Thursday, April 23, 2009
Two Cookes Leave the Kitchen
Elizabeth Cooke Hoby Russell
In April and May of 1609, two sisters of Mildred Cooke (Lady Burghley) died. [Mildred had died in 1589.]
On April 23, 1609, Katherine Cooke died. On the very same day her sister, Elizabeth Cooke Hoby Russell, apparently alarmed at the news, wrote her will, and died a few weeks later.
These were just two of the many children of Sir Anthony Cooke (b. 1504, Gidea Hall, Essex; d. June 11, 1576) and his wife, Ann Fitzwilliam (d. 1588))
Children of Sir Anthony Cooke and Ann Fitzwilliam are:
1. Mildred Cooke (1524-1589), wife of Lord Burghley
2. Katherine Cooke (1526- April 23, 1609), wife of Henry Killigrew
3. Elizabeth Cooke (1528-May 1609) married first, Sir Thomas Hoby the translator (of The Courtier), then Baron John Russell. She was the mother of the famous Sir Edward Hoby, diplomat. (Her will is dated April 23, 1609.) Her ghost apparently still haunts Bisham Abbey (link below)
4. Richard Cooke (c1530-1579)
5. Anne Cooke (1533-1610) married Sir Nicholas Bacon.
Mother of Francis Bacon
6. Anthony Cooke (b. 1535 - ), b. 1531,
7. William Cooke (1537-1589)
8. Edward Cooke (1539-1557)
9. Margaret Cooke (b. 1541)
Read about the Ghost of Elizabeth (Cooke) Hoby
A Curious Coincidence
Mildred Cooke Cecil, Lady Burghley, was the mother of Anne Cecil and the mother-in-law of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford. Among the theories of the Shakespeare Authorship, De Vere is, hands down, the leading candidate, with volumes of documentary evidence pointing to his role in transforming drama in Elizabethan England.
Anne Cooke, Lady Bacon, was the mother of Francis Bacon, who was widely thought (in the 19th century) to be the man behind the Shakespeare name.
Katherine Cooke, wife of Henry Killigrew, was the mother-in-law of Henry Neville, an obscure government man who knew Southampton and is believed (by perhaps a dozen people) to have been the Shakespeare author.
What this suggests to me (on this, the ersatz 445th birthday of Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon) is that if "Shakespeare" was a pen-name, then the Cookes and Bughleys probably knew the man behind that name.