Canon William Henry Cooper c1830 - 1909

Although we know that he founded St. Luke's Hospital and the College of St. Barnabas little is known of Canon Cooper. 

We do know that his family came from Tipperary in Ireland and he must have been born around 1830, for the first recorded date is 1855 when he was commissioned as a married Ensign into the Cheshire Militia. In 1860 his Regiment disbanded, and at this point he decided to give up the army and apply for ordination in the Church of Ireland. He was made Deacon at the end of that year and priested in 1861. For the next four years he served as a parish priest in the Diocese of Waterford.

In 1864 he joined the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG), and served the next 25 years, with tremendous energy, in remote regions of Australia, New Zealand, and Canada (where he was made Canon of Saskatchewan). But in 1889, their health now damaged by the rigours of a lifestyle harsh even by the robust standards of the time, the Coopers were forced to return to England, where soon afterwards Mrs Cooper died.

Three years later, Cooper married again and with his second wife set up St. Luke's in 1892. At the end of 1895 he and his wife resigned from St. Luke's and for the next five years devoted themselves to setting up a home for destitute, incurable and convalescent clergy. In 1901 he again joined SPG and travelled to Australia where he served until 1904.

He returned to Somerset, where he was appointed as Chaplain to the Lansdowne Hospital in Bath. In 1906 he retired to Worthing and in the spring of 1909 he fell seriously ill and at his own request taken to St. Luke's where he died on 13th April. The funeral took place in St. Mary Magdalene, Munster Square and his remains cremated at Golder's Green

  • C1830 born Tipperary,Ireland

  •  1855-1857 Ensign Cheshire Regiment

  • 1857-1860 Lieutenant Staffordshire Regiment

  • 1860 -1861 Curate Doon, Diocese Cashel Limerick

  • 1862-1864 Tallow County Waterford

  • 1864-1866 SPG funded Diocese Melbourne Australia

  • 1866-1868 Diocesan itinerant Minister

    1868-1869 Missionary Bacchus Marsh

  • 1869-1873 SPG Mission Priest New Zealand

  • 1870 Founded New Zealand Church News

  • 1874-1877 Curate Akaroa

  • 1876 Advertised own Girls' School Akaora

  • 1877 Incumbent Cassilis Australia

  • 1878-1881 Incumbent Glen Innes Grafton Australia

  • 1881-1883 Chaplain to Bishop of Grafton

  • 1883 Travelled to Canada

  • 1883 SPG Manitoba and North West Province

  • 1883 Honorary Canon Saskatchewan

  • 1886 Honorary Secretary Church Emigration Society

  • 1886 Freemason Past Master and Grand Chaplain Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society

  • 1887-1889 SPG Missionary Kamloops BC

  •  1889 Deputation Lecturer SPG

  • 1892-1895 St. Luke's Hospital for the Clergy

  • 1895 -1900 Home of  St.Barnabas

  • 1901 Incumbent Temora Australia

  •  1904-1906 Chaplain Lansdowne Hospital Bath

  • 1906-1909 Retirement Worthing

  • 13th April 1909 died in St. Luke's