(15)  Sir Ambrose Copinger, Knt


He was educated at St. John's College, Cambridge, of which college he was a fellow.  He entered the church, and was presented by his father to the Rectory of Buxhall, in 1569, but he resigned the following year.

He is probably the same man who was Bursar, St. John's College, Cambridge, 2 Elizabeth, and who, 27th March, signed a lease as such.  From the records of that college we find that there is a letter of attorney (Lat.), dated 26th July, 1576, to Ambr. Copinger, M.A., Senior bursar, and Jas. Taylor, to take possession of the college estates.  And in the same records, 18th Jan., 19 Eliz., he is mentioned as M.A. and fellow of the college, 31st. January, 20 Eliz. a lease was made to him, he then being described as of Greies Inn, gent., "of shops now decayed in Hedcorne parish, with land in Upchurche, Babchilde, Newneham, Broughton of the Bleane, Davington, Luddenham, Harnehill, Ospringe," for 21 years, at a rent of 48s. 4d., and 3 1/2 qrs. of wheat.  20th June, 2 Jac. I., these shops were demised to another, and were then described as "late in the tenure of Ambrose Copinger."

Among the Lansdown MSS. in the British Museum (No. 46), is preserved a petition by this Ambrose to Lord Burghley, to facilitate his collecting the Queen's tenth and subsidy.  It is dated December, 1585.

He purchased the Manor of Harlington, in Middlesex, living at Dawley Court, and was patron of the church at Harlington, to which he presented a rector in 1599, and another in 1603.

In a letter dated October 2nd, 1602, Mr. Chamberlain says:-

"The Queen's (Elizabeth's) Progress went not far, first to Chiswick, to Sir Wm. Russell's; then to Ambrose Copinger's, who because he had been a Master of Arts, entertained her himself with a Latin oration."[1]

He was knighted by King James at Whitehall, on 23rd July, 1603, before the coronation.[2]

He married Lettice, daughter of Edward David Fitzgerald, brother of the Earl of Kildare, but died without issue 17th March, 1603-4.

His widow subsequently married Sir John Maurice, February 27th, 1605-6.  On the south wall of Harleigh Church is a tablet commemorating a benefaction of Lœtitia, Lady Poyntz, "by birth a Coppinger."  Lœtitia therefore seems to have married a third time, and we learn from Lyson[3] that about the year 1610 she gave the "interest of £100 to be distributed among the poor widows or widowers."

In 1607, Sir Ambrose's nephew, Francis Copinger, sold the reversion of the Manor of Harlington, expectant on the death of his aunt, then wife of Sir John Maurice, to Sir John Bennet.[4]

He made his will 10th March, 1 Jac. I., and the following is a copy:-

Will of Sir Ambrose Copinger, 1604.

In the name of god.  Amen.  I, Ambrose Copinger, of Dawley Courte, in the parishe of Harlington, in the Countie of Middelsex, knighte, beinge of good and perfect remembraunce, thanks be to god, doe make and declare this my last will and testament vppon the tenthe daie of Marche, in the yeares of the Reigne of oure Soureigne Lord James, by the grace of god of England, Scotland, ffraunce, and Irelande, Kinge, defendor of the faithe, &c., (that is to saie), of England, ffraunce and Irelande the ffirste, and of Scotlande the seuen and thirtithe, hereby revokinge all other willes and testaments formerlie by me made or declared.  ffirste, as a misticall member of the bodye of Christe Jhesus, I comende my soule into the handes of the holy Trinitie, whoe in the person of the sonne hathe redeemed the same, hopinge by his deathe and merritts alone to be made partaker of my heavenly inheritance.  My bodye I dispose to the earthe from whence it came, there to lye vntill the generall daye of the resurrection. And I appointe the same to be interred at the discrecon of my executrix, wt oute all pompe and solempntee whatsoever.  I give to the poore of the parrishe of Harlington, where I dwell, the some of sixe poundes thirteene shillings and fower pence of lawfull Englishe monie.  And above all thinges I doe hereby charge my wief, my executrix, that wt care and conscience shee do see all my debts paide, and this my last will and testament performed in everie respect. ffor better performaunce whereof I doe hereby will and appointe that all my leases, goodes, and chattells whatsoever, reall and personall, wch I or any others to my vse have, shalbe and remayne to the Lady Lettice, my wiefe, for the paymt of my said debts and the performaunce of this my last will and testament.  And I doe  hereby appoynte my said wief owte of the yssues and proffitts of my leasse of the personadge of harlington, to paie yeerelie fower severall annuytyes of tenne poundes by the yeare, a peece to my fower brethren henrye, Robert, John, and Edwarde Coppingers, severallie, duringe theire severall lives.  Alsoe I doe will and devise all my coppyhold lands and tenements whatsoever, lienge and beinge as well in Cowlsey (? Mowlsey), as in harlington and Cranforde, or elsewhere, wch I holde of other lordes, to my said wief and her heires soever, to be by her solde or otherwise ymployed for the payment of my debts and performaunce of this my last will and testament.  And as concerninge the disposicon of my mannors of harlington and Dawley, and of all my ffreeholde landes, tenements, and hereditaments whatsoever, I doe will and devise the same whollye to my saide wief duringe her naturall lief, the Remainder thereof after her decesse to such person and persons, and for suche estate and estates, and in suche manner and fourme as the same are conveighed by me heretofore accordinge to the trewe intente and meaninge of any act or acts executed in my lief time.  Item, I give and bequeathe to my servünte, Marie Bacon, the some of tenne poundes of lawfull money of England.  And to my servünte, henrie Boswick, the some of ffive poundes of like money.  And to my servünte, Thomas Ellys, attendinge me in my chamber, the some of sixe poundes of like money.  And to my servünte, Christian Playe, the sume of ffourtie shillings, of like money.  And to my servünte Henrie Rutter, the some of ffive marcks of like monie.  The residue of all my gooes, chattells, and debts (my debts wch I do oue to others beinge firste trewlie satisfied, and this my present will performed), I doe whollie and absolutelie give and bequeathe to my said wief whom I doe constitute and appointe sole executrix of this my last will and testament.  In Witness, &c.      

Witness,      ffrancys Aungier.     AMB. COPINGER.
     Marie Bacon.
     Henry Beswick.

Ambrose made a codicil, in which after reciting that "he had lately purchased of Richard Lee, sometyme of Coloray, Gent., divers heraditaments in the parish of Harlington, a Woode called Dawley Parke, containing 20 acres, certain fields called Woode ffeeldes, containing 40 acres, and certain closes called by the name of Brickells, 4 acres, and that he had mortgaged the same to his brother Raphe Coppinger, for £450, and that since the conveyance made by him to his brother Henry Copinger, of the Mannours of Dawley and Harlington, and other lands, he had purchased various other properties," he directs his brother to convey all his lands to his wife for life, and after to be held according to the terms of the conveyance.

Proved 7th April, 1604.


[1] Nichol's Progr. of Eliz., vol. 3, pp.578-9.

[2] Harl. MSS., 6062, List of Knights, 1603-36, but his name is there by mistake said to be  "Henry."

[3] Env. of London, vol. 5, pp. 130 and 135.

[4] Lyson's Ev. of London, vol. 5, p. 127, which however mistakenly says Francis was Ambrose's  grandson.



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