Coppin family - Norwich Norfolk ENG to AUST; GS Coppin (1819-1906)
One of the most colourful characters in 19th century Australian history is GEORGE SELTH COPPIN (1819-1906), often known as the "Father of Australian Theatre", but who was also at various times a municipal councillor, member of the colonial Victorian parliament (in pre-Federation Australia), mine investor during the 1850s gold rushes in Victoria, hotelier, theatre entrepreneur, philanthropist and, possibly his favourite role - "Comedian".
For a well-researched biographical article google his name and see the online article by Sally O'Neill from the "Australian Dictionary of Biography" (Vol. 3). There is a photo attached, and other websites show different photos, paintings, and a drawing of him playing the violin on stage in 1825, aged 6!
A good hardcopy biography is that by Alec Bagot - "Coppin the Great; Father of the Australian Theatre" (Melbourne University Press, 1965). In that there is some genealogical material on his ancestors, both in Chapter 1 and on pages 347-49, where there is a family tree.
To summarise, while this George Selth Coppin (II) was born in Steyning, Sussex, England, son of actors George Selth Coppin (I) and his wife Elizabeth Jackson, his Coppin ancestors were from Norwich, Norfolk, England, and can be traced back clearly to his grandfather Rev. Selth Coppin (1772-1831). He in turn was descended from a Rev. William Coppin of Wooten, Norfolk, who had attested his pedigree at the Visitation of Norfolk in 1664. His father was a William Coppin of Wooten, Norfolk, son of a William Coppin of the Isle of Wight.
According to this book, the name has been spelled in Norwich (back to the 14th century) in different ways (Copping, Coppyng, Coppen), but with the same coat of arms.
The family tree also details the children the famous George Selth Coppin had by his three (consecutive, not simultaneous) wives.
Anybody interested for further details from this book about this man and his ancestors from Norwich, Norfolk, England, could contact me. I am not related, but am interested in his role in 19th century Australian history, especially in Victoria.
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
25 Sept. 2007