COPE, Sir John, 5th Bt. (1634-1721), of Hanwell, Oxon. and Chelsea, Mdx.
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Family and Education
b. 19 Nov. 1634, 3rd but 2nd surv. s. of Sir John Cope, 3rd Bt., of Hanwell, and bro. of Sir Anthony Cope, 4th Bt. educ. Queen’s, Oxf. 1651; travelled abroad (France, Italy, Germany, Low Countries). m. bef. 1673, Anne (d.1713) da. of Philip Booth, 7s. (3 d.v.p.) 1da. suc. bro. 11 June 1675.1
J.p. Oxon. 1676-81, 1689-d., Oxford by 1700-d.; dep. lt. Oxon. 1676-?83, 1689-?d.; commr. for assessment, London 1677-80, Oxon. and Oxford 1679-80, London, Oxon. and Oxford 1689-90; freeman, Oxford 1679-June 1688.3
Director, Bank of England (with statutory intervals) 1695-1702.4
Cope travelled extensively in his youth, though apart from two brief spells of military service little is known of his means of subsistence. His wife, whom he described as ‘a neighbouring gentlewoman’, is said to have been the daughter of a lodging-house keeper at Dunkirk who engaged in royalist intrigue. His brother, displeased at the mesalliance, left him only a life interest in Hanwell. He was elected to the first Exclusion Parliament for the county after a lengthy poll, and marked ‘honest’ on Shaftesbury’s list; but he was an inactive Member, making no recorded speeches and sitting only on the committee for the reform of the bankruptcy laws which the Whigs desired. He was absent from the division on the exclusion bill. He defeated Sir Philip Harcourt at the next general election, and in the following July sought to have the Duke of York presented as a recusant by the grand jury of Middlesex. His only traceable activity in the second Exclusion Parliament was as a member of the committee of elections and privileges. Despite a letter of support from Shaftesbury, he was defeated by Harcourt in 1681, and in July was removed from the commission of the peace. His name was sent to William of Orange on a list of the Opposition to James II, and he was removed as freeman of Oxford in June 1688.5
Cope represented the county in the Convention, but his record was undistinguished. He served on only six committees, including those for continuing proceedings at law, for considering the affairs of the East India Company and for prohibiting trade with France. He supported the disabling clause in the bill to restore corporations. His support for the Revolution is evident from the loans exceeding £8,000 which he made to the Government. He seems to have acquired considerable wealth, for his investments in Bank of England stock alone were worth £12,500. He was defeated at the Oxfordshire election in 1690, and thereafter sat only briefly for Banbury in one Parliament. He died on 11 Jan. 1721 at Bramshill Park, his son’s Hampshire seat, and was buried at Eversley. The family retained an interest at Banbury, but his son, a supporter of Walpole, sat for various constituencies in Devonshire and Hampshire, representing the latter county from 1727 to 1734.6
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Authors: Leonard Naylor / Geoffrey Jaggar
- 1. Misc. Gen. et Her. (ser. 3), iv. 214; n.s. i. 240; PCC 93 Plymouth.
- 2. HMC Portland, iii. 228; CSP Dom. 1661-2, p 278; 1667-8, p. 38.
- 3. SP 44/29/158; Bodl. Carte 79, f. 680; CSP Dom.July-Sept. 1683, p. 162; Oxford Council Acts (Oxf. Hist. Soc. n.s. ii), 117; PC 2/72. ff. 677-8.
- 4. N. and Q. clxxix. 41.
- 5. T. E. Sharpe, A Royal Descent , ii. 56, 117; PCC 12 Bence; HMC 7th Rep. 479; Bodl. Locke mss, c 7/76.
- 6. Cal. Treas. Bks. ix. 1971, 1976, 1980, 1981, 1987; x. 910, 915; PCC 93 Plymouth.