(5)  William Coppinger


The four brothers suffered outlawry and exile for King James, but William's fate was the least sad.  He was very probably the William Coppinger, of Cork, merchant, who was trustee of his brother's marriage settlement in 1669.  The following entry from the Register of Freemen of the City of Cork refers to this William and his brother Henry :-

"Att ye Guild of ye Cittie of Corke on ye first day of July and other dayes following by virtue of my Ld. Lieut's letter in favour of ye Roman Catholics, dispensing with all oaths, but that of fidelity and of a Freeman before Christ. Crofts, Esq., Mayr of said cittie, the several persons following were sworn Freemen of ye said cittie.

Anno Dom. 1686.  Wm Coppinger, merch
7be ye 22 1687.  Hen. Coppinger, Esqr"

There is a tradition that he took a very active part for King James, and when he died in France in 1696 it is worthy of note that Louis XIV. granted to his widow a remission of the royal right to the goods of aliens, a right called the droit d'ubaine, and the gift of this claim in favour of the widow and children is styled the Don d'Aubaine.

D'Alton's King James' Army List says of William:  The attainder of this year (1691) includes the names of Thomas Coppinger, of Killuntine, with ten others of that name in the County of Cork, and of Henry, Matthew, and William Coppinger, of the city merchants.  This latter individual was the Catholic Sheriff of Cork in King James' time and fled with his royal master to France, where, on his death, Louis XIV. assigned a foreigner's pension to his widow.  He probably confounds the Don d'Aubaine, the remission of the royal request to plunder an alien, with a widow's pension. This Don d'Aubaine is a curious document, of which the substance is as follows: -

DON D'AUBAINE - GIFT OF THE ALIEN FORECLOSURE.

 Louis by the grace of God, King of France and of Navarre  .  .  . .  wishing to continue bestowing marks of our special protection to the subjects of our dear and well beloved brother King of England  .  .  .  .  .  .  who have forsaken their country, their goods, and their livelihood (leur fortunes), to follow him into a foreign Kingdom, where the unfaithfulness of his people hath driven him to seek a place of safety.  We have given and granted to the said Widow Coppinger and her children, all and several the goods and chattels belonging to her late husband William Coppinger which had passed into our possession by the right of Aubaine, &c., &c., &c., (foreclosure on alien's goods). Given at Versailles the month of September, 1696, and 54th year of our Reign. 

Signed Louis par la Roy Philypaux.

[The great-grandson and namesake of this William settled in Bordeaux, had a house of business in London till 1822, in which year he wound up the London business and finished his days in Bordeaux, leaving two sons, James and Charles, in partnership with their cousin-german Callaghan.  One of James's sons, Dr. Edmund Sexton Coppinger, just 77 years of age, seems to be the last Bordeaux Coppinger, and his only daughter will probably succeed to a small family Coppinger estate at Lormont.  She is married to Count le Prevost de Sansax de Traversay, whose family hails from Poiton, and whose name was conspicuous in the armies of Francis I.

James's fifth son, Michael Adrian, is the present representative of this branch of the family in Paris. Having left England at the age of 11, he finished his education in Paris and entered the Polytechnic School in 1829, was there during the revolution of 1830 (in which, however, he took no part), and on return of the scholars in 1831 he was ranked Major, a great honour for one of his age.  On leaving the school in 1831 he took service in the financial department, and closed his official career as "Administrateur des Manufactures de l'Etat" in 1877, having obtained the cross of the Legion of Honour, first as "Chevalier," second as "Officer," 1860.

His eldest son was Conseiller de Prèfecture, but retired when the present government came in.  His second son, Paul, is an advocate of the Court of Appeal, Paris.  Of his three daughters, the first died young,  the second married and is living at Havre, while the youngest took the veil as Sœr de St. Vincent de Paul, retiring from the world at the age of 25.][1]


[1] Part in brackets inserted by W.A.C.



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