Cope, Richard (DNB00)

COPE, RICHARD (1776–1856), author and divine, was born near Craven Chapel, Regent Street, London, on 23 Aug. 1776. When less than twelve years old he entered upon business life; but it proved uncongenial to his disposition, and he became a student at the Theological College, Hoxton, in March 1798. After remaining in that institution for more than two years, he received an invitation from the independent congregation at Launceston in Cornwall. He preached his first sermon there (28 June 1800), remained on trial for twelve months, was ordained in the church on 21 Oct. 1801, and remained in that position until 24 June 1820, having for the previous twenty years kept with great success a boarding school, which was attended by the sons of dissenters throughout the county. From 1820 to 1822 he filled the post of tutor in the Irish Evangelical College, Manor Street, Dublin; but the appointment afforded him but slight satisfaction, and he eagerly withdrew. After this brief change of occupation, Cope returned to preaching. He was minister of Salem Chapel, Wakefield, from 1822 to 1829; of Quebec Chapel, Abergavenny, from 1829 to 1836; and of New Street Independent Chapel at Penryn, in his old county of Cornwall, from April 1836 until his death. He died at Penryn on 26 Oct. 1856, and was buried on 31 Oct. He married Miss Davies at St. James's Church, Piccadilly, on 30 June 1801. The degree of M.A. was conferred upon him at Marischal College, Aberdeen, on 12 March 1819, and he was elected F.S.A. on 13 Feb. 1824. Cope's ‘Autobiography and Select Remains,’ edited by his son, R. J. Cope, in 1857, included poems from the ‘Evangelical Magazine’ (1815–17), and ‘Youth's Magazine’ (1816). Cope published: 1. ‘The object accomplished by the Abolition of the Slave-trade,’ a sermon, 1807. 2. ‘Adventures of a Religious Tract,’ anonymous (1820, 1825). 3. ‘Robert Melville, or Characters contrasted,’ Abergavenny, 1827. 4. ‘Pulpit Synopsis,’ outlines of sermons, 1837. 5. ‘Entertaining Anecdotes,’ 1838. 6. ‘Pietas Privata,’ 1857.

[Autobiography, 1857; Boase and Courtney's Bibl. Cornub.; Boase's Collectanea Cornub. p. 161.]

W. P. C.