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Henry Cooke

Henry Cooke, composer and singer, was buried in the east cloister of Westminster Abbey, near the steps to the church, on 17th July 1672. No gravestone inscription was recorded for him. He joined the Royalist army during the English Civil War and became a Captain in 1642. In 1660 he was appointed Gentleman of the Chapel Royal and became Master of the Children there. Three of his anthems were sung during the coronation of Charles II in 1661. He also wrote music for works by Sir William D'Avenant and diarist John Evelyn called him the best singer, in the Italian manner, in England. His wife Mary was buried in the cloister on 18th June 1696. Daughter Katherine married Pelham Humphry, a pupil of Henry's and some say that Henry died of grief because Pelham played the lute better than him. Daughter Amey married first Bartholomew Tothill and secondly Arthur Browne.

Further reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004

Buried

17th July 1672

Field

Musician; soldier; composer

Location

East Cloister

Henry Cooke
East Cloister

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2019 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

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The biggest challenge we face is actually time – getting all our work done alongside the daily routine of the Abbey as a working church, visitor attraction and home to 1,000 years of history.

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