The Ashley Family The Cooper Family Anthony Ashley-Cooper and Miss Massie Penelope Cooper-Massie and Peter Massie Thomas Massie and Mary Walker Peter Massie and Ann Sylvanus Massie and Hannah Ragland Thomas Massie and Frances Hudson Mary Massie and William R. Freeman James Howell Freeman and Lucy Jane Hazelrigg Scott Cyrus Freeman and Malinda Margaret Sears Lucy Jane Freeman and James Martin Lawson Donald VanHoosier Lawson and Iva Melvina Freeman Stephen Martin Lawson
The Ashleys came originally from Wiltshire, where they possessed the manor of Ashley, at a very early period. Benedict Ashley, or Ashley, living in the reigns of Henry II, and Edward I was the great-great grandfather of:
Anthony ASHLEY-COOPER, First Earl of Shaftesbury, son and heir of Sir John COOPER and Anne ASHLEY, born Jul. 22, 1621, at Winbourne St. Giles, Dorsetshire, inherited a very large estate from his maternal grandfather, yet had the education of a constitutional lawyer at Gray's Inn, from whence he was called from speculation to action, in the parliament of 1640, for Tewkesbury, at the early age of nineteen years. On the restoration he was named a commissioner for the trial of the regicides, and was created Baron Ashley, of Winbourned St. Giles, 1661. In 1670 he became a member of the administration called "The Cabal", in which he was a lored of the treasury and chancellor of the exchequer; and on the resignation of the Lord Keeper Bridgeman, Nov. 1672, he was constituted lord high chancellor of England, having been created, April preceding, Baron Cooper, or Pawlett, and Earl of Shaftsbury. He married first, Margaret, dau. of Thomas Lord Coventry; secondly, Frances, dau. of David Cecil, third Earl of Exeton; thirdly, August 20, 1655, at St. Paul's covent Garden, Margaret, dau. William (Spencer) 2nd Baron Spencer of Wormleighton by Penelope, 1st. dau. Henry (Wristhesley 3rd. Earl of Southampton, who delivered him two daughters. His son and heir was by the second lady. The date of death of Margaret is not known. She was living when he was cr. 20 April 1661, Baron Ashley of Wilbourne St. Giles. in 1662 Lord Ashley and others, being apprised of the excellent soil of this country, united and formed a project for planting a colony on it. Charles II granted them all the lands from Lucke Island (southern Virginia) to the river Saint Matthias (Florida) and extending so west to the Pacific Ocean, which embraced almost the entire "Southern States" of today. Of this immense region the king constituted them absolute lords and proprietors. Anthony died Jan. 21, 1683, at Amsterdam, Holland.
Miss Massie - Evidence suggests that Anthony ASHLEY-COOPER was the father of illegitimate twin daughters by a daughter of Andrew MASSIE of Edinburgh, Scotland. The mother removed to London with her brother William, who entered the service of Anthony ASHLEY-COOPER around 1646.