Born in Yorkshire, circa 1753—Died in the
Cooper was involved with two companions
in a highway robbery in Wiltshire and theft of
For this, all three were sentenced to death on 8 March
1783 at New Sarum (Salisbury), reprieved to seven years
transportation to America on 21 April. Sent to a Thames
hulk, Henley and one of his companions were ordered to
the Mercury transport for America on 26 March 1784.
After the ship had been brought into
Torbay by mutinous convicts, Henley was one of the 66
captured by Helena and held overnight on 13 April in a
small boat moored under the stern of Helena (his
companion in crime was not among the escapers). Next day
they were taken by boat to Topsham and committed to gaol
in Exeter on the 16th.
Henley was among the large number of
mutineers who were not tried but remanded to their
former orders. At the end of June 1784 he was sent to
the Dunkirk hulk, aged 30, where (wrote the
superintendent) he “behaves remarkably well”. On 11
March he was discharged to Friendship where Ralph Clark
listed him as discharged to Friendship where Ralph Clark
listed him as aged 33, a weaver born in Yorkshire.
At Port Jackson on 21 October 1788,
Henley was sent with a party of marines to gather wild
vegetables and sweet tea at Botany Bay, and was caught
by Aborigines when he
strayed away from the guard of marines.
“Cupper Handley… was Barberasley Killed by the natives
at Botany Bay where they ware a going for greens.” wrote
Easty. His reputation for good behavior had continued in
the colony. “He had been looked upon as a good man,”
wrote Collins, “no complaint having been made of him
since his landing…
To The Memory of
Far away from the highway days;
Cooper found himself in a totally new
One could say, “A Splendid Country”
Died 0n 21 October 1788.
Founders of Australia.
Mortimer # 6409.