COPE, Sir Anthony, 4th Bt. (1632-75), of Hardwick and Hanwell, Oxon.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1661 - 11 June 1675

Family and Education

b. 16 Nov. 1632, 1st s. of Sir John Cope, 3rd Bt., of Hanwell by 2nd w. Lady Elizabeth Fane, da. of Francis Fane, 1st Earl of Westmorland; bro. of Sir John Cope, 5th Bt. educ. Oriel, Oxf. c.1649. m. c.1652, Mary (d.1714), da. of Dutton, 3rd Baron Gerard of Gerard’s Bromley, Staffs., 3s. 1da. d.v.p. suc. fa. 13 Oct. 1638.1

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, Oxon. Jan. 1660-d., militia Mar. 1660, j.p. Mar. 1660-d., col. of militia ft. Apr. 1660-?61; dep. lt. Sept. 1660-?d.; freeman, Oxford 1661; commr. for corporations, Oxon. 1662-3, loyal and indigent officers 1662, oyer and terminer, Oxford circuit 1665, recusants, Oxon. 1675.2

Capt. of ft., regt. of Lord Falkland (Henry Carey) 1661-2.


Cope came from a cadet branch of a family which settled in Northamptonshire in the late 14th century, and which first represented that county in 1397. His ancestors acquired Hanwell in 1498. Cope, an Anglican, employed the royalist agent Richard Allestry as his chaplain during the Interregnum, and together with Lord Falkland came under suspicion himself in 1659. He was among those who presented the Oxfordshire address for a free Parliament in February 1660, and was elected to the Convention for Banbury, three miles from his residence. He was classed among Wharton’s friends to be managed by Lord Wenman (Thomas Wenman). He was appointed to only eight committees, of which the most important was to consider the legal forms of the Restoration. On 12 Sept. he acted as teller for the Lords’ proviso for assessing themselves under the poll bill. He was presumably the ‘Sir Jonathan Cope’ who opposed the bill for modified episcopacy on 28 Nov., but made no other recorded speeches. He was nominated to the proposed order of the Royal Oak with an estate of £4,000 p.a., and was described as ‘of known honour and loyalty’.3

Cope was returned for the county with Falkland in 1661, and became a moderately active Member of the Cavalier Parliament, serving on 83 committees and acting as teller in three divisions. As an associate of Falkland, he was probably a ‘country Cavalier’. In 1661 he was among those chosen to keep account of Members receiving the sacrament, and he served on committees for reporting the shortfall in revenue, for the corporations bill and for inspecting accounts of the disbandment commissioners. His committees in 1663 included those to consider the petition of the loyal and indigent officers, to consider defects in the hearth-tax, to examine and report on the subsidy rolls, and to inquire into the conduct of Sir Richard Temple. In March 1664, Cope acted as teller with (Sir) Charles Hussey for the motion to read a proviso for the repeal of the Triennial Act. His activity declined after this session, but he was appointed to the committee for the banishment of Clarendon. On 8 Apr. 1668 he was teller against the motion that the King should seek advice for uniting Protestants. He was listed by Sir Thomas Osborne among the Members who had usually voted for supply. In the debate of 18 Mar. 1670 against transporting prisoners overseas, he intervened to say that he ‘would have no man out of reach of Westminster Hall’ . His interest in the old and new wool quays brought him in £473 13s.4d. p.a., and he was allowed to present his case to the House by counsel when the clause in the bill for rebuilding London to assess wharfage rates was discussed. He was appointed to the committee for the test bill, and in the debate on the Lords’ amendments of 21 Mar. 1673, declared that he had ‘heard of many Catholics that would take the oath of allegiance, but not of obedience’. Together with Sir John Pakington, 2nd Bt. he led a great pope-burning procession on the anniversary of Gunpowder Plot, later in the year. Among later committees were those for inquiring into charges of corruption against Members and for better collection of the hearth-tax. He died on 11 June 1675 and was buried at Hanwell.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: M. W. Helms / Leonard Naylor / Geoffrey Jaggar


  • 1. Misc. Gen. et Her. (n.s.) i. 240-1; VCH Oxon. ix. 116; C. L. Shadwell, Reg. Orielense, i. 259.
  • 2. Hants RO, 43M48/449-50; Parl. Intell. 16 Apr. 1660; Oxford Council Acts (Oxf. Hist. Soc. xcv), 280; A. Ballard, Chrons. Woodstock, 92.
  • 3. Misc. Gen. et Her. (ser. 3), iv. 203; VCH Oxon. ix. 114-16; Cal. Cl. SP , iv. 386; D. Underdown, Royalist Conspiracy , 265; CSP Dom. 1659-60, p. 361; Kingdom’s Intell. 25 Mar. 1661; Old Parl. Hist. xxiii. 30.
  • 4. CJ , viii, 538; ix. 77, 143; Grey, i. 237; ii. 145; PCC 12 Bence; P. E. Jones, The Fire Court , ii. 207-8; Williamson Letters (Cam. Soc. n.s. ix), 71; Wood’s Life and Times (Oxf. Hist. Soc. xxi), 316.