Cope, Anthony (DNB00)

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COPE, Sir ANTHONY (d. 1551), author, second son of William Cope of Hanwell, Oxfordshire, cofferer to Henry VII, by his second wife Joan, daughter of John Spencer of Hodnell, Warwickshire, was a member of Oriel College, Oxford, but does not appear to have graduated. After leaving Oxford, he travelled in France, Germany, and Italy, visiting various universities, and became ‘an accomplished gentleman,’ writing ‘several things beyond the seas,’ which, Wood says, are spoken of in an epigram made by Spagnoli, or, as he was called, Johannes Baptista Mantuanus. This epigram was seen by Bale, but appears now to be lost. At the age of twenty-six he succeeded to his father's estates, inheriting an old manor house near Banbury called Hardwick, and the mansion of Hanwell left incomplete by his father, which he finished, and which is described by Leland as ‘a very pleasant and gallant house.’ In 1536 he had a grant of Brook Priory in Rutlandshire, which he afterwards sold, and bought considerable property in Oxfordshire. He was engaged in a dispute with the vicar of Banbury in 1540, and received the commendation of the council for his conduct. He was first vice-chamberlain, and then principal chamberlain to Catherine Parr, and was knighted by Edward VI on 24 Nov. 1547, being appointed in the same year one of the royal visitors of Canterbury and other dioceses. In 1548 he served as sheriff of Oxfordshire and Berkshire. He died at Hanwell on 5 Jan. 1551, and was buried in the chancel of the parish church. He married Jane, daughter of Matthew Crews, or Cruwys, of Pynne in Stoke English, Devonshire, and by her had a son Edward (who married Elizabeth, daughter of Walter Mohun of Wollaston, Northamptonshire, and had two sons, Anthony and Walter [q. v.]), and a daughter Anne, wife of Kenelm Digby of Drystoke, Rutlandshire. He wrote: 1. ‘The Historie of the two moste noble Capitaines in the Worlde, Anniball and Scipio … gathered and translated into Englishe out of T. Livius and other authorities’ (black letter), T. Berthelet, London, 1544, 4to, also in 8vo 1561, 4to 1568 with date of colophon 1548, 8vo 1590 (all in the British Museum), with three stanzas prefixed by Berthelet, and dedicatory preface to the king, in which reference is made to ‘youre most famous subduynge of the Romayne monster Hydra.’ 2. ‘A Godly Meditacion upon XX. select and chosen Psalmes of the Prophet David … by Sir Anthony Cope, Knight’ (black letter), J. Day, 1547, 4to, reprinted with biographical preface and notes, 1848, by William H. Cope. Among the manuscripts at Bramshill are two ascribed to Cope—an abbreviated chronology and a commentary on the first two gospels dedicated to Edward VI.

Sir Anthony Cope (1548?–1614), Cope's elder grandson, high sheriff of Oxfordshire (1581, 1590, and 1603), represented Banbury in seven parliaments (1571–83, 1586–1604), and Oxfordshire (1606–14). He was committed to the Tower (27 Feb. to 23 March 1586–7) for presenting to the speaker a puritan revision of the common prayer-book and a bill abrogating existing ecclesiastical law. He became a knight (1590) and a baronet (29 June 1611); twice entertained James I at Hanwell (1606 and 1612); married (1) Frances Lytton, by whom he had 4 sons and 3 daughters, and (2) Anne Paston, who had been twice a widow; died July 1614, and was buried at Hanwell. The present baronet, Sir Anthony Cope of Bramshill, Hampshire, descends from Anthony, Sir Anthony's second son.

[W. H. Cope's preface to the Meditations; Hist. MSS. Comm. 3rd Rep. 242–4; Davenport's Lord Lieutenants of Oxfordshire; Nichols's Progresses; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), i. 192; Bale's Brit. Scriptt. xi. 74; Pits, Angliæ Scriptt. 735; Tanner's Bibl. Brit. 198; Leland's Itinerary (Hearne, 1744), iv. ii. 59; Strype's Cranmer (8vo ed.), 209.]

W. H.