Daniel, the eldest son of William and Dorothy Coxe of Othery, was born about 1580. He married, had one son of record, Daniel, and was still living in 16631 ; we know nothing more about him.
His son Daniel Coxe II was born around 1615, probably in Somerset, and by the 1640s had established himself as a merchant in Westminster, London. He received a grant of arms from Parliament in 1648 : "quarterly, gules and vert on each quarter a bezant : Crest : a cock vert, combed beaked and membered or : Motto : Vigilantia Praestat"2. The motto means, roughly, "watchfulness first". The grant of arms was revoked at the Restoration, but later regranted by Charles II to Daniel's son, Dr Daniel Coxe.
Towards the end of the 1630s Daniel married Susanna, and their son Daniel, the future doctor, was born in 1640 or 1641, the first of fourteen children. In 1650 Daniel bought an estate in Stoke Newington, and the growing family moved there soon afterwards. At that time Stoke Newington was a small village about three miles north of Bishopsgate on the London Road. This old Roman road, formerly Ermine Street, and in Daniel's time called the High Street at Stoke Newington, was the main road between London and Lincoln. Daniel and Susanna had six of their children christened together in St Mary's Church at Stoke Newington on 28 March 1655 - Mary, Susan, Elizabeth, Rebecca, Nathaniel and Samuel - and at least three of the younger children were christened at St Mary's during the 1660s. There had been a church on the St Mary's site since the eleventh century, and the building in which the Coxe children were christened was medieval, the original parts being constructed of stone, flint and pebbles, with a wooden spire. Some of the church had been rebuilt in 1563, using bricks, probably made locally with brickearth from Stoke Newington's brickpits ; and a west tower was added. At the time of the Coxes' arrival in Stoke Newington, St Mary's congregation was small, and mostly made up of residents of west Hackney, on the other side of the London Road, Stoke Newington's villagers preferring to travel to the church in Islington, about a mile to the south.
In 1650 the village consisted of fifty or sixty houses ; much of the parish was open meadow, with 75 of its 600 or so acres still wooded. The demesne land, about 300 acres belonging to the manor, was mostly pasture. The parish was bounded by the London Road in the east and Green Lanes in the west, linked by Church Street. Hackney Brook crossed the village from west to east, and at Stamford Hill, a continuation of London Road to the north, the road ran over a wooden bridge, which was replaced in 1687 by a larger construction of stone. Settlement was concentrated at the eastern end of Church Street, around the junction with London Road, and the houses were generally of timber. There were a few nurseries and market gardens, whose produce was sold in London's markets. The White Hind was probably the "local" when the Coxes came to Stoke Newington in the 1650s, but other inns opened, closed and reopened at various times over the next thirty years, including the Sun, the Flower de Luce, the Spread Eagle and the Three Pigeons. In 1679 residents complained that there were too many alehouses in the parish. The London Road was a favourite haunt of highwaymen, and watchmen were employed, either by St Mary's vestry or through public subscription, to patrol the village at night. The vestry were also responsible for seeing that the stocks were kept in good repair. Another danger was the plague, which killed twenty-five parishioners in 1665.
Stoke Newington manor had been the property of the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's Cathedral until the Civil War, when it was taken over by the Parliamentary Commissioners, and the St Mary's rectorship had been in the gift of the St Paul's prebendary for Stoke Newington. In 1649 the commissioners sold the manor to the lessee, Colonel Alexander Popham, who had already appointed his own rector, the Reverend Thomas Manton, five years earlier. Popham was a Parliamentary soldier, sympathetic to non-conformist Protestants, and together with his fellow Roundhead and Stoke Newington resident Charles Fleetwood encouraged non-conformists to come to Stoke Newington to teach and to hold meetings, assuring them of protection. Manton was a well-known Presbyterian writer, and his replacement, elected by the vestry of St Mary's in 1657, was another Presbyterian, Daniel Bull. This suggests that despite the devotion to the Anglican church of both his son Dr Daniel and his grandson Colonel Daniel, Daniel Coxe of Stoke Newington - who with his family remained loyal to St Mary's for over thirty years - had non-conformist leanings himself, and may even have chosen Stoke Newington for that reason. Even before Popham and Fleetwood took up residence, the village, with its reputation for being strongly Parliamentarian, had begun to attract non-conformist Protestants, and several of Daniel Coxe's descendants and their relatives in Stoke Newington and nearby Newington Green were prominent figures at the height of the area's Dissenting reputation in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The Reverend Daniel Bull was ejected from the rectorship at the Restoration in 1660, and the manor reverted to St Paul's. The Parliamentary tradition lingered : Charles II, travelling through Stoke Newington in 1675, was shot at from a house in the London Road. Colonel Popham continued at the manor, and obtained a new lease for three lives from St Paul's ; Daniel Bull also stayed in Stoke Newington and preached in private houses to a Presbyterian community based in Church Street. In 1686 several local non-conformists, by now terming themselves Protestant Dissenters, were indicted for attending unlawful conventicles. Another non-conformist minister, Charles Morton, opened an academy at Newington Green in the 168os, including among its attractions for students a bowling green.
Daniel Coxe, gentleman of Stoke Newington, died in 1686 and was buried at St Mary's Church on 3 September. In his will, written a month earlier and proved the following July, he left most of his estate to his wife and executrix Susanna. He mentioned the outstanding sum of £600 owed him by his cousin Dr Thomas Coxe and Dr Coxe's son Thomas, and gave a quarter of whatever might eventually be recovered of the debt, together with a further £600, to his unmarried daughter Mary, on condition that she pay an equivalent part of the costs of litigation and recovery. His sons Richard, Nathaniel and Thomas had already been provided for in their marriage settlements, and his son Daniel's name appeared only as one of the subscribing witnesses, together with three of his daughters and two of his sons-in-law. Another son-in-law, Dr Thomas Trapham, was forgiven all sums "due to me upon accompt as stated in my bookes" if he paid £100 to Susanna Coxe within a year.
Susanna did not stay in Stoke Newington. She may have sold Daniel's estate, or she may have lived there for a few years until Mary married. Several of her married children and grandchildren settled either in Stoke Newington or Newington Green, and perhaps she handed the house over to one of her children. In her will she left the bulk of her estate, real and personal, to her daughter and executrix Lydia, but does not specify any property. On the date it was written, 6 April 1705, she was living in the City of London, probably with her daughter Rebecca Norton and her family in Cateaton Street. She died a month later and was buried on 10 May at St Mary's, with her husband Daniel, her son William, and perhaps a few more of her children.
The life of her eldest son, Dr Daniel Coxe, is described in the next chapter, and those of his descendants later in the book.
Richard Coxe, Daniel and Susanna's second child, was probably born in Westminster about 1642, and was still alive, and married, in 1686 when his father died ; he and his brothers Nathaniel and Thomas, who had already received their portions in the form of marriage settlements, were given ten shillings each "in full recompence and barr" of any claim they might later make to a share of Daniel Coxe's estate. Of these two younger brothers, Nathaniel, probably the seventh child, was born in Stoke Newington about 1652 and died around the turn of the eighteenth century, leaving a widow (to whom Susanna gave ten pounds for mourning in her will) but probably no children ; Thomas, the twelfth child, baptised at St Mary's on 2 December 1662, died around the same time as Nathaniel, leaving at least three children. Susanna gave his widow the same sum for mourning, and £20 to "each and every" of his children, to be paid them at the age of twenty-one.
Three of the Coxe children are known to have died young, unmarried : Samuel, the eighth child, was born in Stoke Newington on 10 March 1653/4, and died in October 1679 ; William, the ninth, born about 1657, was buried at St Mary's before 1679 ; and Priscilla, the thirteenth child, was born about 1664 and died in November 1673. The youngest of all, John, was christened at St Mary's on 25 February 1667/8, but no other record or mention of him has been found.
Hannah Coxe, Daniel and Susanna's eleventh child and sixth daughter, was christened at St Mary's church on 5 July 1661. As with John, nothing more is known of her, but one detail of her father's will raises the possibility that she may have married. Seven witnesses signed the will, six of them either Daniel's children or his sons-in-law. The seventh, Ann Matthew, might have been a servant, or a friend ; but it is conceivable that this was Hannah's married name, although no marriage has been traced.
Mary Coxe, the third child and oldest daughter, was the last to marry. She was born about 1644, before the family moved to Stoke Newington, and christened together with five of her younger siblings at St Mary's, aged about ten. She lived with her parents at Stoke Newington until her father's death, and may then have moved in with her brother Daniel and his family in Aldersgate Street. Her husband, Michael Watts, was a London merchant, a friend of John Coldham, Dr Daniel Coxe's father-in-law, and at the time of their marriage was a member of a London consortium of businessmen, the West Jersey Society, who had just bought most of Dr Coxe's property in West Jersey. It is likely that she met Michael Watts through his association with her brother's family, and quite possible they had known each other for a long time. Michael, the son of Hugh and Grace Watts of Stalbridge in Dorset, was a widower with five grown-up children : sons Richard and Samuel, and daughters Mary, married to Edmund Callamy, Elizabeth, married to Thomas Shepherd, and a third daughter married to John Morton. Mary Coxe married Michael Watts in the new church of St Benet at Paul's Wharf, not far from St Paul's Cathedral, on 6 June 1692 : she was in her late forties, her husband probably at least ten years older. After their marriage they lived in the Old Jewry area of the City of London, where Michael had conducted business for many years. In 1696 Michael was appointed a trustee of the money and property bequeathed to Dr Coxe's children in John Coldham's will, where he was described as "of London merchant", and a year later Mary and Michael were witnesses to the will of Rebecca Coldham, John's wife and Dr Coxe's mother-in-law. Susanna Coxe also called on her son-in-law, in her will written in 1705, to assist his sister-in-law Lydia with its administration. In March of the following year he made his own will, leaving everything to Mary including Pellham Farm, a family property at Buckhorn Weston, near Stalbridge. He died in the winter of 1707/8 and was buried at St Olave's Church in the Old Jewry, near the Bank of England. Mary moved to Newington Green shortly after Michael's death and made her will there in March 1708, leaving the Watts farm in Dorset and the rest of her estate to her sister Lydia, whom she named sole executrix.
Mary Watts survived her husband by more than thirty years. From Newington Green she went to Islington, where she died in 1739, and was buried at St Olave's in the City, with Michael.
Her sister Susan, born in 1646, was christened at St Mary's, Stoke Newington on the same day in 1655, when her age was recorded as nine years. She was the first of Daniel and Susanna Coxe's daughters to marry. Her husband, Dr Thomas Trapham, was the son of Thomas Trapham and Elizabeth Carpenter, who had been married in Radley, near Abingdon, Oxfordshire (then in Berkshire), in 1639. The older Thomas Trapham had been Oliver Cromwell's surgeon and, in 1651, a Commissioner of Assessment for the county of Berkshire, raising money for the Parliamentary Army Committee. As a surgeon, he had assisted Dr Thomas Wharton with his research into the glandular system, which was published as Adenographia in 1656. His son Thomas was born in London and studied for his medical degree at Caen University in northern France, graduating in October 1664. He married Susan Coxe on 21 January 1666/7, and they had at least two children : Daniel, christened at St Mary's, Stoke Newington in January 1671/2, and Elizabeth, who was a witness to her aunt Mary Watts's will in 1708. In the 1670s the Traphams went to Jamaica, and Thomas wrote A Discourse on the State of Health in the Island of Jamaica, which was published in 1679. They were living in Stoke Newington again in the 1680s, when Thomas ran up a bill with his father-in-law Daniel Coxe, but after that no more is known of them. Their daughter Elizabeth Trapham was still alive in the 1720s, when she was mentioned briefly in the household book of her cousin Anne Harris, one of Dr Daniel Coxe's daughters.
Elizabeth Coxe, Daniel and Susanna's fifth child and third daughter, was born in 1647 or 1648 and christened at St Mary's with the others on 28 March 1655, aged seven years. She married, about 1672, Robert Boulter, Citizen and Stationer of London and a widower, whose family came from Oxfordshire and who had been born in Abingdon. His father John Boulter had married the only sister of Sir John Cutler of the Grocers' Company, but both parents died young, leaving three sons and three daughters. Robert wrote of his older brother Edmund, who was his father's executor and had taken on responsibility for his brothers and sisters, that he "hath rather been as an indulgent Father unto mee".
Between 1673 and 1683 Elizabeth and Robert Boulter lived in Cornhill in the City of London and had seven children, all of them christened in the parish church, St Michael. Two of their children died in infancy : Robert, born in 1674, and Elizabeth, born in 1680. The others were John (1673), Daniel (1677), Edmund (1678), a second Robert (born in 1681, who also probably died young) and Susanna (1682). Early in 1684 Robert Boulter died, leaving a family of young children, as his own parents had done. In his will, written in August 1678, he asked to be buried at St Mary's in Stoke Newington "as near the Corps of William Cox deceased my now wifes late Brother as Conveniently may bee". His estate was divided into three parts, according to City of London custom : one third to his wife, another to his children, and the third to be disposed of as he pleased. His children's share, until they were of age, was placed in trust with the City of London Chamber, and in case neither they or any of his nephews or nieces survived to inherit, he made four conditional bequests : to Christ's Hospital in London, to the hospital in Abingdon, a joint bequest to Pembroke College, Oxford and the free school in Abingdon, and to the Company of Stationers of London, of which he was a member, to be used to subsidise "six industrious persons of that Company for three yeares gratis". The third part of his estate he left mostly to his children, with a handful of small legacies, including £50 "for the encouragement of good preaching" at St Helen's Church in Abingdon, where his father was buried.
His uncle, Sir John Cutler, died in 1693, leaving over £17,000 in cash legacies (perhaps mindful of his reputation for miserliness) but the rest of his estate and property to his nephew Edmund Boulter, Robert's older brother. This did not include the manor of Harewood, near Leeds in Yorkshire, which Cutler had bought from the Wentworth family and leased to his daughter Elizabeth Robarts, Countess of Radnor, with the proviso that if she died childless the manor would pass to his great-nephew John Boulter, Robert and Elizabeth's oldest son. John duly inherited Harewood, with its ruined eleventh century castle, when the countess died in 1696.
Edmund Boulter, like Cutler, was a member of the Grocers' Company, and had a wholesale grocery business in London in partnership with William Nutt. He lent money to help finance the construction of the new St Paul's Cathedral, and was a man of considerable property besides his inheritance from his uncle. In his will, dated 23 March 1707/8, estates in Hampshire went to his nephew John Fryer, later Sir John, a pewterer and an Alderman of London ; others in Kent, Essex and Somerset to his brother William Boulter, to whom he also left his home in the parish of St Andrew Undershaft in the City of London. (There was no love lost between William Boulter and John Fryer : Boulter left Fryer a halter in his will, to be presented to him by the common hangman). To his nephew Daniel, Elizabeth and Robert's second son, Edmund Boulter gave property in Barlings, Stainton by Langworth and elsewhere in Lincolnshire ; and to Daniel's younger brother Edmund, the manor of Little Haseley, a few miles south-east of Oxford, and other family property in Oxfordshire.
Elizabeth Coxe's surviving children all left London : her three sons went to live on the estates they had inherited, John to Yorkshire, Daniel to Lincolnshire and Edmund to Oxfordshire. Their sister Susanna married a doctor, John Thomlinson, on 1 December 1700 at St James's Church, Duke's Place in Aldgate, London, and moved to Dalston, near Carlisle, where she had two daughters, Mary (1705) and Elizabeth (1714), and a son, Robert (1707), also a doctor. Of Elizabeth herself, the last documented references are her signature as a witness to her father Daniel's will in 1686 and the £20 given to her for mourning by her mother Susanna in 1705.
When Edmund Boulter, grandson of Daniel and Susanna Coxe, drew up his will in March 1736 he had become "Edmund Boulter of Hasely Court in the County of Oxford and Harwood in the County of York Esqr.". At his brother John's death he had inherited Harewood, which was, he wrote, "a Town and fine Estate I have always duely Valued and Loved", and he seems to have divided his time between the two counties. Daniel was still living in Lincolnshire, and his sister Susanna Thomlinson and her children were also mentioned in his will. Edmund instructed that he be buried with his brother in the chancel at Harewood parish church, with local farmers carrying his coffin and an inscription placed over the vault to both brothers, naming their various estates in Yorkshire. Of his wife there was no mention, and it must be assumed he was a widower ; his only child, Elizabeth, and her male heirs, if any, were to receive most of his estate, and she was named joint executor with Charles Butler, Earl of Arran - a friend he had met through his brother Daniel Boulter.
His longest-lasting legacy was to the Mayor and Aldermen of Oxford, in the form of annuities from various properties which were to pay for a number of charitable projects. He described his plans in detail :