Coote, Sir Charles (d. 1642), army officer, was the eldest son of Sir Nicholas Coote of Blownorton, Norfolk, and had two sisters and at least two brothers, one of whom, William, became dean of Down. His mother was almost certainly Nicholas Coote's second wife, Eleanor, daughter of Sir Michael Stanhope and his wife, Anne, and sister of the courtier Sir John Stanhope, who sponsored Charles Coote's early career in Ireland, perhaps from 1600. Coote held command of an infantry company in Munster from 1601 until some time after 1603. He was granted a reversion to the post of provost marshal of Connacht in June 1605, apparently took up that office soon afterwards, and was appointed one of the collectors of composition rents for Connacht in November 1613. In 1615 a royal order for the confirmation of land titles in the province prompted an investigative commission, on which Coote served, and the payment of large sums of money by property holders, but the failure to fully follow through with the enrolment of surrenders and grants, if often blamed on clerical negligence, was also attributed to Coote's ‘calculated remissness’ (Clarke, 53). Certainly he proceeded to build up extensive landed possessions in the province, in counties Leitrim, Roscommon and Sligo. By 1617 he had married Dorothea, probably the younger daughter of Hugh Cuffe, plantation undertaker in Co. Cork, who brought property in Co. Cork and in Queen's County to the marriage. They had four sons and one daughter; the eldest son, also Charles (qv), became 1st earl of Mountrath.
Knighted in November 1616, in May 1620 he was named vice-president and chief leader of the army in Connacht in the absence of the provincial president, and in January 1621 he purchased a baronetcy and secured a seat on the Irish council. He undertook to build town walls for Jamestown, Co. Leitrim, using funds gathered in the province and served as the first sovereign of that borough by its 1622 charter. By then his activities had come under the scrutiny of a commission to investigate the reform of Ireland, and some among the commissioners suspected his rapid rise in fortune had been funded by embezzling the composition rents. He made haste to England, where he secured his position.
Coote's martial background saw him called upon to suppress disorder, such as that which had broken out in Queen's County in 1626, part of an ongoing response to plantation. He remained an advocate of plantation, notably in Connacht, and was appointed to the commission for defective titles in 1634. He continued to expand his estates, as around Mountrath and Castle Cuffe in Queen's County, and proved energetic in promoting English settlement, urban development and clothworking at Mountrath, and ironworking there and elsewhere on his properties, notably in Co. Cavan. He was elected an MP for Jamestown in 1634, and the same year was named to the office of custos rotulorum for Queen's County, which he represented in the parliament called in 1640. In that year he was named a colonel and given command of a brigade in Strafford's ‘new army’ and, following the 1641 rising, given a fresh regimental command and appointed military governor of Dublin city. He commanded the government's early expeditions near the capital, and was the target of much criticism in statements from catholic leaders for alleged viciousness in word and deed. He was killed in action at Trim on 7 May 1642. In 1900 a portrait of Charles Coote was in the possession of the Coote family at Ballyfin, Co. Laois.