a Quaker family
from Yorkshire, England to Bucks County, Pennsylvania
William Cooper, son of William Cooper (also Cowper/Couper), of Low
Ellington (Wensleydake, Snapt, Masham parish) Yorkshire (York county),
England, was bapt. 16th day of 6th month, 1649 [The 6th month
was August]. Low
Ellington (there is also a High Ellington) is a tiny hamlet on the river
Ure in the north of England. It is situated near the village of Masham where
there are still 2 breweries, Black Sheep and Theakstons, both still using
wooden barrels made by coopers. It seems highly likely that the members of
the Cooper family were barrel makers here.
William's date of marriage to Thomasine PORTER (b 1656-58) is unknown.
Since she is not listed as the mother of Elizabeth and Henry in the birth
record page below, they were probably married in 1675. She was the mother
of the six younger children. William had been a member of the Anglican
church and he and his first two children were baptized in that church,
then after Henry's baptism he became a Quaker. It make one wonder if Thomazine,
his second wife, was a major influence in his change of religious beliefs.
William was fined in 1690 probably for failure to pay a tax to the church.
The 1688 Glorious Revolution removed King James II and placed protestants
rulers, William and Mary on the Throne. The 1689 Act of Toleration,
restricted the rights of kings and reinstated some freedoms, giving Baptists
and Congregationalists some freedoms, but not Quaker and Catholics. It did
not provide total freedom of religion, press, or speech.
MOVE TO AMERICA:
William emigrated from Low Ellington, Yorkshire, England to Pennsylvania
in 1699 either to escape the persecution of Quakers which was prevalent
in England at that time, or possibly just to provide more opportunities
for his children. He had with him certificates for 3 Anglican baptisms (his
and his 1st 2 children's: Elizabeth & Henry) and also a Friends certificate
of removal from the Masham Monthly Meeting in Yorkshire dated Jan. 26,
1699. Both the Anglican and the Friends certificates were deposited
Monthly Meeting where he also entered the births of his other children"
(from Penn's Colony, Vol. II, "Buckman Family"). [I question the Jan
1699 date because Jan was the 11th month of the year, and the following
Mar would have been 1700. I probably should have been Jan 1698].
William Cooper brought his family to America on the ship Britannia
in 1699. He had with him his 8 children ages 13-26, all unmarried, and probably
his wife Thomasine. This ship had an outbreak of smallpox or typhus with
50 people dying on the trip over. Twenty more died after they arrived.
William may have lost his wife Thomasine on the ship since no later mention
is made of her in Quaker records or his will of 1709.
When they arrived in Philadelphia, they were not allowed to disembarke.
Philadelpha already had a yellow fever epidemic raging in 1699 (most deaths
were in Sept that year), so the ship landed across the river in Salem
Christopher Atkinson died on board the ship and after his death his
wife sold 500 acres in Buckingham township to William Cooper for 30 lbs.
William asked at the monthly Quaker meeting that all his 8 children
(born in England) be recorded in the church birth and death book.
[Bucks County, Pa Church Records of the 17th and 18th Centuries, Volume
2, Quaker Records: Falls and Middletown Monthly
Meetings.F. Edward Wright, 1993.]:
"William Cooper, son of William Cooper, of Low Elinton, Yorkshire,
England, was bapt. 16th day of 6th month, 1649. Children of William and
1. Elizabeth Cooper bpt. 13th day of 2nd month, 1673, parents: William
2. Henry Cooper bpt. 17th day of 11th month, 1674; parents: William
3. Jonathan Cooper b. 11th day of 11th month, 1676; parents: William
4. Hannah Cooper b. 28th day of 11th month, 1678;
5. Anne Cooper b. 18th day of 2nd month, 1681;
6/7. Abraham and Sarah Cooper (twins) b. 24th day of 6th month (Aug.
24), 1684 (Abraham died abt Mar 18, 1737)
8. Joseph Cooper b. 5th day of 1st month, 1686/7."
[All were born in England. William Cooper and family brought a certificate
from the monthly meeting at Snapt, dated 26th day of 1st month, 1699]
The very next entry from the book above is unknown. It doesn’t list
a father only a mother: Elizabeth. Maybe he was daughter Elizabeth’s
son, or maybe William married a 3rd time, but he isn't listed as child #9.
#1. Israel Cooper 1-2-1698 (Mar 2), parents: (blank) &
Israel Cooper is mentioned in William’s will and is given an equal
share with other children: Jonathan Cooper, Hannah Cooper, Ann Pearson,
Sarah Bond and Israel Cooper. Daughter Elizabeth's Huddleston children
are mentioned separately in the will.
In 1700 The Quakers gave permission for the Buckingham Friends to
hold a meeting at William Cooper’s house. In the Bucks Quarterly Meeting
Register the actual certificate of removal from the Middletown meeting
to the Bucks county meeting for William states:
"To the Monthly Meeting at the Falls in Bucks Co., Pa. Greeting.
Whereas William Cooper who hath been a member of our Meeting since his coming
from the Old England and now being desirous to join himself to your Monthly
Meeting at the Falls hath acquainted us therewith, requesting of us a certificate
for his removal. We therefore after due consideration of the matter do
hereby certify that he hath been a laborious man amongst his family since
coming amongst us, and also hath been and is in unity with Friends."
TROUBLE WITH DAUGHTER ELIZABETH:
In 1701 his oldest daughter Elizabeth
(28) married Henry Huddleston (41), a non-Quaker, which caused William
some difficulties with his Quaker group. The age of Elizabeth at her marriage
makes me think that she was the unmarried mother of Israel Cooper in 1698.
She would have been 25 years old. The next year they all moved to America.
It makes sense that her father took Israel in as a son--Israel received an
equal share with William's other children in his will. Then he arranged a
good marriage for Elizabeth to his prosperous friend Henry Huddleston, and
though that caused him problems at church, he probably felt it was good for
The minutes of the Middletown MM on November 6th, 1701 states that:
"Friends have spoken to William Cowper concerning his giving consent
for his daughter to marry one that is not of our Society, and received
no satisfaction from him; therefore the Meeting doth appoint John Chapman
to tell him the Meeting desires him to come to the next Monthly Meeting
to be further discoursed with concerning his daughter, and make return to
answer to the same."
(It is assumed they are talking about Elizabeth Cooper who married
Henry Huddleston. Elizabeth, by name, is not mentioned in the records.
Henry was about 10 years younger than William and they seem to have been
good friends, perhaps even before the marriage. In this instance William did
not really seem to be as devout a Quaker as it might be assumed.)
On December 4th, 1701:
"William Cowper being here according to the desire of the Monthly
Meeting hath been discoursed with about his daughter and he is willing
to condemn what he has done amiss which the Meeting was satisfied with
and is as followeth:
Whereas I have given my consent to my daughter to be married to a
man that does not profess truth which (through Friends information) I
now understand to go contrary to truth (though then I did not comprehend
it). Therefore I do acknowledge my fault, that I did not advise Friends
about it and consider the matter better; and I hope for ye time to come
I shall be more careful. Will. Cowper"
Jan. 8, 1702/3 William bought 500 acres of land in Buckingham Township,
Bucks Co., Pa. (north of Philadelphia and near Trenton, NJ). Maybe this
was his actual move to the property he bought on board the ship. He also
obtained a removal from the Middletown Monthly Meeting to the Falls
Monthly Meeting (in Fallsington). Since the Falls Meeting was actually
farther away from his home, I wonder if he harbored some bitterness at the
treatment of his daughter. Later in 1720 a closer Buckingham
Meeting was set off from the Falls Monthly Meeting, with the first meetings
held in the Cooper home.
Monthly Meeting at Middletown, the 6th of 9th month [November], 1702.
William Hayhurst, Clerk Falls MM granted William Cooper a certificate
back to Middletown MM on 7 Apr 1703. It seems like he moved back and forth
from the Middletown Meeting to the Falls Meeting. The Middletown
Meeting (453 W. Maple Ave., Langhorne) was actually closer to his home.
(His daughter Elizabeth and her husband Henry huddleston built a house in
1704-6 located at 303 W. Maple Ave, Langhorne).
TROUBLE WITH DAUGHTER SARAH:
[because of wording in William’s will concerning Abraham and later
events surrounding Sarah, it appears that these twins may be been born
a bit retarded.]
"Extracts from Minute Book of Common Pleas and Quarter Sessions Courts
of Bucks County, Penn 1684-1730"
18th Day of 5th Mo 1703
We allso doe present Sarah Cooper daughter
of William Cooper for committing fornication and bearing bastard child,
and we allso present Auger a Negro Slave belonging to Robert Heaton for
committing fornication with the said Sarah Cooper.
Robert Heaton's Negro Hugo was called
to answer this prese?? For committing fornication wt Sarah Cooper he appeared
and pleaded quilty - therefore the judgment of this Court is that he shall
be whipt wt twenty one lashes upon his bare back. (Name looks like
Auger above and Hugo here)
Sarah Cowper (sic) being called on her recognizance
appeared and pleaded ?? Persentment found against her by the Grand Jury
the 9th day of September 1703 weh was these words We the grand Jury for
the body of the County do ?? Sarah Cowper daughter of William Cowper for
committing fornication bearing a bastard child. Guilty.
Court adjourned till tomorrow morning at
nine O Clock
The court m?? the S Cowper where she could
pay a fine as the law in that case directs she answered she could not
- judgment of this court is therefore that she Sarah Cowper shall suffer
corporal punishment and receive twenty one Wipes on her bare back well
laid on and order executive accordingly Court adjourned for one hour being
Sarah was 18 years in 1703 and it appears that no one in the family
(father William Cooper or brother-in-law Henry Huddleston, or Hugo’s owner
Robert Heaton) put up money for her fine. It seems strange that her family
would allow her to be whipped in public, but maybe they felt that their
reputation and social standing in the Quaker community demanded that she
be punished. This was the second time William had trouble because of his
daughters. 2 years before he was called before court because his daughter
Elizabeth married a non-Quaker.
Sarah is listed in William’s will as “Sarah Bond” so she must have
married later, though William doesn’t specify his relationship to her.
It appears that the relationship between Sarah and Hugo/Auger was
a mutual one, or else he would surely have been hanged. I wonder what
became of the child.
When Henry Huddleston died in 1706 Robert Heaton was a witness to
his will and William Cooper was the executor.
Daughter Anne Cooper was given permission to marry Lawrence Pearson
4 July 1705, by Falls MM, this is the date of permission, not the marriage,
which was not found in the records. (Note: In William Cooper's will
he does mention an Anne Pearson but does not give the relationship.)
In the following entry is he is conferring land of his deceased son-in-law,
11 Dec 1706, William Cowper, (executor of the estate of Henry Huddlestone),
of Bucks Co., Pennsylvania to Henry Johnson Vandike, yeooman, of same,
L121, 80 acres, of 200 acres--- line of Thomas Bayne patented, 1682, by
John Scarborougt, blacksmith, of London, England, who sold to his son John,
who sold to said Henry. Signed William Cowper. Wit: Thomas Watson,
Peter Lester and Jonathan Cowper.
[from Bucks County, Pennsylvania Deed Records 1684 - 1763 , p298,
by John David Davis, 1997 by Heritage Books]
DEATH AND WILL:
He left the greater part of this land (in somewhat indefinite manner)
to his son Joseph who died in 1712.
His will was dated Jan. 30, 1709. He died Feb 3 1709 in Falls,
Bucks Co., Pa. (According to the Quaker Falls monthly meeting minutes,
he was buried Feb 3, 1709.) His will was probated Feb 17, 1709. [His son
Joseph was also buried at Falls MM on 14 Sep 1712.]
Will abstract: Son Abraham. Jonathan Cooper, Hannah Cooper,
Ann Pearson, Sarah Bond, Israel Cooper.
Grandchildren William, Elizabeth and Henry Huddleston (children of
Executors: Sons Joseph and Henry.
Witnesses: Thomas Wattson, Rebecca Linton and Joseph Fell. [from
Philadelphia County, PA Wills 1682-1726 Will Abstracts]
(He does not say in the will what his relationship is to Jonathan
Cooper, Hannah Cooper, Ann Pearson, Sarah Bond or Israel Cooper.
He list his grandchildren but not his daughter Elizabeth, though she seems
to still be alive in 1729.)
Will of William Cooper:
Buckingham_____30th day the 11th month called January, 1709.
I William Cooper being sick of body but perfect and whole in mind,
praise be to God for the same, do make this my last will and testament
in manner and form following: First, I commit my soul to Almighty
God that gave it me and my body to the earth to be buried according to the
discretion of my executors hereafter named. First, I will that my debts
and funerall charges shall be paid and discharged.
Item. I will to my son Joseph Cooper the plantation upon which I now
_____ with all the buildings and improvements thereon belonging and so
much wood land thereto as shall amount to two hundred acres provided that
he shall take care? to pay to my son Abraham Cooper four pound a year of
now current money of this province so long as he shall live. And my
will is that my son Abraham shall live along with my son Joseph. But if in
process of time they cannot agree together my will is that my executors shall
be jointly concerned to place him where they think best.
Item. I will that the rest of my woodland be sold by my executors
which is three hundred acres____more or less and do hereby give them full
power to sell and convey the same as the law shall require. And I will
that the money they sell it for shall be equally divided among those hereafter
named: Jonathan Cooper, Hannah Cooper, Ann Pearson, Sarah Bond and Israell
Item. I will that my executors pay to my grand children William
Huddleston, Elizabeth Huddleston and Henry Huddleston tweny(?) shillings
Item. I will to my son Henry Cooper and my son Joseph Cooper
whole and sole executors of my estate both real and personal and my will
is that they sell the above said land within two years after ny _____and
my will is that my son Joseph shall not pay any money to my son Abraham
til two years be expired after my death? provided that he give him
meat, drink and clothing sufficient and after two years the four pound a
year above mentioned shall be due to Abraham so long as he shall live. And
I do hereby revoke and make ___ all former wills and ____by me heretofore
made. in witness whereof I the said William Cooper to this my last
will and testament sett my hand and seal the day and year above _____.
Sealed, signed and delivered in the presence of us - Thomas Watson
James Steator (?), John Scarbrough, Joseph Fel
Bucks County, Pennsylvania Church Records of the 17th and 18th Centuries,
Vol 2, Quaker Records: Falls and Middletown Monthly Meetings. F.
Edward Wright, 1993
"Middletown, Richland, Wrightstown Monthly Meeting 1680-1870 Bucks
County, PA. Also, Quakertown Monthly Meeting, NJ 1713-1870" page 162
Bucks County, Pennsylvania Deed Records 1684 - 1763 , p298, by John
David Davis, 1997 by Heritage Books