'Cooper05'Index links to: Lead / Letter
Families covered: Cooper of Ballindalloch, Cooper of Failford, Couper (Cooper) of Gogar, Couper in Tower of Banheath

(1) This family achieved some notoriety because a baronetcy was claimed by a senior policitican, Grey Cooper, when there were serious doubts both as to the original existence of that baronetcy and to his right to a claim to have succeeded to that alleged baronetcy. Both those issues were considered by an article 'Cooper of Gogar' in 'The Genealogist' (vol 1, 1877, edited by George W. Marshall, p257+) which refers to the doubts expressed in 'The Herald and Genealogist' (referred to just below), noting that "(those doubts do) not seem to have been effectual, and as a claim to a baronetcy is now advanced I propose to go a little more fully into the subject." The existence of the baronetcy, and the grant to the Coopers of Failford of arms based on the Coupers of Gogar, are disparaged.
(2) 'The Herald and Genealogist' (vol 8, 1874, edited by John Gough Nichols, p193) reports on 'Cooper of Failford, co. Ayr' under the heading 'Doubtful Pedigrees' and starts its article with: "This is one of those which, notwithstanding the careful weeding out of similar performances by the learned Editor of the Landed Gentry, has retained its place in his last edition, and thus still courts exposure." The article then quotes from Paterson (identified below as a Main Source), noting that its "introductory paragraphs are chiefly derived fromn Playfair's Baronetage, a work of no great authority."
(3) Paterson starts his connected pedigree with ...
James Couper (a 1556, 1592)
m. Elizabeth Young (dau/coheir of John Young of Edinburgh, niece/coheir of Roland Young)
1. John Couper
2. Adam Couper of Gogar, Midlothian (d 03.12.1608, Clerk of Session)
  Paterson identified Adam's wife as Margaret Danielstoun "of the family of Colgrain" but 'The Genealogist', supported by TCB, names her ...
  m. Katherine Dennistoun ("of the family of Colgrain", that being later questioned)
  A. (Sir) John Couper of Gogar, '1st Bart' (d 30.08.1640)
  Paterson reports that John "is said to have been created a Baronet in 1638, but does not appear to have assumed the title. It is, however, alleged that the Baronetcy was not created till 1646, in the person of his son." 'The Genealogist' reports that "No patent is entered in the Great Seal Register and it does not seem anywhere to be asserted that the original exists."
  m. (by 1620) Helen Skene (bur 21.07.1667, possibly dau of Robert Skene of Halyards) named Christian by Bateson
  i. Sir John Couper or Cooper of Gogar, '2nd Bart' (bpt 18.03.1621, d c1687)
  John was knighted in 1643 and, according to TCB, "appears as a Knight, but never as Baronet". TCB notes that, after John's death, "Nothing was heard of this (supposed) Baronetcy for upwards of one hundred and thirty years, when it was assumed as under."
  m. (15.03.1661) Margaret Inglis ("of the family of Otterston")
  a. Mary Cooper
  m. Thomas Chalmers ("of the family of Auchenbraes")
  b. Margaret Cooper
  m. (28.10.1680) Archibald Graham, Bishop of the Isles
  (1) daughter
  (2) daughter
  m. Walter Graham of Kilmardinny
  ii. James Couper (b 1622, d 1701, minister of Humble and Holy Island)
TCB notes that James never assumed the Baronetcy which, as he "for many years survived the 2d Baronet (said to be his brother) , is (to say the least of it) very remarkable." 'The Genealogist' (quoted by TCB) advises "It is not impossible that the clergyman was the James, younger brother of Sir John, but it seems unlikely, and one would like to see the proofs that satisfied the jury." We therefore suggest that the connection shown here should be viewed with some caution.
  a. William Cooper of Berwick & East Ord (bur 12.10.1733)
m1. (02.01.1695/6) Ann Compton (dau of Anthony Compton of Berwick)
  (1) William Cooper of Newcastle (bpt 03.02.1698/9, d 05.05.1758)
  m. (29.10.1724) Mary Grey (bur 15.02.1762, dau/coheir of Edward Grey of Alnwick)
  (A) (Sir) Grey Cooper of Worlington Park in Suffolk, '3rd Bart' (b 1725-6, d 30.07.1801, First Secretary of the Treasury, MP)
  Bateson reports that Grey "revived the dormant baronetcy, 1st Aug., 1775". Perhaps using his political position, Grey appears to have obtained support for his claim, including a grant of arms.
m1. (02.10.1753) Margaret Grey (bpt 08.12.1726, dsp 1755, dau of Sir Henry Grey of Howick)
  m2. (19.07.1762) Elizabeth Kennedy of Newcastle (b c1734, d 03.11.1809)
  (i) (Sir) William Henry Cooper, '4th Bart' (b 29.05.1766, d c1834, prebendary of Rochester)
  m. (21.05.1787) Isabella Ball Franks (b c1769, d 27.01.1855, dau of Moses Franks of Teddington)
  (a) (Sir) William Henry Cooper, '5th Bart' (b 28.03.1788, dsps 14.01.1836)
  m. (10.04.1827) Anne Kemys-Tynte (d 17.09.1880, dau of Charles Kemys-Tynte of Kevenmably by Anne, dau of Rev. Thomas Leyson of Bossaleg)
  (ii) (Sir) Frederick Grey Cooper, '6th Bart' (b 19.03.1769, d 23.02.1840)
  m. (07.01.1805) Charlotte Dorothea Honywood (d 07.1811, dau of Sir John Honywood, 4th Bart, by Frances Courtenay)
  (a) (Sir) Frederick Cooper (7th Bart) (b c1808, d unm 1850)
  TCB reports that, on his death, "the issue male of his grandfather, Grey Cooper, became extinct, and the assumption of the baronetcy (commenced by his said grandfather in 1775) ceased."
  (B) son
  (2) Margery Cooper
  m. (03.06.1729) Matthew Forster of Berwick
  (3)+ other issue - Robert (bur 26.04.1723), Ann (bpt 18.01.1697/8)
  m2. Ann Carr of Chatton
  (5)+ other issue
  iii. William Couper or Cowper in Dumbarton (b 22.05.1629)
  BLG1886 starts with this William, reporting that the family "claims to be descended from the Coupers of Gogar, in Mid-Lothian."
  m. Christian Scott
  a. John Couper in Tower of Banheath, Dumbartonshire (d 03.1687)
  m. (01.1676) Christian Gray (a 1687)
  (1) John Couper in Tower of Banheath (b 25.08.1677, 2nd son)
  m. (11.1708) Margaret Thomas or Thom ("a relative of the Rev. William Thomas of Kirkdales, minister of Govan")
  (A) John Couper later Cooper b 12.11.1709, d unm 21.09.1789, clergyman in Lincolnshire)
  Paterson reports that John "considered himself entitled to the baronetcy of Gogar, and was proceeding to claim it, but desisted therefrom on the appearance of Sir Grey Cooper, claiming descent from an elder branch". BLG1886 makes no mention of any claim on the (alleged) baronetcy.
(B) William Couper, later Cooper of Glasgow then Smithston & Failford (b 05.08.1711, d 16.05.1793)
  m. (1753) Mary Stewart (d 01.1768, dau of Hugh Stewart of Glagow)
  (i) Alexander Cooper of Failford (in Ayrshire) & Templebogwood (b 12.05.1765, d unm 19.09.1829, 2nd son)
  (ii) Samuel Cooper of Failford & Ballindalloch (in Stirlingshire) (b 01.1768, d 14.07.1842)
m. (18.08.1795) Janet Ritchie (d 05.1818, dau/heir of Henry Ritchie by Esther, dau of William Crawford of Balshagray & Scotstoun)
  (a) William Cooper of Failford & Solsgirth (2nd son) had issue
  m1. (30.07.1835) Isabella Clarke (dsp 04.05.1841, dau of Robert Clarke of Comrie Castle)
  m2. (17.10.1845) Margaret Hill (dau of Rev. _ Hill of Glasgow by Margaret, dau of Major Crawford of Newfield)
  (b) Henry Ritchie Cooper of Ballindalloch & Edinburgh had issue
  m. (10.1646) Mary Jane Butler (dau of Gerald Butler)
  (c) Janet Craufurd Cooper
  m. (01.1821) William Wallace of Rhynd then Busbie (cousin)
  (d) Cecilia Cooper (b 07.08.1799, d 07.02.1841, died in Adelaide, South Australia)
  m. (07.1833) Robert Struthers
  (e) Henrietta Cooper (b 01.08.1802, d 26.03.1827)
  m. (04.1825) John Crooks of Levan
  (f) Frances Cooper (b 27.10.1803, d 09.10.1843)
  m. (02.1830) Herbert Buchanan (son of Herbert of Arden or Ardon)
  (g) Ann Cooper
  m. (06.1829) Geroge Ross Wilsone of Benmore
  (h) Ellinor Cooper
  m. (04.1844) Thomas Gray Scott of Edinburgh (WS)
  (i) Esther Ritchie Cooper (b 30.12.1814, d 16.05.1844 in Jamaica)
  m. (07.1843) Alexander Graham Dunlop, younger of Gairbraid
  (j)+ other issue - William (b 29.05.1801, d 1801), Mary,
  (iii) Cecilia Couper (b 01.09.1757, dsp 09.12.1842)
  m. (16.06.1800) David Shank (Lt. General)
  (iv)+ other issue - William (b 22.07.1761, d 05.1768), Mary (b 11.08.1754, d infant), Mary (b 17.02.1756, d unm 09.05.1783), Helen (b 08.08.1752, d young)
  (C)+ other issue - Robert (b 28.05.1713), James (b 28.04.1717, d young), Alexander in Glasgow (b 1726, dunm 30.06.1785), Christian (b 05.12.1714), Margaret (b 04.03.1721), Katherine, Mary
  (2)+ William (b 1676, d young), William (bpt 20.01.1684)
  b. Daniel Couper (b 17.04.1659)
  m. (1698) Janet Wallace
  c.+ other issue - Mariah (b 16.08.1657, d young), Maria (b 22.06.1661), Janet (a 1687)
  iv.+ other issue - Alexander (b 11.02.1634, d young), Robert (b 11.04.1635, a 12.1685), Margaret (bpt 12.08.1623), Alisone (b 28.06.1624), Helen (b 24.06.1625), Rebecca (b 22.03.1639), Jeane (b 07.04.1640)
  B. Alexander Couper of Foulford, Midlothian (b 15.11.1598, a 1641, WS) had issue
  m1. Catherine Cochrane ("of the family of Barbachlay")
  m2. Isobel Rae
  C.+ other issue - James (b 30.10.1597), George (b 26.08.1600), Thomas (b 04.10.1601), Robert (b 23.01.1603, d 1668, minister at Temple), Andrew (b 24.02.1605), Adam (b 23.03.1606, d 1653), Elizabeth (bpt 21.01.1596), Margaret (b 15.02.1604)

Main source(s): Paterson (Ayr, vol 1, 1852, 'Parish of Torbolton; Cooper of Fairford', p489+), TCB (vol 2, 'Cooper or Couper of Gogar', p445+) , 'History of the County of Ayr' (James Paterson, vol 2, 1852, p489+) with some input/support from 'A History of Northumberland' (vol 2, Edward Bateson, 1895, 'Cooper of Bilton Banks', p461), BLG1886 ('Cooper of Failford')
Back to top of page