Burghley, William Cecil, Lord, statesman, was born in 1520 at Bourn, Lincolnshire. From Cambridge he went to Gray's Inn to prepare for the legal profession. In 1545 he married Sir Anthony Cooke's daughter, which drew upon him the patronage of the Protector Somerset, who made him master of requests in 1547, and in 1548 his secretary. In 1550 he became secretary of state and effected many important commercial changes. In Mary's reign he held no public office, and contrived to live through those perilous times without compromising himself. On Elizabeth's accession he became chief secretary of state and a privy councillor, and for the remainder of his life was at the head of public affairs. It was Burghley's sagacity and shrewdness that made Elizabeth's reign glorious. In 1571, on the suppression of the northern rebellion, the queen created him Baron Burghley. He died in Cecil House in the Strand in 1598, and was buried in Westminster.