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Copyright RomanyGenes 2007-2020 Design and Web Layout S.J.Day All Rights Reserved

Windsor Coopers 3


1890 1st May Fort Wayne Indiana


At Morrisville New Jersey on the 24th NOAH PALMER aged 70 yrs a member of a band of Gypsies shot and killed his wife and then fatally shot himself.


Oliver’s second wife being Lavinia Lee. But I digress!! Back to the chapter regarding Selina!


"Quote"ROMANI GLEANINGS 1917 or 1924?


Though there is more Cooper Romani than any other in our present list pride of place for quality must be given to the twenty-five or so words which the honorary Secretary noted from a very aged Selina Hughes nee Lee, who was camping with her nephew Bob hughes at Totton,some four miles from Southampton in the direction of Lyndhurst. Born near Salisbury about eighty-seven years ago, Selina had traversed South Wilts and Hants again and again; with her parents Dick Lee and Fiance Scamp .the latter a near kinswoman of the famous Josiah Scamp buried at Odstock; with her first husband, a Cooper related, though not very closely to Joshua the "Forest King". with her second husband ,, Christopher Hughes ,whom she married late in life ;and latterly with nephews of Christopher -- her own children ,all Coopers save one having without exception either gone to America or died early. She was, however almost as well acquainted with the South-West of England, of which her parents and her Cooper husband had been fond; whilst both early and late in her life she had often spent two or three months in Sussex, Kent and Surrey. Considering her age her memory and hearing were remarkably.but she was half crippled with rheumatism, and in some danger of losing her sight and because of these physical infirmities her nephews wished her to settle. Indeed they had gone so far as to buy her a house at Salisbury ; a house with a big yard attached where they proposed to stay in the winter and where there would be travellers all year round. Yet even this well-gilded pill Selina refused to swallow, so the house had been sold again and she was still on the roads.""The article also mentions a middled age Joe Lee and a elderly half blood Lee Sam Rose who was married to a daughter of blind Solomon Stanley of Sholing Common. Joe Lee called himself a Portsmouth Lee adding however that his old people  used to be in the New Forest a great deal, he himself liked to winter in Portsmouth and journey Londonwards and back through Sussex in the spring and early summer, and also visit the Isel of Wight in the for a few weeks during the height of the season there, and then go up to the hopfields round Alton. Some say he is related to Hezekiah's lot , meaning the offspring of Wester Lee's cousin Hezekiah, by a Emily lee who certainly did not belong to the same Kentish-Metropolitan family as her husband, and who has been recorded as a Sussex Lee. Sam Rose whoever his Lee mother may have been, was also well acquainted with Portsmouth and with North Hants,West Sussex and Surrey,as well as the New Forest"


When looking at the ships list and seeing the  Scamps it rang a bell with an article I had read many years ago concerning the Gypsies that were around the Hampshire Dorset area and had given examples of the Romany Language to a member of the Gypsy Lore Society, at the time I did not see the significance of the names but as time goes on more and more are beginning to fit into the large jig-saw of Romany families that married into one another ! one such person caught my eye as I have stated before I have always felt that Stumpy Jack (John)Cooper came from the Windsor Cooper line ,and on seeing the name Selina Hughes I at once took notes as the name has come down through the family and is still in use to-day and also because many of the Cooper and Hughes family in Dorset and bordering Counties use both names as do some of the Well’s family to explain why I have looked at the info again by chance I remembered reading about Matty Cooper saying how he had rode 8 miles to be at the bedside of his nephew Job Cooper and his wife Selina so I immediately thought of this story below  :-


In Charles Lelands book ( Matty Cooper  was speaking of his nephew Job who died of the small pox and describes how Matty rode the 8 miles on horse from Hampton Court to be at Job's side, Mattys sisters also were at his bedside when he died .Selena ,Job's wife and their children remained outside as they had not had the small pox. It is possible Selina later married a south country Hughes.


Could this be is the "aged Selina Hughes"? Who is in the notes from Romani Gleanings (JGLS) and if I am correct she wed Christopher Hughes, but all her children were Coopers as she had married Christopher late in her life !!So as she was also in Dorset and Hants another good inkling for relationship to Stumpy!. It also says all but 1 of her children had either died or emigrated to America along with Wells and Buckland and Boswell families amongst others including  the Posh-Ratt Palmer family  who are also related by marriage to the same Cooper family , in fact it has been suggested but not proved that Stumpy could be the son of Oliver Cooper who married first  Genty Palmer sister to Noah Palmer that married Britannia Cooper daughter of Nelson Cooper (brother to Matty) and Isabella Smith .The Palmers are in several census records in America , I have  come across Noah and Britannia in various Newsaper articles concerning the fatal shooting of Britannia by Noah !


I think this  shows just how far a field and connected many of the New Forest families are!


Among others he met while in the Portsmouth road area in Hants were Bowers, Johnsons and some Bakers who were really Scamps crossed with Lees ,and some Roses who also used the name Skerry. Also mentioned are James and Clevansi Lee and other various Smith and Lee's and Frankhams all related by mariage.

 Born between 1850 and 1860 ,Rosa lee was by her own account, the daughter of Cinderella Lee and a gorgio named Broadway.the later and Harriet Well's father,who was also a gorgio called Broadway, would be about the same age presumably, and must one would think , have been closely akin. They might even be identical, for Harriet, who insisted that her father was born and bred in Southampton ,also stated that he travelled for a short time in the South and South-west of England with a Gypsy wife "other" than her mother .Whatever the truth about this, it is almost certain that Cinderella had a second, probably earlier husband, since on one occasion at least Rosa declared that her mother married a Boswell whose people nearly all went to America; meaning, perhaps, a kinsman of Seth and the other North Devon and Somerset Boswells who emigrated almost to a man about 1860 or 1865. A sister or maybe half -sister  of Rosa's also jal'd the pani, after marrying a rai'; whilst another, whose husband was a Lee died at Bridgwater in 1898.

Unfortunately  it does not enable us to fix on the Lee family  to which Rosa and her mother belonged. kinship with Selina Hughes, nee Lee, and with Groome's pirani ,Briteni Hughes, also a Lee by birth , seems to be indicated.

*However I have since found that Noah Palmer actually shot Britannia while in America as the report from the Newspaper shows and is just another instance of how the JGLS sometimes got things quite wrong or rather believed everything they were told by some Romanies !! who probably enjoyed spinning them a yarn!!!