Saturday, November 2, 2013

Hero of the Month John Cooke Tyrannicide!

John Cooke 1608-1660, Puritan and 1st Solicitor General of the Commonwealth, John Cooke was the prosecutor of the tyrant Charles I. A tremendous scholar of the Law he was known for his pioneer work in fighting for the right of a defendant to remain silent. He also fought to eliminate imprisonment for debt and believed that all attorneys should provide a portion of their services, Pro bono to provide legal protection for the poor. At the trial of Charles I he demolished the heresy of the divine right of kings and brought Charles to account for having waged war against his own people.
He had a strong and living faith. as a judge in Ireland he once informed the assembled Catholics that the only miracle of Rome was that so many Celibate priests could have so many children. After the restoration of the Stuarts. Tried before the Kangaroo court of Justice Bridgeman he was condemned to die the Barbaric death of being hung, drawn and quartered. Having sealed his testimony with his life he suffered glorious Martyrdom on the 16th of October 1660. In his final letter to his wife, and to his daughter Freelove, in which he stated,

"We fought for the public good and would have enfranchised the people and secured the welfare of the whole groaning creation, if the nation had not more delighted in servitude than in freedom". Specifically to his daughter who was a small child he wrote for her later reading that said  "My Dear, Sweet Child:
"So soon as God gives thee any understanding,
know that thou art the child of one whom God
counted worthy to suffer for his sake, and to seal
to the truth of his law and gospel with his blood;
which will be a great honor to thee, in the judge-
ment of all that truly love and fear God.
"Know that thy dear father has gone to Heaven
to thy dear brother, and be sure so to live that by
God's grace thou may'st follow after. I leave thee
to the Lord, who I know will take care of thee and
be thy portion, so thou shalt never want. So I leave
God's blessing with thee, and rest. "Thy dear and loving father,
"John Cooke."

 Despite suffering the hardship of losing their husband and father the family survived and his daughter married in America

An excellent book on Cooke is the "The Tyrannicide Brief" by Geoffrey Robertson

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