John COOKE (1608-1660), the Gray's Inn Barrister turned Solicitor-General for the Commonwealth who prosecuted the case against King Charles the First, became a Justice in Ireland under CROMWELL, and was subsequently hanged, drawn and quartered as a Regicide.
However, the full identity of his wife Frances remains, as yet, an unsolved mystery.
Several sources have stated that she was Frances CUTLER when she was married to a John COOKE in London in 1646 [see Wilfrid PREST's on-line biography of COOK for the Oxford D.N.B.; perhaps used as source by Geoffrey ROBERTSON in his "The Tyrannicide Brief", Vintage, London, 2006].
Detailed research over the last decade has revealed a perhaps more likely origin - among the family of BARROW living in and around Potterspury, Northamptonshire.
The road running on an angle across the bottom of the image is the old Roman road known as Watling Street.]
But conclusive proof of this potential BARROW connection remains elusive.
The following is my summary of a considerable amount of circumstantial evidence for it, much of which has been sourced from documents purchased from The National Archives in Kew (TNA) and from paid and private research conducted in the Northamptonshire Record Office (NRO). Further evidence comes from Vere Langford OLIVER's monumental "History of the Island of Antigua," published in 3 Volumes in 1894-1895.
By established convention, I have recorded pre-1752 (Julian Calendar) dates, for events occurring between 1 January and 24 March, with both Civil and Ecclesiastical year numbers - as an illustration of this convention, a year given as 1661-62 is for an event occurring between, but not including, 31 December 1661 and 25 March 1662.
Where vital date information is sourced to a Parish Register, the details will be found in the usual on-line web-sites such as ancestry.library, findmypast.co.uk and familysearch.org, except as otherwise noted.
As at the end of 2015, COOK's entry in the online version of the Oxford D.N.B had been amended by the Editors to include some of the research results which are discussed below.
A CHRONOLOGY OF DOCUMENTED EVIDENCE RELATING TO THE POSSIBLE IDENTITY OF JOHN COOKE'S WIFE FRANCES, 1620 - 1693.
With my SPECULATIVE suggestions and deductions in red.1 November 1618 - Elizabeth BARROW was baptised at Lillingston Lovell, Buckinghamshire, daughter of Edward and Elizabeth BARROW.
There is no specific evidence yet available, other than what appears speculatively below, to indicate that Elizabeth survived into adulthood; but if she did, then she was of an appropriate age to have been the wife of Nicholas BACON of the City of London, and after him of Peter FARREN of Northampton, and finally of Robert MASSEY also of Northampton. Her father Edward was the son of John BARROW of Potterspury, Northamptonshire, by his second wife Mary STANDISH; her mother Elizabeth was probably a daughter of Thomas CHEYNE of Sundon, Bedfordshire, by his wife Frances BROCAS, and the widow of Samuel BRYAN (died Northampton, 1616), who married Edward BARROW at Luton parish church on 29 March 1617. John BARROW made his will on 1 September 1615, making a bequest to his daughter Anne DILLINGHAM of "...a grissell roane nag two years old or thereabout young in the [little] stable at Lillingston" - clearly the BARROW family of Potterspury did occupy premises in one of the Lillingstons (Lovell and/or Dayrell), about 4 to 5 miles south-west of Potterspury, just across the county boundary with Buckinghamshire.4 April 1620 - Frances BARROW was baptised at Lillingston Lovell, second daughter of ditto.
Ditto. Possibly/probably the wife and widow of John COOKE the Gray's Inn Barrister, after him of William PROCTOR of Antigua, and finally of Acquilla STOUGHTON also of Antigua. See below.
This may have been the other or "cousin" Isaac COOKE mentioned in Rev John TWYCTON's 1657 will (see below). William was probably the one named (as were his sons John and Abraham) in the 1655 will of his sister Anne FORRYAN (whom evidence indicates was also Isaac COOKE's sister, being the widow firstly of John LICHFIELD and then of Richard FORRYAN), and if so, an uncle of John COOKE, the Regicide. If so, this Isaac the younger born 1626-27 was a nephew of Isaac Senior and a first cousin of John COOKE. However, neither Isaac Senior nor Isaac Junior was named in the Ann FORRYAN will, which does present a bit of a difficulty.1634 - Mr Edward BARROES, deceased, had "...carried twoe loads of the like stone... from the honor howse of Grafton to Stoke lodge since Sir Francis CRANE came thither."
Probably Edward BARROW of Potterspury. Edward had probably been acting on instructions from Sir Francis CRANE or his agents, perhaps as some sort of a contractor. Sir Francis CRANE (1579-1636) was a highly successful Tapestry dealer and manufacturer in Mortlake, Surrey, and an M.P.; in 1628 he made a loan of £7,500 to the Crown, with a parcel of the honour of Grafton in Northamptonshire (an old Royal hunting demesne) as security, which he would have if the loan principal was not repaid within 2 years (it evidently was not); he was granted the Keepership of two more Grafton honour parks in 1633; he had Henry VIII's old hunting lodge there cannibalised of timber and stone to build his own grand and elaborate Italianate Villa of Stoke Lodge. Edward BARROW's widow Elizabeth married secondly, Mr COOKE (probably Isaac).
NRO, Ref YX 4393.
There appears to be a date problem here if this was Edward BARROW, reported as dead in 1634, especially if he was "paying" the tax rather than it being an assessment of his obligation prior to the collection of it. Although this may have been the first time Ship Money was collected so far from the coast, and the list used for the assessment of it may have been a residual list from an earlier taxation, corrected/amended as the current tax was collected (see further below in connection with the ca 1660 Poll Tax list). Alternatively, this may perhaps instead have been Thomas BARROW, his son, who would probably therefore have to have been of age, and if so, born in or before 1614, and well before his father Edward BARROW married Elizabeth BRYAN alias CHEYNE. The answer to this is critical, therefore, as to whether Thomas may have been an older half-brother of Elizabeth and Frances, or their younger full-brother - which latter scenario does ask questions as to why he played no part in their later lives.1640 - John COOKE was witness to deeds associated with two closes in Potterspury, Northamptonshire; evidently being a mortgage, dated 25 March 1640, between John HILLIER, Yeoman of Potterspury, and his second son William HILLIER of Potterspery, for £65.
NRO, Ref F XIII.6.
Possibly, even probably, John COOKE the Gray's Inn Barrister.1641 - Isaac COOKE and Thomas BARROWES witnessed the deed of sale of a house in Potterspury by John HILLIER the elder to John HILLIER the younger, citing a deed of 1577 between Thomas MEADE of Lillingston and John HILLIER of Potterspury.
Isaac was probably the father of John COOKE, Gray's Inn Barrister. Thomas was probably the son of Edward BARROW of Potterspury, possibly by his wife Elizabeth BRYAN alias CHEYNE. But as he would probably have been of age, and therefore born in or before 1620, it appears more likely that he was instead the son of an earlier marriage.3 January 1641-42 - Frances's sister Elizabeth married Nicholas BACON of Bishopsgate Street, parish of St Peter Upon Cornhill, City of London. The marriage settlements were made on 27 December 1641 - Isaac COOKE of Potterspury, Gent, was a party to the settlements and paid the marriage portion of £100, by which a part of the BACON family premises in Bishopsgate Street, near Leadenhall Street, St Peter Upon Cornhill, was set aside for the use of Nicholas and his wife Elizabeth - namely a shop, cellars, garrets, two sets of stairs (otherwise identified as a hallway) and several small rooms convenient to the shop.
The marriage may have taken place at Potterspury, for which parish the Registers, and the Bishop's Transcripts of them, do not exist, or cannot now be found, for dates before 1674. Isaac COOKE was probably already of Potterspury in 1641, and perhaps already married secondly to the widow Elizabeth, whose most recent BARROW husband Edward had died in or before 1634. If so, when Isaac made Elizabeth Junior's marriage settlements in 1641, he would have done so as her step-father. I speculate that there is very likely to have been some sort of "kinship" relationship between them for this to have taken place anyway, and a step-father/step-daughter relationship would satisfactorily fall within that category. See further below.
Luke CLAPHAM was then about 3 years of age, and a son of Luke CLAPHAM Senior by his wife Elizabeth, a sister of John COOKE the Gray's Inn Barrister; Luke's death, on 2 April 1676, aged 37, was recorded on his Monumental Inscription in Islip Church, Oxfordshire.17 August 1643 - Nicholas BACON was buried in the East Churchyard.
Probably the first husband of Elizabeth; evidently without issue, and aged 25 years. Elizabeth continued to reside in their part of the Bishopsgate Street house, alongside her BACON parents-in-law, for another 5 years after Nicholas died.November 1643 - John CLAPHAM was born in Isaac COOKE's house in Baldwin's Garden, Gray's Inn Lane, London, the son of Luke CLAPHAM and his wife Elizabeth, and baptised 24th.
Isaac's relationship to CLAPHAM is not stated in the Register. We know that John COOKE's father Isaac had a daughter Elizabeth, and that she probably married Luke CLAPHAM (Senior) in about 1639. See above. If this was the same Isaac as the one of Potterspury at that time, it appears likely, therefore, that he kept his residence in Gray's Inn Lane for the convenience of him and his son John. The fact he had a residence there may have been the means by which Elizabeth BARROW, by now probably Isaac COOKE's step-daughter, met her first husband Nicholas BACON, a Londoner. Unless this was instead the other or cousin Isaac COOKE? And if so, this may present a bit of an evidentiary problem - unless this other Isaac was the nephew born in 1626-27 (see above); and if so, then it follows that Potterspury Isaac was therefore almost certainly the father of John COOKE the Regicide.1645 - The date of her marriage recorded by Frances COOKE, Widow, in her 1664 petition to King Charles II.
I sighted the original document at Kew in 2010. It bore neither date nor signature, and may have been a clerk's copy. If so, it may be possible that there was a copyist's mis-reading of the marriage year as 1645 in error for 1646. See further below. But, unverified, and probably now unverifiable from any other source anyway, this does present a bit of an evidentiary difficulty.Percival BOYD, in his "Inhabitants of London" [S.O.G. on Findmypast.co.uk] also recorded the marriage in the year 1645, but identified the bride, evidently in error, as Frances MASSEY.
BOYD probably deduced the MASSEY connection from COOKE's condemned cell letter to his daughter Freelove, published after the Restoration; alternatively, he may have had access to OLIVER's "History of the Island of Antigua" published in 1895, in which an abstract of Elizabeth MASSEY's will named her niece Freelove GUNTHORPE.19 May 1646 - Frances BARR... married Mr John COOKE, Counsellor.
Notwithstanding the previous item, this may be our Frances. The term "Counsellor" undoubtedly refers to a Barrister at Law, although "our" John COOKE may not have been the only one in town. Frances may well have been residing with, or visiting, her sister Elizabeth, who was at that time known to be residing in this parish as a widow in her and her late husband's premises in Bishopsgate Street. If, contrary to her petition evidence, Frances was instead married in 1646, then this marriage would appear to be more likely for COOKE than the Frances CUTLER marriage assumed by PREST. However, I should note that the marriage register of St Olave's, Hart Lane, which records the CUTLER marriage on 12 September 1646, made no mention of any of the occupations of grooms during this period (although one proximate entry did describe a groom as "Esquire"). So her husband may perhaps also have been a Counsellor, although I think that is more than just a little unlikely. Indeed, I might cite the result of a quick and approximate estimation of the statistics involved to make my point - based on the ten years between 1837 and 1847, the Statutory Registration of English births numbered 5.7 million, with 438,183 being named John, 31,911 named Frances, and 15,912 named COOK or COOKE, with the result that the chances of their being two marriages between a man named John COOK and Frances is calculated as being about 1 in 200,000 - which did actually happen in 1646 (presuming that the numerical ratios might have been similar 200 years earlier, which, of course, they may not have been, but it is a starting point, and the likelihood of major shifts in frequency of naming is, in my view, probably quite low). But if we then factor into this equation a 4th quantifier, that of the profession of Barrister for the groom (estimates of roughly 2,500 in England in the 1640's among a population of around 5.2 million, so about 1 in 2,000 for the whole, or more accurately 1 in 1,000 of the male population), then this reduces the chances of them both being barristers down to one in 0.2 billion (English reckoning - or one in 200,000,000), which is a very tiny number indeed - some might say so close to zero as to statistically "prove" that the other John COOKE, with the CUTLER spouse, could not have been one. Notwithstanding the oft-quoted adage concerning "...lies, damn lies and statistics"! As things stand at present, the "BARR" in this record is the ONLY match I find with the surname beginning BARR (otherwise BARROW of Potterspury) associated with the COOKE family. And I find no similar match with the name CUTLER or any part of it.28 June 1648 - Elizabeth BACON was married to Peter FARREN.
Elizabeth had continued to live in her late husband's residence in Bishopsgate Street, and for 5 years after his death (in 1643), as stated by Clement and Martha BACON in their 1654 Chancery Court Answer (see below); whereupon, they said, she went off into the country with friends.1649 - John COOKE sailed for Ireland, probably in late September or early October 1649, with his wife Frances and 3 servants; they evidently arrived in Wexford "...shortly after" that city had been taken by storm by troops under command of Oliver CROMWELL, on 11 October 1649; he may have been settled by CROMWELL into confiscated premises in Waterford at this time.
Peter FARREN was probably the former Baker and later Innholder of the Town of Northampton, and the widower of Sarah RO(LE)SON (the daughter of Roger HIGHAM) who had died in Northampton in 1647. This marriage is certainly consistent, date-wise and geographically, with the BACON Court evidence of 1654.
See "The Tyrannicide Brief," by Geoffrey ROBERTSON, Vintage Press, London, 2006, page 230. See also the full account of the voyage published by COOKE in Cork in April 1650 with an addendum by his wife F. COOKE.
Evidently none of COOKE's baggage was lost in the storm, which, given his description of it (the storm), is rather remarkable, perhaps even providential. If he was the son of Isaac of Potterspury, I do not know whether he still had his father's deed (see next item) with him on the voyage, or if it had been left in Waterford, or whether it had already been dispatched back to Potterspury.1650 - Isaac COOKE, Gent, held three tenements in Potterspury by copy. Rent for them all was £3 10s., fine £7, herriot 2 s. Annual value 13s. 6d. farthing, 28 trees worth £12. "Isaac COOKE says his copy is in Ireland with his son, by which means no date appears."
I speculate that "...his son" was very likely to have been John COOKE, the former Solicitor General for the Commonwealth, who is on the record as having then only very recently arrived in Ireland and taken up his appointment by CROMWELL as Chief Justice of Munster. See previous item. The chances of the other (or "cousin") Isaac COOK having a grown-up son in Ireland at this time are, in my view, probably fairly remote - and, indeed, impossible, if it transpires that he was the nephew born in 1626-27. But why John COOKE had his father's deed in his possession is a bit of a mystery - was he a party to it, or was he assisting his father in the due legal processing of it? And was his exit for Ireland therefore a bit sudden - or was he just a bit absent-minded in relation to family matters under the pressure of National duty? I have not yet sighted the original document at Kew.9 August 1650 - Elizabeth's second husband Peter FARREN, Innholder, was buried at All Saints, Northampton. Parish Register. His administration was granted on 21 October to Elizabeth FARREN, the relict.
His widow being named Elizabeth does not in itself prove that she was the widow of Nicholas BACON. But there do not appear to be any other Peter FARREN marriages in available English parish registers in the time frame, let alone with a wife named Elizabeth.24 April 1653 - Army Tax Assessments for Potterspury: Mr COOKE, 17s. 3d. Mr BARROW, (amount deleted and unreadable).
Probably Isaac COOKE and his or his wife's step-son Thomas BARROW.1654 - Elizabeth FARREN, Widow, and Isaac COOKE, of Potterspury, Gent, brought their Bill of Complaint before the Court of Chancery, concerning part of premises in Bishopsgate Street, near Leadenhall Street, Parish of St Peter Upon Cornhill in the City of London, granted by Clement and Martha BACON in December 1641 as part of the marriage settlements for their son Nicholas to Elizabeth, and for which Isaac COOKE paid the marriage portion of £100.
TNA - C 5/23/97 - FARREN v. BACON, Plaintiffs Elizabeth FARREN, Widow, and another; Defendants Clement BACON, Martha BACON his wife, [unknown] FREEMAN and others; Bill and Answer (part only - that of John FREEMAN and his son John Junior); 1654.
TNA - C 10/35/72, FARREN and COOKE v. BACON, date range 1 January 1654 to 31 December 1654; Answer (part only - that of Clement and Martha BACON).
Elizabeth's maiden surname is nowhere recorded in these documents; I speculate that she was probably Elizabeth BARROW. See further above.ca 1655 - BOYD's "Inhabitants of London" recorded the birth of John and Frances COOKE's daughter Freelove.
28 July 1655 - Mrs Elizabeth FARREN was married thirdly, by Banns, at All Saints, Northampton, to Robert MASSEY, Gent.
The register does record Elizabeth as Mrs, but not as a widow. Once again, there do not appear to be any other Robert MASSEY marriages in available English parish registers in the time frame, let alone with a wife named Elizabeth.April 1657 - Justice John COOKE was back in London.
4 June 1657 - Rev John TWYCTON, Rector of Corby, Northamptonshire, made his will, mentioning his brother(-in-law) Isaac COOKE, his nephew John COOKE "...now or late Justice in Ireland... and oh what I would have given him had he not, had he not..." and others, including another Isaac COOKE whom he identified as his cousin.
Rev John TWICTON was a brother of Isaac COOKE's first wife Elizabeth TIWGDEN; he was evidently a Royalist, or perceived a need to appear so. I suspect that Frances COOKE 's wider family circle may have been of a similar persuasion, and that any residual "toleration" for her husband's Commonwealth activities may well have entirely evaporated by the time of the Restoration. This may account for the lack of mention of her and her sister in BARROW and CHEYNE family wills over the period, and for the very small core of close family members to whom John COOKE committed the care of his daughter Freelove in 1660. See below. Rev John may have mis-identified the "cousin" Isaac COOKE in error for nephew - if the latter, he may have been the one born in 1626-27 (see above).9 December 1657 - John COOKE was in Northampton, having "...been all the last tearme attending his highness, in order to my return to Ireland, as he commanded me" - his letter of congratulations to Henry CROMWELL in Dublin, now Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, with his stated (but unfulfilled) intention to "...attend your lordship in March."
See "The Records of the Borough of Northampton," edited C. COX, 1898, page 244.
Justice John COOKE probably made his contribution while there, in or before December 1657. I speculate that he and Frances were probably visiting her sister, Mrs Elizabeth MASSEY.1658 - Isaac COOKE died.
It seems likely that he may have died in Potterspury. As mentioned elsewhere, the Parish Registers for Potterspury and the Bishop's Transcripts of them no longer exist, or cannot be found, prior to 1674.1 February 1658-59 - Justice John COOKE was still in London. His letter to Henry CROMWELL stated the reasons for the delay to his return, including the death of his aged father, and the consumptive illness of his wife.
ROBERTSON presumed that Frances had also died about this time, from the consumptive illness mentioned in this letter. I believe, as some of these documents collectively show, that this presumption was in error.1659 - Easter: John COOKE resumed duties on the Upper Bench in Ireland at the beginning of Easter Term.
16 May 1660 - John COOKE departed Dublin under close arrest; he was in Chester, 6 June, en route to prison and his trial in London.
15 October 1660 - John COOKE wrote his letter to his daughter Freelove from his condemned cell, mentioning her three close blood-relations - her dear mother, her good grandmother, and her loving aunt MASSEY. COOKE was executed the following day.
Her mother was Frances COOKE; her grandmother was probably Elizabeth CHEYNE, the widow of Isaac COOKE, and before him of Edward BARROW of Potterspury, and earlier again of Samuel BRYAN of Northampton; her Aunt MASSEY was Elizabeth, probably BARROW, the widow of Nicholas BACON and after him of Peter FARREN.1660 - Crown Survey of Potterspury: Elizabeth COOKE, copyholder, two properties with old rents of £1 13s. 4. and of 6d.; Thomas BARROW, copyholder, old rent of £1 7s.
Elizabeth was the widow of Edward BARROW of Potterspury (cited in 1634 as deceased), and probably the second wife of Isaac COOKE; Thomas was probably the son of the late Edward BARROW, and the son or step-son of Elizabeth.
9 August (ca 1660?) - Poll Tax assessment for Potterspury. Mr COOKE (£2), his wife, one daughter and 2 servants (2s.), goods £50.
NRO, Ref YZ 4397.
The Poll Tax was instituted to finance the disbanding of the New Model Army; the Bill was given its first reading in the Convention Parliament on 12 June 1660; a Committee was established to examine it on 6 Nov; and it seems that the final machinery may not yet have been in place for the actual collection of it until the first Parliament of Charles II had met in early 1661.
There is an obvious problem with this year date, ca 1660, evidently attributed to it (and probably in the absence of an actual year number on the original) by the Archivist at Northamptonshire Record Office some years ago when the list was indexed. However, if the list that was used for the assessment was a pre-existing or residual list from an earlier taxation, which was then corrected and upgraded as the tax was actually collected, then the date for that earlier list may have been 1659 or 1658 or even earlier - in which case this Mr COOKE may have been either John COOKE (1659) or Isaac (1658 or earlier). But if the list was actually made in 1660, then I have a problem in assimilating this particular piece of "evidence" into my currently speculated BARROW saga. However, and irrespective of the year date, if the tax was applicable to all persons aged 16 and over, and by implication to none under that age, then the "daughter" could not have been Freelove COOKE, then only aged about 4 - so this Mr COOKE is unlikely to have been John. Further, several web-sites indicate that the Tax was assessed according to rank, ranging from £100 for a Duke, down to 6d for "anyone else" not otherwise identified in between and aged 16 or over - with Judges rated at £20, Advocates at £5, and Attornies at £3 - all clearly in excess of this Mr COOKE's assessment. Anyone with property (land, etc) was assessed at 40s per £100 earned from it - so Mr COOKE, probably therefore Isaac, may have been assessed on £100 worth of assets or annual income.
12 February 1661-62 - Elizabeth COOKE "...late wife of Edward BARRONES" (or BARROWS) and Thomas BARRONES (sic) "...his son" made a petition concerning a copyhold messuage in Potterspury.
See "Calendar of Treasury Books," Volume 1, 1660-1667, Historical Manuscripts Commission, London, 1904, as abstracted on British History Online.
I have not yet sighted the original manuscript Treasury Books at Kew. It appears that the letter "w" may yet again have challenged quill-wielding clerical hands, and the transcribing eyes of those who followed. At any rate, the name BARRONES nowhere else appears in connection with the village of Potterspury - all that do, and which bear any resemblance to it, and there are many, are for the name BARROW or BARROWES or BARROES.1664 - Frances COOKE, widow, made her petition to King Charles II for restitution of her own personal losses in Ireland.
Presumably she was still in England; she probably went to Antigua before about 1670. The original manuscript petition copy at Kew was undated and unsigned; the 1907 printed abstract was published among other papers dated 1664.
27 August 1678 - Census of Antigua. Lt William PROCTOR was named as head of a household in Falmouth Division, comprising two men, one woman and two children (of European origin), and four men, three women and four children (of African origin).
See OLIVER, "History of the Island of Antigua," Volume 1, pages lviii (PROCTOR and GUNTHORPE) and clix (MUSSENDEN).
The European woman was probably Frances; and the two children probably her younger daughters by her presumed second husband William PROCTOR - the younger child probably Frances PROCTOR, later the wife of John PIGOTT.Also at Falmouth Division was John GUNTHROPP, his household comprising three men (European).
Probably John GUNTHORPE, the husband of Freelove COOKE, who was still in England (see below).At Old North Sound Division was Major MUSSENDEN, his household comprising two men, one woman and three children (European), and seven men and six women (African).
Probably Buck's Plantation, purchased very soon after by John GUNTHORPE. See below.5 September 1678 - Elizabeth's third husband Robert MASSEY, Attorney, made his will (proved 18 September 1678), leaving his estate to his "...beloved wife Elizabeth," and which "Fr: GUNTHORPE" signed as a witness. He was buried at All Saints, Northampton, on 9 September.
I speculate, with some confidence, that the witness Fr: was Freelove; evidently, therefore, Freelove GUNTHORPE had stayed behind in England, perhaps not wanting to subject her first confinement to the rigours of a long sea voyage; her child Robert was probably named after this MASSEY uncle.17 September 1678 - By Deed of sale, John GUNTHORPE, of London, Goldsmith, purchased 500 acres in New North Sound, Antigua, formerly called Buck's Plantation, from Major William MUSSENDIN, for "...a valuable consideration (of which four negroes have been already received)..." and with "...(three white servants and nine negroes still to be handed over)."
The patent for the sale was granted to GUNTHORPE by Sir W. STAPLETON on 10 January 1681-82, at the rent of one ear of Indian corn every Christmas Day.
Buck's Plantation had been granted to Archibald HENDERSON in 1669, and after his banishment in 1674, was re-granted to Major William MUSSENDINE in 1677.
See OLIVER, "History of... Antigua," Volume 2, page 40.
OLIVER also recorded that GUNTHORPE and MUSSENDIN were "partners." I speculate that this sale was not a case of MUSSENDIN acting in Antigua for an investing (or "sleeping") partner still living in London, as GUNTHORPE's title might suggest; and he does appear to have already arrived in Antigua, being recorded in the Census twelve days earlier (see previous item). Goldsmith Company records show GUNTHORPE's admission as apprentice in 1671, but there is no record of his Freedom.5 February 1680-81 - Elizabeth MASSEY, widow of Robert MASSEY, made her will as she was about to set out on a voyage to Antigua; she named her niece Freelove "...now the wife of John GUNTHORPE of Antigua" and their son Robert GUNTHORPE. The will was proved P.C.C. 10 April 1686.
Given the date of her probate, Elizabeth probably survived her voyage to Antigua. She may have died there, but if so, no evidence survives. If this was Elizabeth BARROW, she was aged 62 when she made her will, and would have been 68 if she survived until just before probate. Her niece Freelove's husband John and eldest son Robert were evidently dead before 1693. See below.12 May 1685 - Mrs Margaret HENDERSON first made claims in the Court of Common Pleas in Antigua concerning Buck's Plantation, New North Sound, which had been originally granted in 1669 to her late brother-in-law Archibald HENDERSON. Her petition was subsequently forwarded by the Council to the Board of Trade in April 1687, and in her reply to the Board in December 1687, she claimed the property had been "usurped" by John GUNTHORPE, whom she described as "...the son-in-law to that egregious traitor John COOKE, Solicitor to the pretended High Court of Justice against King Charles the Martyr."
Margaret HENDERSON's claim concerning GUNTHORPE's relationship to John COOKE could hardly be regarded as "hard" evidence. Probably vexatious, perhaps well-informed, there is no indication that this part of her claim was disputed or challenged at the time by GUNTHORPE, or anyone else. But Margaret had few friends in Antigua, where Royalists were probably still very much outnumbered by old Commonwealth supporters who had emigrated to the extremities of the new King's demesnes around the time of, and after, the Restoration, including, it appears, the members of John COOKE's immediate family.June 1690 - Admiral WRIGHT's West Indies squadron of ten Men-of-War with 3,000 men arrived in Nevis, to protect English colonial interests against French aggression. The Squadron brought the Duke of Bolton's Regiment, now commanded by Henry HOLT, and in which was serving Captain John PIGOTT, about 22-23 years of age, a native of Queen's County, Ireland. John PIGOTT "settled" in Antigua for about 8 years.
The Duke of Bolton himself had accompanied Prince William of Orange on his arrival in England, and his Regiment had originally been ordered to go to Ireland with the new King in early 1690, but those orders were changed at the last minute.
Captain John PIGOTT married Frances PROCTOR, the (probably third) daughter of Mrs Frances PROCTOR who was probably the widow of John COOKE; their first child (Elizabeth PIGOTT) was probably the unborn child evidently due in late 1693 or early 1694 (see below); their first-born son (Thomas PIGOTT) was born about 1695 (he came of age in Ireland in 1716); their youngest son (Captain John PIGOTT of Stradbally, who I believe to have been my ancestor) was born in Ireland in 1704.17 July 1691 - Acquilla STOUGHTON made his will, naming his wife Frances as his sole executor; the will was proved on 21 June 1693. STOUGHTON was first mentioned in Antiguan records on 9 January 1679-80, as a Deputy Secretary "...sworn to the acts of Trade."
See OLIVER, "History of... Antigua," Volume 1.
Frances was probably the widow of William PROCTOR, and before him of John COOKE.
If this was Frances BARROW, she was aged 73. If another, she was still aged in her mid 60s (if aged 18 at her marriage in 1645-46) or older. Major John GUNTHORPE, probably only recently deceased, was almost certainly the widower of Freelove COOKE; the grandsons John and William, inevitably John and Freelove's two surviving sons, the evidence here indicating that the elder son Robert mentioned in 1681-2 had probably since died as a young child.Frances STOUGHTON also named her daughter, Frances PIGOTT, the wife of John PIGOTT, and made a bequest of £5 for plate for the first child she has.
Frances PIGOTT was identified by OLIVER in his "History of the Island of Antigua" as a daughter of Lieutenant William PROCTOR of Rendezvous Bay, Antigua, and on that evidence probably the second husband of the widow Frances COOKE. The "first child she has" may well have been already on the way.Frances STOUGHTON made further mention of another grandchild, Frances KERBY.
I speculate that her mother was yet another but unknown daughter of Frances by a husband unknown but probably William PROCTOR; her father may have been Dr Thomas KERBY of Antigua.