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Lot 425
COPE, Sir JOHN (1690-1760, Lieutenant-General, Commander of the King's Forces in Scotland )
Sold for £1,200 (US$ 1,851) inc. premium

Lot Details
COPE, Sir JOHN (1690-1760, Lieutenant-General, Commander of the King's Forces in Scotland )
THREE AUTOGRAPH LETTERS SIGNED ('Jno. Cope'), to Lieutenant-General Thomas Fowke ('Dear Fowke'), who had served as Brigadier-General at the Battle of Prestonpans, sending news of national affairs ('...The eyes of all Europe are upon our Affairs in America, which 'tis imagined will draw consequences in this part of the World, for which wee are so formidably prepared, by our natural strength, the Navy, that if Spain will but continue to think according to her old proverb, peace with England & War with all the World, so far only, as to keep herself neuter. wee shall not have anything to fear, our Augmentation of Land Forces is very considerable, and goes on with great vigour and I don't believe there is a Regiment, either on this, or the Irish Establishment, but it is ready to take the field in 48 hours...'), expressing his desire (with a tacit reference to his unpopularity after 1745) to continue to lead a life of ease ('...I am just as desirous not to be employed, as those who could employ me are unwilling to do it, so in that we are perfectly agreed...'), reporting that he hears well of Fowke's Governorship of Gibraltar ('...that your man[n]er of com[m]and gives great satisfaction to the whole Garrison...you please every one you are concerned in business with, and that you do not lose the character of your Name (Jolly) with your subjects...'), telling him about the regime and life he follows at the spas of Bath and Cheltenham ('...I find the company at Chiltenham is not very numerous, and by those you name not very entertaining...'), thanking him for sending him a fine Spanish horse and for remembering his son [John, a diplomat], describing his companion, Mrs Metcalf, as 'a very good creature, and a great comfort to me in my decline in Life', sending news of mutual acquaintances including 'the divine Mrs Fitzgerald', and mentioning 'Mr paymaster Pit' and Lord Harrington, 6 pages, quarto, two with integral blank leaves, the third with an integral address leaf, all with autograph endorsements by Fowke, St James's Place and Bath, 1753-1755

Footnotes

  • Autograph letters by Sir John Cope are extremely rare: none have been separately sold at auction in over thirty years or more. There is a paucity of knowledge about his life after his Court of Inquiry in 1746. He was defeated at the Battle of Prestonpans in 1745 and was the subject of the Jacobite song 'Hey, Johnnie Cope! are ye waukin yet?'

    Lieutenant-General Fowke (1690-1765), having served with Cope as Brigadier-General at the Battle of Prestonpans, went on to be Governor of Gibraltar from 1753 to 1756. He was tried by Court Martial for not having sent reinforcements to Minorca, which was forced to surrender to the French in June 1756, and was sentenced to be suspended for nine months, but the King directed that he should be dismissed the service. For his part in this failure Admiral Byng paid with his life. Fowke was reinstated in his former rank in 1761 and died at Bath in 1765.
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