Friday, 21 January 2022

Drumilly House


In very remote periods this family possessed considerable estates in Northamptonshire, whence the descendants of

JOHN COPE (c1355-c1415), of Adstock, Buckinghamshire, and Denshanger, Northamptonshire (the first upon record), extended themselves into Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Hampshire, Staffordshire, Gloucestershire and County Armagh.

This John Cope, MP for Northamptonshire, 1397-1406, was a very eminent person in the reigns of RICHARD II and HENRY IV.

In the latter, he represented the county of Northamptonshire in parliament, and was twice High Sheriff.

He died about 1415, and from him lineally descended

ANTHONY COPE (c1548-1614), of Hanwell, Oxfordshire, who was created a baronet, in 1611, denominated of Hanwell.

Sir Anthony, High Sheriff of Oxfordshire, MP for Banbury, married firstly, Frances, daughter of daughter of Sir Rowland Lytton, of Knebworth, Hertfordshire, and had issue,
William, (Sir), his heir;
Anthony, of Loughgall Manor;
RICHARD, of whom we treat;
Anne; Elizabeth; Mary.
The third son,

RICHARD COPE, espoused Anne, sister of Sir William Walter, and left at his decease a son and heir,

WALTER COPE, of Drumilly, County Armagh, who married Abigail, daughter of the Rt Rev Thomas Moigne, Lord Bishop of Kilmore and Ardagh, and had issue,

WALTER COPE, of Drumilly, who married Jane, daughter of the Very Rev James Downham, Dean of Armagh, and was father of

WALTER COPE, of Drumilly, who wedded Sarah, daughter of Thomas Tippling; and dying in 1724, he left a son,

WALTER, of whom presently, and five daughters, all of whom died unmarried, except the youngest, Abigail, who espoused, in 1758, Archdeacon Meade, and had one daughter, SARAH ARABELLA ABIGAIL, of whom hereafter.

Mr Cope died in 1724, and was succeeded by his son,

THE RIGHT REV DR WALTER COPE (1712-87), of Drumilly, Lord Bishop of Ferns and Leighlin, who married Anne, daughter of Sir Arthur Acheson Bt, of Gosford, County Armagh; but dsp 1787, and was succeeded by his niece,

SARAH ARABELLA ABIGAIL MEADE, who assumed the surname of COPE.

She wedded Nicholas Archdale, of Castle Archdale, County Fermanagh, and had issue (besides one daughter, ANNA, who succeeded her brother), three sons,
Walter, died unmarried;
Samuel Walter, died unmarried;
ARTHUR WALTER, of whom we treat.
The youngest son,

ARTHUR WALTER COPE (1787-1846), of Drumilly, espoused Caroline Lester, and had one daughter, Caroline Arabella Archdale (d 1906), who married Francis Wilson Heath, of New Grove, Lisburn.

Mr Cope was succeeded, under the will of his great-uncle, Bishop Cope, by his sister,

ANNA COPE (1791-1867), of Drumilly, who wedded, in 1814, Nathaniel Garland, of Michaelstowe (d 1845).

Mrs Garland, on succeeding to Drumilly, assumed the name of COPE, and by will devised her estates to her third daughter,

GEORGINA CATHERINE COPE, of Drumilly, who espoused, in 1848, JOHN ALEXANDER MAINLEY PINNIGER JP, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1868.

They assumed, in 1867, the name and arms of COPE.

Mr Cope died in 1892, aged 68, having had issue,
Edgar Broome (1849-91), died unmarried;
JOHN GARLAND, of whom presently;
Arthur Mainley;
George Cope;
Frederick Lorance; Amy; Anna Martha Georgina; Mary Constance.
Mrs Cope died in 1895, and was succeeded by her eldest surviving son,

JOHN GARLAND COPE JP DL (1850-1920), of Drumilly, who married firstly, in 1878, Theresa Charlotte, daughter of Ralph S Obré, of Clantylew, County Armagh, and had issue,
He wedded secondly, in 1900, Mary Edith, daughter of Colonel Lonsdale A Hale, Royal Engineers.

DRUMILLY HOUSE, Loughgall, County Armagh, remarked Mark Bence-Jones, was
"a plain, vaguely Georgian house with a remarkable two-storey elliptical structure of glass and art-nouveau ironwork projecting from its centre and constituting the entrance.
It was demolished in 1966.

THE VILLAGE of Loughgall developed slowly under the benign guidance of the Cope family, assuming a distinctly English appearance.

During the 18th and early part of the 19th century, a number of houses were built in the elegant Georgian style of architecture.

The two Cope families, of Loughgall Manor and Drumilly respectively, did not take a very active part in politics; however, as residential landlords, they pursued a policy of agricultural development on their own estates and greatly encouraged the improvement and fertility of their tenants' farms.

Drumilly, Main Entrance

Apple-growing over the past two centuries has become a major factor in the economic development of County Armagh, with Loughgall at the heart of this important industry.

To this day there is no public house in Loughgall.

The Copes, at some stage in the past, actively discouraged the sale and consumption of alcohol by buying several public houses in the village and closing them down.

In their place they established a coffee-house and reading-room.


The last generation of both the Loughgall Manor and Drumilly families had daughters only.

Of the Manor House family, a Miss Cope married a clergyman, the Rev Canon Sowter; while Ralph Cope, of Drumilly, had two daughters, one of whom, Diana, married Robin Cowdy of the local Greenhall linen bleaching family at Summer Island.

Both the Manor House and Drumilly estates were purchased by the Northern Ireland Ministry of Agriculture and now play a prominent part in testing and development in the horticultural field.

Both estates remain intact and have not been developed for housing or industry; they form part of Loughgall Country Park.

With considerable areas of mature woodland interspersed with orchards and cultivated fields, this area must surely be one of the most pleasant stretches of countryside in County Armagh.

Former London residence ~ 28 Burton Court, Chelsea.

First published in January, 2014.

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