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



John Hooke

John Hooke, born the first son to John Hooke, curate at Freshwater parish church.

1644 - 1651    NEWPORT
John Hooke’s apprenticeship with a grocer (possibly William Maynard) in Newport.

1653   Town Terrar Book.
(First column=Rental number. Second column=rent. Third column=holding size. Fourth column=landlord. Fifth column=tenant)

Turne to the Corner House on ye West side of the Fish Shambles [junction of High Street and Holyrood Street]
59Halfe cornrPhilpottMaynard Hooke

1657   The Pie Powder Court, Newport.  (NBC/45/57)
20 February 1657/58
John Hooke pltiff agt. Richard Vinson in a plea of debt./
John Hooke pltiff agt. John Newberey in a plea of debt./

3 April 1658
Because Vinson appeares not at the suit of John Houck,Therfore he is amerced - iiid

John's case against John Newbery continues until 24 April 1658, when it disappears from the court records without a stated resolution.
However, John's action against Richard Vinson rumbles on until November 1659, as Vinson continually failed to show up at the court to answer the charge. The court repeatedly fined him until the total stood at 4s. 3d. in November 1659, having increased by 3d. each session he failed to show. On 26 Nov. 1659, the "accon is wthdrawne by Vibert betweene John Hook & Richard Vinson".

1658 August 2 FRESHWATER    (FRE/REG/COM/1 1576 - 1653)
"married Mr. John Hooke to Elizabeth Mainer [Maynard]"

1658 Michaelmas
A Rentall of the rents of & for the towne lands of the Burrough of Newport (NBC/45/108)

[In accounts at the back of the book]
Rd of Mr. John hook at hes elexion 00 - 06 - 08

The 15th day September 1659    (NBC/45/16a )
Mr. John Hook is this day elected & sworne a Burgesse & cheif Burgesse of this Burrough.
Stephen Reynolds is this day elected & sworne a Burgesse of this Burrough.

1660 May 2    NEWPORT
Birth of Grace Hooke, daughter of John and Elizabeth Hooke.

1661 Lay Subsidy
Mr. John Hooke   Newport    10/-

Highe Streete
Mr. John Hooke    6 hearths    12d

1665 June 12
Burial, Newport.
Mrs. Cisesly Hooke, widow, John's mother.

1665 October 3     (NBC/45/16b)
Mr. John Hook is this day elected & sworne an Alderman of the Corporacon.

John Hook v.
William Juneing
2 messuages & 2 gardens in Newport.

1666 October 16    (NBC/45/16b)
Mr. John Hook, Mayor
At this assembly Mr. John Hook major hath delivered up his Accompt of Wardenshipp of the Comon box of this Burrough for the last yeare, and upon the same rest due to him from this Corporacon viiili vs.

1669 Oct. 21    (NBC/45/108)
At this assembly Mr. John Hook delived up his Accompt of his publique receipts & disbursmts in the time of his Majoralty and upon the same rest due to the said Mr. Hook ili xiiiis vd.

1670 October 20    COURT LEET BOOK    (NBC/45/43)
It. we present Mr. John Hooke for a halfe pint to little we therefore amerce him 2s 6d & paine him in 3s 4d to committ no more such offence.

1673 July 10    SESSIONS BOOK    (NBC/45/59)
Willus Urry xxli
Johes Hooke xli
Edricus Scott xli
li= livre, meaning pound sterling.
(John Hooke and Edward Scott guaranteeing on bond of £10 each that William Urry will appear at a subsequent court)

1673 October 14    COURT LEET BOOK    (NBC/45/43)
It. we present Mr. John Hooke for an Eight pound weight one ounce to light we therfore amerce hime in 3s 4d and paine hime in 6s 8d to Committ Noe mor such offence.

1674 October 15
Wee present Mr. Jno. Hooke for two two pound waights to light allso for a halfe pinte and quartern of a pint to litle and wee therefore amerce him in 2s 6d and paine him in 5s to comitt noe more the like offence.

1674 (1675) May 5
Wee present Mr. John Hooke for a quarter of a pound weight (torn) heavy wee therefore amerce him in 6d & paine him in 1s to Comitt noe more the Like offence.

High Street
John Hooke    6 hearths

John tries to buy Alvington Farm but is dependent on his brother, Robert, for the money.

Robert decides not to put up the £4000 for Alvington Farm.

1676 September 21    (NBC/45/16b)
Mr. John Hooke is now elected Major.

1676 December 27    Sacrament Certificate    (NBC/10/66)
John Hooke, grocer, Newport.

The Test Act of 1673 excluded from civil or military office all those who were not members of the Church of England. The holder of civil or public office was required therefore to present a certificate confirming that he had received communion in the Church of England. The certificate was signed by a minister, churchwardens and two witnesses.

1676/7 March 3    Recognisance     (NBC/2/2)
Mark Thearle of Carisbrooke, blacksmith, bound in £40 to appear at the next generall Sessions of the peace to be holden in this burrough to answer such matters as shall be objected against him and in the meantime to be of good behaviour.
Surities Michael Mackett and Thomas Slader, both of Carisbrooke, yeoman, each bound in £20.

Richard Toope upon oath informeth that on 1st March instant Mark Thearle did say in the presence of the said Toope, one Mr. Browne, Thomas Richardson and others that the Mayor of Newport (Mr. John Hooke) was a rogue and that all the Corporation were a parcell of beggarly fellows and that the Sergeants did on the Satterdaies go about to buy carretts for the Mayor dinner the Sundaies and did use other disgraceful language.
Committed to the common prison of this town until he could find sufficient surities.

1677 c. 23 August    SESSIONS BOOK    (NBC/45/59)
I Marke Thearle doe acknowledge that these words by me spoken (vizt) the Major of Newport is a Rogue and all the Corporation are a parcell of beggerly ffellowes & other reprochfull words were by me foolishly and unadvisedly spoken & I am heartily sorry for my so doing and doe crave forgivenesse for the same from this Court and doe promise that I will never offend the like.
(12 x names of "The petty Jury" listed below)

1677    CHURCH BOOKS    (NPT/PR/102)
The yearely rents of ye Church of Newport from our Ladyday 1677 for one yeere following

On the north side of the North pillars beginning next Bowremans Chancell downe to the North doore.

A woodcut picture of a hanging person Mr. John Hooke for his wife 0-8d
Mr. Wm. Keblewhite for his wife 0-4d
William Hayles vintner for his wife 0-8d

1677/78 February 27     NEWPORT
John Hooke commits suicide by hanging himself.

1677/78 February 28    NEWPORT
Mr. John Hooke "interred privately but not in Comon burying place".

1684 June 9     NEWPORT
Mrs. Elizabeth Hooke, widdow buried.