(18)  Walter Copinger


He succeeded to the estates entailed by his grandfather Sir Walter Copinger under the Will of his brother James in 1665.

In 1679 he made a settlement of his lands of Glanegaule and Killunton, in the County of Cork, upon his eldest son Dominick; the property was then in mortgage to Michael Gould.  This document is interesting as being the last deed executed by this branch of the family passing property in the County of Cork.  It was as follows:-

Conveyance Walter Copinger to Dominick Copinger, 1679.

Though throughout the deed the Coppinger is spelt with two "pp," yet the signature is with one.  The deed is sealed with a coat of arms similar to those forming the frontispiece. [As shown at the top left hand corner of the Home Page.  -  D. P.C.]

Walter Copinger seems to have taken part in the Irish Rebellion, and was attained and outlawed for high treason, 10th June, 1691.  His property was forfeited, and together with the larger proportion of the noble Irish families he was hopelessly ruined.  The iniquitous proceedings of 1691 far outdid those of 1641.

The Irish gentry who had eluded the vigilance of Cromwell, or had been restored or permitted to enjoy their estates by Ormond, were utterly undone by the forfeitures under William.  In the County of Cork they amounted to 244,000 acres.  The entire confiscations throughout the Country amounted to about 1,700,000 acres: 297 houses in Dublin, 36 in Cork, and 126 in other towns.  There were also 61 mills, 28 patents for fairs and markets, 72 rectorships, with their tithes and rents, six ferries, and a great number of fisheries.  Also vast numbers of sheep and cattle, which were valued at £135,552 only; but were worth much more, as in this calculation a horse was set down at only twenty shillings, a sheep at half-a-crown, and other animals proportionally low.

A Commission was appointed in 1698 by the Commons of England to inquire into the Irish forfeitures.  The majority reported in December, 1699, to the House, "that they met with great difficulties in their inquiry," "that nevertheless it appeared to them that the persons outlawed in England since the 13th day of February, 1688 [9], on account of the late rebellion, then amounted in number to 57, and in Ireland to 3,921; that all the lands in the several counties in Ireland belonging to the forfeited persons, as far as they could reckon by acres, being added together made 1,060,792 acres, worth per annum £211,623, the total value being £2,685,130, esteeming a life at six years' purchase, and an inheritance at thirteen years', which was at this time the value of the lands of that kingdom, besides the several denominations in the several counties to which no number of acres could be added by reason of the imperfection of surveys."

Some of these lands the Commissioners stated had been restored to the old proprietors, by virtue of the articles of Limerick and Galway, and by other grants and pardons, which they said had been chiefly obtained by gratifications to such persons as had abused the trust placed in them by the King.  They further gave an account of numerous grants from the Crown.  Many deductions and allowances were made for the dishonesty of those who had underlet the lands at a low value, for destruction and waste, and for plunder.  But after all these there yet remained a sum of £1,699,343. 14s., which they laid before the House of Commons as the gross value of the estates forfeited since the 13th day of February, 1688, and not restored.[1]

Deprived of their estates, and cut off by a succession of penal statutes from all hope of rising to distinction, the Irish gentry left their native land in thousands, taking their dependants and many of their former tenantry with them, and sought promotion in foreign service.  Indeed, so great was the number of the voluntary exiles who landed in France during the next half century, that it is computed - upon a calculation made at the French War Office - that from the landing of James's army, up to and including the battle of Fontenoy in 1745, upwards of 450,000 Irishmen laid down their lives in the service of France.

The following is a translation of the Inquisition taken at Oldcastle, near Cork, on the 15th August, 1694, on Walter Copinger. 

Inquisition on Walter Copinger, 1694.


[1] As to this report see Tindal's continuation of Rapin's History of England, vol.iii, p.399;  Wright's History of Ireland, vol.iii.



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