Coke, Roger (DNB00)

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COKE, ROGER (fl. 1696), political writer, third son of Henry Coke of Thorington, Suffolk (fifth son of Sir Edward Coke), by his wife Margaret, daughter and heiress of Sir Richard Lovelace of Kingsdown, Kent, was born some time after 1626. He was educated at Queens' College, Cambridge, where he 'became well vers'd in several parts of learning.' He did not take a degree. He is described as of Thorington on 17 April 1672. By his wife, Frances, he had a daughter, Mary, baptised at Mileham, Norfolk, on 6 Feb. 1649. Coke is now only remembered by 'A Detection of the Court and State of England during the four last Reigns and the Interregnum, consisting of private memoirs, &c. . . . Also an Appendix discovering the present State of the Nation,' 2 vols. London, 1694, 8vo, a work written in an easy gossiping style and abounding in curious anecdote. It attained a second edition in 1696. A fourth edition, ' continued ... to the death of Queen Anne,' 3 vols. London, 1719, 8vo, was issued after the author's death. To this edition (i. xiii) the anonymous editor has added a few lines of introduction which, although incorrect in some particulars, give what is probably the only known account of Coke's latter days. ' Tho', in his day, he had good speculative notions in trade, he was not so successful in the practice of it, which, with some other incidences, brought him into distresses, and the best support he had, was an hundred pounds annuity out of the grand estate of the family, which, if I mistake not, was settled upon him by his nephew, not long after he came into the possession of it; so that he liv'd for some years within the rules of the Fleet, and died . . . about the seventy-seventh year of his age.' Coke's other writings are: 1. 'Justice vindicated from the false fucus put upon it by Thomas White, Gent., Mr. Thomas Hobbs, and Hugo Grotius. As also Elements of Power and Subjection,' &c., '2 parts, London, 1660, fol. 2. 'A Discourse of Trade, in two parts,' London, 1670, 4to. 3. 'A Treatise wherein is demonstrated that the Church and State of England are in equal danger with the Trade of it. Treatise I. (Reasons of the Increase of the Dutch Trade. Treatise II.),' 2 parts, London, 1671, 4to. 4. 'England's Improvements. In two parts: in the former is discoursed how the Kingdom of England may be improved in strength, employment, wealth, trade. In the latter is discoursed how the navigation of England may be increased. Treat. III. (-IV.),' 2 parts London, 1675, 4to. The above four treatises are praised by McCulloch. 5. 'Reflections upon the East Indy and Royal African Companies : with animadversions concerning the naturalisation of Foreigners,' London, 1695, 4to.

[Carthew's Hundred of Launditch, pt. iii. pp. 109, 110, 111; McCulloch's Lit. of Polit. Econ. p. 40.]

G. G.