A clerk's son, John Cooke studied with a Mr. Powell at Oakham School before entering Emmanuel College Cambridge as a sizar in 1758. He later migrated to Trinity College (B.A. 1761, M.A. 1764). Cooke was Vicar of Swilland, Suffolk (1768-1806), Rector of Denton, Buckinghamshire (1773-1823), and later Chaplain of Greenwich Hospital. He published sermons, a history of Greenwich Hospital (1789), and a memoir of Lord Sandwich (1799).
The preservation of St. Paul from shipwreck ... a sermon. 1789.
A sermon preached at the opening of the chapel of the Royal Hospital for seamen at Greenwich. 1789.
A voyage performed by the late Earl of Sandwich. 1799.
A description of the Royal Hospital for Seamen. 1811.