Hooke Family Of Southampton, England
William Hooke, a distinguished Puritan clergyman, was born in
1601, in Southampton and died in London, March 21, 1678. His remains rest in
Bunhill Fields, London. He bore the same Arms with slight variations to those of
the Bramshott family. He married Jane Whalley, sister of one of the Regicide
judges who sentenced Charles I to death. Her mother was Frances Cromwell, aunt
of the Protector.
After graduating from Trinity College, Oxford, he went to New England in 1640,
founded a church at Taunton, Massachusetts, and later (1644) moved to New Haven,
Connecticut, where for twelve years he assisted John Davenport, founder of the
City, in his work in the first Congregational Church. Here he remained until
1656 when he and his son John, who had recently graduated from Harvard College,
followed the wife and mother who had gone to England in 1654. At the command of
Oliver Cromwell he became his private Chaplain and Master of the Savoy Hospital
until the close of the Commonwealth.
His son, John, born 1634, died 1710, was minister at Basingstoke.
A tablet to the memory of William Hooke may be seen in Center Church, New Haven,
and literature of that church says that the property known as "Hooke's Lot" at
the corner of College and Chapel Streets, New Haven, which Rev. William Hooke
gave to the church upon his departure, when offered for sale to the Trustees of
the Collegiate School in 1717, was the inducement which caused Yale University
to locate in New Haven rather than Wethersfield or Saybrook.
A very interesting thing brought out by the record of this family of Southampton
is the fact that it espoused the Cromwellian cause, also that it drew away from
the Church of England and became Puritan in belief. Other records indicate that
the family was divided during that trying period (see "Rural Life in Hampshire"
by W. W. Capes), but it is possible that this served to protect both sides when
either was out of sympathy with the government in power. This was proved in one
case where one branch of the family interceded with Parliament for rights that
had been withdrawn from another branch.
On the whole, the family stood with Parliament and was treated with
consideration by it.