In a very remote period the Cope family possessed considerable estates in Northamptonshire, whence the descendants of John Cope, the first on record, extended themselves into Oxfordshire, Hampshire, Staffordshire, Gloucestershire and Ireland. This John Cope was a very important person in the reigns of Richard II and Henry IV. In the latter reign he represented the County of Northampton and was twice High Sheriff.
John Cope died in 1415 and from him is linearly descended Sir Anthony Cope, Knight, Vice Chamberlain to Catherine Parr. He was one of the most learned men in he era in which he lived. He was knighted by Edward VI and served the office of Sheriff for Oxfordshire and Berkshire the next year. He married Jane, daughter of Matthew Crewe (sic) of Pynne in Devon and had a daughter, Anne, who married Kinelm Digby Esq., of Drystoke, Rutland and an only son, his successor in 1551, Edward Cope Esq., of Hanwell, whose only son was Sir Anthony Cope of Hanwell.
Sir Anthony Cope of Hanwell was knighted by Queen Elizabeth and created a baronet on 29th June 1611. Sir Anthony was High Sheriff of the County of Oxford in 1581 and 1590 and represented Banbury in seven parliaments during Queen Elizabeth¹s reign, and in the County of Oxford in that of her successor. He married Francis, daughter of Rowland Lytton of Knebworth.