A Genealogy of the Barnum, Barnam and Barnham Family

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A One-Name Study for the BARNUM/BARNHAM Surname



Notes for Anne COOKE


Anne Cooke was the second wife of Sir Nicholas Bacon, lord keeper of the great seal. The Cooke Sisters were quite famous in the 16th Century, as they were highly-educated women. Their father was a tutor to Prince Edward and Elizabeth. More information about Anne can be found in the book Wives and Daughters, Women of 16th Century England, by Kathy Emerson; Whitson Publishing Co: New York, 1984. Lady Anne Bacon was the daughter of Sir Anthony Cooke, tutor to Queen Elizabeth's half-brother before he became Edward VI. She was a woman of keen intellect with strong Puritan views, although at all times a member of the Church of England. She was well trained in Latin and Greek and as the daughter of a royal tutor, she likely received the education he would have given a princess. This stimulating environment fostered the young Francis who would become a fluent genius of languages. Anne's sister Mildred was married to William Cecil, Lord Burghley.

The following is from Alfred Dodd's book, The Marriage of Elizabeth Tudor, 1940. Lady Anne Bacon was Sir Nicholas Bacon's second wife. She was the daughter of Sir Anthony Cooke, governor of Edward VI. The Cooke family were connected with Stratford, being large landowners. She was a perfect housewife, as well as being a very clever woman. She had been the tutor to the young King Edward. She had a strong character and her accomplishments were many and varied. She was familiar with classical languages. In her private letters she quotes Latin freely. In her twenty-second year she translated and published Ochine's Sermons from the Italian. When Francis was two years old she translated from the original Latin, Bishop Jewels Apology for the Church of England. Her fame as a literary woman was such that Theodore Beza, years after this, dedicated to her his Meditations. She was a deeply religious woman, strictly puritanical...."A very saint of God," says Francis Bacon in after years. The day started with family prayers and ended with stories of Classical Adventures, Morality Tales and the Ancient Myths. Her home shone with the beauty of holiness like a sanctuary in those dark days of intrigue, hypocrisy, corruption and vulgar debauchery. Lady Bacon died in 1610, over eighty, "being a little better than frantic in her old age" says Bishop Goodman. She had been for years under the care of Francis Bacon. Her goodness to him cannot be over-estimated. Her intellect and life were reflected in him in a variety of ways. She was his staunch friend and ally. She spent her money to assist him in his literary enterprises. She maintained the Queen's secret and acted the part of foster-mother with tact and discretion. She was the head Lady-in-Waiting to Queen Elizabeth when Francis was born. This is amply proved by a letter written by Lady Bacon to Anthony. Francis had apparently been by something she had said or done or written, and so she writes to the elder (foster) brother, who apparently knows the real relationship, to mollify Francis by explaining that he has misunderstood. In writing to Anthony she makes this remarkable statement. "[Please explain to him that] it is not my meaning to treat him as a ward: Such a word is far from my Motherly feeling for him. I mean to do him good". Such a significant phrase reveals the real relationship of the parties. He was the ward of Lady and Sir Nicholas Bacon, not their son. It is therefore quite consistent that Francis Bacon should write to Sir Toby Matthew, and refer to Anthony as his friend, not as his brother. He is speaking of having lost two dear friends. One he has lost "by absence." That was Matthew. The other by "death." He names him "Mr. Anthony Bacon." He did not call him "brother", but a friend in whom he could confide." Similarly in the Northumberland Manuscript he writes, "Anthony comfort and consort" but he did not write "brother." (A note by J. Edward Morgan, California) True, he signs the dedication of his Essays to Anthony, "Your entire loving brother," for they were brother-masons as well as foster brothers.

Anne and her sisters were famous as a family of accomplished classical scholars. She had a thorough knowledge of Greek and Latin. An Apologie . . . in defence of the Churche of England by Dr. Jewel, Bishop of Salisbury, was translated by her from the Latin and published in 1564. Sir Anthony had been exiled during Mary’s reign, for his adherence to the Protestant faith. His daughter, Anne, inherited, not only his classical accomplishments, but his strong Puritan faith and his hatred of Popery. Francis Bacon describes her as "A Saint of God." There is a portrait of her painted by Nathaniel Bacon, her stepson, in which she appears standing in her pantry habited as a cook. In feature Francis appears to have resembled his mother. He "had the same pouting lip, the same round head, the same straight nose and Hebe chin."
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