Rooke was a naval officer who rose to the position of Admiral of the Fleet and in later life had a seat in parliament. He fought in several sea battles against the Dutch and the French with mixed results. He died, after a long illness, ‘of the stomach’ at the family home of St Lawrence on the Old Dover Road and was buried in his parish church of St Paul; his monument on the south east corner of the chapel is strictly a cenotaph.
Rooke’s monument celebrates his martial achievements and is adorned with sailing ships and cannon with the inscription listing his more successful naval exploits. It bears a splendid bust of the man, which Hasted described as “dressed in a large full curled wig”. The stone is probably a variety of Carrara Marble from the Apuan Alps in Italy and a variety known as Calaccata which has a subtle blue-grey veining running throughout.