Thomas Coope (1796-1879)

Following on from my discoveries I’ve made with my father-in-law’s farm & its land, I’ve been looking at the family history of some of its owners. Thomas Coope owned the left hand side of the field that is still in our family – the smallest field on the map below. The larger field also formed part of the farm holdings later on.

I found Thomas’s baptism1 which took place on the 12th December 1796 in North Wingfield to parents William and Elizabeth (née Mather). I’ve so far been unable to find any siblings.

By the 1841 census2, a forty year old Thomas was living with his parents William & Elizabeth in Pilsley. He owned a house on Bridge Street and four fields in Pilsley which he was working himself (not rented out). On the 1841 Tithe maps these were, our field 224 (meadow), 229 (arable & meadow) and 251 (pasture). Another field, 378 (pasture), was just off Station Road.

Thomas’s father William died in November 1842, aged 80, and is buried in North Wingfield churchyard. This is followed in 1845 by the death of his mother, Elizabeth. She is also interred at North Wingfield.3

St Lawrence's church North Wingfield
St. Lawrence’s, North Wingfield, Derbyshire

By the 1851 census Thomas is 54 and a farmer of 10 acres and is employing a servant.4 He is still single, but when Thomas writes his Will in November 1859, he leaves everything to his daughter, Matilda (also the executor) and on her decease to her son, Tom Coupe.

In 1861, still in Pilsley & unmarried, he is living with Matilda Coupe, who he describes as his illegitimate daughter and her husband Matthew and son Tom.5 (Matilda Coope Cutts was baptised 26th November 1820 the daughter of Elizabeth Cutts of Pilsley. She married Matthew Co(u)pe in Belper 6th October 1851).

In 1871, Thomas is 74 and described as a farmer and landowner. The Stoven family are living with him as lodgers; John and Elizabeth and their children; Amelia, Ann and Charles. Thomas died on 25th February 1879 and is buried in North Wingfield churchyard. His property, including our field, passed onto Matilda and then to her son, Tom Coupe.6

View of the field in Pilsley, Derbyshire
Thomas’s side of the field is on the left if you imagine a straight line between the two trees


  1. 1881 Census; Class: RG11; Piece: 3429; Folio: 20; Page: 34; GSU roll: 1341820
  2. 1841 Census; Class: HO107; Piece: 196; Book: 14; Civil Parish: North Wingfield; County: Derbyshire; Enumeration District: 10; Folio: 4; Page: 3; Line: 20; GSU roll: 241298
  3. Derbyshire Record Office; Matlock, Derbyshire, England; Diocese: Diocese of Derby; Reference Number: D 1434 A/PI 32
  4. 1851 Census; HO107/ 2147 Derbyshire Pilsley; Ashover; 9
  5. 1861 Census; Class: RG 9; Piece: 2526; Folio: 64; Page: 8; GSU roll: 542984
  6. Principal Probate Registry. Calendar of the Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration made in the Probate Registries of the High Court of Justice in England. London, England © Crown copyright.

Information from: Ancestry, Find My Past, Family Search, GRO Probate Search.
Photo of St. Lawrence’s church from Geograph

© Caroline Cox and Caroline’s Chronicles. 2011 – current year

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