(12)  Sir Ralph Copinger


He was knighted by Edward VI. on Muckleburgh Field for having valiantly assisted in beating back the Scots, who would otherwise have captured the royal standard.  A pension was granted to him at the same time, as he was a younger son of the family.

In the Breviary of Suffolk, among the Martial Men (Harl. 3873), Sir Ralph is thus referred to:-

"Sir Ralph Coppinger, knight, borne here, and issued out of the family of Suffolk, and pensioner to King Edward the VI., at Muskleburrow field so valiantly behaved himself in the aide of Sr Andrew Flammoth, the King's standard bearer of horsemen, in repelling the most furious assault of the Scotts, and saving the standard from taking that hee was there knighted, 1547."

The following is a copy of his Will:-

Will of Sir Ralph Copinger, Knt., 1550.

 In the name of God.  Amen.  The xxviij daie of June in the yere of our Lorde god a thousande fyve hundred and fiftie, and the fourthe yere of the reigne of our moste dreade Souvraigne Lord Edwarde the Sixte, by the grace of god kinge of Englande, ffraunce, and Irelande, defendor of the faithe, and in earthe supreme hedd of the Churche of Englande and Irelande.  I, Sir Raulfe Coppinger, of Davington, in the Countie of Kent, Knight, being of hole mynde and in good and pfytt remembraunce, lawde and prayse be vnto almightie god, make and ordayne this my present testament and laste will in manner and forme folowing.  ffirst and principally, I commende my soule to Almightie Jesu, my maker and redemer, in whom and by the merits of whose blessed passion is all my hole trust of the remission and forgiveness of my synnes, and my body to be buried in Christen sepulture in suche place as yt shall please god to provide and ordayne for me. Item, I will that all suche debtes and duties as I owe of right or conscience to any person or persones be well and truely contentyd and paide by myne executores hereafter named, or else ordayned for so to be payde wtout any delaye or contradiction. Item, I will give and bequeathe to Emma my wiefe all those my landes, mesuages, tenements, and hereditaments, and other their appurtenances set lying and being in thr prshes of ffeversham, Devington, or Stowe, hospring, and Luddenham, in the Countie of Kent, whiche be nowe in the tenure of Rauff. Rogers or his assigns, and also the Manour house of Devington aforesaid, wherein I now inhabyt,  To haue and to holde all and singuler the said mesuage, landes, tenements, and the said Manor house and other the premisses with their appurtenances vnto the said Emma and her assignes for and during the lyfe naturall of the said Emma, so that the said Emma or her assignes during her said lyfe do well and sufficientlye repayre, susteyne, and maynteyne all and singuler the said mesuages, landes, tenements, manor house, and other the premisses from tyme to tyme when and as often as mode shall require during her said lyfe.  Item, I will give and bequeathe to the said Emma my wiefe and her assignes for terme of her lyfe the reversion of all and singuler thos mesuages, landes, tenements, and hereditaments, and other thappurtenances whiche myne aunt Mystres Thomasyn Symonds now hath and holdeth for terme of her lief sett lying and being in the lande of the parishes of Devington and Luddenham, and in the tenure of William Syplehurst or his assignes, and the mershe callyd well mershe, within the said parish of Luddenham, now being in the tenure of the said William Syplehurst or his assignes; and also the revercion of a myll in the said parishe of hospring, and all the said landes belonging to the said myll lying in the said parish of Devington, nowe being in the tenure of William fforest for the yerely rent of twentye poundes,  To haue and to holde the said revercion of all and singuler the said mesuages, landes, tenements, mylls, and other the premisses so now being in the possession of my said Aunt to the said Emma my wief and her assignes from and imediately after the decase of the said Thomasyn during the lyfe naturall of the said Emma, she, the said Emma, or her assignes well and sufficiently keping the repacons of theym from tyme to tyme as often and when as mode shall require during her said lyfe.  Item, I will giue and bequeathe to the said Emma my wief and to my brother in lawe Rauffe Johnson and to their heyres for ever all that my marsh and marshe ground called Vtter Hunkley Mershe, with thappurtenancies in the prshe of Lenham, in the said Countie of Kent, nowe in the tenure of Richard Criland, for the yerely rent of tenne poundes, to haue and to holde all and singular the said mershe and mershe grounde called Vtter Hunkley, wt all and singuler the appurtenances so being of the yerely rente of ten poundes to the said Emma and Rauff Johnson, and to their heyres, to the only vse and behowffe of the same Emma and Rauffe, and of their heires for ever, Vppon condicion and to the entent that the said Emma and Rauffe, or either of them, or their heyres, within one moneth next ensuying after my decease, shall bargayne and sell all the said mershe grounde wt their appurtenances to suche psone or psons as will giue and paye most money for ye same.  Provided alwaies that it is my will and intent that my said brother in lawe, Rauff Johnson, shall haue the preferment of the bying and purchasing of all and singuler the said mshe grounde before anye other psone or psones, yf he shalbe willing to haue yt vnder the price of fyve pounds better the acre then any other person will give or paye the same.  And the money comying of the sale of all the said mershes to be employed by the said Emma and Rauff Johnson, or their assignes, in and abowte the payment and satisfaction of all my debts, and the residue therof to be employed in and abowte the pformaunce of my legacies and bequests hereafter specified.  ffirst I bequaethe to my syster Anne Coppinger, twentie poundes, and to my syster Elizabeth Copinger, ffourtie poundes.  Item, I bequeathe to my mother Janne Coppinger, fyve poundes, and to my syster Johnson, fyve poundes.  Item, I bequeathe to my fellowe Thomas Edwards, of the Kings garde, fyve pounds.  Item, I give and bequeathe to my fellowe knight profytt of the King's gard, iijli. vis. viijd.  Item, I bequeathe to my servente Nicholas Subbes, fyve poundes.  Item, I bequeathe to my servente John Grene, fyve poundes.  Item, I bequeathe to my servente henry Bonde, iijli. vis. viijd.  Item, I bequeathe to euery of my other servantes fourtee shillings apece.  The residue of all my goodes, cattals, and debtes, after my debtes paide, my funerall expenses pformed, and then my legacies conteyned in this my present testament and last will fulfilled, I hooly give and bequeathe to the said Emma, my wief, to her oune proper vse, the whiche Emma, my wife, and the said Rauff Johnson of this my psent testament and last will I make and ordeyne myne executours.  And I bequeathe to the said Rauff Johnson, for his labour and paymt in that behalf, fyve poundes.  And of the execution of the same I make and ordeyne my  cosyn Walter Whalley, myne ouerseer.  And I bequeathe to hym for his labour and travell in that behalf Three poundes sixe shillings and eight pence.  And I vtterly revoke and adnulle all and euery other former testaments, wills, legacies, bequests, executours, and ouerseers, by me at any tyme heretofore made, named, wylled, or bequeathed, and I will that this my present testament and last wyll shall stande, remayne and ppetually abyde for my very testament and last Will, togethers as all the legacies, bequests, executours, and ouerseers by me herin made, namyd, willed, or bequeathed, and none other nor other wyse. - In Witnesse,

           RAUFF COPPINGER.

Sir Ralph Copinger's sister married two well-known characters in their day. A brass plate in memory of her first husband, John Wilkins, is in the chancel of Stoke Church, Diocese of Rochester, with the inscription:-

Here under this stone lyeth buryed the Body of John Wilkins, Gentilman, borne in this paryshe of Stoke, and marryed to Elizabeth, one of the daughters of Mr. John Copinger, of Allhallows, in the County of Kent, Esquier, which John Wilkins, decessed, without enny isshewe of his boddye, on ye xxist daye of February, in the yere of or Lorde God, a thousand fyve hundred thesescore and fiveteen.[1]

Her second husband was Sir Roger Manwood.  The Wilkins arms were - Gu. on a chevron arg., between three whelks, or. a demi-lion rampant between two martletts sa.

The Manwood arms were - Sa. two palets, or., on a chief of the second a demi-lion rampant of the first. The following quaint account of Elizabeth and her second husband is from Holinshed's Chronicles of England:-[2]

"Sir Roger Manwood having had before another wife issued of a gentlemanlie familie of the Theobalds, is at this daye joined in marriage with Elizabeth (descended of an ancient and worshipful familie), the daughter of John Copinger, of Allhallowes, in the Countie of Kent, Esqre, which Elizabeth, being a woman of such rare modestie and patience, as hir verie enimies must needes confesse the same; occasioned these verses following to be composed touching hir and hir husband, the said Sir Roger Manwood:

Scacarii prothobaro (Manwoode) beatum
Quem faciunt leges, linqua, loquela verum;
Conjuge felicior tamen es, quæ nata Copinger.
Egregia est summa femina digna viro,
Quæ viduata thoro Wilkins conjunctaque Manwood,
Conjugibus conjux est sociata binis.


[1] Add MSS. Brit. Mus., 8836.

[2] Vol. 4, p. 553, 1808.



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