(20)  Ambrose Copinger


He was born at Lavenham, and baptised on the 29th of December, 1583.  Of his early life little can be gathered.  He married Judith the only daughter of Roger Kedington or Kerington, by whom he had issue two sons, Ambrose and Henry, and two daughters Ann and Margaret.  He was a Doctor of Divinity, and was presented, in 1619, to the living of Buxhall, by his father, Henry Copinger, and collated on the 2nd of June of the same year to a Prebendary Stall in York Cathederal.[1]  He was, on the 23rd of December, 1622, presented to the living of his native place, his father having died on the 21st of that month.  He was buried in Buxhall Church, but without a stone to tell where he died or mark the spot where he lies.  From the register[2] we find that he was buried in January, 1644.  His will was proved, in the Prerogative Court, on the 4th of December in the same year.  His successor at Lavenham (Mr. Gurnall) was presented in December, 1644.  Mr. Pelo Devereux, of Rattlesden, succeeded him, at Buxhall, leaving Rattlesden for that purpose.  Thomas Copinger, another brother of Dr. Ambrose, succeeded Mr. Devereux, and Francis Copinger, another brother, farmed the Parsonage.  Within a few years after his entrance Thomas Copinger resigned his Parsonage, and William Copinger, nephew of Dr. Ambrose, became Rector of it in 1662.[3]

Ambrose made his will, in 1642, and the following is a copy:-

Will of Ambrose Copinger, D.D., 1642.

I Ambrose Copinger, of Lavenham, in the County of Suffolk, Dr. of Divinity, this 3rd day of April, Anno Dom. 1642, Do make this my last will and testament in manner and form following:-  First, I give and bequeath unto the Poor people of the Town of Lavenham aforesaid the sum of £5 in lawful money of England, to be distributed amongst them upon the day of my funeral.  Item, I will that all my houses, lands and tenements whatsoever in great Waldingfield and little Waldingfield, in the said County of Suffolk, with their and every of their appurtenances purchased in my own or any other name with me, shall be sold by my executrix., hereafter named her executor or executors, or the survivor or survivors of them, for or towards the payment of my debts, and of the portions of my two daughters Anne and Margaret, which I will shall be paid unto them at their several ages of 21 years, or days of marriage which shall first happen.  And for that I know not what money my executrix shall have occasion to use for the supply of her own necessities, therefore I do not set down any sum for my said daughters' portions, but will leave them wholly to the discretion of my said executrix, who I trust will be careful for their advancement, and faithfully perform the great confidence which I repose in her. Item, I give unto Henry Copinger, my second son, and to his heirs for ever, my two closes with the appurtenances commonly called known or by the name of Sturmyn's or otherwise, lying and being in Lavenham aforesaid, and now in the several occupation of my father in law Kerington and Francis Hamond.  Item, I further give unto the said Henry, my son, £100 due unto me by bond from my father in law Kerington, which money I will shall be paid unto the said Henry, my son, at such time as the same should be paid unto me, and I will that he shall have the Bond delivered unto him, and power (if occasion shall be) to sue for the same in the name of my executrix, and if it shall happen the said money shall be due from my said Father in law before my said son Henry shall accomplish the age of 21 years, then my mind is that my said executrix shall receive the same, and take the benefit thereof, until my said son shall accomplish the said age, and she then to pay it unto him.  And if my son Henry shall happen to die before the said age, then I give the said money unto my said executrix hereafter named.  Item, I give and bequeath unto my well beloved wife all that my messuage or tenement wherein I do now dwell, situate and being in Lavenham aforesaid, with all the houses, buildings, barns, stables, yards, gardens, orchards, and backsides to the said messuage or tenement, belonging or appertaining, with their or every of their appurtenances, and all that tenement with the appurtenances now in the occupation of Richard Syellman, to have and to hold the said premises and every part thereof, with the appurtenances unto the said Judith, my wife, for and during the term of her natural life; and after her decease I give and bequeath the same unto Ambrose Coppinger, my eldest son, his heirs and assigns for ever.  Item, I give and bequeath unto the said Ambrose, my son, and his heirs, all other my lands and tenements whatsoever, not formerly bequeathed, lying and being in Lavenham aforesaid; nevertheless chargeable and charged with one rent charge of £30 per ann., unto the said Judith, my wife, for and during the term of her natural life, to be paid unto her yearly and every year at the feast of the annunciation of the blessed lady St. Mary the Virgin, and St. Michael the Arcgangel, of even and equal portions, or within 30 days next after either of the said Feasts, the first payment to begin at the feast of St. Michael the Archangel which shall happen next after my death, or within 30 days after.  And if the said rent shall be behind and unpaid by the space of 10 days next after any of the said times at which the same ought to be paid as aforesaid, contrary to the true meaning hereof, then the said Ambrose, my son, and his heirs shall forfeit four pounds of lawful money for every time nomine pene for which as also for the said rents it shall be lawful for my said wife to distrayne upon any of the said premises given unto my said son Ambrose as aforesaid.  Item, I give and bequeath unto my said son Ambrose and his heirs, all that my wood ground lying and being in Milding in the said County of Suffolk;  But my will and meaning is that my said wife shall have the crop of wood growing upon the same at the time of my decease, so as she fell it at or before the growth of twelve years, and then be living.  And I do further will that my said wife shall be guardian unto my said son Ambrose, of all his lands and tenements, and take the profits thereof until he shall come to the age of 21 years, she in the meantime finding of him in all things necessary, and then giving of him a full account of such profits as she shall have received, and paying the same unto him only deducting out of it so much money as she shall have disbursed and laid out for his use and benefit.  Item, I give and bequeath my portion of Tythes in Lavenham unto Judith, my wife, for and during the term of 50 years, if she shall live so long, which I do hereby declare to be no part of any lands and tenements formerly given unto my said son, Ambrose; and after the decease of the said Judith my wife, I give the same unto the said Ambrose, my son.  All other my goods and chattels, of what kind or nature soever, after my funeral expenses discharged, my debts and legacies paid, I give and bequeath unto the said Judith my well-beloved wife, whom I make sole executrix of this my last Will and testament, revoking all former wills.   And I do truly declare the gifts formerly devised unto my said wife are in full discharge of all thirds or dower she may claim in any of my lands.   In witness that this is my last will, I have caused it to be written in three sheets of paper, and to every of them have set my name, and to the last my seal.                 AMBROSE COPINGER.

In the presence of Isaac Crune,
Thomas Hounsby, Ann Hall.
Probat.  apud London, 4th die Decr., An.  Dom., 1644, and administration granted to Judith Copinger, widow, and executrix.

One of Ambrose's daughters, Ann, married three times, her third husband being Sir George Reeve, Bart., of Thwaite, county of Suffolk.  She died on the 30th April, 1692, and was interred in Buxhall Church, below the railings, a little to the north of the centre, where, on a flat stone of black marble, is the following memorial:-

Here under lyeth the body of
Dame Ann Reeve, who departed
this life the last day of April, 1692.

Arms above in a lozenge Reeve:- Sa. on a chevron between three fleurs de lis, or. as many cronels of spears, az. with the Arms of Ulster, impaling Copinger. Her bones have been removed it seems.

There is a monument to one of his granddaughters in the Church of Lawhall, County Suffolk.  The monument is of black marble, and has the following inscription:-

Sacred to the memory of
Judith Brinkley Widow
Relict of Ambrose Brinkley late of this parish of Lawhall, Gent
who by constant unfeigned Piety to God,
and extensive charity to Man
approved herself in every relation of life
A bright Pattern of Christian Virtues.
She was one of the daughters and surviving heir of
Thomas Burlz of Debden gent.,
By Margaret his wife, and coheir of
Ambrose Coppinger D.D. Rector of Lavenham,
where she was born on the 1st of April 1658
and departed this life ye 18th day of June 1741.
Here also lyeth the body of Ambrose Brinkley
Son of the said Ambrose and Judith,
who died 22nd October 1697 aged 7 years.

Arms above in a lozenge:-

Brinkley, a chevron between three whilks, impaling.

Burlz.  Quarterly 1 and 4.  Burlz, a chevron between three spear heads broke from the staff; 2 and 3, Copinger, Bendy of six, or. and gu. on a fesse three roundlets.


[1] Wilkes' Cath., vol. i., p. 112.

[2] Reports of books, marriages and burials, began, according to some, in the year 1533, but  according to others in 1536, while other authorities say they began in 1538.

[3] MS. of Suff. Fam., p. 123.



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