Cruel Copinger, the Dane & Smuggler

cruel copinger - coppinger

Rev RS Hawker 's biography paints a picture of Copinger's arrival in a furious storm. The population turned out in the hope of a wreck, and saw a waterlogged, ship with a man of Herculean height near the wheel, the skipper of the boat. He was cast into the waves, and made it to the shore. He ends up marrying a local girl, Dinah Hamlyn, and becomes head of a large, terrifying gang, half smuggler, half pirate. One of his exploits was to lure a revenue cutter into a channel near Gull Rock and all perished when it went aground. To deter the excisemen on another occasion, the crew cut the head off a gauger, and carried the body to sea.

Copinger amassed such a fortune that he bought a farm for cash — in gold coin.. Copinger controlled land transport, forbidding anyone to move on 'Copinger's tracks' at night. The paths converged at a headland called Steeple Brink, hundreds of feet below which was Copinger's Cave. His marriage to Dinah produced a son, who, though deaf and dumb was as cruel as his father, and who murdered a playmate when aged six.
Copinger eventually was drowned in a violent storm.

There is another story in this Copinger family history . This says "This gentleman left Cork about 1760, and fixed his residence at Roscoff, in Brittany, where he purchased an estate and erected several houses. During the revolution, 1793, his property was destroyed. Shortly after this he settled in Cornwall, where he purchased an estate called Trewhiddle. He seems to have acquired a considerable fortune, for on the marriage of his daughter Marianne, with the Hon. Robert Cotton Trefusis, he gave her as a portion a sum of £40,000.[1] There are legends containing more or less of truth still to be met with on the coast of Cornwall respecting this eccentric character. It is said that his arrival in Cornwall was signalled by a terrific hurricane."

Famous Cornish People