James Joseph Magennis VC Frances Elizabeth Clarke Stewart Parker Samuel Beckett Sam Hanna Bell William Carleton John Hewitt Rosamond Praegar Bernard (Barney) Hughes

William Coppin (1805 - 1895):
Shipbuilder and surveyor


William Coppin was born in Kinsale, County Cork. As a boy he saved six customs men from drowning when their boat overturned on the river Shannon. He went to St John, New Brunswick and in 1825, designed a boat which could run on the frozen rivers. In 1829 he produced his first ship. While in the West Indies studying navigation he met merchants from Londonderry who ordered a boat, the `Edward Reid', which arrived in Derry in 1831 after only a nineteen day voyage. William Coppin came to live in Derry and built many boats and captained the `Robert Napier' which he had built and which ran between Derry and Liverpool. In 1839 he launched his first ship `City of Derry'. Londonderry Corporation presented Captain Coppin with an inscribed silver service. In 1841 his ship `Great Northern' was driven by an Archimedean screw propeller and in 1843 it was berthed at the East India Inner Dock and an article and drawings appeared in the Illustrated London News. William Coppin next turned to salvage work and was elected a town councillor. In the 1880s he designed and built a triple-hulled iron ship, the `Tripod Express' which sailed the Atlantic. He also invented the artificial light fish-catching apparatus in 1886. In the mid-nineteenth century he employed five hundred men.


Born: 1805
Died: 17 April 1895
Kate Newmann