Authorised form of nameCopley; Sir; Godfrey (c1653 - 1709); politician
Datesc1653 - 1709
Date of birthc. 1653
Place of deathHis house in Red Lion Square, Westminster, London, England, United Kingdom, Europe
Date of death9 April 1709
Dates and placesBurial:
Sprotborough, Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom, Europe (23 April 1709)
Lincoln's Inn (admitted 1674); Inner Temple (admitted 1681)
Sheriff of Yorkshire (1676-1677, 1677-1678); MP for Aldborough (1679-1681); MP for Thirsk (1695-death); Commissioner of Public Accounts; Controller of Army Accounts (1691)
Membership categoryFellow
Date of election30/11/1691
ProposerSir John Hoskins
Royal Society activityRoyal Society roles:
Council 1692-1693, 1695-1699, 1703-1708
Committee to wait upon Lord Halifax (1707)
Other Royal Society activityLeft £100 legacy to the Society for experiments or other benefits to the Society (1709), which developed into the Copley Medal
RelationshipsParents: Sir Godfrey Copley, 1st Baronet, and Eleanor Walmesley; succeeded his father as second baronet (1677)
Married: 1) Catherine Purcell; 2) Gertrude Carew
Children: 1) Catherine Copley
General contextCopley held varied interests in branches of natural philosophy and antiquities. He was a close friend of Sir Hans Sloane (FRS 1685) and Ralph Thoresby (FRS 1697). The Copley Medal is the oldest Royal Society medal and is considered the oldest surviving scientific award in the world. Its first recipient was Stephen Gray (FRS 1733).
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Copley G, IM000952.jpg

Bulloch's Roll; DNB; Hunter; GEC Baronetage; Henning; LI
Armytage, W H G. 1954-55. 'Sir Godfrey Copley, FRS (FRS 1653-1709). Some Tercentenary Glimpses through Letters to his Friends', in Notes and Records, vol. 11, pp. 54-74
Maddison, R E W. 1960. 'Abraham Hill, FRS (1635-1722)', in Notes and Records, vol. 15, pp. 173-182
Proposed by Sir John Hoskins. GEC says he was said to have been 13 at the Heralds' Visitation of Yorkshire in 1666.
Virtual International Authority File
Royal Society codeNA8421
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
MM/10/10Deed transferring £392.17.1 of South Sea stock from Sir Godfrey Copley's estate to Mary Copley and Jasper Blythman8 September 1721
MM/11/58Copy of the probate of the Will of Godfrey Copley14 October 1704
MM/11/57Copy of the probate of the Will of Godfrey Copley14 October 1704
MM/14/132Letter from Godfrey Copley to Thomas Kirke 20 November 1667
IM/000952Copley, Sir Godfreynd
MS/390/96Bond of Sir Godfrey Copley to the Treasurer of the Royal Society30 November 1691
NLB/69/272Copy letter from Francis Alexander Towle, Assistant Secretary of the Royal Society; to Prof. Karl Pearson, FRS19 February 1926
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