Charles Cooper

Charles Cooper was the oldest of the thirteen children of shoemaker Robert Cooper and his wife Elizabeth Fison of Ely, Cambridgeshire, England.

Charles Cooper in Western Australia
Above: Charles Cooper in Western Australia.

He married Mary East, the daughter of Robert East of Ely, in 1849 and the couple went on to have twelve children. Sadly, one of them died as a baby, and four of them were stillborn.

Charles is noted as working as a bricklayer in 1851, but by 1861 he had become an Engineer.

The family moved around the UK, including to Chesterton, Cambridgeshire, Biscot in Berkshire, and central London, before returning to Ely in the 1870s. It was here that Charles and Mary's marriage fell apart, after Mary committed adultery during the summer of 1873 with a neighbour named George Walton.

Charles soon filed for divorce, and on the court papers he is noted as living in 3 Bainbridge Street, off Oxford Street, London, England - the home of his sister Rebecca Dudley (née Cooper) and nextdoor to his other sister Isabella Allison (née Cooper).

By 1874, and with this unhappy ending to his marriage now behind him, he remarried to Plessina (sometimes named as 'Pleasance') who was about 20 years his junior, and after moving around the country again and having a further nine children - including in Crosby in Lancashire, and time in Merseyside, he went to Australia to advance his engineering in the growing railway industry.

Whilst living in Guildford, Western Australia, he patented a 'Spark Arrestor for Locomotives' (or 'Spark Injector'), which went on to be used in the railway industry.

He returned to London with his family, where he died in Limehouse in 1911.

Life Events


  • 1829 at Ely, Cambridgeshire, England.


  • 29th April 1829 at Holy Trinity Church, Ely, Cambridgeshire, England.


  • Mary East (1829-?) on 20th May 1849 at St. Mary's Church, Ely, Cambridgeshire, England.
  • Plessina Balding (1855-?) on 26th December 1874 at Poet's Church, at St. Giles in the Field, Middlesex, England.


  • Elizabeth Cooper (1850)
  • William Cooper (1851-?)
  • George Cooper (1853-?)
  • Elizabeth Cooper (1855-?)
  • Eliza Cooper (1857-?) married Edward Albert Ward (18??-?)
  • unnamed Cooper (1858)
  • Mary Ann Cooper (1859-?)
  • unnamed Cooper (1861)
  • unnamed Cooper (1861)
  • Charles Cooper (1862-?)
  • unnamed Cooper (1865)
  • Henry Cooper (1869-?)
  • Arthur Cooper (1875-?)
  • Florence Hannah Cooper (1877-1963) married Robert Arthur Pride (1877-1962)
  • Frederick Joel Cooper (1878-1916) married Rosa Isabel Cooper (1876-1937)
  • Albert John Cooper (1881)
  • Ada Cooper (1883-?)
  • Frank Cooper (1884-?)
  • Ashley Cooper (1885-?)
  • Sydney Cooper (1887-?)

Census and Residence

  • 1841: 12yrs, Silver Street, Ely, Cambridgeshire, England.
  • 1851: 22yrs, Cow Lane, Ely, Cambridgeshire, England.
  • 1861: 32yrs, High Street, Chesterton, Cambridgeshire, England.
  • 1871: 40yrs, Lock Farm, Buscot, Oxfordshire, England.
  • 1873-1874: 44-45yrs, 3 Bainbridge Street, St. Giles, London, England.
  • 1881: 53yrs, 33 Brownlow Road, Lower Bebington, Cheshire, England.
  • 1891: Not yet found - presumably in Australia.
  • 1899: 69yrs, 24 Stainsby Road, Limehouse, London, England.
  • 1901: 60yrs, 88a East India Road, Poplar, London, England.
  • 1911: 81yrs, 269 Burdett Road, Limehouse, London, England.


  • 1849-1851: Bricklayer
  • 1861: Engineer
  • 1871: Foreman Engineer
  • 1881: Engineering Manager of Works
  • 1903: Engineer



  • 11th January 1911 in the St. Giles district of London, England, aged 69 years.


  • Not yet known.

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