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Edward Cooke

A memorial to Captain Edward Cooke, Royal Navy, is in St John the Evangelist's chapel in Westminster Abbey, on the back of the wall which forms General Wolfe's monument. It is signed by sculptor John Bacon junior, 1806, and consists of a pedestal with a pyramidal background. Against this is a group showing the wounded Edward, supported by a sailor. A figure of Victory descends carrying a wreath and a palm branch. Below is a relief of the naval engagement referred to in the inscription, and from the sides emerge an elephant and a tiger. The inscription reads:

Erected by the Honourable EAST INDIA COMPANY as a grateful testimony to the valour and eminent services of CAPTAIN EDWARD COOKE, Commander of HIS MAJESTY'S ship SYBILLE; who, on the 1st of March 1799, after a long and well contested engagement, captured LA-FORTE, a French frigate of a very superior force in the bay of Bengal: an event not more splendid in its achievement, than important in its result to the British trade in INDIA. He died in consequence of the severe wounds he received in this memorable action, on the 23rd of May 1799, aged 27.

He was born on 14th April 1772, a son of Colonel George Cooke and his wife Penelope (Bowyer). His brothers were General Sir George Cooke and Major General Sir Henry Cooke. He served in the navy in the Mediterranean and at the siege of Calvi, serving under Nelson. His grave is in Calcutta.

Further reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004

Born

14th April 1772

Died

23rd May 1799

Field

Sailor

Location

St John the Evangelist

Memorial Type

Statue

Edward Cooke
Edward Cooke memorial

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2018 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

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At different times of the day, or in different seasons, the light falling in the Abbey will light up something that you have walked past a million times and never seen before.

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Vanessa, Head of Conservation

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