1985 commercial for Thomas Cook Travel

Thomas Cook (22 November 1808 – 18 July 1892) of Melbourne, Derbyshire, founded the travel agency that is now Thomas Cook Group.

Early Days

Thomas Cook was born to John and Elizabeth Cook, who lived at 9 Quick Close in the village of Melbourne, Derbyshire.[1] The couple’s first child, he was named after Elizabeth’s father, Thomas Perkins. John Cook died when Thomas was three years old, and his mother remarried later that same year.

At the age of 10, Thomas Cook started working as an assistant to a local market gardener for a wage of six pence a week. At the age of 14, he secured an apprenticeship with John Pegg, and spent five years as a cabinet maker.

Thomas Cook was brought up as a strict Baptist and joined his local Temperance Society. In February 1826, he became a preacher, and toured the region as a village evangelist, distributing pamphlets, and occasionally working as a cabinet maker to earn money.  After working as a part-time publisher of Baptist and Temperance pamphlets, becoming a Baptist minister in 1828.

In 1832, Thomas Cook moved to the Adam and Eve Street in Market Harborough. Influenced by the local Baptist minister Francis Beardsall, he took the temperance pledge on the New Year’s Day in 1833. As a part of the temperance movement, he organized meetings and held anti-liquor processions.

On 3 March 1833, Thomas Cook married Marianne Mason. John Mason Cook, their only son, was born on 13 January 1834.

Info gleaned from Wikipedia

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