1790 – 24 Westgate Street

Posted by Liz Jack     Category: Apothecary, Apprentices, Freemen, Gloucester, Shops, Uncategorized

The next person to occupy the premises was one Charles Cooke.  On the documents, he was identified as a surgeon and apothecary so the shop returned to the trade it was used for in 1721 when Nicholas Lane first transferred it to his wife and children. 

Again, because he has a rather common name, details of Charles Cooke’s family are difficult to confirm but it seems that he married Catherine Smythe in St Mary de Crypt church in 1790 and they had six children over the next 18 years:  Thomas, Charles Turner, George, John Freeman, Albina and Henry George Pauncefoot Cooke.  Of these, Thomas became a clerk at Oxford University and Charles Turner followed in his father’s footsteps and became a surgeon.  Both became freemen of the city of Gloucester.

When he took over the house and shop in 1790, Charles senior took on an apprentice called William Jones so he was obviously setting himself up in the area and feeling the need to develop his business.  At the time, he called himself surgeon, apothecary and man midwife.  In 1809, he took on another apprentice, this time one Nathaniel Mills.  A year later, Charles’ wife, Catherine died at the age of 44 years and was buried in St Mary de Crypt churchyard.  It is not known when Charles Cooke died or where he is buried.

In the ‘Notes of Henry Yates Jones Taylor’, there is an interesting story relating to the son, Charles Turner Cooke.  It states: “He was a regular attendant at the Cathedral Sunday services. Very frequently in the middle of the services his servant or one of the vergers crept noiselessly and timidly along to his seat and tapped him on the shoulder when he immediately left and got into his carriage at the porch, and drove away to some case of emergency. This occurred so often that persons began to get doubtful or sceptical as to the genuineness of the calls upon his professional skill and attention. So a vigilance committee was extemporised. One Sunday the old performance was repeated with a great deal of fuss and ostentation. The carriage with the Doctor drove all round the town and returned, but it was noticed that he neither left his vehicle nor made a call. He resumed his seat and his pious devotions. The humbug was so effectually exposed that he did not repeat those tricks by which he had endeavoured to impose upon the religious fraternity and the general public to induce them to believe that his services were so important as to necessitate a perpetual interference with his devotional exercise.”  Apparently, Charles Turner Cooke  also wrote a book which made several editions on the efficacy of white mustard seed.  

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