This surname recorded as Copyn, Coppin, and Copping is of either Olde English pre 7th century origins or a Norman-French introduction after the 1066 Invasion of William the Conqueror. Taking these in order, the English form is topographical and probably tribal and describes "a people" who lived on a hill top". The derivation is from "copp", translating as a summit, plus "ing" an Anglo-Saxon word meaning a tribe. The second possibility is from the French baptismal diminutive name "Coppin", which derives from the Italian "Coppo", a nickname of the original Hebrew, Jacob. This name means "supplanter", by any standards an unusual translation for a name of endearment! One has to assume that in ancient times "supplanter" had a different connotation to that of the 20th century. The early surname recordings taken from the medieval rolls and charters include William Copyn in the Hundred Rolls of Worcester for the year 1275, Robert Coppin, who was rector of Hethel in Norfolk in 1468, and John Copping of Bury St. Edmunds, who came to an unfortunate end, being executed in 1583 for proclaiming Queen Elizabeth 1st (1558 - 1603) to be an idolater and perjurer. Considering that the first Elizabeth was probably the most popular of all monarchs, it could be said that he deserved his fate. Perhaps surprisingly King James 1st of England and V1 of Scotland, in 1608 granted a coat of arms ta a name holder. This has the blazon of a gold field charged with a chief of one row in vaire. The crest is a golden cock issuing from a ducal coronet. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nicholas Coping. which was dated 1243, Witness at the Somerset Assize Court. during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman" 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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