(11)  Mary Anne Coppinger


The brief record of her life may be summed up in her brilliant marriage and the early death that deprived her of a splendid position.  She married in 1767 the Honorable Charles Howard, heir apparent of the Dukedom of Norfolk, and afterwards the 12th Duke.

A Deed Poll, under the name of this Mary Anne Coppinger and Charles Howard, dated just before their marriage, in which the properties of Killacloyne and Granacloyne, near Barryscourt, are mentioned as well as the property in the City and Liberties, is still in existence.  The memorial, dated the 2nd February, (year effaced) is endorsed on an indenture of 21st of July, 1767, made between Mary Anne Coppinger, of the City of Dublin, Spinster, of the one part, and Dominick Sarsfield of Daughcloyne, South Liberties, City of Cork, Barrister-at-Law, of the other part, which provides that:-

"In consideration of £3,600 paid to Mary Anne Coppinger, by said D. Sarsfield, she, the said M. A. Coppinger, did grant unto said Dominick Sarsfield the lands of Ballyvolane and chief rents issuing out of the lands of Ballincollig, all in the North Liberties and Co. of the City of Cork, Mallow Lane, East Coppinger's Acre - Bohernass Sark - Coppinger's Stang - lying in Farrenpheiris Fair Lands, West Coppinger's Acre, situate in the North suburbs, City of Corke, Killacloyne; two islands and one fishing weir, the lands of Granacloyne (situated, obliterated) Barony of Barrymore, Co. Cork, Ballincurrig, Douglass South, pt of Coppinger's Stang, all situate in South Liberties of City of Corke, with one weir and fishing Poll, commonly called Ploedy, To hold to Dominick Sarsfield for 1,000 years, but subject to redemption on payment of said sum of £3,600, with intt. by the said M. A. Coppinger, on a certain day therein mentioned.

Of which Deed this is a Memorial.  It is witnessed by Thomas Sarsfield, Executor of Dominick Sarsfield, deced and with the consent and by the discretion of the sd M. A. Coppinger and Chas. Howard, in consid'n of the sum of £3,600 paid by Robt Graham; and all the lands, tenamts, &c. before mentioned, which were the premises upon which mortgage was charged, To hold to the sd Robt Graham subject to a proviso of Redemption." 

It would seem as if this charge was effected just before her  marriage.

The writer copied it from an old and damaged copy among Rossmore papers.

As the young lady is described as of Dublin, Spinster, and her mother's Will particularises the rented town house, she probably had not lived much at Ballyvolane since early childhood.  Tradition, however, calls one field the Bathing House Field, and says a lady of the Coppinger family turned a little river through her lands and built a bathing house, of which a few fragments exist.  She lived one happy year of wedded life in England, and during it is said to have embroidered a chair, which was to be seen many years ago at Grey Stoke: a pretty custom prevailing in the Howard family that each bride should work the silken covering of a chair for the drawing-room.  The tradition about Barryscourt is, that she was in the act of putting on her jewels, and before her mirror, being dressed for some great ball, when she was prematurely seized with the throes of child-birth, and died in giving birth to a child that never breathed. The story further runs that, as in those days news travelled slowly, a great ball was being given by the Nagles at Annakissy when the poor young lady and her baby were lying dead.[1]  Her Uncle William Coppinger of Barryscourt had gone over for it, and was staying there when the news of the double death reached Barryscourt.  It could not be expected that a many-childed younger son would feel much sorrow for the fate that threw affluence and the old lands in his way, but all decent outward decorum was observed.  His steward Leahy, whose descendant is steward at Rossmore, rode poste-haste after him, and rushed into the ballroom with the news.  Dancing was immediately suspended, for the dead lady was a near cousin of the squire of Annakissy, and the company hurriedly dispersed. Her uncle rode home with speed, and, tradition avers, did not sorrow very deeply for the stroke that threw such a fortune in his way.  The day and hour of her death had been predicted by a fool who was often kindly treated at Barryscourt, and many of whose quaint sayings are since remembered.  The fool's prophecy had been noted down, and the day and the hour tallied with that when she was seized with sudden illness clasping on her jewels before her mirror.

Young Mrs. Howard missed the brilliant lot of being the first lady in England; but, if tradition speaks truly, her successor was not a particularly happy wife.

She was buried in Dorking Church, and the following is the inscription on the tomb:-

Near this place are Interred the
Honorable Charles Howard, of
Greystock Castle, Fourt son of Henry
Frederick, Earl of Arundel, &c., who
died the 31st March, 1713, And Mary,
His Wife, one of the daughters of George
Tettershell, of Tinch Hamstead, in the
County of Berks, Esqre, Who dyed the 7th
of November, 1693, and also Henry
Charles Howard, his son and heir, who
dyed the 10th of June, 1720, and Mary
his wife, eldest daughter of John Aylward,
of the Kingdom of Ireland, Esqre, descended
of the Aylwards of Waterford, who dyed
the 7th of October, 1747.  Near this place is
also interred the body of Mary Anne Howard,
the late wife of Charles Howard,
Jnr, Esqre, who dyed in child-bed of
her first child, May 28th, 1768, in the
23rd year of her age, she was daughter
of John Coppinger, Esqre, a gentleman
of very Ancient and Respectable
Family of the Kingdom of Ireland

Mr. Howard of Greystoke informed the writer her portrait is supposed to have perished in the fire of 1868.  There is no memorial of her now extant.

[1] Mr. Phillip W. Creaghe of Dundullerish, whose grandmother was Sarah Nagle, recollects hearing amongst old people of this ball at Annakissy and the announcement of the death, and that all festivity was at once stopped and the ball broken up.



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