Coke, Edward, Sir (1549 -1633)
Sir Edward Coke, Lord Chief Justice of England, and author of the Reports and Institutes, was the only son of Robert Coke, of Mileham in Norfolk, and Winefred, daughter and coheir of William Knightley of Norwich. He was educated at Norwich School and Trinity College, Cambridge, which he entered in September 1567, and of which he was an M.A. Admitted to Clifford's Inn, he afterwards entered the Inner Temple, was called to the bar 20 April 1578, and held many legal offices, including that of Attorney General. He married, in 1582, Bridget, daughter and coheir of John Paston, who brought him a fortune of £30,000. She died 27 June 1598, and, on the 6 November of that same year he married Lady Elizabeth Hatton, granddaughter of Lord Burghley. In 1606, Coke became Chief Justice of Common Pleas, and afterwards Chief Justice of the King's Bench in 1613. In 1616 he was dismissed from his offices. He had offended the king by standing out against the encroachments of royal prerogative at the expence of the law. Gradually he was employed again in legal commissions, and in 1620 was returned to Parliament as Member for Liskeard. In Parliament he opposed monopolies and the Spanish marriage and so offended the King that he was imprisoned in the Tower. He had a numerous family by his first wife. Thomas Coke of Holkham in Norfolk, a descendant of his fifth son, Henry, was created Earl of Leicester in 1744. There was a sale of duplicates from the Holkham Hall library in 1851, and in recent years some books have been sold to the British Library, but the larger part of Sir Edward Coke's books remain there. "As regards the binding of his books, he seems to have been content, sometimes, with his initials on the covers; on other books he stamps his crest, an ostrich with a horseshoe in its beak, in a circle, sometimes blind, more generally gilded. His best books have a shield with his own arms quartering Sparham, Folcard and Pawe within a mandorla of oak leaves and acorns ..." The border around Stamp 2 is virtually identical with borders on stamps of Sir Thomas Ducket, Sir Leonard Holliday and Sir John Malet.