Cope, Alan (DNB00)


COPE, ALAN (d. 1578), catholic divine, was a native of the city of London. He was educated at Oxford, and after taking the degree of B.A. was made perpetual fellow of Magdalen College in 1549. He graduated M.A. in 1552, being that year senior of the act celebrated on 18 July. In 1558 he was unanimously chosen senior proctor of the university. He studied civil law for five years, and supplicated for the degree of B.C.L. on 17 Dec. 1558, and again on 30 April 1560 (Boase, Register of the University of Oxford, i. 218). In the latter year, when he saw that the Roman catholic religion would be silenced in England, he obtained leave of absence from his college and withdrew to the continent. After staying some time in Flanders he went to Rome, where, applying himself to the study of canon law and divinity, he became doctor in those faculties (Dodd, Church Hist. ii. 62). The pope made him a canon of St. Peter's, thus providing for him an honourable and a plentiful subsistence. He died at Rome in September or October 1578, and was buried in the church belonging to the English college (Diaries of the English College, Douay, p. 145; Pits, De Angliæ Scriptoribus, p. 772), ‘leaving behind him a most admirable exemplar of virtue, which many did endeavour to follow, but could not accomplish their desires’ (Wood, Athenæ Oxon., ed. Bliss, i. 456).

His works are: 1. ‘Syntaxis Historiæ Evangelicæ,’ Louvain, 1572, 4to; Douay, 1603, 4to (Duthillœul, Bibliographie Douaisienne, p. 56). 2. ‘Dialogi sex contra Summi Pontificatus, Monasticæ Vitæ, Sanctorum, Sacrarum Imaginum Oppugnatores, et Pseudo-martyres; in quibus explicantur Centurionum etiam Magdeburgensium, auctorum Apologiæ Anglicanæ, Pseudo-martyrologorum nostri temporis, maxime vero Joannis Foxi mendacia deteguntur,’ Antwerp, 1566, 4to, illustrated with a plate of the miraculous cross, found in an ash tree at St. Donat's, Glamorganshire, shortly after the accession of Elizabeth (Gillow, Bibl. Dict. of the English Catholics, i. 561). Although this work appeared under Cope's name, it was really written by Dr. Nicholas Harpsfield during his imprisonment in the Tower. Harpsfield entrusted its publication to Cope, who, to avoid the aggravation of his friend's hardships, put his own name to the book, concealing the name of the author under the letters A. H. L. N. H. E. V. E. A. C., that is, ‘Auctor hujus libri, Nicolaus Harpsfeldus. Eum vero edidit Alanus Copus’ (Reynold, Conference with Harte, p. 36). 3. ‘Carminum diversorum lib. i.’ (Tanner). Cope was not, as Fuller states, the author of the ‘Ecclesiastical History of England’ which goes under the name of Nicholas Harpsfield.

[Authorities cited above; Boase's Register of the Univ. of Oxford, 300; Lowndes's Bibl. Man. (Bohn), Suppl. p. 233; Fuller's Church Hist. (Brewer), ii. 358, 466, iv. 456; Cat. of Printed Books in Brit. Mus.]

T. C.