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Regis Edwardi VI. viro optimo et eruditissimo. Cui pe- SECT. perit Henricum, hæredem paternæ virtutis et Regiæ Majestati a Secretis in Concilio Eboracensi; Johannem Cheke, Anno 1557. virum egregium et magnanimum; et Edwardum Cheke.

Secundo nupta Henrico Mackwilliams, Armigero, viro ex nobilissima familia Hibernorum. Cui peperit, &c. Vixit circiter 84 annis. Obiit Novemb. 30, 1616.

Now to turn our eyes again to Sir John, the husband of her youth.

His sons.



Sir John Cheke's posterity.


THUS died Cheke in a cloud; and his name, once most posterity yet flourish. honoured, much eclipsed by his infirmity. But his repentance (which would have shewed itself more, had he lived longer) must reconcile him to men of the like frail nature; and his former singular merits will undoubtedly preserve his memory fair and in credit with all candid men. And the name of Cheke hath still lived in a posterity of men of worth, sprung from him; the family flourishing to this day in wealth and reputation at Pyrgo, a noble seat in the county of Essex, belonging to it; purchased by Sir Thomas Cheke, Knight, grandson to Sir John; and now possessed by Edward Cheke, Esq.

His sons were three: (for Dr. Langbain mistook much when he wrote that he left no issue but one son, bearing his father's name :) their names were, Henry, John, and Edward; the first and the last probably so called from his two royal masters, in grateful remembrance of their favours. The continuation of his posterity depended upon his eldest son, Henry; John and Edward dying without issue, at least as far as I could ever by search and inquiry find.

John was a youth of great hopes, comely and learned, and of a gentleman-like and very obliging deportment: of whom also his uncle, the Lord Treasurer Burghley, took particular care, making him one of his own family. And upon his parting thence, in some employment abroad, he wrote a very courteous letter to Mr. Hickes, Secretary to the said Lord Treasurer, as sensible of some kindnesses done him by the said Hickes. Among his other qualities, he was courageous and brave; which spirit carried him to


Cheke's sons, three: Henry Cheke, eldest son; John
Cheke, the second; Edward, the third.


the wars in Ireland, to serve the Queen his mistress; where, SECT. in the year 1579 or 1580, he was unfortunately slain in an engagement against some Italians and Spaniards that had His end. invaded that country for King Philip; and was the only man that fell by those Popish hands, as his father and namesake before him had his days shortened by men of like principles.

to the Lord


For this gentleman had remained six years at least in His letter the retinue of his uncle, whom on that account he called Burghley his master; and being impatient to remain in this unactive his uncle. life, he resolved to push on his own fortunes, choosing the life of a soldier. But his own mean circumstances hindered him; so that, having not wherewith to furnish himself out with a horse, he was fain to embolden himself to ask for one of his Lordship; which he did in a modest letter, dated from London, in July 1578, thus bespeaking him: "That he found at that time nature and duty strove very much within him: the one, to procure importu"nately that which might secure it safe; the other, willing "him to forbear to offend in craving, where he honoured, “served, and feared: but that his Lordship had much en"couraged him, because he had not acquainted him with "denials. He begged, therefore, for the safety of his life, "and the increase of his reputation, to bestow his dun "horse on him; a horse which he chiefly desired, be66 cause, as he said, he was wedded to him for his gentle 66 nature, and trust in him, knowing his goodness, and "would most willingly hazard his life on him. That ne"cessity forced him, and life willingly spoke for itself. "He prayed his Lordship to favour him, and to forget "that duty which he owed him that forbade him this "since nature swayed more with him than reason, though "he feared more to offend his Lordship than any: but "chiefly that his excuse might be, because he wanted." This was his style, and this his awful behaviour towards his uncle: and thus he set out like a soldier of fortune: and pity it was so hopeful a gentleman had not better





The cha

racter of


Of Edward Cheke, Sir John's youngest son, I know little, but that Henry, his eldest brother, was, by his father's will, to pay him an annuity of ten pounds a year. I reckon he died young also: for I find the payment of his annuity ceased after his brother had payed it him six years.


Henry Cheke, Sir John's eldest son.

HENRY, the eldest, (who was nine years old at his father's death,) was bred up to learning also, by the care of Mr. Osborn, his father's friend; and afterwards, for improvement of his studies, was removed to King's college in Cambridge, where his father was sometime Provost. Here Bartholomew Clerke, LL. D. (afterward that officiated Dean of the Arches,) an exquisite scholar, took great care of his education; under whom he made a good progress. But to go a little back to the times before. In the year 1563 (when he must have been but young, that iş, about fifteen) he wrote a Greek epistle to Cecil, his uncle: wherein he mentioned the ancient friendship that was between his father and him; and that, for his sake, he was a friend to those that were his father's friends; and whereby he hoped also to ingratiate himself with him: shewing him withal, that his estate was but small, and that his dependance must be upon his learning: and, lastly, devoting himself to his service, and avowing that he honoured him as his father, and hoped in him as the stay and pillar of his family. And accordingly Sir William Cecil took care of him also, and admonished him, that in any need he should apply himself to him for his aid, and promised that he would be ever ready at hand to do any thing for him that might redound to his benefit. And when he was at the University, he had a special eye over him.

By the characters that were given of him to his uncle and patron, he did patrizare; treading in his excellent


father's steps, and, in respect of his probity and learning, SECT. surpassing others. Bartholomew Doddington, the Greek Professor, who was his companion, and, as it seems, his fellow collegian, gave this character of him, that he was a youth summa probitatis, ingenii, studii, suavissimorum morum ; i. e. of notable goodness of nature, wit, studiousness, and of the sweetest disposition. Dr. Clark, his tutor, wrote frequent letters to Cecil concerning his nephew's good proficiency in his studies. The University, out of a singular love they bore to him, as well as their honourable respect to Cecil, (who was their High Chancellor,) soon gave him his grace for Master of Arts, and adopted him into the rank of their senators in the year 1568, being then scarce twenty years old, and that without any petition or suit of his made for it. Of this Dr. Clerk informed the said Cecil, and withal prayed him to allow Henry to accept it, and to enjoy an honour the University had voted him; since, by his friends' advice, he was purposed neither to accept nor refuse it, till he had the assent and counsel of him, his said uncle. He took this occasion to commend this young student for his partsa, spake well of his religion and piety, of his stayedness and modesty, his learning and prudence; in all which respects, he said, one might behold in him the express image of his best and most holy parent; and, that those his abilities might appear to all, the University had appointed him to dispute in the next Commencement. And, lastly, that they had done this as a testimony of their reverence to his excellent father, and knowing the young gentleman to be the beneficiary and candidate of the most wise Cecil. Thus was he made acquainted with all proceedings relating to Mr. Cheke.


To trace this gentleman further. About the year 1569 Marries or 1570 he marries; falling in love with Frances, daughter Ratcliff. of the Lady Ratcliff, who was wife to Sir Humphry Radcliff, of Elstow, Knight, whose son Edward was Earl of

a Sive enim religionem et pietatem seu gravitatem et modestiam, sive literas et prudentiam spectes, omni ex parte videbis in eo expressam patris optimi ac religiosissimi effigiem.

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