Copas Family History
The first record of the Copas family was Richard Copus back in the mid 1600s in Cookham. near Maidenhead, Berkshire with our earliest ancestors being bargemen. (Note: Copus is not a spelling mistake, the spelling of the name changed around 1850 due to our ancestor’s lack of education!).
The family became licensees of The Chequers Public House, Cookham Dean.
The first property was purchased – a house called The Grotto, behind The Jolly Farmer, Cookham Dean.
James Copas (the present James Copas’ Great Grandfather) started farming by renting land in Cookham Rise and using Grazing Rights on the local Commons. These Rights continue to be exercised today.
James Copas purchased his first land in Cookham – 11 acres.
The Chequers licence was given up and full time farming started with a tenancy in Cookham at Nuttings Farm, now called Cockmarsh and Winter Hill Farm.
Purchase of Kings Coppice Farm, Cookham Dean (now owned by Thomas Copas).
On the death of James Copas, Copas Bros was formed by his three sons, William, George and Tom. At Tom’s bequest, their memory is recorded by the construction of the Lychgate at Cookham Dean Church.
The holding now stood at 500 owned acres, together with 4 rented acres.
The landholding expanded with the purchase of 100 acres of land on the opposite bank to Cookham at Hedsor, Buckinghamshire.
George’s son John (who sadly died in 2006), and Tom’s son’s, Thomas and Geoffrey, joined Copas Bros.
Geoffrey and Thelma Copas moved to Hedsor when they married.
Land was purchased at:
– Remenham Farm, near Henley-on-Thames and extended in 1992 (now belonging to Thomas Copas);
– Calves Lane Fam, Iver, near Slough for a Pick Your Own Farm in 1978; and
– Westfield Farm, Medmenham, between Henley and Marlow in 1984.
Thomas and Geoffrey decided to divide the Copas Bros business and Geoffrey, together with his two sons James and Richard, formed Copas Farms.
Copas Farms then went on to purchase new farms:
– Woodlands Farm and Tunfield Farm, near Chesham, Buckinghamshire in 1999;
– Malpas Farm, near Theale, Berkshire in 2000;
– Old Amersham Farm, Amersham, Buckinghamshire in 2002;
– Lys Mill and Lys Farm in Watlington, Oxfordshire in 2006 with further land acquired to expand Lys Farm in 2009;
– Curridge Farm & Business Estate, near Newbury, Berkshire in 2011;
– Knapp Wood Farm, Lewknor, in Oxfordshire in 2012;
– Beenham Grange Business Park, Reading, Berkshire in 2014; and
– Innisfree farm, Little Kingshill, Buckinghamshire in 2015.
Today Copas Farms is a modern diverse business, largely farming land within a 20 mile radius of Cookham. It is currently managed by James, who lives at Cockmarsh Farm in Cookham, and Richard, who lives at Chesham with his wife Charlotte and children Laura and George. Laura and George are the tenth generation from Richard Copus referred to above.