Sir William COPE of Grimsby and Hanwell, Knight

Born: ABT 1450, Grimsbury, Northamptonshire, England

Died: 7 Apr 1513, London, Middlesex, England

Buried: Church of Banbury, Oxfordshire, England

Father: Alexander COPE

Mother: ?

Married 1: Agnes HARCOURT ABT 1470, Grimsburg, Northamptonshire, England


1. Stephen COPE of Denmede (m. Anne Saunders)

Married 2: Jane SPENCER ABT 1495, Canons Ashby, Northamptonshire, England


2. Anthony COPE (Sir Knight) (See his Biography)

3. William COPE (Esq.) (d. AFT 1567)

4. John COPE (Sir Knight) (d. 22 Jan 1559/9) (m.1 Bridget Raleigh - m.2 Mary Mallory - m.3 Margaret Tame)

There is a lot of confusion as regards to the parentage and marriages of Sir William Cope, the Cofferer. No two visitations [in Herald's Visitations] agree. Built castle of Banbury, Handwick and St. John's Cowcross, Smithfield. Wormleighton and Fenny-Compton. 1502 Bought Hanwell in Wiltshire. 1485 At Battle of Bosworth, fought for Richard III. Knight of the Royal Arms-awarded 2nd Coat-of-Arms for the Cope Family in England. Steward of Guildford and Henly Parks. Lieutenant of Southbere Forest. Steward and Bailiff of Bedhampton. 1470 Sergeant of Catery. 1510 Sergeant of the Poultry. 1510 Steward of Worpledon and Witeby. 1511 Constable of Porchester Castle. 1513 Secretary to the Duchess of Savoy. Cofferer (Treasurer), or Keeper of the Privy Purse, of Henry VII and obtained from that King grants of the lordships and manors of Wormleighton and Fenny-Compton. His sister Margaret had married William Iberowe.

Sir William Cope received the honour of knighthood at the hands of his prince, possessed much wealth. It was he who sold the "great lordship of Wormleighton" to Sir John Spencer, father of his second wife, Jane, and ancestor to the powerful Earls of Sunderland.

He also bought lands in Somersetshire and Wiltshire, and he it was who bought, in 1502, the domain of Hanwell, destined to be the seat of his descendants for many generations.

All that remains of Sir William Cope the Cofferer, is a portrait by Holbein. All that remains, at least, beside the good report of a life of liberality, benevolence, and faithful service to his King.

Sir William was married twice; first to Agnes, daughter and coheiress of Sir Robert Harcourt, of Stanton Harcourt, knight banneret and knight [knighted May 26, 1465] of the bath, who was standard-bearer to Henry VII at the battle of Bosworth Field. By her he had a son, Stephen Harcourt of Denmede, Molyns, Hants, England; Sergeant of the Butlery; Gentleman of the Bedchamber; Sargeant of the poultry to Henry VIII and Edward VI; 1510 Envoy to the Duchess of Savoy; 1523 Envoy to the Emperor of Muscovy. Secondly, he was married to Jane, daughter of Sir John Spencer of Hodnell, and heiress to her brother Thomas. Jane Spencer became the mother of Anthony, William and John. Sir John Cope of Eydon and Heale, Northamptonshire, and of Knowle Hall, Warwickshire, was Sheriff of Northamptonshire, Member of Parliament. William Cope, Esq., never married, and was in 1516 Esquire of the Body to Henry VIII; and "Servitor" at the coronation of Queen Anne Boleyn.


J.C. Biddle-Cope: The Copes of Wiltshire. from Memoirs of the Copes of Wiltshire by , M.A. Worchester College, Oxford [ca. 1882]

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