This information is taken from pages 2-3 of the book Some Copeland and Little Families written by A. Lucille Harney and Fairline Bigley. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 98-74171.
"The Copeland history goes back in the medieval ages. John Copeland was spoken of in 1248. He was one of twelve knights chosen to meet the Scotch Commisssioners to settle certain border disputes at that time. Later, Sir David Copeland is mentioned. Then in 1346, the hero of the battle of Neville's Cross, Sir John Copeland is exploited as having been not only the hero of this famous batttle, but as the true founder of the Copeland family. Copeland castle stands on the North brink of the Glen and seems to have been a very famous old one. From all historical researches, it has been duduced that the name Copeland was derived from this castle. At the time Baliol ceded Galloway to the English King, a very great number of Northumbrians must have moved there to settle the new territory. Castles Douglas and Dumbries were both in ancient Galloway. There were Copelands in Dumfries in 1500. It is very probable that the Copelands, with others, settled there at a very early period. The Copelands who live there now claim Sir John as their ancestor and assume him to be descended from the family mentioned as of 1248.
The capture of King David of Scotland introduces Sir John as our standard bearer, the story being authentic according to historical data. At the battle of Neville's Cross, Oct. 17, 1846 A.D., King David II of Scotland was disarmed and taken prisoner by Sir John Copeland, a gentleman of Northumberland, who was Governor of Roxbury Castle, although not without having knocked out two of Copeland's teeth with his gauntlet in the struggle to free himself. Copeland conveyed the wounded monarch off the field and refusing to deliver the prisoner up to the Queen, who had remained at Newcastle during the battle, she sent work to the King, protesting the action of Copeland in refusing her request.
The King, Edward III of England, during the battle of Neville's Cross, was besieging Calais, France. John of Vienna was Governor of Calais and commmander of the French, who were at that time allies of the Scotch. After a siege of eleven months, John of Vienna was forced to capitulate to King Edward III. When the king received the queen's message, he straightway summoned Copeland, who upon arrival before the king, excused himself so handsomely, saying that he had sworn allegiance to the king only, he owed his first fidelity to his sovereign in presenting the prisoner to him alone, that the king acknowledging his loyalty, bestowed upon him a reward of five hundred pounds a year in lands near Woolen, which bear the name Copeland. The king also made him a Knight Banneret. He ordered Copeland to deliver the prisoner to the queen, who had the Royal Captor placed in the Tower. King David II, who Sir John Copeland captured at the battle of Neville's Cross was the only son and successor of the celebrated Robert Bruce of Scotland. (This story has been abridged, but it can be obtained through libraries where it can be read in its entirety.)"