Andrew Crooke and William Cooke
Andrew Crooke (died
September 20, 1674) and William Cooke (died 1641?) were Londonpublishers of the mid-17th-century. In partnership and individually, they issued significant texts of English Renaissance drama, most notably of the plays of James Shirley.
Andrew Crooke was the son of a William Crooke, a yeoman of Kingston Blount,
Oxfordshire. On March 26, 1629, Andrew Crooke won his "freedom" of the Stationers Company — that is to say, he gained full membership in the guild of London booksellers, publishers, and printers — and in time "became one of the leading publishers of his day." [Plomer, p. 56.] Perhaps his most notable solo achievements were the 1640 publication of the second edition of Ben Jonson's 1616 folio, and his editions of the " Religio Medici" of Sir Thomas Browne. (Of the latter, Crooke published two unauthorized editions in 1642, and the authorized and corrected edition of 1643, plus subsequent editions in 1645, 1648, 1656, 1659, 1669, and 1672).
William Cooke was a contemporary of Crooke; he began operating as a publisher in 1632. Cooke specialized in the publication of law books. Crooke tended more toward literature and general-interest works; he produced books like Sir Henry Blount's "A Voyage to the Levant" (1636),
Richard Corbet's "Certain Elegant Poems" (1639), and John Bate's "The Mysteries of Nature and Art" (1635). Cooke's shop was near Furnival's InnGate in Holborn; Crooke kept his at the sign of the Green Dragon in St. Paul's Churchyard.
Each man also operated with other partners for some projects, and worked alone on others. Crooke sometimes partnered with colleague Gabriell Bedell. Cooke partnered with Matthew Walbancke for Sir
Henry Spelman's "De Sepultura" (1641).
Yet the partnership of Crooke and Cooke earned its greatest distinction in publishing first editions of plays, particularly those of James Shirley. They issued:
The Example," 1637
The Gamester," 1637
* "Hyde Park," 1637
The Lady of Pleasure," 1637
The Young Admiral," 1637
The Duke's Mistress" 1638 [An ambiguous case: the title pages of some copies of the 1638 quarto mention only Crooke, while others cite only Cooke; some list both names. Nason, pp. 98-9.]
The Ball," 1639
The Tragedy of Chabot, Admiral of France," 1639
The Coronation," 1640
The Night Walker," 1640
The Opportunity," 1640.
They also published John Fletcher's "
Wit Without Money" in 1639.
In addition, Andrew Crooke issued plays apart from Cooke:
Henry Killigrew's "The Conspiracy", 1638
* Shirley's "
Love's Cruelty," 1640
* Robert Chamberlain's "The Swaggering Damsel," 1640
Thomas Killigrew's "The Prisoners" and " Claricilla," 1641.
Most of the above plays were printed by
Thomas Cotes, the man who printed the Shakespeare Second Folioin 1632. [The exceptions are "The Duke's Mistress, The Example," and "The Gamester," all of which were printed by John Norton.] There was a strong professional relationship between Crooke and Cotes. (Cooke usually employed other printers for his independently published plays, cited below.)
William Cooke also published some Shirley plays on his own:
The Bird in a Cage," 1633
A Contention for Honor and Riches," 1633
The Witty Fair One," 1633
The Triumph of Peace," 1634
The Traitor," 1635
Love in a Maze," 1639
The Maid's Revenge," 1639
The Humorous Courtier," 1640 (in partnership with James Becket).
Altogether, Crooke and Cooke published almost two-thirds of Shirley's lifetime dramatic output.
Cooke disappears from the historical record after 1641; his last known work was Sir
Edward Coke's "The Complete Copy-Holder" (1641). [Plomer, p. 52.]
Crooke issued a second edition of "Wit Without Money" in 1661. In 1659, Crooke partnered with stationer Henry Brome (his shop was at the sign of the Gun in Ivy Lane) to issue a volume of
Richard Brome's dramas called "Five New Plays"; [The 1659 "Five New Plays" is distinct from, but easily confused with, the earlier, 1653 Brome collection with the identical title.] the collection contained " The English Moor, The Lovesick Court, The Weeding of Covent Garden, The New Academy", and " The Queen and Concubine".
Crooke maintained personal relationships with other publishers and printers: Richard Cotes, brother of Thomas Cotes, left Crooke a bequest in his 1653 last will and testament, and bookseller John Parker left Crooke a memorial ring in his 1648 will. Crooke himself left no will when he died in the autumn of 1674; administration of his estate was granted to his widow on October 15 of that year. [Plomer, p. 57.]
Crooke had business and family connections in
Dublin, the city where Shirley operated in the 1637–40 era. [Pollard, p. 132.] Crooke's nephew, another Andrew Crooke, served as "His Majesty's printer and bookseller" in Dublin from 1693 until his death in 1732. [Pollard, p. 128.] (This later Andrew Crooke, "the second," once sued his own mother in a business dispute.) [Pollard, p. 282.] In an odd coincidence of history, Andrew Crooke II had an apprentice named William Cooke, who eventually set up shop as a printer and bookseller in Chester, where he published "The Chester Weekly Journal".
* Richard Field
* Richard Hawkins
John and Richard Marriot
* John Martyn
* William Ponsonby
* Nason, Arthur Huntington. "James Shirley, Dramatist: A Biographical and Critical Study." New York, 1915; reprinted New York, Benjamin Blom, 1967.
* Pollard, Mary. "A Dictionary of Members of the Dublin Book Trade 1550–1800." Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2000.
* Plomer, Henry Robert. "A Dictionary of the Booksellers and Printers Who Were at Work in England, Scotland and Ireland from 1641 to 1667." The Bibliographical Society/Blades, East & Blades, 1907.
* Stevenson, Allan H. "Shirley's Publishers: The Partnership of Crooke and Cooke," "The Library," 4th series, Vol. 25 (1944–5), pp. 140-61.
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