The funeral of Mr. Thompson Cooper, F.S.A., took place at Norwood Cemetery yesterday, the body being interred in the grave in which Mrs. Thompson Cooper was buried seven and a half years ago. The Roman Catholic service for the burial of the dead was read at the grave-side by the Rev. Father Wright in the presence of a number of relatives and friends. The principal mourners were Mr. J. W. Cooper, LL.D., of Cambridge, brother of Mr. Thompson Cooper, Mrs. Bryan, a step-daughter, who husband was prevented, by recent illness, from being present; and Mr. F. V. Bryan and Mr. G. Bryan, grandsons. Mr J. B. Cooper and Mr. J. Bune represented The Times editorial staff, and The Times Parliamentary corps, of which Mr. Thompson Cooper was one of the oldest members, were represented by Mr. J. Bell, Mr. A. Nicholson, Mr. M. Maconagh, and Mr. E. M. Amphlett (hon. Secretary of the Press Gallery Committee), Mr. J. Heckscher, who also represented the council of the Newspaper Press Fund, Mr. R. S. Masson, Mr. Aaron Watson, and Mr. J. Callingham. Many other members of the Press Gallery desired to attend, but it was impossible for them to do so, as the House of Commons was sitting at the hour fixed for the funeral. The brass plate on the coffin bore the following inscription :— "Thompson Cooper, born 8th January, 1837; died 5th March, 1904." There were a number of floral tokens of sincere regret, including wreaths from the grandchildren of Mr. Thompson Cooper, The Times Parliamentary staff, and Mr. Heckscher, and a cross from the Press Gallery.
Mr. Sidney Lee writes to us as follows, under date March 7 :—
"I read in The Times of to-day with deep regret of the death of Mr. Thompson Cooper, for many years my colleague on the editorial staff of the 'Dictionary of National Biography.' Mr. Cooper played an important part in the initial stages of that undertaking, and I should like, as his fellow-worker, to put on record the precise character of his services. Soon after the planning of the Dictionary, in the autumn of 1882, the late Sir Leslie Stephen, who, I grieve to write, was survived by Mr. Cooper less than a fortnight, entrusted to him the task of collecting from all manner of sources and arranging in alphabetical order the names which might be fitted to form the subject-matter of the Dictionary. These names were printed in lists (each averaging 1,500 entries), which were distributed among likely contributors at half-yearly intervals throughout the progress of the work. The first list of names (in A) was compiled by Mr. H. R. Tedder, and issued in December, 1882. But the next list (in B), which appeared in the summer of 1882, and all lists down to the name Meyrig, which were successively issued in the course of the following eight years, were prepared by Mr. Cooper. In the summer of 1891 he transferred the labour to other hands. Apart from this laborious assistance Mr. Cooper contributed numerous articles to each of the 63 volumes of the Dictionary, and to each of the three supplementary volumes. The number of his memoirs in the substantive work reached a total of 1,422, and exceeded by nearly 300 the total of any other contributor. Mr. Cooper's articles were usually brief, averaging a length of a column and a quarter, but they fill in the aggregate some 900 pages. I think you are in error in stating that Mr. Cooper published after his father's death a third volume of the valuable 'Athenae Catabrigienses,' on the first two volumes of which he and his father worked together. He was long engaged on preparing the manuscript of a third installment, and printed three or four sheets of it, but the cool reception accorded by the public to the first two volumes brought the publication to a standstill with the issue of a second."
In our obituary notice it was stated that Mr. Cooper left two daughters. A correspondent, however, points out that they were stepdaughters, being the children of the former husband of Mrs. Cooper, who was the widow of Mr. Kerr when she married Mr. Cooper. There were no children by the second marriage.