Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/65

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Cook
Cook
53

He was elected a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1849, served for many years on the council, and was president from May 1889 to May 1891. He was also an active member of the Royal Colonial Institute, and sat on its council from 1881 till his death.

Coode died at Brighton on 2 March 1892. He married in 1842 Jane, daughter of William Price of Weston-super-Mare.

There is a portrait of him in oil at the Institution of Civil Engineers, and a bust, the property of Mrs. Lillingston, the Vicarage, Havering-atte-Bower, near Romford.

Coode contributed a very valuable paper to the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1852 on the 'Chesil Bank' (Proc. Inst. Civil Eng, xii. 520), and his presidential address to the civil engineers was delivered in 1889 (ib. xcix. 1). He wrote many professional reports, chiefly on harbours, the most important of which are Table Bay (Weymouth, 1859); Whitehaven (London, 1866); on military harbours (London, 1875); Table Bay, Mossel Bay, &c. (London, 1877); Port Natal (London, 1877); Melbourne (London, 1879); Report on Harbours and Rivers in Queensland, Mackay (London, 1887); Townsville (London, 1887); Report on River Tyne Improvements (London, 1877); Report on tidal difficulties on Dee at Chester (Chester, 1891).

[Obituary notices in Proc. Inst. Civil Eng. cxiii.; Burke's Peerage &c. 1890; Times, 3 March 1892.]

T. H. B.

COOK, ELIZA (1818–1889), poet, born on 24 Dec. 1818, was the youngest of the eleven children of a brasier living in London Road, Southwark. When she was about nine years old her father retired from business, and the family went to live at a small farm in St. Leonard's Forest, near Horsham. Her mother encouraged Eliza's fondness for imaginative literature, but the child was almost entirely self-educated. She began to write verses before she was fifteen; indeed, some of her most popular poems, such as 'I'm afloat' and the 'Star of Glengarry,' were composed in her girlhood. Her first volume, 'Lays of a Wild Harp,' appeared as early as 1835, when she was but seventeen. Encouraged by its favourable reception, she began to send verses without revealing her name to the 'Weekly Dispatch,' the 'Metropolitan Magazine,' and the 'New Monthly Magazine;' and Jerdan sang her praises in the 'Literary Gazette.' After a time she confined herself to the 'Weekly Dispatch,' where her first contribution had appeared under the signature 'C.' on 27 Nov. 1836.

In May of the following year that paper printed the 'Old Arm Chair' with her initials. This, by far the most popular of Eliza Cook's poems, was inspired by affection for her dead mother. Its success and that of other verses from the same pen induced the proprietor of the 'Dispatch' (Alderman Harmer of Ingress Abbey in Kent) to have a notice inserted in his paper requesting that the writer would reveal her name. Eliza Cook, who was now living in the neighbourhood of St. George's Road, Waiworth, complied with the request. The result was a handsome pecuniary acknowledgment, and a regular engagement to contribute to the paper. Her second volume, entitled 'Melaia and other Poems,' was published in London in 1838 (reissued in 1840 and 1845), and met with great success both in England and America, where an edition was issued at New York in 1844. The poem which gave its title to the volume is an eastern tale, the theme being the attachment of a dog to his master.

In May 1849 Eliza Cook brought out a publication upon somewhat similar lines to 'Chambers's Journal,' which she called 'Eliza Cook's Journal.' It had great popularity among the same class of readers to which her poetry appealed, and was for a time highly successful. But she had no great journalistic ability, and, her health breaking down, the publication was discontinued after November 1854. Great part of its contents reappeared in 'Jottings from my Journal,' 1860. They consisted of essays and sketches written in a simple, clear, and unpretending style, and generally conveyed some moral lesson. Some of them are mild satires on the social failings of her contemporaries, and exhibit good sense and some humour. With the exception of this volume, and a collection of aphorisms entitled 'Diamond Dust,' published in 1865, she never essayed prose.

Meanwhile, bad health compelled her to take a long rest, and it was not until 1864 that she produced fresh verse in the volume called ' New Echoes and other Poems.' It showed failing power, and was not so successful as her previous efforts. On 18 June 1863 Eliza Cook received a civil list pension of 100l. a year. Henceforth she published nothing but a few poems in the 'Weekly Dispatch,' and she soon became something like a confirmed invalid. Her popularity waned, though she was in receipt of royalties from her publishers almost to the close of her life. She died on 23 Sept. 1889 at Thornton Hill, Wimbledon, in her seventy-first year.