John Cope Freeman

1726 - 1788


  1. Eldest son of Cope Freeman of Salisbury and Catherine Margaret Hampson who married c. 1721. Cope Freeman and his wife died at sea in 1734 when returning from the West Indies. John Cope Freeman married Susanna Tophill of Rickmansworth in 1756; they had one son who predeceased them.

  2. John Cope Freeman was listed in the Jamaican Quit Rent books for 1754 as the owner of 1194 acres of land in St Catherine, 1000 acres in St James and 2511 acres in St John, total 4705 acres.

  3. He bought Langley House on his retirement in the 1750s. In 1763, he was Sheriff of Hertfordshire.


  1. Deirdre Le Faye, Jane Austen's Letters, 4th ed. (Oxford, OUP, 2011) pp. 525-526. Will of Cope Freeman of Salisbury, Wiltshire, proved 09/12/1734, PROB11/668/280.

  2. 'A list of landholders in the Island of Jamaica together with the number of acres each person possessed taken from the Quit Rent Books in the year 1754', [accessed 31/03/2014].

  3. [accessed 31/03/2014). Copy of legal document confirming his role as Sheriff of Hertfordshire sent by email by Jeff Lightfoot 09/04/2014.

We are grateful to Patricia Noble and Jeff Lightfoot for their assistance in compiling this entry.

Further Information

Susanna Tophill
Henry Thomas Cope (1757-1776)

PROB 11/1161/176.

The will of John Cope Freeman of Abbotts Langley in the County of Hertford Esquire including estates and slaves in Jamaica proved 17/01/1788. The main beneficiaries were his wife Susanna, sisters Stella Frances Freeman and Mary Clementina Freeman; his nephew Philip Dormer Stanhope was bequeathed an annuity of £100 p.a. which was later revoked.

Associated Estates (3)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1779 [EA] - 1787 [LA] → Mortgagee-in-Possession
1763 [EA] - 1788 [EY] → Owner
1742 [EA] - 1767 [LA] → Owner

Legacies Summary

Physical (1)

Country house
Langley House, Abbots Langley [Built] 
description →
Georgian country house, reportedly built by John Cope Freeman, dated variously to the 1750s and 1770s. Now Breakspear House or Breakspear...
notes →

Political (1)

Local Government
office →
1763 -

Relationships (5)

Brother → Sister
Uncle → Nephew
First Cousins
Testator → Executor
Son → Father

Addresses (1)

Abbots Langley, Hertfordshire, South-east England, England