Henry Brooke 1564-1619
Henry BROOKE, 11th Baron Cobham 1564-1619
Born at Cobham Hall, Kent, son of William Brooke, 10th Baron Cobham. Admitted at Gray's Inn 1588 after travel in Europe; MP for Kent 1588-9, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports (like his father) when he succeeded him in the barony in 1597. Something of a favourite of Elizabeth in her last years (which attracted the hostility of the Earl of Essex and others), he was involved in the Bye Plot of 1603 to remove James I and after being found guilty of treason he was committed to the Tower, where he remained until 1617. He died in some obscurity in London not long after.
An inventory of Brooke's goods made in 1603 (The National Archives E178/3521) reveals that he then had a library of 722 books. Some or all of these books presumably went to the Tower with him, where ODNB notes that he accumulated a library of more than 1000 volumes, to "devote his time to study [and] translating Seneca", but "he was no scholar and the results were meagre". The fate of this library is not known.
None of Brooke's books have been identified.
- Nicholls, Mark. "Brooke, Henry, eleventh Baron Cobham (1564–1619), conspirator." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
- Reid, P. Proto-bibliophiles amongst the English aristocracy, 1500-1700, Library History 18 (2002), 25-38.