Author: Barbara C. Batson


Joseph Copeland (d. after April 22, 1691)

Joseph Copeland was the first documented practicing pewterer in Virginia. Born in England, in 1666 he was apprenticed to a pewterer. By 1675 he had settled in Isle of Wight County, where he practiced his trade. During excavations at Jamestown in the mid-1930s, archaeologists recovered a spoon bowl and a trifid spoon handle with Copeland’s touchmark, reading “Ioseph Copeland / 1675 / Chuckatuck.” Similar examples found in the vicinity are often designated Copeland or Chuckatuck spoons. In 1688 Copeland became the caretaker of the “utensills & Ornaments” of the House of Burgesses. He last appeared in extant public records on April 22, 1691, when he submitted a petition seeking payment for his custodial work.