14. John Coape of Westerleigh - father of Mary Cope who was buried 8/2/1637.
15. John Coape of Westerleigh (?? - buried 20/5/1668).
16. John Cope of Bristill (sic) Buried (?? - 28/8/1670).
17. John Cope (1678-??) Baptised in Hill (Rockhampton/Hill Cope family).
18. John Cope - born in Westerleigh( 1690/91 to 1742/3).
19. John Cope married Jane Gay in Bitton, May 1710 --- and finally
20. John COPE of Union House, buried 5/1/1849 aged 2 months in Bitton, (from
“Sodbury Vale burials”.)
As recently as July 2010, I have discovered an Inventory dated 1664 for John Coape of Westerleigh who had died that year; he was also a farmer or husbandman judging by what he left. I have not yet discovered his Will which is not available from either the Bristol or Gloucester Archives. (GO TO his inventory)
We have found an Indenture dated 1669 leasing land at Leigh Farm Westerleigh (still in existence as a farm, adjacent to Westerleigh Crematorium) to a John Cope, Yeoman of Old Sodbury, and at the present time we are assuming this is our John Cope but there’s no way to prove or disprove it. (GO TO pictures of the farm.)
My ancestor in that family, who was named William, was one of the youngest brothers and probably did not benefit too much from his parents’ position. Farming went through a very difficult time in the 18th Century due to ”enclosures“ for sheep grazing and corn farming, and because of various other social changes and a series of bad harvests, a lot were forced out of business. Because of the documents seen so far, I have had to assume John Cope and his sons were tenant farmers, not owning their own land, but I hope I’m entirely wrong and will one day discover a map showing their land.
As far as I have been able to establish, little money of any consequence passed down through my direct line of the family. My ancestors comprised a hard working bunch of country people, but strangely none were ever described as Husbandmen or Ag. Labs. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries there were 2 generations of Hatters living in Frampton Cotterell and Westerleigh, where there was a Felt Hat making industry. GOTO some notes on the Hat Industry in South Gloucestershire and Feltmaking. From then onwards there were three generations of Pargeters, (plasterers who did ornamental plaster