Cook, Robert (1646?–c.1726), eccentric, was the son of Robert Cook of Cappoquin, Co. Waterford. During the reign of James II (qv) he fled to England and lived at Ipswich. In its act of attainder the 1689 Jacobite parliament declared him a traitor if he did not return by 1 September following. He was originally a quaker, but followed his own ideas on religion, as he did in other matters; he became a vegetarian, adopting a ‘Phagorian’ philosophy which he expounded in a 1691 pamphlet. He was known as Linen Cook because he wore only linen clothes, refusing wool and leather, objecting to their animal origin, and possibly also supporting his own business interests: his family made their money largely from the textile industry. Tales of his eccentricity were told for many years; it was said that he would have only white cattle and horses, and that once when a fox which had attacked his poultry was caught, it was obliged to listen to a dissertation on murder – and then given a ‘sporting chance’ of escape by running the gauntlet of his farm labourers who were armed with sticks. Cook was married twice, his first wife being a Bristol woman. On one of his visits to Bristol he caused a pile of stones to be erected on a rock in the Bristol channel which came to be known as Cook's Folly. His second wife, Cecilia or Cicely, bore him three sons and two daughters. He died about 1726, when he was over eighty, and in his will directed that his body be interred at the ‘Tempul’ at Youghal in a linen shroud.
DNB; Burke, IFR, 259; Peter Somerville-Large, Irish eccentrics: a selection (1975), 12–13