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nest able man, deceased. The Earl of Huntingdon, Pre- SECT. sident of that Council, wrote to the said Lord for Henry's speedy repair to the north; saying, that he was right glad of his promotion to that place: for though a worthy man were taken away, yet he hoped a good one should succeed; so as the want of Mr. Blyth there was not like to be missed, as else it would. But, he added, that he needed not to commend him to his Lordship, who better knew him, and could judge better of such than he. Besides this office, he obtained the honour of knighthood also of the And Queen his mistress.
knighted. How long Sir Henry lived, I cannot tell : but I find one His death. Thomas Cheke, (by which name Sir Henry's eldest son was called,) in the year 1586, writing a Greek letter and Latin verses to the Lord Treasurer; therein calling himself an orphan, and speaking of his father being gone to the joys of heaven. And he prays his Lordship, that as he was always an help and a sanctuary unto his father, so he would be to him. And this I conclude to be Sir Henry's eldest son, who might now be of the age of fifteen or sixteen: and if so, then at this year we must fix the period of his life.
Sir Thomas Cheke, son of Sir Henry. His honourable
posterity. SIR HENRY CHEKE'S issue by his before-said wife Sir Henry's Frances, was Thomas, his eldest; Hatton, who followed children. the wars in Flanders, and was slain in a duel by Sir Thomas Dutton, Knight, near the town of Calais, (whose corpse was brought over, and buried at Dover ;) and Henry, his third son, who died without issue, and was also buried at Dover, near his brother Hatton.
Thomas being thus left a minor, was bred in a school Sir Thomas at York: where he had two memorable schoolfellows, though of different inclinations and reputations. The one was Morton, afterwards Bishop of Durham; an excellent
CHAP. and most learned Prelate, that wrote much and well
against the Papists: the other, Guy Faux, infamous to posterity for his unparalleled Popish zeal and villainy. Thomas was knighted by King James I. and was then styled Sir Thomas Cheke of the county of Lincoln, in respect perhaps of his estate at Spalding in that county. After styled Sir Thomas Cheke of Pyrgo, in the liberty of Havering in Essex; being an estate which he purchased of the Grays, and where he lived anno 1634.
He married, first, a daughter of Peter Osborn, Esq. a very beautiful woman; as her picture shews, preserved in the long gallery of Pyrgo. To her he was married near twenty years, and had no issue. Afterwards he married Essex, daughter of Robert Lord Rich, Earl of Warwick. By whom he had three sons, Robert, Thomas, Charles; and five daughters, Frances, Essex, Anne, Isabel, and Elizabeth. And living to a great age, was buried, March 25, 1659, in St. Alban's church in Wood-street, (according to his desire and will,) near his grandfather, in the north chapel, without the furthest pillar, as appears by the register of the said parish. Upon the rebuilding of this church, in clearing the rubbish, the labourers thereabouts met with a grave bricked up, which probably was wrought about his corpse. Of whose progeny, and the honourable intermarriages thereof, partly Dugdale's Baronage, and partly the visitation books in the Office of Arms, (in one book whereof is Sir Thomas Cheke's own testimonial) give this relation:
Robert Cheke was born in the year 1625. He was crooked, but a man of exquisite parts, and very dear to the Lord Cranborn, eldest son of the Earl of Salisbury, and sometime governor of one of King Charles the Second's natural children.
Thomas, who inherited the estate, called Colonel Cheke, was Lieutenant of the Tower under King Charles II. and King James II. He married, first, Dorothy, a daughter of Philip Sydney, Lord Viscount Lisle, afterwards Earl of Leicester; by whom he had no issue. He afterwards mar
ried Lætitia, daughter of Edward Russel, second son to SECT. Francis, Earl of Bedford; by whom he had issue Henry, who, living to the age of eight or nine years, died, and was buried in the chapel at Pyrgo, besides other children dying young. He had by his said wife a son named Edward, the only son surviving, and now enjoying the seat of Pyrgo in honour and reputation : who married a daughter of Sir William Ellis, of Nocton in the county of Lincoln, Bart. The daughters of the said Thomas and Lætitia are, Essex, unmarried, and Anne, wife of Sir Thomas Tipping, of Oxfordshire, Bart. This is the posterity male of Sir Thomas Cheke, grandson to our Sir John.
The daughters of the said Sir Thomas were five, all ho- His daughnourably matched: 1. Frances, the eldest, was married to their Sir Lancelot Lake, of Canons, in the county of Middle- matches. sex, Knight. 2. Essex, the second daughter, was wife of Sir Robert Bevyl, of Chesterton, in the county of Huntingdon, Knight of the Bath; afterward of Edward, Earl of Manchester, Lord Chamberlain of the Household to King Charles II. by whom he had six sons and two daughters. 3. Anne, the third daughter, married to Richard Rogers, of the county of Dorset, Esq. and after to Robert Lord Rich, Earl of Warwick. 4. Isabel, the fourth daughter, married to Sir Francis Gerard, of Harrow-the-hill in Middlesex, Bart. And 5. Elizabeth, to Sir Richard Franklin, of More Park, in the county of Hertford, Bart.
Thus may we see the offspring of the righteous to flourish, and our good and religious Cheke signally blessed in a very honourable house and a flourishing descent now for above an hundred and fifty years; and his family spreading in much noble blood to this day.
Sir John Cheke,
characters of him.
His natural disposition, and the endowments of his mind. His qualif-I HAVE finished the history of this eminent man, as to cations.
the external appearances and events of his life. There seems one thing yet wanting to be done, viz. to give the world a true idea of him in his inward qualifications, and the disposition of his mind: which may indeed in a great part be gathered from what hath been already said of him; yet, for the giving farther satisfaction in this matter,
I shall add a few things more to all I have writ. Some learn- We must then, in the first place, declare him to be one ed men's of the learnedest and best men of that age; and one of
the most extraordinary wits : such as Providence raiseth up now and then, (but very sparingly,) for great ends, to be public documents and examples, and to do some extraordinary service in the world. A very learned man in those times, contemporary with Cheke, and one that knew him well, speaking of these singular men, particularly men
tions him to be one; attributing unto him," a wit quick Schoolmast.“ without lightness, sharp without brittleness, desirous of
good things without newfangleness, diligent in painful “ things without wearisomeness, and constant in good-will
“to do all things well.” And this, he said, he knew well Dr. Wyl- was in Sir John Cheke. And another in those times, as lat. of De- great a judge of learning as he, sometime Secretary of most. Orat. State to Queen Elizabeth, styles Cheke, “that rare learned
“man, and singular ornament of this land."
To make up the triumvirate to give their judgment of our excellent man; Nicolas Car, of Trinity college, Greek Professor after Cheke, one of the best scholars in Cam
bridge, styled him, “a One that did not exceed many in sect.
age, but all in learning, and was esteemed the very top “ of Cambridge men in every respect."
He had a mind, even from his tender years, much dis- His early posed to virtue and study. And as a great advantage and towards virspur to both, he was educated under pious and wise
learning. rents; who perceiving the natural genius of the lad, spared for no care nor pains to cultivate his nature, and encourage his good inclinations. Therefore, if we may be- State Worlieve one of our historians, they appointed a German scho-thies,p.191. lar to take care of his younger studies, and a Frenchman of his behaviour; the godly matron his mother following him with good precepts; and this among the rest, that
he should take care of three things, his God, his soul, “ and his company."
He was earnestly inquisitive after truth, and sagacious Inquisitive to find it. And this appeared both in the choice of his after truth. religion and of his learning; both being then overrun with error and corruption : which his clear and searching reason and parts soon discovered to him.
UNDER the topic of his learning, several things deserve His diliremark, as first, his diligence. He stood upon no pains gence. to inform his understanding, and improve his knowledge, and to find out errors, and overcome them, and to restore learning, and advance it higher than it ordinarily shewed itself in the Universities, and among such as went in those times for learned men. We are told, that King Ed-State Worward said to Cardan, the learned foreigner that came to thies. wait upon him," that he had two masters, Diligence and “ Moderation;" meaning Cheke for the former, and Cox for the latter. He sat not down contented in the present learning of studies
Greek, and a Qui ætate non multis, doctrina antecellis omnibus, quique princeps no- why. strorum hominum in omni genere putaris. In Epist. ad Chæc.de mort. Bucer.