Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Courthope, William

1354828Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 12 — Courthope, William1887William Hunt

COURTHOPE, WILLIAM (1808–1866), Somerset herald, son of Thomas Courthope and his wife Mary, daughter of Thomas Buxton, born 6 May 1808, was engaged as private clerk by Francis Townsend, Rouge Dragon, in 1824, entered the office of the College of Arms as clerk in 1833, was appointed Rouge Croix in 1839, Somerset herald in 1854, and registrar of the college in 1859. He was called to the bar as a member of the Inner Temple in 1851, but did not practise. He accompanied several missions sent with the insignia of the Garter to foreign sovereigns. In 1838 he married Frances Elizabeth, daughter of the Rev. Frederic Gardiner, rector of Llanvetherine, Monmouthshire. He died without issue at Hastings, on 13 May 1866, at the age of fifty-seven. He was a learned and laborious genealogist, and his works are critical and generally trustworthy. He published: 1. An edition of Debrett's ‘Complete Peerage of Great Britain and Ireland,’ 1834, 1836. 2. An edition of Debrett's ‘Baronetage,’ 1835. 3. ‘Synopsis of Extinct Baronetage,’ 1835. 4. ‘Memoir of Daniel Chamier, minister of the Reformed Church, with notices of the Descendants,’ 1852, privately printed. Courthope was a descendant of Chamier. 5. A revised and corrected edition of Sir H. N. Nicolas's ‘Historic Peerage of England,’ 1857. 6. ‘A Pictorial History of the Earls of Warwick in the Rows Role,’ 1859; the date 1845 borne on the work refers to the plates and title-page, which were prepared in that year. He also contributed to ‘Collectanea Topographica et Genealogica’ and to the ‘Gentleman's Magazine.’

[Gent. Mag. ccxxi. 111, 336; Memoir of D. Chamier; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

W. H.