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Piper Family

Devon & Cornwall Notes and Queries vol. IX, (January 1916 to January 1917), p. 31.


H. Tapley-Soper

Prepared by Michael Steer

Sir Hugh Piper of Tresmarrow, Launceston, came from a merchant family prominent in the municipal life of Launceston since the early 16th century. He and his father were both in arms for the King in the Civil War. He served under Sir Bevil Granville and was three times wounded. In 1650 he compounded under the Exeter articles at £71 5s. 6d. He was denounced as one of the chief solicitors for royalist designs in Cornwall in 1651. After the Restoration Piper was given a commission in the regiment of Lord Bath, Granville’s son, at Plymouth, and in 1672 became deputy governor of the citadel with a pension of £100 a year. In May 1676 he was seriously wounded by a subaltern who accused him of sharp practice over the sale of a horse. He was knighted during the King’s visit to Plymouth in 1677. His only surviving son, Philip, having died in 1678, he succeeded him as constable of Launceston castle, where he was the senior alderman. He represented the borough in the second and third Exclusion Parliaments and James II’s Parliament as a court supporter. He was appointed to no committees and made no recorded speeches. Google has sponsored the digitisation of books from several libraries. This extract, from a copy of a rare and much sought-after journal can be downloaded from the Internet Archive. These books, on which copyright has expired, are available for free educational and research use, both as individual books and as full collections to aid researchers.

Note 29. Piper Family. -  I give a transcript of a 17th century document which recently came under my notice, as it may interest some members of the Piper Family. Colonel Sir Hugh Piper was, I believe, Governor of Exeter, Plympton, and Launceston Castles. 

"These are to certifie all whome it may concerne that the bearer heer of Christopher Mischell was a Souldier in the Right Honoble- the Earle of Bathe[s] company under my command, and was pent att Tangeire and there received a wounde in his thigh in his Majts service which hath much disabled him of getting his Livelihood by his worke. 

Given under my hand and seale att his Majts Royall Cittadle of Plymouth this 30th day of June Anno Domini 1673." 

[Signed] Hugh Piper.                     (Seal)

Burke gives argent a chev. betwn. three magpies for Piper. The impression of the seal on this document does not indicate the tinctures. The three birds indicated have long beaks and more nearly resemble snipe or shovellers than magpies. 

H. Tapley-Soper.