Front Page Titles (by Subject) VII: Appendix II: The Epitaph of Sir Edward Coke - Selected Writings of Sir Edward Coke, vol. III
VII: Appendix II: The Epitaph of Sir Edward Coke - Sir Edward Coke, Selected Writings of Sir Edward Coke, vol. III 
The Selected Writings and Speeches of Sir Edward Coke, ed. Steve Sheppard (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2003). Vol. 3.
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The Epitaph of Sir Edward Coke
The body of Sir Edward Coke lies entombed where he directed it to be, near his first wife, Bridget. His is a magnificent tomb on the north wall of the chancel within the sanctuary, near the high altar of St. Mary’s Church at Tittleshall, Norfolk, England.
The monument, created by Nicholas Stone, includes a full-size effigy carved by Haydon. Besides the inscription of Coke’s abbreviated motto, on the cornice, below his heraldric achievement, there are three inscribed panels, one in Latin and two in English.
- Deo Optimo Maximo.
- Hæ Exuviæ hvmanæ expectant resvrrectionem
- Hic sitvs est.
- Non peritvri nominis, Edvardvs Coke, eqves avrat,
- Legvm anima, interpres, oracvlvm non dvbivm,
- arcanorvm promi-condvs mysteriorvm,
- Cvivs ferè vnivs beneficio,
- Ivrisperiti nostri svnt ivrisperiti.
- Eloqventiæ flvmen, torrens, fvlmen,
- Svadæ sacerdos vnicvs.
- Divinvs heros.
- Pro rostris ita dixit,
- Vt literis insvdasse crederes, non nisi hvmanis
- Ita vixit vt non nisi divinis.
- Sacerrimvs intimæ pietatis indagator.
- Integritas Ipsa
- Veræ semper cavsæ constantissimvs assertor
- Nec favore nec mvneribvs violandvs.
- Eximìe misericors
- Charior erat HVIC revs qvam sibi.
- cv [ ] (miracvli instar est)
- Siccolvs sæpè ille avdiit sententiam in se prolatam
- Nvnqvam HIC nisi madidocvlvs protvlit.
- Scientiæ oceanvs
- QVIqve dvm vixit, bibliotheca viva,
- mortuvs dici mervit bibliotecæ parens.
- Dvodecim liberorvm tredecim librorvm pater.
- Facessant hinc Monvmenta,
- Facessant Marmora,
- (nisi qvòd pios fvisse denotarint posteros)
- IPSE sibi svvm est Monvmentvm,
- Marmore perrennivs,
- IPSE sibi sva est Æternitas.
- To God, the Highest and Greatest,
- These Mortal Remains Await the Resurrection of the Faithful.
- Here Lies Edward Coke, Knight of Gold, of Imperishable Fame,
- Spirit, Interpreter, and Inerrant Oracle of the Laws,
- Discloser of its Secrets—Concealer of its Mysteries,
- Thanks Almost Alone to Whose Good Office,
- Our Lawyers Are Learned in the Law.
- A River, Torrent, and Flood of Eloquence,
- Singular Priest of Persuasion.
- Divine Master.
- In Courts, He Spoke
- In Such a Way That One Would Believe Him To Have Studied Only the Secular,
- But He Lived as One Who Had Studied Nothing but the Divine.
- Most Devoted Investigator of Profound Faithfulness.
- Integrity Itself,
- Always the Most Constant Advocate of the Cause of Truth
- Corrupted Neither by Favor Nor by Gifts
- Exceptionally Merciful,
- The Defendant was Dearer to Him than he was to Himself
- (Which is a Miracle)
- He Often Heard Sentence Pronounced Against Himself with Dry Eyes
- Though Sentence Was Never Pronounced by this Man without Tears.
- An Ocean of Knowledge
- Who Alive, was a Living Library,
- Deceased, Deserves the Name of Father of a Library.
- Father of Twelve Children and Thirteen Books.
- These Monuments May Crumble,
- The Marble Decay,
- (Except that they Show that his Children were Pious)
- He Is His Own Monument to Himself.
- More Lasting than Marble
- He Himself Is His Own Immortality.
- Dedicated to the
- Memory of
- Sr.Edward Coke Knight, a late Reverend
- Ivdge borne at Mileham in this County of Norf.
- Excellent in all learning Divine &Hvmane, that for
- His owne, this for His covntries good, Especially in
- the knowledge & practise of the mvnicipall lawes
- of this Kingdome,
- A famovs pleader, a sovnd Covnseller.
- In His younger yeares recorder of the Cities of Norwich
- & London, next Sollicitor generall to Qvene Eliza:
- and Speaker of the Parliament, in ye xxxv yeare of hir
- Raigne. Afterwards Attornye generall to the same
- Qveene, as also to her successor King Iames.
- To both, a faithfull servant, for their MA:ts for theire
- safetyes. By Kinge Iames constituted Cheife Iustice of
- both Benches successiuely. In both A ivst, in both An
- Exemplary Ivdge. One of his MA:ties Most Honorable Privie
- Covnsell. As also of Covncell to Qvene Anne &Cheife
- Ivstice In Eire of all Hir Forrests, Chases, and Parkes.
- Recorder of ye Cittie of Coventrye, & High Steward of
- the Vniversity of Cambridge, whereof he was sometime
- A Member in Trinitye Colledge.
- He had two Wives,
- By Bridget, His first Wife (one of the Daughters &
- Coheires of Iohn Paston esq.) He had Issue sevean
- Sonnes and three Daughters.
- And by the Lady Elizabeth His second Wife (one
- of the Daughters of the R:tHon:bleThomas late Earle
- of Exeter) He had Issue two Daughters.
- A chast Hvsband: a provident Father.
- He Crowned HIS PIOVS LIFE, with as PIOVS and
- Christian departvre at STOKE POGES in the
- Covnty of BVCKINGHAM on WEDNESDAYE
- the third day of SEPTEMBER in ye year of ovr
- LORD MDCXXXIIII.
- And of HIS AGE LXXXIII.
- His last wordes
- Thy kingdome come, thy will be done
- Learne READER to live so,
- that thov may’st so dye.
>Photograph courtesy of Brian and Marjorie Gill
>Photographs courtesy of Brian and Marjorie Gill