Richard Copleston of Woodland

Just stumbled across another finding. This time at St Giles Church near Torrington, that I visited last year. Appears that the slate epitaph hidden behind the church organ turns out to be that of Richard Copleston of Woodland who died in 1617.
The author James Grimwood-Taylor also believes that the 1586 tomb of another Richard Copleston is buried underneath the organ itself. An interesting read, and I’ll get in touch with James for more information.
Woodland Panel Front.jpg
The Image is a panel taken from the Copleston residence that was once established in Woodland, near Torrington. The panel is safely kept at The Victoria and Albert museum in London.


As per Jane Hayter-Hames book, “The History of Chagford”, the cottage known as Bellacouch was said to be built and owned by Christopher Copleston.

There were Copleston rectors of the local church too. Thomas Copleston in 1447 and Francis Copleston in 1539.

For more info see my web page using this link Chagford on





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St Michael’s Rectors2016-11-05_054325

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John (Jack) Henry Copleston

At this time of year, I just wanted to remember the uncle I never knew. I was more than shocked to find out some years ago of his fate in 1943.

Jack was killed 16th July 1943 at Primosole Bridge, Sicily, aged just 24.

4079715 – Private John Henry Copleston, 9th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry.


Jack is one of my heroes, lost to his family, so far away, but not forgotten.

There is page on my website dedicated to him.

Jack is laid to rest in the Catania War Cemetery in Sicily.

Link to Catania War Cemetery


Frederick Copleston – A History of Philosophy

Frederick Copleston (1907-1994) grew up in England. He was raised in an Anglican home but converted to Catholicism while a student at Marlborough College. He later became a Jesuit and then pursued a career in academia. He studied and lectured at Heythrop College and wrote an eleven-volume History of Philosophy, which is highly respected. He also spent time teaching at Gregorian University in Rome and, after he retired, lectured at Santa Clara University in California. He was appointed a member of the British Academy in 1970. He is famous for debating Bertrand Russell over the existence of God in a 1948 BBC broadcast.



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Brixton, Devon 1746

A map of lands of Thomas Copleston 1746.

Brixton English belonged to the family of English, and passed on to the Bonvilles and then the Coplestons of Bowden. After the death of Thomas Copleston in 1753 it was purchased by The Veal family, and then the Rev Richard Lane.


To see this on the web for a better view click here



Thomas Lane purchase of Copleston Estates.jpg



 June 15th 1602 I rode to Chudleigh, and from thence Mr Staplehill, Mr Estchurch and myself rode to Yampton [The Coplestones were owners of Coffleet and Bowden, in Yealmpton Parish] to Mr Copleston’s, where we stayed all night. Our business was about marriage for Mr Staplehill. In the morning Mr Estchurch and myself went to bowls with Mr Wood, and L.C., I won then 4s 6d. At night I came to Riddon.


Bowden farm

Bowden Farm lies on the hill to the north of Yealmpton. In the records it is referred to as Bowdon, Boudon and Bowden, and the name of the Copplestone family to whom it originally belonged varies too.

 It seems that the farm was so called by Walter Coplestone who named it after his wife, Elizabeth de Bowden, when he purchased the farm in the mid-fifteenth century. Walter died in 1457.

The written records do not stretch back as far as this, but we have brief references to John Coplestone of Bowden, Lord of the Manor of Brixton English about 1552, to another John Copples-ton of Bowden in 1684, and to Thomas Copleston of Bowdon in 1720.