Osbaston Hall was formerly the home of the Mundy family, to which the poet Francis Noel Clarke Mundy belonged. This family, of course, also has connections to the School, because it was Wrightson Mundy, Squire of Osbaston and Frances Noel’s father, who fought with the 4th Baronet Dixie over the right to cross the Dixie estate.
Sir Thomas’s son and heir, Sir Thomas George, was educated at Eton and Trinity College,
Cambridge, gaining a B.A. in 1906. During a distinguished military career he was
awarded the C.M.G., D.S.O. (with Bar), Capt. and Brevet Lieut. Col. of the Royal
Fusiliers and a Chevalier of tbe Legion of Honour; he was temp. Lieut. Col. The Buffs,
the Royal East Kent Regt. 1916-
In 1923 he married Charlotte, widow of Arthur Hamilton and divorced wife of Count Ferdinand de Jouffroy d’Abbans. Official records show that she was born on the eleventh of November 1885 at number 11, Rawlinson Street, Dalton in Furness. She was the daughter of James and Elizabeth Crellin. In 1904 she married Arthur Hamilton in Cork. This is recorded in the Ireland Civil Registration of Marriages Index of 1845 to 1958. In January 1914 she married Count Ferdinand de Jouffroy d’Abbans at the Register Office in Elham. At the time they were both living at Number 3, Julian Road, Folkestone. She is described as a widow. They were divorced after a most intriguing case, reported as follows in the Daily Mail of Wednesday, August 10th 1921. Banner headlines proclaim,
“Dead Colonel’s Three wives.Tangle unravelled by French Court. Alleged bigamy. From our own correspondent. Paris, Tuesday.”
The French divorce case, in the course of which bigamy was alleged against the late
Col. Arthur Richard Cole Hamilton, has just presented to the Civil Tribunal at Autun,
Department of Saone-
On the 21st December 1923 Charlotte married Brevet Lt. Col. Thomas George Cope, now of the Seaforth Highlanders. Charlotte, who had a reputation of madness, died in St. Andrew’s Hospital, a former lunatic asylum in Northampton, in 1971. The couple had no children, and so the baronetcy ceased to exist when Sir Thomas died in 1966.
Cope House is named after Sir Thomas Cope, Baronet, of Osbaston Hall.
Sir Thomas was the elder son of Thomas Cope, Esq., D.L., who became the High Sheriff of Leicestershire in 1856, and Mary Greenaway Goldney, also of Osbaston. Mary was the daughter of Francis Bennett Goldney, the grandson of Dr. Benoni Evans, after whom Evans House was named!
Sir Thomas was born in 1840 and is shown on the census forms for 1851 as being one of Benoni Evans’ scholars and living at the Dixie Grammar School.
He was educated at Rugby and at Trinity College, Cambridge, gaining his B.A. in 1863 and his M.A. in 1866. That same year he was called to the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn. He practised at the Chancery Bar until 1879, in which year he married Alice Kate Walker, daughter of the late George Walker, Esq., of Walthamstow, Essex. They had two children, Ethel Mary Booker Cope, born 1882 and Thomas George Cope, born in 1884. He was Lord of the Manor of Osbaston, a Justice of the Peace and Deputy Lieutenant of the county and then in 1908 was elected Chairman of Leicestershire County Council, a position he held until 1922.
In 1918 the first Baronetcy of Osbaston was created, just six years before Sir Thomas, the first Baronet, died.