponed" gathered at the gates of his house "showting, halloweing and sometymes singing... to the great terrour, feare, and annoyance of your said subjectes reste and others of his family."
In a further clash with Cooke in 1621 the Journals of the House of Lords state that Bellamy (who was by now "one of the yeomen of his majesty's guard") had been arrested in Nottinghamshire "at the suit of Bryan Cooke and others." Had his debts finally caught up with him? In the end both men appeared before the Lords, Bryan Cooke "to answer for the contempt".
|Depiction of the House of Lords in the seventeenth century|
Cooke The Usurer
Marriage And Family
- Alice (b.01/1617)(d.27/02/17)
- Susan (b.1618)
- Bryan (b.1620)(d.06/01/1661)
- Sarah (bap.07/05/1622)
- William (b.1623) died young
- Margaret (b.1625)
- George (b.1628)(d.16/10/1683)
- Henry (bap.29/101633)(d.1689)
The Manor Of Sandal And Wheatley
|1854 map showing the locations of Wheatley Hall (ringed in blue) and |
the old village of Long Sandall (ringed in red).
Wealth And Public Offices
Brian Cooke Esq. - Royalist
The history of the English Civil War is well documented elsewhere and we need not go into too much detail of it here, instead we will concern our focus on the activities of Brian Cooke and his eldest son, Bryan.
|King Charles I|
In its simplest terms, the Civil War began in August 1642 and was fought between the Royalists (Cavaliers) - for King Charles I, and the Parliamentarians (Roundheads) - headed by Oliver Cromwell. Each side wanted supremacy in governing the country, the King wanted an absolute monarchy, where he would hold supreme and absolute powers. The Parliamentarians on the other hand wanted a constitutional monarchy - the King being the Head of State, but with the limits of constitution, ultimately sharing power with the government.
In Yorkshire the two opposing forces were headed by the Earl of Newcastle (William Cavendish) for the Royalists, and Sir Thomas Fairfax for the Parliamentarians, and it is these two who feature most in the Civil War history of the Cooke family.
|Sir Thomas Fairfax The Earl of Newcastle|
Horses For The King
Brian Cooke and his family were firm Royalists and such was their position and wealth that they were compelled to contribute to the cause. Just before war broke out Brian's daughter Sarah married John Copley Esq. on the 20th of April 1642. Copley was in the regiment of Sir William Savile under Lord Newcastle. In June 1642 Brian Cooke sent several horses to the King's forces under the command of his new son-in-law Copley.
In late 1642 a system of investigating people's wealth was introduced, the purpose of which was to force loans to fund parliament, the money would be paid back annually with interest. Brian Cooke's estate was assessed by Sir Thomas Fairfax and £100 was demanded. A party of horse was sent to collect the money, but Cooke resisted and was forced to defend his house. The town of Doncaster rose to his assistance and disarmed the party. They immediately sent word to Lord Newcastle, (who had recently advanced into Yorkshire) asking for forces, which were sent, under the command of Captain Howard.
In January 1643 Fairfax was victorious at the Battle of Leeds and the King's party was forced to retreat to York. Cooke fled to Pontefract castle, a Royalist stronghold, no doubt fearful of reprisal for the unpaid loan. Fairfax sent Major-General John Gifford to Doncaster to set guards on his house. Gifford seized all Cooke's property and he was forced to pay £1600 to recover all that had been seized.
Later in 1643 the Earl of Newcastle having made gains in the county, found himself with insufficient troops to hold the entire area. Cooke was required to send in trained-band horse (companies of part-time militia), which he did, and maintained for the entire war, in the troop of Sir John Gooderic. He also supplied the army with money to the value of £480.
Defeat At Marston Moor
In 1644 Thomas Fairfax and the Earl of Leven held siege to York and the King's nephew Prince Rupert rode north to relieve the city. With the Royalists in decline, Brian Cooke and his son Bryan, took all they had and went to York. They stayed there until after the infamous Battle of Marston Moor on the 2nd of July - the largest battle of the whole war. The Royalists lost the north during this battle, York surrendered and the Earl of Newcastle went into exile. Following the battle, the Cooke's went first to Pontefract Castle, then Tickhill Castle until it was taken, before returning home.
|The Battle of Marston Moor|
With the north now in the hands of parliament, Royalist supporters such as the Cooke's were made to pay. Brian Cooke was charged with assisting King Charles I on the following grounds:
- That he had been in actual service and taken up arms for the King, against Parliament.
- That he sent horses and arms to the Earls of Cumberland and Newcastle, for the service of the King against Parliament.
- That he furnished his son-in-law, Mr. John Copley with men and horses to furnish his troop under Lord Newcastle.
- That he had been a commissioner for raising and regulating assessments for the maintenance of Lord Newcastle's army against Parliament.
- That in Lent last (1644), when the Lord Fairfax came from Hull, he left his house and went to York, and continued there until the battle of Hesham Moor*, and then went to Pontefract Castle, and so to Tickhill, until the castle was taken, and then home.
Cooke's property was confiscated in an act called 'sequestration', which meant 'the legal possession of assets'. Among the assets taken by the committee in Lincoln was an estate valued at £200.
Fine And Pardon
In November 1646 Cooke was pardoned and was able to retrieve his confiscated property to the tune of a fine of £1,460. The condition of the pardon also meant he was compelled to pay £100 per annum settled on the parish church at Arksey; in all this amounted to just over £2,333. Further to this, in 1647 Cooke was called upon for his 'fifth and twentieth part', which cost him £1000 more; the record doesn't state what this was actually for, but it is clear from this that Brian Cooke was having to pay a heavy price for his loyalty to the King.
Brian wasn't the only member of his family to be paying the price of a Royalist in a land controlled by Parliament, his son Bryan too found that his future career was in severe jeopardy for his loyalties. Twenty seven year old Bryan had intentions of becoming a lawyer and barrister, and had been a student at the Inner Temple since 1637. But due to his Royalist loyalties he was prevented from passing and being called to the bar, effectively losing the ten years education he had gained under the society.
Further pain was to come for the father and son; in December 1647 Brian's wife Sarah died at the age of 48, she was buried at St George's Church, Doncaster. Then, just six months later in June 1648 Royalists sneaked into the now Parliamentary held garrison of Pontefract Castle and took control. It was found that Brian and his son had corresponded with those Royalists that took the castle, and Brian was ordered to be sequestered, which meant his estates were confiscated yet again and he was effectively banished from Yorkshire - ordered to leave his place of abode and go to Lincolnshire. His son Bryan though, was banished from the whole country and ordered to go overseas for four years. Just where he went is not recorded.
Brian went to the village of Coates-by-Stow in Lincolnshire, to the home of his daughter Susan and her husband Charles Butler.
Meanwhile, King Charles I had been handed over to Parliament by the Scots during a second wave of civil war, and was executed in January 1649. Oliver Cromwell was proclaimed 'Lord Protector' over the new 'Commonwealth of England'. The King's heir, Charles II became King of Scotland following his father's death.
The Commonwealth Of England
Under the Commonwealth of England in 1649, Brian Cooke was called upon for a review of his estate, and in 1650 he was glad to compound (pay a fine) to retrieve it; this cost him just over £373. Another estate was taken in 1651 which cost him £530 in fines.
Further to this there was another estate under sequestration valued at £100, taken in October 1650. Cromwell gave the estate away to some of his officers, however Brian's son George was able to retrieve it in 1658 for the cost of around £1000.
Two years later in 1653 Brian Cooke died in Coates-by-Stow at the age of 83. He was buried at nearby St Edith's church, where an alabaster memorial to him can be found to this day. All that remains of the village now is the church, a farm, a hall and some cottages.
|Memorial to Bryan Cooke|
St Edith's church, Coates-by-Stow, Lincolnshire
Photo courtesy of JMC4-Church Explorer on flikr
Here lyeth ye body of Brian Cooke of Doncaster in the county of Yorke Esq who by Sara his wife, daughter & heire of Henry Riley Gent had issue
Brian, Alice who died young, William who died young, Susan, George, Sara, Henry, Margaret.
He dyed upon the 27th of December 1653, in the eightith yeare of his age.
For the original photo of Bryan Cooke's memorial plus other photos of St Edith's Church at Coates-by-Stow use the link below to go to the owner's photostream on flikr.
Bryan, George And Henry
Bryan, the banished eldest son of Brian Cooke, returned to England in 1652; his father had died a year later and as the eldest son Bryan was heir to his father's estates. England was now under Cromwellian rule but a Royalist uprising in March 1655 led to a Decimation Tax being introduced. The tax was a levy on Royalists, or suspected Royalists. Bryan Cooke didn't escape Decimation and was ordered to pay the sum of £150. The Decimation Tax was short-lived, and by the end of 1656 it had been abolished.
Despite Bryan and his younger brother George being sequestered, they bought the Manor of Arksey with Bentley from Sir Arthur Ingram on the 20th of February 1654 for the sum of £4,800.
As stated earlier, in 1658 the Wheatley Estate was purchased by Henry Cooke, youngest brother of Bryan and George, this would become the future family seat of the Cooke's.
Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell died from natural causes in September 1658, he was 59 years old. Cromwell was given an elaborate funeral at Westminster Abbey, where he was buried. He was succeeded by his son Richard Cromwell, but with no power base in Parliament or the Army, he resigned in May 1659, ending the Protectorate.
With the ending of Parliamentary rule the Cooke's were able to return to Yorkshire. During the years following Cromwell's death, both Bryan and George had been engaged in the business of George Booth (1st Baron Delamer) and George Monck (1st Duke of Albemarle), who were actively involved in the Royalist movement to restore the King to the throne.
After reaching agreement on how he could rule in cooperation with Parliament, in May 1660 King Charles II was invited to return to England from the Netherlands, where he had been in exile. On the 23rd of April 1661 King Charles II was crowned in Westminster Abbey, finally restoring the Monarchy to the British Isles.
|King Charles II|
The coronation followed the posthumous execution of Oliver Cromwell in January 1661, just over two years after his death. His body was exhumed from Westminster Abbey, it was then hanged in chains at Tyburn and then thrown into a pit. His head was cut off and displayed on a pole outside Westminster Hall until 1685.
|A death mask of Oliver Cromwell.|
My own photo
Following the Restoration Lord Langdale was made Lord Lieutenant of the West Riding of Yorkshire, and Doncaster Corporation raised a troop of horse, of which they invited George Cooke to be Captain. He accepted the invitation, which cost him almost £300 initially, and further expense came during the several years he continued in the post.
All in all, it was estimated that the Civil War cost the Cooke family around £15,000 in losses and expenses, as well as the younger Bryan Cooke losing his preferred career as a lawyer.
The Coat Of Arms
Arms. Or, a chevron gules between two lions passant guardant sable, armed of the first.
Crest. Out of a mural crown, argent, a lion issuant as in the arms, gorged with a ducal coronet or.
There are variations to this description, but they all amount to the same image of it.
Below is a copy of the Arms and Crest, labelled to illustrate and explain the description above.
Essentially, the main escutcheon (shield) that holds the coat of arms is gold in colour. It has a red chevron in the centre with two black lions, one above and one below. The lions are walking with their right forelegs raised, they are also facing forward and showing their teeth and claws. Lions symbolise nobility, courage, Royalty, strength and valour, and are the most frequently used bearing in heraldry. Missing from the description is the small shield in the top left corner, this is an 'inescutcheon' and contains the hand of Ulster, which is traditionally the badge of a baronet, and would not have been present when the original arms were granted.
Above the arms is the crest, this shows a lion emerging from an embattled silver crown, which is a token of civic honour. Around the lion's neck is a gold coronet decorated with strawberry leaves.
Cooke / Copley Version
This later version of the coat of arms has been divided to include the arms of another family. In this case I believe the arms on the right belong to the Copley family. This 'marshalling', or combining of two arms occurs at the marriage of two families of nobility. The owner of this version would have been the third baronet, Sir George Cooke (Grandson of Brian Cooke), who lived between 1662 and 1732. George married Katherine Copley, daughter of Godfrey Copley of Sprotborough in 1683.
Examples Of The Arms
|Cooke arms displayed above the old school doorway in 1906.|
From a photo by kind courtesy of The Village Teapot, Arksey
The Twelve Baronets
|Cooke's Almshouses built 1660.|
My own photo
'In this tomb rests the body of George Cooke, baronet, in the county of York and of Wheatley, who died a bachelor the sixteenth day of October in the year of our Lord 1683.
And here waits for resurrection and mercy.'
For more on Cooke's Almshouses go to The Almshouses.
For more on the Endowed School go to Educating Arksey.
Sir Henry Cooke 2nd Baronet
With Sir George now dead and having no heir, the baronetcy was inherited by younger brother Henry, who became the 2nd Baronet Wheatley.
|Carlinghow Old Hall|
While living at Carlinghow, Henry developed the first documented coal mine in Batley in 1677, which was at White Lee.
- Bryan (bap.21/03/1661)(d.2/6/1662)
- George (b.1662)(d.05/10/1732)
- Jane (bap.18/05/1664)(d.27/08/1664)
- Henry (b.26/05/1665)(d.02/05/1717)
- Sarah (b.04/07/1666)(d.02/07/1689)
- Catherine (b.11/10/1667)(07/11/1704)
- Anthony (b.25/12/1667)(d.03/04/1690)
Thought to be Henry's first wife Diana, but as she
was never 'Lady Cooke' it is more likely to be a
portrait of Anne Stanhope