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Copleston Family History

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© 2004 - 2022

Thomas was baptised in Stoke Damerel, Devon on 22nd June 1777, son of Thomas Copplestone, baker and Elizabeth Mitchell. In 1789/90 he joined the Navy from Fowey and was Lieutenant's Servant on the cutter Sprightly (later renamed Resolution).

1797 found him Able Seaman and later Midshipman on Diadem and Minerva and in 1801 he was Acting Master of Mutine. After serving on Adder, Monkey, Zebra and Explosion (a Bomb Vessel) he became full Master on the Ariadne in 1806.

Between that time and 1815 his ships were Vestal, Horatio, Childers and Volcano, with a gap from 1810 to 1812 because he was in August 1810 confined to his cabin by the Captain for 'neglect of duty and disobedience' and a Court Martial in September dismissed him from the Service.

Reinstated in 1812,Thomas was Master of the Childers and his logs, together with those kept on other vessels, can be seen at the PRO at Kew.

On the Volcano in 1815 he was at Bermuda and sent to the Romulus Hospital Ship with hepatitis, from whence he was sent on the Endymion to Haslar Hospital, Portsmouth.

The Memorial sent to the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty in July 1812 asking for his reinstatement states that Thomas was on the Diadem at the Battle off St. Vincent in 1797 and at Ostend in action, where he was taken prisoner with Sir Eyre Coote.

Later he was 'at the capture of Rosetta, Demetta, Grand Cairo, &c in the Nile, Egypt', In 1809 he was recommended by his Captain to Sir Richard Keats for his exertions in getting HM Ship Gorgon off the rocks and through the ice at Gottenburgh 'in the winter of 1808 which continued until April 1809'.

In 1807 he had been recommended for saving part of the crew of the Snipe, beached near Yarmouth.

A sad letter from Thomas' widow, Sarah, written 'At Mr. Roberts in the Pollet, Guernsey' asks for his half-pay after his death in 1820 - he was only 44.


Sarah Copplestone - Letter to Navy 1821


T M Copplestone - Captains Log of Horatio 1810


T M Copplestone - Marriage to Sarah Edmonston 1821


T M Copplestone - Memorial 1812


Sarah Copplestone - Oath about George Horatio 1820


T M Copplestone - Sea Officers Widows Charity


Sarah Copplestone - Oath about Widows Pension


T M Copplestone - Plea to The Admiralty 1812

T M Copplestone - Summary

1806 - 1820

T M Copplestone - Summary of events 1806 - 1820

T M Copplestone - Summary of Ships served

T M Copplestone - Navy Board Records of Masters Quals and ships

T M Copplestone - Ships served with earliest 1789


T M Copplestone - Pension and Half Pay


T M Copplestone - 1804 Endorsement and Muster for Volcano


T M Copplestone - Captains Log - The Wolf

1801 - 1803

T M Copplestone - Masters Log - La Mutine


T M Copplestone - HMS Adder


T M Copplestone - Gun Brig Monkey

T M Copplestone - Family Tree

T M Copplestone - Various snippets