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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 ACC/0775
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1730-1892
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 3.2 linear metres (954 documents).
Name of creator(s): Cooper | family | of Isleworth


Administrative/Biographical history:

Lady Cooper, born Isabella Ball Franks, of a rich Jewish business family, married William Henry Cooper, clerk and baronet (as he is frequently described). She inherited a considerable amount of money from her father Moses Franks and her mother's father Aaron Franks. Her considerable property she inherited from her aunt Priscilla (see Franks family tree), both the estate at Isleworth, and several West Indies Plantations.

On the death of her only son, William Henry, without issue (1835) the estate was settled on her eldest surviving daughter, Lady Mary Anne Honywood, who in her will provided that on her death, or that of her mother, if she should survive her (which she did) the estate should be sold and the proceeds divided among her own children, By Lady Cooper's will, apart from numerous pecuniary legacies, she leaves her estate of Chilton Lodge in Berks/Wilts to Lady Honywood's son William.

The sugar plantation of Dukinfield Hall, Jamaica fell into Franks' hands in payment of a mortgage debt and by 1822 belonged to Priscilla who bequeathed it along with her other property to Isabella, one of the original third part shares having belonged to Isabella's father Moses. There is no record at all of any of the owners ever visiting the plantation. It was left by Lady Cooper's will in trust for Mrs. Dawkins and was eventually sold in 1877. Under its earlier owners it was heavily mortgaged, and soon after it passed to Lady Cooper slavery was abolished, so it is unlikely that the family ever derived any great profit from it.


Scope and content/abstract:

The collection is of family papers belonging to Isabella, Lady Cooper, her children and grandchildren. The papers include documents detailing Lady Cooper's inheritance and assignments of its stock to her husband and children.There is a collection of title deeds for Isleworth Estate, together with leases of various parts of it, tradesmen's vouchers, accounts and particulars of its eventual sale (1855-78). There are also some 17th century title deeds to property in Hidden, Hungerford, as well as later deeds, accounts, rentals and leases.

Among the personal papers are a group concerning the settlement made on the marriage of William Honywood, Lady Cooper's grandson, with Barbara Whyte, and a group of financial papers chiefly on the subject of loans and securities, the same is true of the papers belonging to William's sisters Elizabeth and Caroline. There are also papers dealing with a mortgage he held from Sir John Shelley on property in Maresfield and Fletching in Sussex and as an executor of his grandmother's will he was forced into lengthy proceedings against the Ware family of Cheltenham for a long outstanding mortgage debt owed to Lady Cooper.

The last group of family papers relates to Elizabeth, Lady Cooper's younger surviving daughter, who married, secondly, the Reverend Edward Henry Dawkins. It includes their marriage settlement, and a number of his financial papers. The most interesting part of the whole collection relates to the sugar plantation of Dukinfield Hall, Jamaica (1719-1877). There are title deeds for a particularly tortuous descent, yearly accounts of crops, letters from the Jamaica agents and inventories of stock, which include slaves and give their names, ages, country of origin, occupation and state of health. There is also the will of Robert Dukinfield (1755), the original owner of the plantation, which makes provision for his negre mistress and their children out of his other property. The family name has a variety of spellings, Dukinfield being the one most frequently applied to the estate, although the main branch of the family comes from Duckenfield, Chester.

There are also a few papers concerned with three plantations on the Island of Grenada, which Lady Cooper also inherited (1773-1867).

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Cooper and Honywood wills 1820-1891;
Lady Cooper's Settlement Trust 1777-1855;
Miscellanea: chiefly solicitors letters and accounts to Lady Cooper 1730-1892;
Sir William Henry Cooper and Peregrine Bertie 1816-1835;
Dawkins family papers 1859-1892;
William Honywood's marriage settlement 1844-1892;
William Honywood's financial papers 1851-1892;
Misses Elizabeth and Caroline Honywood's financial papers 1844-1892;
Philip Honywood's papers 1843-1851;
Isleworth Estate Settlement 1836-1885;
Title deeds and abstracts for Isleworth Estate 1768-1880;
Leases of Isleworth Estate property 1750-1878;
Estate Accounts and Vouchers for Isleworth 1833-1856;
Sale of Isleworth Estate 1834-1880;
Maps and Plans of Estate Chilton Lodge Estate and other Berks property 1674-1847;
Mortgages held by Lady Cooper and William Honywood 1830-1855;
Dukinfield Hall Plantation, Jamaica: Franks wills 1777-1832;
Early title deeds 1719-1777;
Abstracts of title to shares in plantation 1736-1818;
Title deeds to Moses Franks moiety 1785-1828;
Title deeds to Arnold Nesbitt's moiety 1773-1841;
Conveyances of Plantation stock 1780-1868;
Accounts and Inventories 1764-1877;
Grenada Plantations 1773-1867.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to this collection rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Records deposited in July 1961.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Records prepared May to September 2011.

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