Place:Cople, Bedfordshire, England

Alt namesCoplesource: from redirect
Chochepolsource: Domesday Book (1985) p 29
Cochepolsource: Domesday Book (1985) p 29
TypeParish (ancient), Civil parish
Coordinates52.123°N 0.389°W
Located inBedfordshire, England
See alsoWixamtree Hundred, Bedfordshire, Englandhundred in which it was located
Bedford Rural, Bedfordshire, Englandrural district in which it was located 1894-1974
Bedford District, Bedfordshire, Englandnon-metropolitan district covering the area since 1974
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Cople is a village and civil parish in the English county of Bedfordshire. The name Cople is derived from the phrase "Cock Pool", a place where chickens were kept, as was mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. The population of the parish was estimated at 700 in 2007. Cople is part of the ancient hundred of Wixamtree.

The centre of Cople is dominated by All Saints Church, originally built soon after 1087 by the de Beauchamp family and which later became part of Chicksands Priory. The list of Vicars maintained by the church dates back to 1237. All Saints Church was rebuilt in the 15th century, some parts of it a little earlier, by the families who owned the local manors. The church was extended in the first part of the 16th century.

A toll house stands nearby on the A603 (Bedford to Sandy road); the house dates from around 1770 and was used to collect tolls from the road users. It is one of only two toll houses that still exist in Bedfordshire.

end of Wikipedia contribution

Cople was made a civil parish in 1866 and in 1894 it became part of the Bedford Rural District. Since 1974 it has been in the non-metropolitan Borough of Bedford.

Rowlands Manor and the Spencers

the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

One of the manors within the parish of Cople was Rowlands, acquired by the Spencer family in 1531 and held by them for several centuries.[3] The Spencer family of Rowlands were a branch of the Northamptonshire Spencers (with whom they shared a coat-of-arms).

The sons of Nicolas Spencer and the former Mary Gostwick, Nicholas Spencer (1633–1689) and his brother Robert both emigrated to America in the 1650s, to Virginia and Maryland respectively. Nicholas served as an agent for his cousin, John Colepeper, 1st Baron Colepeper.

Spencer family members continued to reside in Cople and its environs for many years afterward. "The Spencers’ Cople estates," according to the Bedfordshire County Council, "were bought by Francis Brace for the Dowager Duchess of Marlborough, and the manor still was known as Rowlands when part of the Duke of Bedford’s estate at the start of the 19th century."

Research Tips

  • The website British History Online provides three chapters of the Victoria County History Series on Bedfordshire. The first covers the religious houses of the county; the second and third provides articles on the parishes of the county. The parishes are arranged within their "hundreds".
  • GENUKI main page for Bedfordshire which provides information on various topics covering the whole of the county, and also a link to a list of parishes. Under each parish there is a list of the settlements within it and brief description of each. This is a list of pre-1834 ancient or ecclesiastical parishes but there are suggestions as to how to find parishes set up since then. GENUKI provides references to other organizations who hold genealogical information for the local area. There is no guarantee that the website has been kept up to date and therefore the reader should check additional sources if possible.
  • Bedfordshire family history societies are listed in GENUKI.
  • The FamilyTree Wiki has a series of pages similar to those provided by GENUKI which may have been prepared at a later date and from more recent data. The wiki has a link to English Jurisdictions 1851. There is a list of all the parishes in existence at that date with maps indicating their boundaries. The website is very useful for finding the ecclesiastical individual parishes within large cities and towns.
  • A Vision of Britain through Time, Bedfordshire, section "Units and Statistics" leads to analyses of population and organization of the county from about 1800 through 1974. There are pages available for all civil parishes, municipal boroughs and other administrative divisions. Descriptions provided are usually based on a gazetteer of 1870-72 which often provides brief notes on the economic basis of the settlement and significant occurences through its history.
  • These two maps indicate the boundaries between parishes, etc., but for a more detailed view of a specific area try a map from this selection. The oldest series are very clear at the third magnification offered. Comparing the map details with the GENUKI details for the same area is well worthwhile.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Cople. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.