Historical records matching Anne Cooke, Lady Bacon
About Anne Cooke, Lady Bacon
Anne Cooke, Lady Bacon is remembered as a classical scholar, a religious Purist, a devoted wife, and an overprotective mother. She was born in Gidea Hall, Essex, in 1528 to Sir Anthony Cooke and Anne Fitzwilliam. Her mother instilled a devout Puritanism in all of her nine children. Her father, while tutoring young Prince Edward, also provided his children the same classical education. Anne remembers being a teenager in the schoolroom with the royal children and participating in courtly events at Hatfield House with Princess Elizabeth.
Anne and her sisters, considered among the most well-educated women in the realm, all married well: Mildred to William Cecil, Elizabeth to Thomas Hoby (and later John Russell), Katherine to Henry Killegrew, Margaret to Ralph Rowlett, and Anne herself to Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal. Although 18 years his junior, Anne was a match for Nicholas in every way. His devotion to her was evident in the poems and prayers he wrote to and about her. They shared common interests and values, had high ideals and modest desires. At Gorhambury, they lived a life of moderation and simplicity, following their motto – Mediocria Firma – the middle way is a firm rule.
While Nicholas was involved in affairs of state, Anne used her education to further the cause of Puritan Protestantism. She translated various educational and ecclesiastical works into English from Latin and Greek and communicated with scholars and religious leaders on the Continent. She also avidly wrote letters to family and friends. Her missives were filled with news and advice (“Let not your men drink wine this hot weather,” “Use prayer twice in a day.” “Sup not nor sit up late”) sprinkled with Latin and Greek quotations. She felt she was working for the good of the souls of others.
Family was of utmost importance to Lady Bacon. She and Nicholas had four children, but only Anthony and Francis survived. Both boys were educated at home before going off to Cambridge, touring abroad, and returning home to study at Gray’s Inn. Throughout their lives her sons never escaped her motherly concerns and solicitations (“Procure rest at convenient times. It helpeth much to digestion.”)
During Progress Anne fills her days with activity and service. She corresponds regularly with Anthony and Francis. Through her brother in the law William Cecil and family friend Archbishop Matthew Parker, Anne keeps abreast of news of her beloved Nicholas, whose absence makes her heavy of heart. Mindful that the Queen may visit Gorhambury in the near future, Anne constantly seeks information and ideas for improvements, which would please Her Majesty. Lady Bacon lives up to the motto Moniti Meliora (Instruction brings Improvement) when she educates the children of Bristol at the School of Courtly Behavior. She is generally even-tempered but can display occasional fits of temper when roused. She lives life with intensity and vigor.
- Born: 1533, Gidea Hall, Essex, England
- Died: 27 Aug 1610
- Buried: ABT 27 Aug 1610 St. Michael's Church, St Albans, Hertfordshire, England
- Father: Anthony COOKE of Gidea Hall (Sir)
- Mother: Anne FITZWILLIAM
- Married: Nicholas BACON (Sir Lord Keeper of the Great Seal) BEF Feb 1553
- 1. Mary BACON
- 2. Susan BACON
- 3. Edmund BACON
- 4. Anne BACON
- 5. Anthony BACON
- 6. Francis BACON (1° V. St. Albans)
Anne Cooke, Lady Bacon's Timeline
August 12, 1554
London, Greater London, England
January 22, 1561
August 27, 1610
Faccombe, Hampshire, England
Faccombe, Hampshire, England