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HOPTON FAMILY HISTORY

GLOUCESTERSHIRE, ENGLAND

PART ONE

 

The Hopton Family by Patrick Hopton

 

Introduction

 

Hemmed in between the River Severn and the Cotswold Hills, the Vales of Gloucester and Berkeley form one long, narrow and fertile plain that stretches towards the South West the entire length of the County of Gloucestershire, from the boundary with Worcestershire almost to the suburbs of Bristol.  The two vales are separated by the small River Frome which cuts through from the East to join the Severn some ten miles below Gloucester.  Our interest is in the middle section of this plain - the fifteen miles or so between Gloucester and Berkeley, together with the adjacent valley of the River Frome.  It is in this area that the Hopton family of Gloucestershire lived and died for more than three hundred years, in the period from the mid sixteenth to the mid nineteenth centuries.  It is a small area - nowhere are any two points more than fifteen miles apart - but this is 'Hopton Country'

As early as 1553 there is mention of a Hopton here.  A title deed of that year leased land in King's Stanley, known as 'Pembrokes' and 'Lamb's Close', to William Hopton 'of Leonard Stanley' (and another).  A proven link between us and William has yet to be made but there are several indicators that there is one.  I shall come back to these later.  Let us start with what can be proved.

 

*                      *                      *

 


Part 1                            Our Known Ancestors

 

The Seventh Generation:  Daniel Hopton (born circa 1684)

 

Above the town of Newnham on Severn  there is an excellent vantage point which gives expansive views of ‘Hopton Country’ from across the river.  At the tip of the promontory formed by the sharp U bend of the River Severn is the little village of Arlingham.  The register of the parish church records the marriage there on 7th April 1708 of Daniel Hopton to Mary Daniel. Daniel Hopton is my Great, Great, Great, Great, Great Grandfather.  Daniel was aged about 24 at the time, but we have never been able to find reference to his birth or baptism.  Quite possibly he was born at Eastington,  where his family seem to have come from.  Mary was born in 1679 in Fretherne, a neighbouring village of Arlingham.  They had five children.  Daniel, born in 1712 (1712-10-12-mv) is the one from whom we are descended.

 

Daniel (senior) died in 1745 and is buried at Stonehouse.

We know this because of the work of one Thomas Bigland who (bless him!)  toured the churchyards of Gloucestershire in the eighteenth century recording inscriptions from the tombstones and monuments he found there.  Without his work the elements would have long since made them illegible to us. This is what he found in relation to Daniel and his family. He records the following entry.

(N.B.  The date of death of the first Daniel is not recorded, presumably because that part of the inscription was already illegible.  The date given above ties in with that of the entry in the Burial Register of Stonehouse Parish Church, and with Daniel’s will.)

 

Memorial said to be in Stonehouse church(yard)

 

In Memory of

DANIEL HOPTON, of the Parish,

(died August 1745; buried 20th August)

In 62 year of his age.

MARY, the wife of DANIEL HOPTON,

died July 12, 1751, aged 72  years.

Also of DANIEL, the son of

DANIEL HOPTON, who died

May 27, 1756 Aged 44.

Also of HESTER, his daughter

and Wife of Simon Vaisey

who died August 2, 1751

Aged 33 Years.

DANIEL the son of Samuel

and Sarah Hopton died

January 25, 1745 Aged 6 weeks.

RICHARD, son of William

and Anne Hopton died

April 20, 1743 Aged 10 weeks.

DANIEL, their son, died

July 2, 1744, Aged 6 weeks

and 4 days.

 

What a host of information we can obtain from this single entry in Bigland’s record.  From it we can assemble the first proven components of the Hopton Family Tree. After adding information extracted from various other sources (principally parish registers) to the names given above, we can deduce the following :-


 

 

 

 

Daniel Hopton

(Yeoman)

 

born c.1684

 

d. Aug. 1745

bur. Stonehkouse.

 

married

7 Apr 1708

at Arlingham, Glos.

 

Mary Daniel

 

bp Fretherne 1679

 

d.     Jul. 1751

 

bur. Stonehouse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I

I

Richard Hopton

 

bp.1709 Moreton Valence

 

d.1722

bur. Stonehouse

 

  I

  I

Daniel Hopton

 

bp.1712 Moreton Valence

 

died 1756 

Hucclecote

bur.  Stonehouse

 

m.   1739 at

Gloucester Cathedral

 

Hannah Mason

(Esther)

 

I

I

Samuel Hopton

 

bp.1715 Stonehouse

 

m.Sarah

I

I

William Hopton

 

bp.1716 Stonehouse

 

m.Anne

 

d.1763

bur.Stonehouse

 

I

I

Hester Hopton

 

b.1718

 

m.   Simon Veisey 1736

 

d.1751

bur. Stonehouse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Not mentioned on the family tomb was another son of Daniel and Mary, their eldest child Richard, who was baptised at Arlingham 27 Mar.1709, and buried at Eastington 1722.  Since it was the custom in those days to name the first born son either after his father (not so in this case) or his paternal grandfather, it is quite likely, therefore, that the father of our first Daniel was named Richard Hopton.  Unfortunately our most diligent searches have failed to unearth a record of Daniel’s birth or baptism in 1684, or indeed at any time.   Richard Hopton born in 1662 at Eastington is a strong contender as the father of Daniel, for reasons explained in Part 2 (The Unproven Section.).  For the time being, however,  we will concentrate on what we can prove.

 

When Daniel died, he left a will, dated 16 August 1745.

 

In the name of God amen.  I Daniel Hopton of the parish of Stonehouse in the county of Gloucester, being weak in body, but of sound mind and memory, calling to mind the uncertainty of this life, do make my last will and testament in the manner and form following

 

Imprimis I will that all my debts, both in law and equity, and funeral charges will be well and truly paid by my executrix herein after named.  I give and bequeath unto my loving wife Mary Hopton all my lands, tenements, money, goods, and chattels whatsoever to have and hold and enjoy for and during the form of her natural life and no longer.

After the death of my said wife, I give and bequeath to my eldest son Daniel Hopton all the estate which I have in the parish of Moreton Vallance in the county of Gloucester aforesaid, consisting of one messuage and all apportonances  and about fifteen acres of arable and pasture land, and have and to hold the said estate to the said Daniel my son and to the heirs of his body lawfully to be begotten and for the lack of any such issue, to William my third son and his heirs and for lack of such issue, to my daughter Hester Veisey and her heirs forever.  I give unto my said son Daniel the sum of ten pounds to be paid to him after the death of my executrix.

 

I give and bequeath to my second son Samuel Hopton two messuages or tenaments lying and being in Stonehouse in the said county, namely all that messuage or dwelling house wherein the Widow Carruthers now dwells (except the Bakehouse which will be otherwise disposed of) and also the messuage or tenament wherein William Dangerfield now dwells with the garden and apportonances thereof to have and to hold the said two messuages and tenaments to my said son Samuel and the heirs of his body lawfully to be begotten,. And for the lack of such issue, to my daughter Hester and her heirs forever.  I give my said son Samuel the sum of sixty pounds in money to be paid after the death of my executrix.

 

I give and bequeath unto William Hopton my youngest son all that messuage or tenament being in Stonehouse aforesaid and wherein Henry Board, Butcher now dwells, together with the Bakehouse adjoining to it and also that garden ground with the Great Pear Tree and other trees growing thereon, along in a straight line from the side wall of the said tenament to the little house at the bottom of the garden, to have and to hold the said messuage to my said son William and his heirs forever lawfully to be begotten and for lack of such issue to my daughter Hester and heirs of her body forever.  I give to my said son William the sum of one hundred pounds in money to be paid after the death of my executrix. 

 

I give and bequeath to my said daughter Hester Veisey, the wife of Simon Veisey, all that messuage or tenament with the apportonances thereof wherein John Drew, Chandler, now dwells standing and being in the parish of Stroud in the said county of Gloucester.  I give and bequeath to my said daughter a little piece of pasture ground called the Horn, lying and being in the parish of Randwick in the said county and have and to hold to my said daughter and the heirs of her body lawfully to be begotten, for lack of such issue, to my son Samuel and my son William to be equally divided betwixt them.  I give and bequeath to my said daughter the sum of thirty pounds in money to be paid after the death of my executrix or as she in her discretion shall see fit. 

 

Provided always and my will is that if any of my sons or daughter shall happen to die before the decease of my executrix and have issues behind them, that in such case the sum of money above mentioned  shall be given and apply for the life of the said issue and them only, but the said money shall be divided in equal parts between the survivors or remain with the survivor of them. 

 

All the rest and residue of my estate, goods, chattels, rights, debts and credits whatsoever I give and bequeath unto my loving wife Mary Hopton whom I do make and appoint full and whole executrix of this my last will and testament.  And I do revoke and make void all former and other wills made by me whenever made, declaring this to be my last will and testament. 

 

In witness thereof I, the said Daniel Hopton have here unto set my hand and seal the sixteenth day of August in the year of our Lord 1745.

 

Signed Daniel Hopton.

 

Signed, sealed, published and declared by the said Daniel Hopton the testator as and for his last will and testament in the presence of us who in his presence, at his request have here unto set our names a witnesses.

 

Signed   J Harris

Signed   G Middlemore

The mark of Hannah Dangerfield

 

21 day of September 1745

The above named Mary Hopton, relict and executrix was duly sworn in before me, J Harris, sol.

 

This will was proved 21 September 1745 before the Worshipful Sir Henry Ponnice, Knight, doctor of Laws etc.

 

Of particular interest is the land at Moreton Valence, which is of some significance in our search for Daniel’s antecedents.   More of this later.

 

Another legal document relating to Daniel has survived; an Indenture dated 13th March1739 for the purchase of land.  Among the clauses are the following:-

 

…...between Edmund Clutterbucke and Daniel Hopton of Stonehouse, Yeoman

In consideration of the sum of £126   now paid by the said Daniel Hopton

all those  three messuages tenements and dwelling houses with appurtenances

situate and being at Stonehouse together with the garden and orchard…......late in the possession of one William Parslow Hitch and Thomas Smith

and now in the severall possession of Mary Carruthers, Samuel Spagge and John Deystey together with all and singular outhouses, shops etc.

 

A further consideration payment of £34 brought the total sum paid to £160 overall. 

Daniel Hopton, Yeoman, was clearly a man of some wealth. 

 

*                                  *                                  *

 



The Sixth Generation:  Daniel Hopton (1712)

 

 

 

 

Daniel Hopton

(Yeoman)

 

born c.1684

 

d.     Aug. 1745

bur. Stonehkouse.

 

married

7 Apr 1708

at Arlingham, Glos.

 

Mary Daniel

 

bp Fretherne 1679

 

d.     Jul. 1751

 

bur. Stonehouse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I

I

Richard Hopton

 

bp.1709 Moreton Valence

 

d.1722

bur. Stonehouse

 

  I

  I

Daniel Hopton

 

bp.1712 Moreton Valence

 

died 1756 

Hucclecote

bur.  Stonehouse

 

m.   1739 at

Gloucester Cathedral

 

Hannah Mason

(Esther)

 

I

I

Samuel Hopton

 

bp.1715 Stonehouse

 

m.Sarah

I

I

William Hopton

 

bp.1716 Stonehouse

 

m.Anne

 

d.1763

bur.Stonehouse

 

I

I

Hester Hopton

 

b.1718

 

m.   Simon Veisey 1736

 

d.1751

bur. Stonehouse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I

I

Daniel Hopton

 

bp.1739 Churchdown

 

d.1739

bur.Church-down

I

I

William Hopton

 

bp.1741 Churchdown

 

m.   Hester Gwinnett 1766

 

I

I

Richard Hopton

 

bp.1743 Churchdown

 

m.   Anne Hopton 1766

Stonehouse

I

I

Daniel

Hopton

 

bp.1748

 Churchdown

 

m.   1773 at Churchdown

 

 

Anne

Grevile

 

(Anne d. 1839 (?)

Wootton, Gloucester)

 

 

I

I

Thomas Hopton

 

bp.1750 Churchdown

I

I

Robert

Hopton

 

bp.1754 Churchdown

 

m.(1)  1782 St.Mary de Lode, Glouc.

 

Mary

Smith

 

(m.(2) 1805 Frances Whitcomb)

 

 

d.1829 bur.Wootton

I

I

Elizabeth Hopton

 

bp.1755 Churchdown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Daniel Hopton (the son of the Daniel to whom the previous section relates) was baptised at Moreton Valence on 22nd October 1712.  This is a parish some five miles from Arlingham, where his parents had been married four years earlier.   He inherited land at Moreton Valence from his father - as we have seen - and a sum of ten pounds.  His brothers and his sister were bequeathed larger sums of money, however, as well as property.  Perhaps this denotes that Daniel was not foremost in his father’s favour.  The answer could well be though that the income Daniel (junior) could expect from his “fifteen acres of arable and pasture land” more than compensated for the seeming deficiency. 

Although described in his father’s will as “my eldest son” Daniel had an older brother, Richard, who died in 1722, aged 13, and was buried at Stonehouse, some three miles to the east of Moreton Valence.  The three younger Hopton children were all baptised at Stonehouse; so it seems that by 1715 the family had moved there.  By the time that Daniel married, in 1739, he had moved a further nine miles north east to Brockworth - today almost a suburb of Gloucester - as his marriage allegation bears witness:

 

 “Appeared personally Daniell Hopton of Brockworth in the County and Diocese of Gloster, bachelor……… aged 27 years ……… and that he intended to marry Hannah Mason of Churchdown, spinster………aged 22 years… ……at the Parish Church of Churchdown or Cathedral Church of Gloster.”  

 

Why the uncertainty as to the venue, I wonder?   Anyway, it was in the grand surroundings of the Cathedral that the marriage ceremony took place on 19th January 1738 (1739 in the modern calendar).

 

Hannah provided myself and other Hopton researchers with something of a quandary because she is sometimes referred to in records as “Esther”.  Consider the following entries from the registers of Churchdown Parish:


 

Register

Date

 

Name of Child

 

Names of Parents

 

 

 

Baptism

October 20      1739

 

Danll

 

 

Daniel and Hannah

Hopton

 

Burial

 

November 3      1739

 

 

Danll

 

 

Daniel and Esther

 

Hopton

 

Baptism

 

February 23   1740

                 

 

(1741)

 

William

 

 

 

Daniel and Esther

 

Hoppen !

Baptism

March 8           1742

(1743)

Richard

 

                                        Hannah

Daniel and Esther

 

(note:  the entry in the register is written just like this, with the name “Esther” underlined, and with the name “Hannah” written above it.)

Hopton

 

Baptism

 

July 1               1745

 

 

Mary

 

 

Daniel and Hannah

 

Hopton

 

Baptism

January 12      1747

(1748)

Daniel

 

Daniel and Esther

Hopton

 

Baptism

October 20      1750

 

Thomas

 

Daniel and Esther

Hopton

 

Baptism

February 20    1753

(1754)

Robert

 

Daniel and Esther

Hopton

 

Baptism

May 20            1755

 

Elizabeth

 

Daniel and Esther

Hopton

 


 

It is tempting for a family historian to twist the facts to fit a pet theory, so I list below the arguments to support the argument that Hannah and Esther are one and the same person.  These are not only my own conclusions, but those of other Hopton researchers with whom I have been in contact.

 

1)  The convenient spacing of dates, and in such a small parish.  In no case is there a single overlap or contradiction, which would have  invalidated the argument.  (It should be borne in mind that until 1752, the New Year began each year, not on January 1st but on March 25th.) 

 

2)  The quotation of both the names Hannah and Esther in relation to the entry for Richard.

 

3)  The entries in 1739 for  the baptism of Daniel (parents - Daniel and Hannah) and the burial in the following month for a child of the same name ( parents - Daniel and Esther.)   There is no entry for a Daniel baptised with a mother named Esther.  The registers of the parish are well kept, so an omission altogether is unlikely.

 

4. The children named in Daniel’s will of 1756 (quoted in full below) tie in exactly with the children of Hannah and Esther as listed in the baptismal registers of Churchdown.  William and Richard are mentioned by name, and reference is made to “five younger children”.  It all fits.  Surely no coincidence! 

 

Daniel Hopton died in May 1756, aged 44 - of smallpox so the entry in the burial register of Stonehouse tells us - within days of making his will.  As we have already seen, he is buried in the family tomb there along with his parents, two of his brothers (Samuel and William) his sister (Hester) and three nephews.

 

His will reads as follows:

 

I  Daniel Hopton of the hamlet of Huclecot in the parish of Churchdown in the county of Gloster, considering the uncertainty of this mortal life do make this my last will and testament in the manner following.

 

First I bequeath my soul to God my creator, and my body to the ground in hope of a joyfull Resurrection to eternal life, through the merits of my Blessed Saviour Jesus Christ.  And as to my worldly goods I dispose of them as follows.

 

First I give to my sons William and Richard all the free land that I am at this time possessed of  lying in the parish of Moreton Valients in the said county of Gloster, to be equally divided when they arrive at the age of six and twenty, and my will is that all the profits arising from the estate above mentioned shall be, during the above William and Richard’s minority, paid to my wife for her and her family’s use, whom I hereby constitute and appoint sole executrix of this my last will and testament, and to her I will and bequeath all my personal estate, goods, chattels, stock, money and whatever else I shall die possessed of, for her use and her five younger children, but if she should marry again then that all the above effects shall be divided equally share and share alike between the said five younger children or as many as shall be surviving at that time or at her decease.

 

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this twenty second day of May in the year of Our Lord 1756.

 

Signed : Daniel Hopton

 

Signed sealed published and declared by the testator as his last will and testament in the presence of us.  signed:

 

Agrilla Smith

 

Hannah Mason (Daniel’s mother or sister in law perhaps?)

 

X - the mark of Ann Hyett

 

On the Reverse of the document is the following:

 

7 April 1764

Hannah Baylis the now wife of John Baylis and late Hannah Hopton the relict and sole executor within named was duly sworn before me. John Wicks, Sol.

 

Proved 7 April 1764 before the Worship James Benson Doctor of Law in the Diocese of Gloster.

 

Is it significant that the usual reference to “my loving wife” (or some such words) is missing?   And why does he refer to “my wife’s five younger children”?   A pity he did not name them, but then neither did he name Hannah herself, nor did he specify what land he possessed in Moreton Valence.  It should be borne in mind that Daniel must have been grievously ill at the time he made the will. (He was buried only five days later.) 

 Hannah married John Baylis on 27th June 1763 - surely a decent interval after her late husband’s death. 

 

*                                  *                                  *


The Fifth Generation:  Daniel Hopton (1748)


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I

I

Richard Hopton

 

bp.1709 Moreton Valence

 

d.1722

bur. Stonehouse

 

I

I

Daniel Hopton

 

bp.1712 Moreton Valence

 

m.   Hannah Mason (Esther) 1739 at

Gloucester Cathedral

 

died 1756  Hucclecote

bur.  Stonehouse

 

I

I

Samuel Hopton

 

bp.1715 Stonehouse

 

m.Sarah

I

I

William Hopton

 

bp.1716 Stonehouse

 

m.Anne

 

d.1763

bur.Stonehouse

 

I

I

Hester Hopton

 

b.1718

 

m.   Simon Veisey 1736

 

d.1751

bur. Stonehouse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I

I

Daniel Hopton

 

I

I

William Hopton

I

I

Richard Hopton

I

I
Daniel

Hopton

 

I

I

Thomas Hopton

I

I

Robert

 Hopton

 

I

I

Elizabeth Hopton

 

 

bp.1739 Churchdown

 

d.1739

bur.Churchdown

bp.1741 Churchdown

 

m.   Hester Gwinnett 1766

 

bp.1743 Churchdown

 

m.   Anne Hopton 1766

Stonehouse

bp.1748

 Churchdown

 

m.   1773 at Churchdown

 

Anne Grevile

 

(Anne d. 1839 (?)

Wootton, Gloucester)

 

bp.1750 Churchdown

bp.1754 Churchdown

 

m(1) 1782

 Mary Smith

at St..Mary de Lode, Glouc.

 

 

d.1829 bur.Wootton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

m.(2) Frances Whitcomb 1805

 

 

 

bp.1755 Churchdown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I
I

Mary

Hopton

 

bp 1773 Badgeworth

I

I

Daniel

Hopton

 

bp 1775 Badgeworth

I

I

Betty

Hopton

 

bp. 1776 Badgeworth

I

I

Sophia

Hopton

 

bp. 1778 Badgeworth

I

I

Daniel Shadrack Hopton

 

bp. 1780 Badgeworth

 

died

1843

Gloucester

 

married 1805

 

at St Mary de

Lode, Glouc.

 

Sarah

Hopton

 

bp.1785 St Mary de Lode

 

d.1868

 

 

 

I

I

Sarah

Hopton

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

--------I

 

 


 

Daniel, the son of Daniel and Hannah, was baptised at Churchdown parish church on 12th January 1748 (1749).   Hucclecote - where the family then lived - formed part of this parish. (There were to be family links with Hucclecote for the next hundred years.)  The church is no longer used but it still exists, isolated on top of a hill half way between the two villages.  Today, it is well worth the climb partly to soak up the atmosphere and partly to admire the views away to the distant Malvern Hills.  What the worshippers must have thought as they climbed the steep slopes to services one can only guess at, but their lot was fortunate compared with that of  those toiling up the hill with a coffin on its way to interment in the churchyard.  

 

It was at this same church that Daniel married Ann Greville in 1773.

22 February 1773.  Appeared personally Daniel Hopton of the parish of Churchdown…… bachelor……Butcher…… and made oath that he is of the age of twenty two years and upwards and that he intends to marry with Anne Grevile of the parish of Churchdown… …spinster……aged eighteen years and upwards and that he knoweth of no lawfull Lett or impediment by reason of any precontract entered into before 25th day of March 1754.  (Anne’s birth date?)  consanguinity affinity or any other cause whatsoever to hinder the said intended marriage and that he prayed a licence solemnize the said marriage in the parish church of Churchdown………John Grevile, lawfull natural father of Anne added his assent.

 

One gets the impression that the family fortunes are on the slide.  Daniel is a simple butcher, whereas his grandfather was able to make generous bequests of property and money to his offspring.  There is no evidence that this later Daniel ever made a will at all.  Perhaps he had little or nothing to leave.

 

I can trace no record of Daniel’s death, but a death certificate of 1838 (one of the very earliest - they were only introduced in 1837) records the death of Anne; or so I believe. Why do I think this is the right Anne even though some details do not tally?    My reasons are quoted in italics on the entry below.



 

Registration District Gloucester

Year 1838 Death in the Sub- district of  Kingsholm  in the County of Gloucester

When and where died

Name and surname

Sex

Age

Occupation

Cause of Death

Informant

When registered

Eighth of August 1838

Wotton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wotton is an area of Gloucester on the east side of the city and consistent with where the family was living at the time.

Ann Hopton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ann with or without an “e” is of no consequence.  Spelling of names in these times was notoriously inaccurate.

Witness the entry in the marriage register for Anne and Daniel, in which she is recorded as

Anne Greville, yet signs Ann Grevile.

Female

85 Years

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The age tallies with that on the Marr. Alleg...

Widow of a farmer and butcher

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately Ann’s husband is not named, but his occupation tallies with Marr. Alleg..

Decay of Nature

Hanah Hopton

Daughter

present at the death

and Certificate of Revd Henry Wintle of St Mary Magdalene Parish, Wotton.

 

Anne had no daughter named Hanah (a strange spelling!) but she had a daughter in law named Sarah.

I think the entry has been tran-scribed incorrect-ly at some stage.

 

Anne’s brother in law, Robert Hopton (the father of the said Sarah) and many of his family are buried at St Mary Magdalene a tiny chapel, seldom featuring in records.  Surely this is not a coincidence.

 

14th August 1838


 

 Daniel and Anne had five children, all baptised in the nearby parish of Badgeworth  between 1773 and 1780.  It is the youngest of these, Daniel Shadrack, who is the particular focus of our interest.  Before we pass on to consider him, however, there is one other of this generation of Hoptons who is a part of our ancestry and deserves our attention.  This is Robert Hopton, whom I have just mentioned above.  He is another son of Daniel  and Hannah, and thus a younger brother of the Daniel who married Anne.  


 

The Fifth Generation:  Robert Hopton (1754)


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I

I

Richard Hopton

 

bp.1709 Moreton Valence

 

d.1722

bur. Stonehouse

 

I

I

Daniel Hopton

 

bp.1712 Moreton Valence

 

m.   Hannah Mason (Esther) 1739 at

Gloucester Cathedral

 

died 1756  Hucclecote

bur.  Stonehouse

 

I

I

Samuel Hopton

 

bp.1715 Stonehouse

 

m.Sarah

I

I

William Hopton

 

bp.1716 Stonehouse

 

m.Anne

 

d.1763

bur.Stonehouse

 

I

I

Hester Hopton

 

b.1718

 

m.   Simon Veisey 1736

 

d.1751

bur. Stonehouse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I

I

Daniel

Hopton

 

I

I

William

Hopton

I

I

Richard

Hopton

I

I

Mary

Hopton

I

I

Daniel

Hopton

I

I

Thomas

Hopton

I

I

Robert

Hopton

I

I

Elizabeth Hopton

 

 

bp.1739 Churchdown

 

d.1739

bur.

Churchdown

bp.1741 Churchdown

 

m.   Hester Gwinnett 1766

 

bp.1743 Churchdown

 

m.   Anne Hopton 1766

Stonehouse

bp. 1745

Churchdown

 

m.   Richard

Gwinnett

bp.1748

 Churchdown

 

m 1773 at

Churchdown

 

 

Anne Grevile

 

(Anne d. 1839 (?)

Wootton, Gloucester)

bp. 1750

Churchdown

bp.1754 Churchdown

 

m(1) 1782

at St..Mary de Lode, Glouc

 

Mary

Smith

 

M (2)

Frances Whitcomb 1805

 

d.1829 bur.Wootton

 

bp. 1755

Churchdown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I

I

Daniel Shadrack Hopton

 

bp. 1780 Badge-worth

 

died

1843

Gloucester

 

married 1805

 

at St Mary de

Lode, Glouc.

 

Sarah----

Hopton

I

I

Charles Smith Hopton

 

bp1783

St Mary de Crypt

Gloucester

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

--------------

I

I

Elizabeth Hopton

 

 

bp1784

St Mary de Lode

Gloucester

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

--------------

I

I

Sarah Hopton

 

 

bp.1785

St Mary de Lode

 

m.1805

St Mary de Lode

 

Daniel Shadrack Hopton

 

d.1868

l

l

l

-------

 

 

I

I

Robert Hopton

 

 

bp.1788

St Mary de Lode

 

m. Mary Theyer

I

I

Charles Hopton

 

 

bp.1789

St Mary de Lode

 

m. 1810  Mary Dancey

I

I

William Hopton

 

 

bp.1790

St Mary de Lode

 

m.Sarah Witcomb

I

I

Susannah Hopton

 

 

bp 1793

St Mary de Lode

 

m. William Nelmes

I

I

Henry Hopton

 

 

bp.1794

St Mary de Lode

 

I

I

Mary Ann Hopton

 

 

bp.1796 St.Mary de Lode

 

I

I

James Hopton

 

 

bp.1799 St.Mary de Lode

 

m. Margaret Whitcomb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Robert Hopton was baptised at Churchdown on 21st February 1754.  He was the younger brother of Daniel, the subject of the previous section.  He had a prodigious number  of children over a spread of some sixteen years, and one of his daughters, Sarah, married Daniel Shadrach in 1805.   Thus Robert can lay equal claim, along with his older brother, of being a direct ancestor of ours.  (A great great great grandfather of mine, to be precise.)

 

Robert married twice.  His first wife was Mary Smith, whom he married at St Mary de Lode, Gloucester, in  1782.  He is described in the marriage allegation as a “Coach Wheel Maker.”  It was Mary who provided him with his ten children.  Perhaps worn out by her exertions, she then died, and Robert, then aged 51, married a second time; this time to Frances Witcomb, a 45 year old widow, in 1805.

 

Perhaps being a coach wheel maker was a lucrative business or maybe he graduated to better things, in any event he was quite possibly wealthy, as he is the principal subject on an impressive and lonely looking monument adjoining all that remains of St Mary Magdalene Chapel in Gloucester.   The monument (his tomb?) is well worth a visit and can be found in Hillfield Gardens - at the junction of London Road and Denmark road.  

           

Sacred to the memory of Robert Hopton of the Hamlet of Wotton, Yeoman, who departed this life March 20th 1829, aged 76 years.    Also Mary wife of the above who died January 1800 in her 43rd year.   Also of Frances his second wife who died July 28th 1832 aged 73 years. 

 

Named on other faces of the monument are his sons William, Henry and James.

 Sadly there is no trace of a will left by Robert.

 

 

*                             *                                  *


The Fourth Generation:  Daniel Shadrack(h) Hopton (1780)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I

Daniel Hopton

 

I

William Hopton

I

Richard Hopton

I
Daniel

Hopton

 

I

Thomas Hopton

I

Robert

 Hopton

 

I

Elizabeth Hopton

 

 

bp.1739 Churchdown

 

d.1739

bur.Churchdown

bp.1741 Churchdown

 

m.   Hester Gwinnett 1766

 

bp.1743 Churchdown

 

m.   Anne Hopton 1766

Stonehouse

bp.1748

 Churchdown

 

m.   1773 at Churchdown

 

Anne Grevile

 

(Anne d. 1839 (?)

Wootton, Gloucester)

 

bp.1750 Churchdown

bp.1754 Churchdown

 

m(1) 1782

 Mary Smith

at St..Mary de Lode, Glouc.

 

 

d.1829 bur.Wootton

 

 

 

 

 

 

m.(2) Frances Whitcomb 1805

 

 

 

bp.1755 Churchdown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I
I

Mary

Hopton

 

bp 1773 Badgeworth

I

I

Daniel

Hopton

 

bp 1775 Badgeworth

I

I

Betty

Hopton

 

bp. 1776 Badgeworth

I

I

Sophia

Hopton

 

bp. 1778 Badgeworth

I

I

Daniel Shadrack Hopton

 

bp. 1780 Badgeworth

 

died

1843

Gloucester

 

married 1805

 

at St Mary de

Lode, Glouc.

 

Sarah

Hopton

 

bp.1785 St Mary de Lode

 

d.1868

 

I

I

Sarah

Hopton

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

--------I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I

I

Robert Hopton

 

bp.1808 St. Mary de Lode

Gloucester

 

died 1854 Hutt NZ

(emigrated 1841)

 

m.1830

Cheltenham

 

Charlotte Fegan/Fagan

(died .NZ)

 

 

I

I

Sarah Hopton

 

bp.1811 St.Mary de Lode

Gloucester

I

I

Susannah Hopton

 

bp.1818

St. Mary de Lode

Gloucester

 

m. Richard Shurmer

I

I

William Hopton

 

bp.1821

 St. Mary de Lode

Gloucester

 

(died pre 1843)

I

I

Mary Hopton

 

b.1825 Gloucester

 

(living 1868)

I

I

Henry James Hopton

 

b.1827 Gloucester

 

died 1871 Merton, Surrey

 

m.1851

at Twigworth

 

Esther Hooper

 

b.1832

Gloucester

d.1913 Merstham, Surrey

 

 


Daniel Shadrack more commonly referred to simply as Shadrack (or Shadrach) was baptised at Badgeworth on 14th November 1780.  This is in the same area as Brockworth, Hucclecote, Churchdown; where the family had been centred for at least forty years.  We have already

 

seen them drift North from the Arlingham, Moreton Valence and Stonehouse area towards this cluster of villages just to the East of Gloucester.  Now, in Shadrack’s life time we see them drift into the city itself.  But before that move, Shadrack, his brother Daniel (who died in infancy) and his three older sisters were all baptised at Badgeworth, clear of city and a peaceful spot even to this day. 

 

 

Extract from Register of St Mary de Lode, Gloucester:-

 

            'Shadrack Hopton of the City of Gloucester , Bachelor, and Sarah Hopton of this Parish were married in this  church by Licence this 22nd day of

             August 1805 by me  Charles Palmer, Vicar.'

 

In August 1805 (just weeks before The Battle of Trafalgar) he married his cousin Sarah - the daughter of Robert and Mary Hopton - at the church of St Mary de Lode, Gloucester, almost in the shadow of the Cathedral where his grandparents Daniel and Hannah had been married some sixty six years earlier.  Close in proximity the two places of worship might be, but they are far apart in terms of grandeur and, so it seems, in social cache.  St Mary de Lode, ancient but austere, was (and is) the church of the common man.  Incidentally Sarah, a city girl, apparently, had been baptised at the same church on 24th April 1785.

 

Shadrack and Sarah  had nine children, the first and last of whom were born some twenty one years apart.  The oldest to survive into adulthood was Robert, born in 1809.  The last born child was Henry James ( my great grandfather) who was baptised on 3rd June 1827 at Barton Street Chapel, Gloucester.  His mother was 42 years of age at the time!  It appears that all the children were all born in Gloucester. 

 

We have glimpses from time to time in nineteenth century records of Shadrack and his family - for example the Gloucester Directory 1820:

            ...............Hopton...Shadrach...Cabinet-maker.......Barton Street

 

In 1841 the first national Census was implemented and this provides us with a more detailed picture.  He and Sarah, with their two youngest children were recorded as then living at Long Smith Street, Gloucester, (handily placed for the river!).  The exact number of their house is not given.  His name is given simply as Daniel Hopton, and his age 60.  Sarah is stated to be aged 56,… Mary 15… and Henry 14.  All are stated to have been born in the County.  The older children, it seems, had already left home. 

 

In Pigot's Directory of 1842 there is an entry which, I believe, relates to Shadrack.  It records a Frederick (?) Hopton…Cabinet Maker…living at 29 Long Smith Street.

 

 

Three Extracts from the Gloucester Journal of 1843 bear witness to Shadrack’s sad end.

 


Saturday 18 March 1843:

 

            'MELANCHOLY SUICIDE -  On Thursday morning, Mr T Hanman of Barton Street, while passing along the upper part of Sudbrook Meadow adjoining the River Severn, near Lanthony Abbey, found a hat and drab coat, and it was at once feared that they belonged to some unhappy man who had taken them off before committing  suicide  by throwing himself in the river.    The articles were subsequently ascertained  to have belonged to Mr  Shadrach Hopton, cabinet-maker,  an old and respected inhabitant of this city.  Mr Hopton had for some weeks been sinking into  a  state of despondency owing to the depression of trade and the difficulty which he experienced in disposing of the articles of his manufacture.  He left home rather early on Thursday morning and was seen walking towards the direction where his clothes were afterwards found.  His body was, we understand, discovered yesterday evening at Sandhurst ( a false report ) whither it had been washed by the tide, thus placing his melancholy fate beyond doubt, and adding another to the many instances of want of courage to endure the ills of life and the fear of poverty.    The occurrence has been a cause of much sorrow to all who knew the deceased.'

 

 

Saturday  25 March 1843:

 

            'We were misinformed last week, when we stated that the body of Mr Hopton, cabinet-maker, was found in the River Severn at Sandhourst.  The body of the unhappy man, we believe,  still remains undiscovered.'

 

 

Saturday 27th May 1843:

 

            'The body of a  man was yesterday forenoon, on the receding of the tide, discovered in the river Severn at the Flat at Westbury, and now awaits an inquest which will be held upon it today.  There is reason to believe that it is the body of Mr Shadrach Hopton, cabinet-maker, of this city, who has been missing  since the 16th of March last, and whose supposed death has caused much regret among his family and friends.'

 

Extract from Death Certificate

 

Registration District    Westbury on Severn 

 

Year 1843 Death in the Sub- district of  Huntley in the County of Gloucester

 

When and where died

 

Name and surname

Sex

Age

Occupation

Cause of Death

Informant

When registered

21st May 1843

Westbury

Shadrack Hopton

Male

63 Years

 

Cabinet Maker

Found Drowned in the River Severn

Jno Cooke

Coroner

Gloucester

 

10th July

1843

 

One can well imagine the anguish of his family caused by these events.  I do not know whether or not a transcript of that inquest still exists, but what fascinating and possibly illuminating reading it would make. 

 

Shadrack’s business might have been in financial trouble, but he was by no means destitute, as can be seen from his Will - made less than a month before his lonely and despairing walk to the River. 

 

 

 

WILL OF DANIEL SHADRACH HOPTON 1843

 

I Daniel Shadrach Hopton of the Parish of St Mary de Crypt in the City of Gloucester Cabinet Maker being of sound mind thank God for it Amen - This being my last Will and Testament.  And I appoint for my executors Henry Hopton of the Parish of Upton St Leonards in the County of Gloucester Yeoman and James Hopton of the Hamlet of Wotton in the Parish of St Mary de Lode in the same County Farmer.  At my death under power of my Executors after all my just debts are paid, I give and bequeath in the following manner  viz:-  To Sarah my beloved wife all the rents and interests arising from all property belonging to me, Freehold, personal or whatsoever during her natural life and at the decease of the aforesaid Sarah my Wife, under power of my Executors above named I give and bequeath to my eldest son Robert Hopton his heirs and assigns all that Freehold House and Garden in the Hamlet of Hucclecote in the Parish of Churchdown in the County of Gloucester in the occupation of John Perkins.  And I also give and bequeath unto the aforesaid Robert Hopton my eldest son one pound of lawfull money of England he being at the present time in New Zealand.  And I also at the death of the aforesaid Sarah my Wife under power of my before named Executors I give and bequeath in the following manner viz:-  The whole of my property to be equally divided between my undermentioned Children viz:- Sarah Hopton, Susannah Shurmer, Widow of the late Robert Shurmer, Mary Hopton and Henry James Hopton.  And I give full power to my Executors to make use of the whole or any part of the principle including the Freehold House and Garden as may be required for the support of Sarah my wife and - my last mentioned Children.  In witness thereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this twenty eighth day of February one thousand eight hundred and forty three. --------------------------------------------------------

Daniel Shadrach Hopton

 

Signed sealed published and declared by the said Daniel Shadrach Hopton in the presence of us witnesses the twenty eighth day of February one thousand eight hundred and forty three:

John Freeman                       John Knowles

 

 

In the Consistory Court of Gloucester

In the Goods of Daniel Shadrach Hopton deceased

 

The 12th September 1843

 

Appeareth personally Henry Hopton of the Parish of Upton St Leonards in the County of Gloucester Yeoman one of the Executors names and appointed in and by the last Will and Testament of Daniel Shadrach Hopton deceased hereunto annexed marked and made Oath that the said will was signed by the said Daniel Shadrach Hopton at the foot or end thereof in his presence and also in the presence of John Freeman and John Knowles the two subscribed witnesses to the said Will the said John Freeman and John Knowles being both present together at the same time in the presence of the said Testator and each other---and thereupon subscribed their respective names to the said Will as witnesses to the execution thereof in his presence and this deponent also made oath that the interlineation of the words 'including the Freehold House and Garden' on the second page of the said Will was made before the execution thereof as aforesaid

Henry Hopton

 

Sworn at the Court of Gloucester this twelfth day of September in the year of Our Lord 1843

 

before me

Thomas Evans  Surrogate

 

12th September 1843

 

Proved before Thomas Evans, Clerk, D.D. Surrogate of the Worshipfull Edward Thomas March Phillipps Clerk M.A. Chancellor of Gloucester by the oaths of Henry Hopton and James Hopton the Executors to whom Administration was granted

Effects under £600

Testator died 16th March 1843

 

 

At Gloucester on the 19th day of October 1868 Administration with the Will annexed of the personal Estate and Effects of  Daniel Shadrach Hopton late of the Parish of St Mary de Crypt in the City of Gloucester Cabinet Maker, deceased who died on the 16th day of March 1843 at Westbury upon Severn in the County of Gloucester left unadministered by Henry Hopton and James Hopton deceased whilst being the Executors named in the said Will was granted to Mary Hopton, Spinster the daughter of the said deceased one of the Residuary Legatees seclrstiticted (?) in the said Will she having been first sworn, Sarah Hopton Widow the Relict the Residuary Legatee for Life named in the said Will survived but died without having taken upon herself the Letter of Administration (with the said Will annexed) of the personal Estate and Effects of the said deceased so left unadministered as aforesaid.  The said James Hopton having survived his Co-Executor and died intestate.

 

Under £600

 

Widcombe and Son, 

Solrs.  Gloucester

 

Sarah Hopton outlived her husband by some twenty five years, as can be seen from the adjunct to Shadrack’s Will. 

We have a glimpse of her from the Census of 1851 at Barton St Mary in Gloucester.  (I am yet to find her in the 1861 census)




 

Address

Persons Resident at 30th March

Relationship to Head of House

 

Age

Profession

Where Born

 

Barton Street,

 

 

Sarah Hopton

 

Mary Hopton

 

 

Susan Hopton

 

 

Head

 

Daughter

 

 

Grand daughter

 

65

 

26

 

 

10

 

Annuitant

 

 

 

 

Scholar

 

Norton, Glos.

 

Barton St Mary

 

Wotton

 

The house number in Barton Street is not given. But just two entries (and presumably two properties) away is the following entry: 

 

Address

Persons Resident

at 30th March

Relationship to Head of House

 

Age

Profession

Where Born

 

Barton Street

 

 

Moses Bining

 

 

Sophia Beare

 

 

Sarah Hopton

 

 

Head

 

 

Visitor

 

 

Servant

 

70

 

 

22

 

 

38

 

Proprietor of Land

 

Binkworth

Wilts..

 

St Mary de Lode.

 

Holy Trinity

 

 

 

The family has fallen on hard times indeed, with a daughter working as a servant two doors away from her widowed mother; for surely such is the case.  But there is an even bigger fall from grace.  Who is this granddaughter Susan, named in the first entry?  I believe her to be Susannah the illegitimate daughter of Sarah (the servant).  Susannah was baptised at St Mary de Lode Church on August 3rd 1845 and her mother is recorded as Sarah Hopton, a servant, of Barton Street.  No one is named as the father!  If Susannah was baptised in infancy, then her age - given as 10 - does not tally, but she could have been baptised long after her birth, and in any case the ages recorded in those times were at best approximate.  It makes sense that she should be living with her grandmother and aunt, and only two doors away from her own mother. 

 

            Shadrack’s widow, Sarah, died “of general decay” on 25th March 1868, aged 82.  She is described in her death certificate as “Widow of Daniel Shadrack Hopton, Cabinet Maker (Master).  Their daughter Mary is named as the informant of her mother’s death. 

I like the inclusion of the word “Master”.  I see it as a proclamation by Mary of pride in her family, and faith in her poor father.  Indeed I have a soft spot for Mary, whose lot could not have been a happy one.  At the age when she might have been thinking of marrying she had to suffer the trauma of her father’s suicide, and remained at home as a companion to her widowed mother thereafter.  Probably she was expected to do so.  This was the invariable lot of one of the daughters of the household in that era.  (Mary was still alive and unmarried at the time of the 1881 census.  She was then living in Wotton (Gloucester) and is described as the head of the household.)

*                             *                                  *

The Third Generation:                        

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I
I

Mary

Hopton

 

bp 1773 Badgeworth

I

I

Daniel

Hopton

 

bp 1775 Badgeworth

   I

    I

Betty

Hopton

 

bp. 1776 Badgeworth

I

I

Sophia

Hopton

 

bp. 1778 Badgeworth

   I

   I

Daniel Shadrack Hopton

 

bp. 1780 Badgeworth

 

died

1843

Gloucester

 

married 1805

 

at St Mary de

Lode, Glouc.

 

Sarah

Hopton

 

bp.1785 St Mary de Lode

 

d.1868

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

------

I

I

Sarah

Hopton

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

-------I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I

I

Robert Hopton

 

bp.1808 St. Mary de Lode

Gloucester

 

died 1854 Hutt NZ

(emigrated 1841)

 

m.1830

Cheltenham

 

Charlotte Fegan

(died .NZ)

 

 

I

I

Sarah Hopton

 

bp.1811 St.Mary de Lode

Gloucester

I

I

Susannah Hopton

 

bp.1818

St. Mary de Lode

Gloucester

 

m. Richard Shurmer

I

I

William Hopton

 

bp.1821

 St. Mary de Lode

Gloucester

 

(died pre 1843)

I

I

Mary Hopton

 

b.1825 Gloucester

 

(living 1868)

 

I

I

Henry James Hopton

 

b.1827 Gloucester

 

died 1871 Merton, Surrey

 

m.1851

at Twigworth

 

Esther Hooper

 

b.1832

Gloucester

d.1913 Merstham, Surrey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  I

Mary Emma    

1832 - 1854

 

Charlotte Dinah

1833

 

Eliza  Lavinia  

1834 - 1920

 

Sarah Augusta

1836 - 1877

 

Robert William

 1838 - 1841

 

Susan Mary Jane

1840 - 1843

 

 

 

 

 

   I

Henry  James  Hopton

 

b.1854 Gloucester

died 1931 Wimbledon

 

married 1897 at

Wandsworth, Surrey

 

Alice Mary Avis

 

b.1862 Brighton, Sussex

d.1932 Wimbledon

 

 


Robert Hopton  (1808.)

 

 

Before I go on to talk about my great grandfather, Henry James Hopton, I will depart from my practice hitherto of following only the direct line of our ancestors to mention his elder brother (by some eighteen years) Robert, my great great uncle. 

 

Prompted by the mention in Shadrack’s will of his eldest son being “at the present time in New Zealand” I set out to find what I could about him.  With the aid of  my sister Jean living in Wellington NZ and handily placed for the country’s historical records housed there, and a correspondent Christine Clement who married one of Robert’s descendants, I managed to compile the following.

 

Robert and his family sailed from Gravesend bound for New Zealand on 1st January 1841 aboard the ship ‘Lord Willam Bentinck’.  The ship’s register gives Robert’s address as 28 Park Street, Cheltenham and his age as 32.   With him were his wife Charlotte, aged 29 and their five children - Mary Emma aged 9,    Eliza Lavinia aged 7,   Sarah Augusta  aged 5,   Robert William aged 2,    and  Susan Mary Jane aged 2 months. 

 

Robert and his family were among the very earliest settlers in New Zealand, for only recently had immigration there started.  Initially they had to endure more than their share of tragedy, with the deaths of two of the children.   Robert (junior) barely survived the voyage, and Susan died in 1843, two years after her brother.   Robert (senior) clearly managed to make some sort of living for his family, as we find him in 1852 leasing land in Molesworth Street Wellington (close to the present day Parliament building).  The lease document describes him as a cabinet maker (as was his father!) and states that the rent of nine pounds per annum was to be paid quarterly. 

 

In 1854 tragedy stuck again - twice.  Mary Emma, who had married only four months previously, died aged 22, and then Robert himself died a few weeks later.  His death notice in the newspaper (Mary’s death was announced in the same edition) states that he died of a fractured skull at his residence in The Hutt.. (An accident?)

Robert’s surviving daughters then set about populating their new country.   Sarah married John Clement, a lay preacher originally from Berkshire.  She died in 1877, giving birth to their fifteenth child.  It is hardly surprising that there is a flourishing community of Clements in New Zealand to this day. 

Eliza married Almon Boulcott - of a wealthy and influential family in New Zealand at that time - and died in 1920, having had ten children.  There are numerous Boulcott descendants in existence in New Zealand also.

Charlotte, Robert Hopton’s widow, remarried in 1855 - a year after her husband’s death - and died in 1875. 


 

PART TWO

Return To HOME

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