My interest in this family starts with William Couper's daughter Williamina's marriage in Hong Kong  to my gg grandfather Henry Mariano de Castilla, a Master Mariner on steamers plying the Pearl River between Hong Kong and Canton.

Williamina Couper

Williamina's father William Couper (often referred to as Mr Cowper snr in the newspapers of the time) was kidnapped by Chinese during the Second Opium War and was never recovered. I recall being told as a child by my father that "my great grandfather's head was served to the family on a covered dish during a Chinese uprising". It was never clear just when this happened or which great grandfather it was. I am now sure that the story has its origins with my ggg grandfather William Couper's kidnapping. Newspaper accounts of the time reported that he was never found, so I do not know if there is any truth to the family story.