Cooke, William (d.1780) (DNB00)

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COOKE, WILLIAM (d. 1780), a writer on numismatic and antiquarian subjects, was instituted to the vicarage of Enford, Wiltshire, in 1733, and held it until his death. He was also rector of Oldbury and Didmarton, Gloucestershire, and chaplain to the Earl of Suffolk. He published: 1. ‘The Works of Sallust translated into English … ,’1746, 8vo. 2. ‘An Inquiry into the Patriarchal and Druidical Religion, Temples, &c., … with an introduction in vindication of the several Hieroglyphical figures described and exhibited in the course of the work,’ London, 1754, 4to. 3. Second edition of No. 2, with additions, and the title, ‘An Inquiry into Patriarchal and Druidical Religion, Temples, &c., being the substance of some letters to Sir Hildebrand Jacob, Bart., wherein the Primæval Institution and Universality of the Christian Scheme is manifested; the Principles of the Patriarchs and Druids are laid open and shown to correspond entirely with each other, and both with the doctrines of Christianity …’ Illustrated with copper-plates. Second edition, London, 1755, 4to. 4. Boyse's ‘New Pantheon,’ sixth edition, revised and corrected by W. C., 1772, 12mo; another edition, 1777, 8vo.

Cooke died at Enford on 25 Feb. 1780. For some time previously he had suffered from ill-health, but managed to compile and send to press a laborious numismatic work, which was corrected and published by his son in 1781, with the title, ‘The Medallic History of Imperial Rome, from the first triumvirate … to the removal of the Imperial seat by Constantine the Great … ,’ 2 vols., London, 1781, 4to. Cooke applies coins to the illustration of Roman history and the lives of the emperors. The plan of the book is good, but the engravings are very poor. Most of the coins seem to have been previously published in other works.

[Gent. Mag. 25 Feb. 1780, vol. l.; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. ii. 264–7; Hoare's Wiltshire, s. v. ‘Enford;’ Brit. Mus. Cat.]

W. W.