Hopkinsons of London

I have always wondered how the Hopkinsons in London were connected to the Hopkinsons from Northern England.  There were several distinct Hopkinson families in England in the early 1600’s.  They are seemingly unrelated.  This page will discuss the lines I am researching.  All comments are welcome.

There are several early wills for Hopkinsons in London.  To see some of those wills, see my Hopkinson wills page.  I find records for Hopkinson in London as early as 1550’s.

Family of James Hopkinson, Wagon Master

This line is the line of Francis Hopkinson, signer of the Declaration of Independence.  I am somewhat uncertain about the first 2 generations.  I am trying to find documentation on them.  Beginning with James’ son Thomas we find a papertrail.  While in London, the early line seem to be Quakers.

According to Hopkinson and Allied Families, the originator of this line is James Hopkinson, Wagon Master, who was born circa 1600 and married Ann.   James had: John bc 1628; and Thomas, bc 1630.

According to Hopkinson and Allied Families, Thomas Hopkinson, born circa 1630.  He was married to Elizabeth.  From James the Wagon Master through this Thomas Hopkinson, there seems to be a sparse paper trail.  In his will he mentions only his son Matthew.   He is mentioned in his son Matthew’s second marriage as Thomas Hopkinson, of Olave Jury London (St. Olave Jewry, London), apothocary.  He had:  James b 29 JAN 1649, c 29 JAN 1649, Saint Olave Jewry, London; Elizabeth bur 23 JAN 1653, Saint Olave Jewry, London; and Matthew, c 18 OCT 1655, Saint Olave Jewry, London.

Beginning with Matthew, the paper trail begins to get better.  Matthew’s Hopkinson was christened 18 OCT 1655, Saint Olave Jewry, London, and was a scrivner.  He married twice.  His first wife was Judith and he had Matthew Jr., Isaac, Thomas, Judith, Elizabeth, Elizabeth, James, and Nathaniel by her.  Judith was buried 4 MAY 1704, Westminster, London, England.  He married secondly to Anna (Anne) Lively on 1 NOV 1705, Westminster, Middlesex, England.  He and Anna had a daughter Anna (Anne) who was christened 29 SEP 1708, Westminister, Middlesex, England.   By 1690’s he was a Quaker and most of his later children were christened in Quaker church.   In his will he names his wife as Anna, his sons Matthew, Isaac, Thomas who were all apparently of age, and his daughter Anna who was a minor.  He also mentions in his will that his son Isaac’s care was left to his son Matthew.  It is not clear why Isaac was singled out for Matthew to care for.  Isaac’s christening record was unusual as well, so perhaps he had a disability.  In his will he also mentions the Quakers several times.  He requested to be buried on Quaker land, he left money to the poor Quakers of Westminister, and he left his books by Quakers to his wife.   Matthew Jr. could not be the person listed in the paragraph below since he would have been born to late to be having have married Hannah Edwards in 1699.

According to The Peerage, Matthew Jr., who was the son of Matthew and his first wife Judith, married Hannah Edwards.  I find several christenings for children of this couple: Judith, b 20 JUN 1700, c 23 JUN 1700, Saint James, Westminister, London, England; Matthew b 1 JUN 1702, c 6 JUN 1702, Saint James, Westminister, London, England; Daniel b 9 MAY 1704,c 24 MAY 1704, Saint James, Westminister, London, England; Thomas b 12 NOV 1706, c 24 NOV 1706, Saint James, Westminister, London, England; and James c 24 MAR 1709, c 9 APR 1709, Saint James, Westminister, London, England.  However it is unlikely that this Matthew was the same as the son of Matthew in the paragraph above.  The Matthew that was son of Mathew, scrivnor and his wife Judith was born in 1688.  This seems for too young to be having children by 1700.

Thomas Hopkinson was born circa 1682 and was the son of Matthew Hopkinson, scrivnor, and his first wife Judith.  He may be the Thomas Hopkinson, relative of Matthew listed in Matthews second marriage to Anne Lively.  Thomas married Mary Nicholls on 6 MAY 1708, Westminster, Middlesex, England.  He and Mary had several children: Thomas Jr., b 6 APR 1709, Westminster, London, England; and Elizabeth Hopkinson, b 25 MAR 1717; c  28 MAR 1717, Westminster, London, England.

Thomas Hopkinson Jr., born 6 APR 1709, London, England was christened 10 APR 1709, Westminster, London, England.  He moved to Pennsylvania in the early 1730’s.  Given the Quaker background of the family, Pennsylvania was a likely choice for his migration.  He married Mary Johnson and had several children, including Francis Hopkinson, who signed the Declaration of Independence.

Family of John Hopkinson, of Saint Katherine by the Tower

John Hopkinson, born circa 1580 died before 1658.  He was married to Katherine.  He likely had: Female who married Edward Lole; Male who married Gartwright LNU; John c 19 APR 1601, Saint Katherine by the Tower, London; Daniel, c 17 MAY 1606, Saint Katherine by the Tower, London, England; Abraham c 1 JUL 1608, Saint Katherine by the Tower, London, England; and Thomas, bur 12 SEP 1614, Saint Katherine by the Tower, London .

In Daniel’s will he mentions his mother Katherine.  Katherine left a will in 1658 on which she callers herself the widow of Saint Katherine’s parish.  In the will she names her grandchildren Abraham and Mary/Marie and her daughter Elizabeth. She also names her sisters and mother.  It would seem by the dates of their probates, Daniel and Abraham both died before Katherine.

Daniel Hopkinson was christened 17 MAY 1606, Saint Katherine by the Tower, London, England.  He died circa 1640.  He married Sarah Clifton in NOV 1635, Saint Katherine by the Tower, London, England.  In his will dated 1636 he mentions his wife Sarah, his mother Katherine, his brother Abraham, his in-laws.  In his will he also mentions that he has holdings, including tobacco, in Virginia.  In parish registers I find a Daniel Hopkinson, son of Daniel Hopkinson c 22 MAR 1637, Saint Katherine by the Tower, London, England.  This christening entry does not list the mother, but is likely a son of this couple.

Abraham Hopkinson was a draper in London.  He was a son of John Hopkinson and Katherine (see above).  He was dead before 1648 when his wife Marie made a will and called herself a Abraham’s widow.  He left a will leaving one half of his estate to his wife, and one half to his children.  She names her daughter Mary/Marie and her son Abraham in the will.  They had: Abraham c 7 NOV 1641, Saint Katherine by the Tower, London, England; Sarah, c 11 JUL 1643, Saint Katherine by the Tower, London, England; Mary/Marie; and Robert (c24 FEB 1647, Saint Katherine by the Tower, London, England).  Abraham and Sarah’s mother was listed as Marie, Robert’s christening did not provide a mother’s name.


4 Responses to Hopkinsons of London

  1. Tom says:

    ” Thomas married Mary Nicholls on 6 MAY 1708, Westminster, Middlesex, England. He and Mary had several children: Thomas Jr., b 6 APR 1709, London, England; Francis Hopkinson, b 1711 (he was alleged to have married Dorothy Harrison and moved to ____, but I have not seen evidence to support this); ”

    Yes, this is driving me nuts. From what I can tell, there was a Francis Hopkinson who married Dorothy Harrison. Per Burke’s (or rather, per thepeerage.com, which cites Burke’s), they had no children and lived in Thorne, Yorkshire. Unfortunately, I see no record of them in Thorne, but instead a similarly aged Francis Hopkinson who apparently married a Elizabeth Denton. Both men apparently *did* have children. I’m descendant from the one that married Dorothy Harrison. Either way, I don’t see why Francis would move so far north away from his family in London. I think that the claim came from “The Life and Works of Francis Hopkinson” by George Everett Hastings, which is about Francis’ American nephew Francis, published in 1926. The author quotes correspondence with a Mr. Pulling, who gave him the information, but he explores some other theories as well.

    • Patty says:


      I’ll reply via email in more length. Why Francis would move to York always puzzled me too.

      • Tom says:

        I dug up a connection that makes the whole thing a bit more likely – and it’s right out of Downton Abbey. Their daughter Dorothy apparently had an illegitimate child, who only lived a few months. Per the church records, she says it was the son of Lord Lincoln’s servant, John Gurnil, and that the child was born in the Parish of St James’s, Westminster, which happens to be where the rest of the Hopkinson family lived. Per the book I referenced above, the family did a lot of land deals – so maybe they ended up with a plot of land that Francis decided to make use of. From some quick Googling, the Lord Lincoln of the time would have been Henry Pelham-Clinton, 2nd Duke of Newcastle.

  2. Dianne Rayner says:

    Matthew Hopkinson’s father – Thomas Hopkinson was an apothecary and was deceased by the time Matthew married Anne Lively in 1705. Refer to Quaker records on Ancestry for copy of the marriage.

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