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Biography of Sir Edward Coke


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Coke, Sir Edward. Born in 1552. Judge and law writer, educated at Norwich grammar school and Cambridge. Was called to the bar in 1578. Early acquired a high reputation; became solicitor-general in 1592 and attorney-general in 1594. He showed much harshness in his prosecution of Essex, Raleigh, and others; but his loyalty gained him the chief justiceship of the common pleas in 1606. In this position and that of chief justice of the king's bench (1613), he opposed James I's claim to exercise prerogatives, and was temporarily deprived in 1616. Entering parliament in 1620, he there resisted the king's encroachments, was imprisoned in the Tower in 1622, and in 1628 took the chief part in drawing up the Petition of Right. The remainder of his life was spent in compiling his commentaries upon Littleton." Died 1634.