Coopersale House Circa 17th Century
By Fred Brown
There was a building of some substance on this site at the time of Agincourt, which became the property of Simon-de-Bois (Archer). After the war and a shooting contest (archery) at Havering-atte-Bower held on the orders of the king, Henry V commanded de-Bois to change his name.
The Archer family lived at Coopersale House for around 200 years until a marriage with Jacob Houblon brought about the double barrelled name of Archer-Houblon, setting in motion a branch of the family which lasted until 1908 when the estate was sold off.
The house, although never styled a manor was the centre of the largest estates in the parish of Theydon Garnon. After Simon, the most important of the Archers was Henry who on his death in 1616 held a capital messuage (a dwelling house with adjacent buildings and curtilage for use of the household) of the Manor of Hemnalls which was a sub-manor to the then capital manor of Garnish Hall. His son Sir John Archer, a Justice of the Common Pleas, died in 1682. His son John died without issue in 1707 leaving the estate to a William Eyre of Gray's Inn on condition that he changed his name to Archer and married Eleanor Wrottesley, John Archer's niece. She died without issue and William, now William Eyre Archer, married Susannah, daughter of Sir John Newton (Bt). Their son, again John Archer, no blood line with the original Archer family, died in 1800 leaving a daughter Susannah who in 1770 had married Jacob Houblon (1783) of Hallingbury Place. On her father's death she came to Coopersale House, which had been unoccupied since her mother's death in 1776. In 1819, Susannah adopted the name of Mrs Houblon Newton. On her death in 1837, the estate passed to her grandson, John Archer-Houblon. In 1838-40 he owned 703 acres in Theydon Garnon and 18 acres in Theydon Mount also 82 acres in Theydon Bois.
After 1837, the Coopersale estate with the house and Hallingbury Place descended in the Archer-Houblon family. A point of interest here, Sir John Houblon founded the Bank of England and his photograph is on a £50 note. John Archer-Houblon died in 1865; his daughter Miss Harriet provided the school in Coopersale Street, St Albans Church and the Vicarage. She died in 1896 and again the house was empty for some years. The contents of the house were sold in 1908 and the estate in 1914. A religious order owned it during the 1st World War. In 1920 it was sold to Mr H E J Camps.From 1936 - 44 to Mr Dudley Ward who sold it to Countess How. In 1946 it was acquired by Mr Jocelyn Hambro and subsequently Rupert Murdoch and Mr Gerald Scott OBE.
Today it is undergoing a facelift and no one is resident at present. The lake was probably the work of John Archer between 1739 - 1776. A great frost in 1895 caused many problems, hydrants were frozen up and the lake was frozen over. Miss Archer-Houblon invited skaters to use the lake around which fairy lights and Chinese lanterns were hung, tea and refreshments were provided and an ice carnival held in the evening with a fireworks display.
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last updated 16/02/2007 21:19