Adolphus Cooke of Cookesborough (1792-1876) – Eccentric : Adolphus Cooke was probably the greatest eccentric Westmeath has yet produced. The illegitimate son of Robert Cooke, he was educated in England and served under Wellington in Spain and Portugal before traveling through Africa. Robert Cooke died in 1835; as his two legitimate sons had predeceased him, Cookesborough estate was left to Adolphus.
Initially he believed that his father would be reincarnated as a bee and thus designed his father’s mausoleum in the shape of a beehive. But later believing that his father had been reincarnated as a turkey-cock he made his servants doff their hats to the turkey whenever they passed it on the estate.
He also had his servants dig extra large fox-holes or coverts on the estate because he believed that he would return as a fox and did not relish the idea of being chased through the countryside by dogs and hunters without adequate cover to enable his escape.
Abhorring straight lines in 1863 he commissioned chairs with a graceful oval back and he was so impressed by them that he commissioned a local carpenter to design windows to match the chairs. He is buried in a bee-hive shaped tomb in Bracklyn, Mullingar.
For an interesting version of the story of Adolphus Cooke see Leo Daly ‘Titles’ (Mullingar: 1981).
Images used : Photograph of Beehive Mauseleum (c)Picaaf, 2009 (used by permission http://www.panoramio.com/photo/26347282) ; All other images in the Public Domain.
To view the original Adolphus Cooke Spark of Genius Poster please click here.
@westmeathculture Replying to @laoislibrariesstaff the story of Adolphus Cooke and Gusty the dog #librarytiktok #sparkofgenius #history #westmeath ♬ original sound - WestmeathCulture