The John Hooke Tragedy

to Isle of Wight History Centre
The Scientist, The Grocer, The Governor and Grace. Full commentary
Hooke's Diary Extracts from Robert Hooke's diary 1672-1680
Newport Corporation Documents relating to the suicide of John Hooke.
Hooke Family Tree
John Hooke Timeline
Hooke Family Home
Freshwater area in the 17th century
Hooke and Geology
Freshwater Parish
Robert Hooke Timeline
Sir Robert Holmes Timeline
Character Glossary


Newport Corporation
the Suicide of John Hooke


Original spelling of the documents has been retained.
The letters li are used to denote the modern £ symbol.

March 22nd 1677/8

Whereas by the Coroners Inquest taken upon the veiw of the body of Mr. John Hooke lately decd. he the sd. John Hooke is found to be felo de se. and committing the same murder upon himselfe wthin this towne (whereof he was an Inhabitant & where he lived) all his goods & chattles found forfeit by the sd Inquest are now seized upon by order and for the use of the Major Aldermen & Cheife Burgesses to whom the same belongs as grannted by Charter, and now to the intent the same goods & chattles may be sold to the best advantage it is ordered that one of the Sergeants at mace doe too morrow being Satterday & markett day make proclamation about the towne that the sd. goods & chattles are to be sold by outcry on Tuesday next, & Mr. Robert Leigh Mr. Robert Mathew Mr. William Keblewhite & Mr. Robert Mills are ordered & desired to be present at & manage the sd. sale taking to their assistance Edward Hayles, Towne Clarke, & all the money arising by the sd. sale to be paid in to Mr. Thomas Read Townewarden for the use of the Corporacon.

June 4th 1678

At this assembly it is agreed that such members of this Corporacon as have any debts owing unto them from Mr. John Hooke decd. or were bound with him to any pson or psons, in case they doe under solemne oath declare that their debts are really & truely owing unto them & that they have recd. no satisfaction for the same either directly or indirectly and that they were onely bound as Suertie and did not receive any pt. of the moneys to their own use, then & in such case the sd. member shall be pd. their sd. respective debts & also the respective Sums for wch they are so bound as Sureties out of the moneys arising by Sale of the goods of the sd. John Hooke (they giving bond for repaymt thereof respectively in case the estate of the sd. John Hooke be lawfully recovered from the Corporation)

July 8th 1678

At this Assembly Edward Hayles Towne clerke delivered in the accounts concerning the sale of the goods late Mr. John Hooke, and thereupon is found to be in his hand the sume of 60li 19s 09d wch sume he hath now paid unto Mr. Thomas Read Townewarden for the use of the Corporation.

It is ordered that the Towne warden doe pay to Mr. Abraham Stallard Major (out of such money as is or shall be recd by sale of the sd. goods) so much money as wth such money as wth the 6li he hath already recd. and what he is to pay for goods bought at the said sale will make up the 50li and interest for wch he is bound wth the same John Hooke to Parnell Bull widow, & due in like manner pay unto John Cheeke so much money as wth what he oweth for goods bought at the sd sale will ,make up the 40li and interest for wch he the sd. Mr. Cheeke is bound wth the sd. John Hooke unto Mr. John Stanley. So as upon receipt thereof the sd. Mr. Abraham Stallard & Mr. John Cheeke doe respectively give bond to repay the same in case Mr. Hooks estate be legally recovered from the Corporacon.

Ordered that the Townewarden doe pay Dr. Edward Harrison what is due unto him for the diett and boord of Mrs. Hooke (relict of the sd. John Hooke), Grace Hooke their daughter & Jane Young at and untill Midsomer last.

Agreed by all the Company that there be pd. unto the sd. Mrs. Hooke widdow 10li per annum from Midsomer last during her naturall life towards her maintenance And that in order thereto (so soone as may be) a purchase be made of that yearely value or els so much money (of the money arising by the sd. sale) be lent on some mortgage as in the interest thereof will amount to the sd. 10li per annum.

October 1678

And it is agreed and ordered that Mr. John Hooks books of accounts now in the hands of the sd Mr. Thomas Read be by him delivered unto William Hayles Scrivener to make out Bills of ye debts owing to the sd. John Hooke, to receive & gett in the same debts & give a true account thereof to the Corporation.

Also it is agreed that the Mortgage made by the sd. John Hooke of his land to Mrs. Ursula Cheeke be redeemed by the Corporation & the 150li principall money due thereon be pd her (in case she can be prevailed wth to accept thereof) out of the money raised by the sale of the sd. J. Hooks goods.

November 19th 1678

Also it is agreed that the sd Mr. Read doe pay out of such moneys raised by the sale of the goods & estate late Mr. John Hooks decd. as are now in his hands these severalls sums following (vizt) to Mr. William Keblewhite 6s-71d to Mr. Nicholas Odar 11s-6d to Mr. John Cheeke 3li-14s-09d 1/2 for so much to them respectively due from the sd Mr. Hooke as appeares by their accounts now produced and oaths voluntarily taken/

November 26th 1678

At this Assembly Mr. Abraham Stallard delivered in his accounts of his receipts and disbursemts in the time of his Majoralty during the last yeare as followeth (vizt)
to be paid to him to satisfy Mrs. Parnell Bull the debt & interest wch he was bound for to her wth and for Mr. John Hooke decd. 20 - 12 - 00
whereof he hath recd
in goods of Mr. Hooks bought at the sale 07 - 09 - 10 1

December 3d 1678

At this Assembly it is agreed that Thomas Champion jun. in consideracon of 12li-10s to be pd in hand shall have a lease grannted to him for 51 yeares commencing at Michas last of the Butchers Shopp late Mr. Hooks att the yearly rent of 6s-8d and one capon, and under a covenant for reparacons & not to lett it to any not Inhabiting in Newport wthout the Corporacons consent.

March 3rd 1678 (1679)

Agreed that William Hayles Scrivener shall be imployed to gett in for the use of the Corporation all such debts as were due to Mr. John Hooke upon his Shopp Books at the time of his death, He giving the Corporation a true account.

March 27th 1678 (1679)

Upon oath made by Mr. Robert Mathew that there was (bona fide) due to him from Mr. John Hooke the sume of £li-7s-7d 1 it is agreed by the Company now assembled that that sume shall be allowed & paid unto him by Mr. Tho: Read.

Aprill 1st 1679

At this Assembly it is agreed that if Robert Howe glasier will give bond to pay 5li per annum to the Corporation untill the Debt wch is due from Arthur Warwick for such goods wch he late bought of Mr. Hooks be pd. then the same shall be accepted in full of that debt.

February 26th 1679 (1680)

At this Assembly it is ordered and desired that Mr. Major for the time being, Mr. Robert Leigh, Mr. Robert Mathew, Mr. William Keblewhite, Edward Hayles & Mr. Edmond Smitheman or any forme of them doe wth all convenient speed and from time to time examine & make up the accounts concerning the estate late Mr. John Hooks & make their report thereof from time to time to the Corporacon.

March the 16th 1679 (1680)

Also at this Assembly Mr. Thomas Read late warden of the Comon box of this Borough & in whose name an accord was lately brought agt. John Bush upon a bill by him given under his hand for goods bought at Mr. Hooks Sales, is directed & desired to bring a new accord & presente the same wth effect agt. the sd. John Bush for the 5li awarded by Mr. Thomas Urry to be paid for costs of the first accord upon a reference made to him by the sd. Mr. Read & John Bush.

Aprill 20th 1680

At this Assembly John Hopkins jun. affirming that there was due to him from Mr. John Hooke 11li-15s & at his humble desire now made in that behalfe he taking & acknowledging the same as of Kindness onely, & giving the Corporation thanks therefore, It is agreed that two bonds of 5li each now in the hands of Mr. Thomas Read given to the Corporation by Arthur Warwick and Robert Howe & payable at such time as in the same Bonds are expressed to be assigned to the said John Hopkins He at the same time giving bond to indempnify the Corporacon in that respect of making a voluntary oath of the trueth of his debt.

January 25th 1680 (1681)

At this Assembly Mr. Thomas Read delivered up his generall account concerning the estate late Mr. John Hooks whereon rest due from him to the Towne the sume of 16li-15s-2d whereof the towne allows him for his extraordinary care 3li:15s:2d and 4li:11s:10d is to be pd to Mr. John Stallard for mourning had for Mrs. Grace Hooke and the remainder being 8li:8s:2d is now by him pd over to Mr. John Cheeke the present Town warden and thereupon he the sd. Mr. Thomas Read is discharged of all the sd. accounts & the Corporation acquitt him.

January 23th 1681 (1682)

At this Assembly it is agreed that Charles Rice shall have 10li of the money in John Edwards towards paymt of his debt from Mr. Hooke, he giving him 2 years time of paymt.

March 15th 1681 (1682)

Also it is agreed that the Bill given by Philipp March for 56s shall be delivered to Mr. John Stallard towards his debt due from Mr. John Hooke decd.