(24)  Maurice Copinger


He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, where he took his B.A. degree in 1748. Upon his father's death in 1750 he, as his father's executor, filed a bill in the Court of Chancery against Maurice Keating Esq., and Robert Coppinger, Esq., for foreclosure in respect of certain property in the County of Kildare.  The decree is dated the 9th June, 1763 (the bill having been filed the 26th July, 1750), and it was ordered that the defendants should in three months from date pay to the plaintiff the sum of £3,390. 4s. 8d. with interest and costs, and thereupon the plaintiff should re-convey to the defendant the mortgaged lands and premises in the pleadings mentioned, viz. - The Scite, circuit, &c., of the Lordship, Hospital, Priory Manor or reputed Manor of St. John's, in or near Atty, in the County of Kildare, with the Rectories, Tythes, obligations, royalties, franchises, &c., thereunto or unto any part thereof belonging in the County of Kildare and Queen's County or either of them.  And in default of payment as aforesaid that the defendants should be barred and forever foreclosed all right and equity of redemption in or to the said premises, and that same or a competent part thereof should be sold by the Master by public court for payment of the said debt and interest.

On the 9th June, 1766, a grant was made to him in respect of his estate "Glinville, als. Glangfrehane," of a Friday market and two Fairs on 4th May and 3rd November.  Rent, 13s. 4d.[1]  His name appears in 1773 in a List of Gentlemen in the Commission of the Peace for the County of Cork.  He was in the Irish Parliament for a great number of years.  In 1770 he was appointed third serjeant, the patent bearing date the 12th July, and in 1774 he was appointed second serjeant, the patent bearing date the 19th July. It seems that in 1774 Hugh Carleton was appointed second Serjeant, and the patent to Copinger was revoked.  He was the author of one or two law books; one is called "Copinger's Abridgment."  He resided mostly in Dublin, and his house in William-street is still standing.  The adjoining row is called after him, Coppinger's Row.  In this row Thomas Moore, the poet, was born, and received the rudiments of his education.  Here also still stands a Court of Justice called the Court of Conscience, whereout were issued writs, and it was formerly a common saying in Dublin, "To be served with a Coppinger."  In a return of the population of the nineteen parishes and two deaneries of the City of Dublin, 1798, it appears that "Coppinger's Row" had a population of 29, 11 of which were males and 18 females, and that the number of inhabited houses were three, and one was waste.[2]  The Serjeant invariably spelt his name with one "p," and a book plate of his is in the possession of his grandson, Lieut.-Col. Copinger, shows that his arms were the old arms of the family and the crest the leg in armour.  After he had been married for thirteen years and having no child, he disposed of the family estate of Glenville.  One year after the sale, in 1780, a son, John James Copinger, was born to him.  His marriage settlement had only provided a jointure for his wife.

It is not clear whether the sale was effected by the Serjeant himself or under a decree of the Court of Chancery, but it is certain that on the 10th May, 1773, a bill was filed by Theobald Woolfe against Maurice Copinger and his father-in-law, Hugh Henry Mitchell, and one William Alcock, and by a decree dated 24th December, 1778, it was ordered that the defendant Maurice Copinger should in three months pay to the defendant Alcock and his trustees, and to the plaintiff and the several creditors in the report in the cause mentioned, the several sums reported due to them with interest for the principal thereof till paid.  And in default thereof that the defendant, Maurice Copinger, and all deriving by, from, or under him, should be barred and for ever foreclosed all right and equity of redemption in or to the mortgaged lands and premises in the pleadings mentioned, and that the Master should sell by public cant the several towns, lands, tenements, &c., in the County of Cork, in the pleadings mentioned, viz., all those parts of Glannagtheaghan otherwise Glawnephieghan called East Graige, with the Wood and West Graige with the Mountain thereunto belonging, and the Commons containing 1634a 0r 2p.  Those parts of the same called Doone, Parknagrave, and Glynville, Little Moneen and Mount Pleasant, &c., together 6106a 1r 30p.  This decree was enrolled on the 20th June, 1780.

From the Index of King's and Queen's Letters, from 1649 to 1852, it appears that a pension of £500 was granted to the Serjeant's wife, 30th May, 1785.  On the 23rd December, 1793, this pension was revoked, and a pension of £800 a year was substituted in place thereof and limited in trust for the lives of herself and her son. So, too, a pension of £100 a year was, on the 15th June, 1813, granted to Jane Letitia, the widow of the Rev. John James Copinger, son of the above Serjeant.


[1] Grants of Fairs and Markets in County of Cork, enrolled in the Patent Rolls of the Court of Chancery, preserved in the Rolls Office, Dublin.  Brit. Mus., Eger. 76

[2] Whitelow and Walsh's Hist. of Dublin, vol.ii., App. II, xx.



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