GEMMS: Gateway to Early Modern Manuscript Sermons
NameWilliam Cowper
Livedb. ca. 1639-12-14 - d. 1706-11-26 (old)
Linked Manuscriptsmanuscript owner - Manuscript Sermon: DE/P/F6manuscript owner - William Cowper, Commonplace Book : DE/P/F25
Linked SermonsSermon 1 on 2 Corinthians 5:17 -- notetaker (autograph: no)Sermon 1 on Luke 23:43 -- notetaker (autograph: no)Sermon 2 on 2 Corinthians 5:17 -- notetaker (autograph: no)Sermon 2 on Luke 23:43 -- notetaker (autograph: no)Sermon on 2 Corinthians 5:10 -- notetaker (autograph: no)Sermon on Genesis 24:63 -- notetaker (autograph: no)Sermon on Matthew 21:9 (latter part) -- dedicatee (autograph: yes)
Linked Reports
Associated PlacesHertford -- HomeHertford Castle -- Home
Source of DataCatherine Evans
Biographical Sources ConsultedMark Knights in "The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1690-1715" (2002)
Other NoteThe son of John Cowper of Hertford Castle and Martha, daughter of George Hewkley, a London merchant. William Cowper was educated at Gray's Inn from 1658. On 8 April 1664 he married Sarah (d. 1720) the daughter of Samuel Holled. Together they had four sons, two of which survived to majority, however their relationship was strained. In her 1706 commonplace book she wrote that ‘never any two disagreed like Sir William and I. The few virtues I have he dislikes.’ On one occasion he called her ‘a liar and a whore, saying pride was a worse sin than either, and a chaste woman that over-valued herself was in greater fault’. Sir William seems to have been anticlerical, with a Calvinist bent to his devotion. He succeeded his grandfather as 2nd Baronet on 20 December 1664. He was a follower of the 1st Earl of Shaftesbury and a supporter of the exclusion bill. Following the 1687 Declaration of Indulgence, he was appointed as the commissioner to inquire into recusancy fines. However, at the Revolution he published a tract against the "late corruption of affairs", directing his anger against those nominated at the Charter at Hertford in 1685 in a move intended to exclude him from Parliament. He was a supporter of the Prince of Orange and a Whig. He was less prominent in Parliament following the revolution. Around 1700, the Cowper interest at Hertford was destroyed, due to his son being on trial for the murder of a Quaker woman. In 1706, he was seized with an apoplexy and died on the 26th. To the disgust of his wife, he left no money to Christ's Hospital, of which he was a governor. This was not due to penury as he had £3,000 invested in the Bank of England and his estate was worth c.£2,500, which was left to his eldest son William. He left £1,000 to his other son Spencer Cowper.
GEMMS record createdSeptember 24, 2020
GEMMS record last editedSeptember 24, 2020