The Rev Dr Henry Cooke was one of the most influential Presbyterian ministers of the 19th century and personified the ‘victory’ of Old-Light over the more liberal New-Light Presbyterians, many of the latter from a previous generation were United Irishmen and members of the Belfast Charitable Society.

Like many influential Presbyterians in Belfast, Rev Dr Cooke became involved in the Belfast Charitable Society. He died on December 13 1868 and was buried in Balmoral Cemetery.

His obituary in the Belfast Newsletter ran for over 4 columns, commenting that ‘a Prince of the church had fallen’. On this day, 2nd January 1869, following their return after the Christmas holidays the Belfast Charitable Society voted to send his wife and family their condolences on his passing.