Simon Cooper and Margaret Fritwell

Simon Cooper was born around 1597 in Watlington, Oxfordshire, England to parents Tremore Cooper (1567-1633) and Phebe Lydia (1571). Simon was one of four children born to the couple.

Church of the Holy Rood, Cuxham, Oxfordshire

Simon married Margaret Fritwell on 25 November 1622 at Cuxham, Oxfordshire.

Margaret was born in 1591 and baptised on 1 September 1591 at Cuxham, the daughter of John Fritwell (1555-1633) and Issabell Druse (1556-1636).

John and Isabell married on 8 November 1579 at Cuxham, and John died there on 10 June 1633. Isabell was buried there in 1636.

Margaret was part of a large family of 8 children – her siblings were Roger b 1578, Thomas b 1578 (boys baptised the same day), Mary b 1582, John b 1586, Edmond b 1588, Agnes b 1594 and Elizabeth b 1600.

Her sister Elizabeth who was born in 1600 married a John Cooper in Cuxham in 1627, maybe Simon’s brother?

Cuxham is an English village in the civil parish of Cuxham with Easington in South Oxfordshire. It is about 5.5 miles (9 km) north of Wallingford and about 6 miles (10 km) south of Thame.

In the Middle Ages, Cutt Mill was the manorial corn mill. The present mill on the site was built in the middle of the 18th century.

Cuxham village

British History Online states that “Probate evidence suggests that the villagers, of whom most were small-scale customary tenants and labourers, had most frequent contact with inhabitants of Watlington and of neighbouring parishes such as Brightwell Baldwin, Britwell Salome, Chalgrove, and Easington.

Some families in the 16th to 18th centuries stayed for several generations, amongst them the Broadways, Crookes and Fritwells, but otherwise the parish registers suggest a regular turnover of population, particularly among the poor of the parish.”

Simon and Margaret had at least one son – Thomas Cooper in 1623. Thomas was baptised on 10 March 1623 at Cuxham, Oxfordshire, a mile away from Watlington. Lots more photos of the church at Cuxham can be found here. Thomas married Joane West in 1648 at nearby Shirburn and had at least ten children.

Simon wrote a will in 1662 where he was described as a labourer of Watlington. He bequeaths his ‘common fields’ in Watlington to his son Thomas Cooper, and also provides for his ‘loving wife Margaret’. They appear to be the only heirs mentioned in the document.

the mark of ‘Symon Cooper’ 1662

Simon starts his will that he was ‘sicke and weak in body’, so perhaps he was either too ill to sign his name at the bottom of the will, or illiterate, and so made his mark.

Simon died in 1662, and was buried at Watlington. His wife Margaret died in May 1665 and is also buried at Watlington.