November 28, 1734, London, England.
September 14, 1793, London, England.
In the west cloister of Westminster Abbey, London, England.
Son of Benjamin Cooke, a Covent Garden music publisher, Cooke studied under Pepusch starting at age 9, and within three years was able to serve as assistant to John Robinson, organist at Westminster Abbey. He succeeded Pepusch as conductor at the Academy of Ancient Music in 1752. At Westminster Abbey, he became master of the choristers 1757, lay vicar in 1758, and organist in 1762. Cooke was educated at Cambridge (MusD 1775) and Oxford (doctorate 1782). He became organist at St. Martin-in-the-Fields in 1782, with his son Robert succeeding him there in 1784. He became assistant director at the Handel Commemoration in 1784, and resigned the conductorship at the Academy of Ancient Music in 1784.