Open main menu


COPPINGER, EDMUND (d. 1592), fanatic, is described as ‘descended of a good house and linage, and one of her Maiestie's sworne servants, but a yonger brother, having no great livelihood’ (Cosin, Conspiracie for Pretended Reformation, 1592). With a Yorkshire gentleman, Henry Arthington, he championed the claims of the notorious religious enthusiast, William Hacket, who had a wild scheme for abolishing bishops and deposing Queen Elizabeth. Hacket proclaimed himself to be the Messiah, and Coppinger joined Arthington in holding a demonstration (in Cheapside) to support the impostor's claim. The three men were thrown into prison. Hacket was hanged on 28 July 1592; Coppinger died eight days afterwards from voluntary starvation; Arthington repented of his errors and was pardoned. The affair caused considerable excitement.

[Cosin's Pretended Reformation, 1592; Stow's Annales, ed. Howes, 1615, pp. 760–1; Fuller's Church History, book ix.]

A. H. B.