Cooper Baronets, of Shenstone Court - 2nd Baronet

2nd Baronet

Sir Richard Ashmole Cooper 2nd baronet (11 August 1874 – 5 March 1946) was chairman of the family firm "Cooper McDougall & Robertson" from 1913 to 1946. He was a Unionist MP, representing the constituency of Walsall from 1910 until 1922. In 1917 together with Lord Ampthill and Sir Henry Page Croft he founded the very right wing National Party.

In 1925 Cooper decided to merge the business with that of Isaac McDougall, Chairman of McDougall and Robertson Ltd. The new company Cooper, Mcdougall and Robertson became a household name in Britain due to its merchandise which included many everyday products products from domestic aerosole insecticides to nonprescription medications for both animals and humans.

In 1940 the company joined the war effort and developed the Anti-Louse Powder known as AL63. This was an important if largely unlauded medical breakthrough, during World War I lice had contributed heavily to the death count. The powder - a dust - not only killed lice but also acted as a preventative. The active ingredient DDT coupled with the new synthetic insecticide were gradually to replace the original Cooper's sheep dip which by now was used around the globe and assisted in the improvement to the economy of sheep farming from Australia to Argentina. The last powdered Cooper's sheep dip was produced in the mid 1950s.

Sir Richard Ashmole Cooper had married Alice Elizabeth Priestland in 1900 and the couple had purchased the Billington Manor estate in Bedfordshire. A keen horsemen at Billington Cooper had laid out a point-to-point course, and the Billington Races became a nationally known racing fixture. Cooper's eldest son William, regularly raced there against well known and aristocratic names of the day such The Prince of Wales and Lord Rosebery. The race course was ploughed up on the outbreak of war and never re-established.

  • Alice died on 12 January 1963.
  • Dick served in the Staffordshire Imperial Yeomanry.
  • He was educated at Clifton College.

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