Hopkins Connections
to East London and Essex

I've found several connections between William Hopkins and his family, and people from the east side of London and nearby Essex county. Several instances of these are given below. In trying to establish the ancestry of William, and to better understand his life, I've done some research on these connections.

Surnames: Alcock, Belson, Bosely, Healey, Hopkins, Shapton

Disposition of Property

William disposed of three pieces of real property in East London in his will. Two were houses located in Brick Lane in Spitalfields. These he gave to his two sons, William and Benjamin. A third house, located in Spires Street, Spitalfields, he gave to his daughter Sarah (Fellows). Brick Lane today runs from just north of Bethnal Green Road south to Whitechapel Road. It is intersected by Quaker Street near the Shoreditch tube station.

He also bequeathed 20 shillings to cousin William Alcock, 20 shillings to kinswoman Hannah Bosley, and 5 shillings to cousin Abraham Shapton.

In his thesis on the Quakers in Essex (T. A. Davies, The Quakers in Essex 1655-1725: University of Oxford (Bodleian), 1986, D. Phil. Dissertation), Davies says that while witnesses at births were usually prominent members of the Quaker community, people attending Quaker marriage ceremonies after about 1670 might have been non-Quaker relatives or friends of the marriage partners. [I found the words "Quakers, and others, gathered together" in the London & Middlesex QM marriage records in the last 20-30 years of the 1600s, which supports Davies' findings in Essex.]

I had been assuming that Susan and William Bosley were Quakers, since they were listed as relations to the bride or groom in marriages in which the Hopkinses were also listed as relations. But with this new information, I have to consider that these Bosleys might well have been non-Quakers, and that information about them would be found in non-Quaker sources.

Davies goes on to say, "An analysis of those to whom Quakers chose to leave goods, property and money at death reveals that they chose not to discriminate against kin on religious grounds. Throughout the period of this study, Friends bequeathed money and goods to non-Quaker children, brothers, cousins and other kin." p. 288

Another thing that has puzzled me is the use of the terms cousin and kinswoman in William's will. The men he left money to he calls cousins, not kinsmen, but Hannah he calls kinswoman. I don't know if that was a real distinction in relationship, or just the use of equivalent words. So the degree of relationship between William and Hannah is unclear to me.

Alcocks

William Hopkins attended the 1701 marriage of Thomas Alcock and Hannah Burtonwood as a witness, while his wife Katherine, his children Benjamin and Sarah, and William and Susan Bosely were listed as relations. There was also an Elizabeth Alcock in attendance as a relation. Thomas was the son of William Alcock of Roulston, Staffordshire. Hannah was the daughter of Henry Burtonwood of Whitley, Cheshire. Thomas and Hannah Alcock lived in Walthamstow, Essex, when their son Burtonwood was born in 1703. Walthamstow is only a couple of miles from Wanstead. The Alcocks were members of the Ratcliff & Barking meeting.

This birth record is in the Ratcliff & Barking Monthly Meeting records:

Burtonwood Allcock the Son of Thomas Allcock Shop-
keeper and Hannah his Wife was born at Walthamstow in Essex
on the 27th day of the 2d mo:th 1703. In the Presence of
Martha Coart    her mark
Rebekah Maynard       Mary Preston Midwife
Mary Smith
Mary Binton
Susanna Bosly

(FHL #0811789 Ratcliff & Barking MM Births, Register 917)

Note that Susanna Bosly was one of the women present at Burtonwood Allcock's birth. This might, as Davies says, imply that she was a Quaker, but it might also mean that she was a relation or close friend.

I found two mentions of Alcocks (varient spellings) in the Essex Quarterly Meeting records:

I found this Alcock burial entry in the Ratcliffe & Barking MM records (FHL film #0811788):

Surname
Name
Date
Age
Father
Parish
Comments
Allcock
Elizabeth
17d 9m 1685
1.5
James
Ratcliff
buried at Ratcliff burying ground

Boselys

One of the people mentioned in William Hopkins' 1705 will was Hannah Bosley of Wanstead, Essex. She was described as his kinswoman. Nothing more was said of her, other than that she received a bequest of twenty shillings.

There were two Boselys mentioned in the marriage records of the Hopkins family in Southwark: Susan (in 1701 and 1706) and William (in 1701). They were listed among the relations, not the witnesses.

I searched in the records of the Essex Quarterly Meeting, but found no mention of any Boselys.

In the Ratcliffe & Barking Monthly Meeting records (FHL film #0811787) I found these birth entries:

Surname Name Father Mother Date
Baisly
Ruth
William
  8d 5m 1683
Bazele
Robert
William
Mary
10d Mar 1685
Bazelee
Ruth
William
Mary
18d 1m 1686
Bazelee
Eadeth
William
Mary
8d 1m 1688/9
Bazelee
William
William
Mary
1d? 3m 1690
Bazel
Jackson
William
Mary
6d 11m 1693

In the same records and film number, I found these burial entries:

Surname
Name
Date
Age
Cause
Father
Basley
Thomas
19d 9m 1674
Grips
John
Bozly
Wm
27d 3m 1680
2
William
Bazly
William
22d 3m 1683
2
William
Bazle
Ruth
20d 8m 1687
0.75
William
Beazelle
(female)
3d 4m 1691
William
Basley
William
23d 1m 1694
46
Consumtion
Bosly (Body?)
Cornelia
14d 9m 1704
64
Consumption
Bezeley
Samuell
13d 10m 1705
ffeaver
Joseph
Bezeley
Charles
27d 9m 1709
Joseph
Beleley
Priscela
14d 9m 1714
Convulsion fitts
Jos
Beezely
Priscilla
24d 11m 1719
0.75
Convultions
Joseph
Bezely
Samuell
1d 2m 1721
Convultions
Joseph
Bosely
Mary
24d 11m 1732
84
Age
Beazley
Hannah
24d 2m 1753
75
Age
Bezely
Priscilla
20d 9m 1762
50
Fever
Beazely
Elizabeth
31d 3m 1766
49
Convulsions

I found no Bosley marriages in these records during this time period (prior to 1750).

I found these Bosley baptisms in the Wanstead parish church records (FHL film #1526973):

Surname Name Father Mother Date
Boslee
Elizabeth
James
Susanna
1 Mar 1673
Boslee
James
James
Susanna
4 Oct 1675
Boslee
Michael
James
Susan
9 Nov 1677
Bosely
Susanna
James
Susannah
8 Feb 1679/80
Bosley
William
James
Susannah
1 May 1681

In the same records, I found these burials:

Surname
Name
Date
Comments
Bosle
Susanna
1 Jul 1680
daughter of James & Susanna
Bosely
James
24? Aug 1684
son of James & Susanna
Bosely
Susanna
13 Dec 1691
daughter of James & Susanna
Bosely
Michaell
29 May 1695
Boseley
James
9 Aug 1712
of Wanstead
Boseley
Robert
15 Apr 1714
son of James Boseley, of this parish, dec'd
Boseley
Susannah
17 Jun 1715
widow of this parish
Bosely
Francis
27 Jan 1716
of St. Mildred Breadstreet
Boseley
Richard
25 Jan 1727
Boseley
William
4 Jun 1727
Bosley
John
13 Jan 1757

I've found records of these Bosely wills in Essex and Middlesex:

  • John Boseley, baymaker, Halstead, probate 1621 (17 BW 43) (Wills at Chelmsford, Vol II, p. 44)
  • John Bossley, clothier, Halstead, probate 1671 (47 BR 9) (Wills at Chelmsford, Vol II, p. 44)
  • John Bezeley, mariner, Stepney, probate 22 May 1697 (PROB 11/438 Pyne Quire No 89-132)
  • Stephen Bossly, weaver, Halstead, probate 1698 (72 BR 14) (Wills at Chelmsford, Vol II, p. 44)
  • James Bosley or Boseley, carpenter, Wanstead, probate 1713 (6 ER 30) (Wills at Chelmsford, Vol II, p. 44)
  • Joseph Bezely, mariner, Stepney, probate 08 Oct 1724 (PROB 11/599 Bolton Quire No 186-228)
  • William Bosely, Wanstead, probate 19 Jan 1728 (PROB 11/619 Brook Quire Numbers: 1 - 47)
  • John Bezley, St. Martin in the Fields, probate 06 Jun 1744 (PROB 11/733 Anstis Quire No 98-147)
  • Elizabeth Bezeley, Mile End, probate 4 Apr 1766 (PROB 11/917 Tyndal Quire No 97-146)
  • Joseph Bezeley, Limehouse St. Ann, probate 20 Feb 1775 (PROB 11/1004 Alexander Quire No 1-45)
  • James Bosely, gentleman, Wanstead, probate 03 Mar 1780 (PROB 11/1062 Collins Quire Nos 99-146)

I also found a cemetery inscription record for a William Bosely in the Wanstead churchyard:

  • William Bosely, died 1712, aged 79 (http://www.sakoman.net/pg/html/12978.htm)

Because of the presence of a Susanna Bosly at the birth of Burtonwood Allcock (see above), there appears to be a connection between the Alcock or Burtonwood families and the Bosely families.

I haven't yet found anything definite about the Hannah Bosely who was mentioned in William Hopkins' will. I have two theories about who she was:

  1. There was a Hannah Beazley who died 24d 2m 1753 at the age of 75 (R&B MM Burials). This would make her about 27 at the time of William Hopkins' will. I have no further information about her, however.
  2. It may also be that Hannah Bosely is actually Susanna Bosely (Hannah and Susanna sometimes being used interchangeably), wife of James, below. More research is needed to place much confidence in this conjecture, but it seems possible, even though they weren't Friends.

James and Susannah Bosely Family

Modified Register for James Bosely

1. James Bosely died on 9 Aug 1712 in Wanstead, Essex, England.

James signed a will on 15 Apr 1707 in Wanstead, Essex, England. His will was probated on 8 Jan 1713.

James married Susannah . Susannah died on 17 Jun 1715 in Wanstead, Essex, England.

They had the following children:

2 F i. Elizabeth Bosely was christened on 1 Mar 1673 in Wanstead, Essex, England.

3 M ii. James Bosely was christened on 4 Oct 1675 in Wanstead, Essex, England. He died about 24 Aug 1684 in Wanstead, Essex, England.

4 M iii. Michael Bosely was christened on 9 Nov 1677 in Wanstead, Essex, England.

5 F iv. Susanna Bosely was christened on 8 Feb 1679/1680 in Wanstead, Essex, England. She died on 1 Jul 1680 in Wanstead, Essex, England.

6 F v. Susanna Bosely died on 13 Dec 1691 in Wanstead, Essex, England.

7 M vi. William Bosely was born on 1 May 1681 in Wanstead, Essex, England. He died 4 Jun 1727 in Wanstead, Essex, England.

8 M vii. Robert Bosely died on 15 Apr 1714 in Wanstead, Essex, England.

9 M viii. Francis Bosely died on 27 Jan 1716.

Following is an abstract of the will of James Bosely:

Will of James Boseley or Bosley, Carpenter of Wanstead, Essex, England
6 ER 30 (Essex Record Office)
Written 15 April 1707
Probate 8 January 1713

Wife and Executrix: Susannah
Sons: William, Robert, and Francis
Witnesses: Thomas Ange Senr, Thomas Ange Junr, and Mary Wade
Estate: copyhold cottage in Wanstead with outhouses, yards, gardens, lands and other appurtenances.

This is an abstract of the will of a William Bosely of Wanstead:

PROB 11/619 Brook Quire Numbers: 1 - 47
Written: 14 Dec 1727
Probate: 19 Jan 1728

Daughter: Elizabeth
Executors: Thomas Bosely, William Bruton
Witnesses: Henry Rainsdon, Henry Darner, Thomas Hunter
Note: Thomas Bosely, kinsman, James Bosely, son of Thomas and Godson, daughter Mary Bruton, Roberta Bartow, kinswoman, Joseph Bartow, Eleanor and Ann Naylor, Mary ffreeborne, sister of Thomas Bosely mentioned.

If the dates are correct, this can't be William Bosely, son of James and Susannah, who died on 4 June 1727, but I don't know any more about him.

I found a number of varient spellings of the Bosely surname. Here is a record of two men named Bezely who were sugar merchants in Limehouse in 1730:

NAME FORENAME COMPANY ADDRESS CITY DATE SOURCE
BEZELY H Bezely H, J & Welford J Limehouse - Rigbeys Ropewalk London 1730 Sun
BEZELY J Bezely H, J & Welford J Limehouse - Rigbeys Ropewalk London 1730 Sun

--Source: Sugar Refiners & Sugarbakers Database, Data from the Sun Fire Office.

Healeys

I found a number of Healeys in the Ratcliff & Barking MM records. In the marriage records, I found a connection to the Healeys of Bermondsey, and to the Hopkins family. James Healey, son of James and Mary (Cross) Healey married Elizabeth Setcole, daughter of William Setcole, on 20 Jan 1728/29. The Healeys in Bermondsey were apparently close to Benjamin and Sarah (Haddon) Hopkins (see healey.htm). There is a Register Report in rtf format which shows the information I found for the James Healey-Elizabeth Setcole family.

Hopkinses

I found these Hopkins births in the Ratcliffe & Barking MM records (FHL #0811787):

Surname
Name
Father
Mother
Date
Parish
Comments
Hopkins
Isaac
Daniel
Jane
4d 8m (Oct) 1713
Dunston Stepny
Occupation of Father: Glaizer
Hopkins
Sarah
Daniel
Jane
2d 8m (Oct) 1714
Milend Old Towne, Dunstons Stepony
Occupation of Father: Glazier
Hopkins
Elizabeth
Daniel
Jane
13d 4m (Jun) 1716
Milend Old Towne, Dunstons Stepony
Occupation of Father: Glazier
Hopkins
Daniel
Daniel
Jane
25d 8m 1717
Ratcliff, Stepny

I found these burial records in the Ratcliffe & Barking MM records (FHL #811788):

Surname
Name
Date
Age
Father
Comments
Hopkins
Daniel
26d 5m 1724
0.34
Daniel
Age about 4 months, Occupation of father: Glasier
Hopkins
Daniel
26d 9m 1718
1
Daniel
Occupation of father: Glasier
Hopkins
Daniel
27d 10m 1761
73
buried at Ratcliff 1d 11m 1761
Hopkins
Hannah
18d 10m 1699
John
six days old
Hopkins
Henry
1d 2m 1722
2
Daniel
Occupation of father: Glasier
Hopkins
Isaac
11d 10m 1718
4
Daniel
Occupation of father: Glasier
Hopkins
Jane
28d 6m 1752
2
Buried at Ratcliff 20d 6m
Hopkins
Jane
22d 2m (Apr) 1734
46
wife of Daniel Hopkins
Hopkins
John
22d 10m 1750
31
buried at Ratcliff 24d 10m
Hopkins
Joseph
9d 4m 1756
34
buried at Ratcliff 11d 4m 1756
Hopkins
Josiah, Junr.
24d 3m 1765
35
buried at Ratcliff 25d 3m 1765
Hopkins
Sarah
11d 10m 1718
4
Daniel
Occupation of father: Glasier
Hopkins
Wm
18d 10m 1699
John
six days old

In searching the marriage records of the Ratcliff & Barking Monthly Meeting, I found a marriage on 17 May 1739 between John Belson, son of Edward Belson of Reading, and Phebe Cooper, daughter of Jonathan Cooper, late of Nottingham. The relatives of the couple included Sarah and James Fellows. Sarah Fellows was the daughter of William and Katheryn Hopkins of Southwark, and the wife of Thomas Fellows. Other relations at the marriage were Daniel Belson, Cordelia Cooper, Elizabeth Belson, and Elizabeth Humphrey. The Belsons were related to the Hopkinses through the marriage of William Hopkins, son of William and Katheryn, and Sarah Belson, daughter of Edmund and Sarah (Hoare) Belson.

I found an early will for a William Hoppkyne of Barking, which is about two miles southeast of Wanstead. It was dated 19 Mar 1563/4 and proved 10 Apr 1564. William mentions his children, Thomas, Edward, John, and Stephen, and also Thomasine and John, children of William Hopkyn, who was one of the witnesses to the will.

I also found a will for a William Hopkins of Wanstead, citizen and joiner of London, whose will was probated 29 Dec 1777. His wife's name was Hannah. She and William's friend Joseph Biffin, wine merchant of Leadenhall Street, London, were the executors of William's will. Only one child, Mary, was mentioned in the will. (PROB 11/1037 Collier Quire Number: 489 - 539)

Other Hopkins wills in Essex and Middlesex include:

  • Henry Hopkin, Citizen and Vintner, St. Clement Danes, probate 14 Aug 1634 (PROB 11/166 Seager Quire Numbers: 65 - 114)
  • Gilbert Hopkin, clothworker, probate 2 May 1672 (PROB 11/339 Eure Quire Numbers: 55 - 107)
  • William Hopkins, bargemaster, Waltham Holy Cross, probated 14 Apr 1679 (PROB 11/359)
  • Elizabeth Hopkins, widow, Waltham Holy Cross, probated 1691(BRS: PCC Wills, 1686-1693, p. 142)
  • Edward Hopkins, mariner, HMS Assistance, Westminster, probate 1692 (BRS: PCC Wills, 1686-1693, p.142)
  • Robert Hopkins, mariner, ship Success, Wapping, Whitechapel, probate 1693 (BRS: PCC Wills, 1686-1693, p. 142)
  • Robert Hopkins alias Stebonheath, victualler, Limehouse, Stepney, probate 1700 (BRS: PCC Wills, 1694-1700, p. 208)
  • William Hopkins, mariner, Stepney, probate 1 Dec 1709 (PROB 11/512 Lane Quire Numbers: 260 - 302)
  • William Hopkins, baker, Saint Giles in the Fields 11 May 1730 (PROB 11/637 Auber Quire Numbers: 99 - 145)
  • Mary Hopkins, probate Nov 1780 (Consistory Court of London, Calendar of Wills & Admins, 1751-1814, FHL #0094169)
  • James Hopkins, probate July 1785 (Consistory Court of London, Calendar of Wills & Admins, 1751-1814, FHL #0094169)

I haven't found any of William Hopkins the Younger's children in the London area Quaker records, except for one whom I think is William III, who died in Camberwell in 1739. Of Benjamin Hopkins' children, there is little mention after childhood for those who survived it. Mary married Edward Butcher and apparently had no children. Sarah married a man named Simpson, probably not a Quaker. Elizabeth married Joseph Etherington and had no children. Haddon married three times, but died young, a year or two before his two children. This scarcity of information in the records leads me to think that the Hopkinses didn't remain active in the Society of Friends.

Abraham Shapton

Abraham was mentioned in William's will, described as a "cousin." Abraham was mentioned in the earliest records of marriages in Southwark. Judith Shapton was a witness to the birth of one of William's children in 1671.

"A building to be used as a meeting-house at Wanstead, with the ground it stood on was bought in 1673 for 30, of Abraham Shapton." (-from The London Friends' Meetings: by William Beck and T. Frederick Ball.)

I found this reference to Abraham in the Essex Record Office database:

Repository: Essex Record Office
Level: Category Estate and Family records
Level: Fonds MISCELLANEOUS ESSEX DOCUMENTS
Level: Series D/DC 18/48-57 Manor of Greenstead: copyhold property called Freemans
Level: Item
Reference Code D/DC/23/721
Dates of Creation Michaelmas term, 1667
Scope and Content Final Concords
Abr. Shapton (ptff.), and Jn. Newnham & w. Eliz., George Bacon &w. Frances (deforcs)
A messuage, and 1a. pasture; in Wanstead
--from Essex Record Office

Modified Register for Abraham Shapton

First Generation

1. Abraham Shapton died1 after 15 May 1705.
Abraham resided in 1663/1666 in St. Saviours Parish, Southwark, Surrey, England. He was employed2,3 as Cheesemonger near the Meals Market in Southwark in 1669 in St. Saviours Parish, Southwark, Surrey, England.

Abraham married Judeth ---- . Judeth was born4 calculated 1632. She died5 on 15 Jun 1706 in London, England. (died 15d 4m 1706 age about 74; Lodger at Saml Kings in the Parish of Buttolphs Aldersgate.)

They had the following children:

2  F  i. Judeth Shapton was born6 on 13 Jan 1664 in Southwark, Surrey, England.
3  F  ii. Anne Shapton was born7 on 11 Nov 1665 in Southwark, Surrey, England.
4  F  iii. Love Shapton was born8 on 3 Jun 1666 in Southwark, Surrey, England.
5  F  iv. Elizabeth Shapton died9,10 on 29 Jul 1669 in St. Saviours Parish, Southwark, Surrey, England.

Appendix A - Sources

1. Will of William Hopkins.
2. FHL #0441400 London & Middlesex QM Burials 1661-1699.
3. FHL #0587999 London and Middlesex Burials, p. 143.
4. FHL #0588013 London & Middlesex QM Burials, p. 206.
5. FHL #0588013 London & Middlesex QM Burials, p. 206.
6. FHL #0811790 Southwark MM Births 1648-1776, p. 9.
7. FHL #0811790 Southwark MM Births 1648-1776, p. 12.
8. FHL #0811790 Southwark MM Births 1648-1776, p. 12.
9. FHL #0441400 London & Middlesex QM Burials 1661-1699.
10. FHL #0587999 London and Middlesex Burials, p. 143.

General Information

In writing about the development of the east end, Peter Ackroyd says that "the extension of the eastern regions was confused and haphazard, governed as it was by ancient statutes of the manors of Stepney and Hackney which provided for only short 'copyholds' of thirty-one years. ... Spitalfields was 'almost completely built over' by the end of the [17th] century." (p. 235) He goes on to say that Spitalfields "acquired a reputation for poverty and overrcrowding. The houses were small and narrow, while the streets themselves were often only fifteen feet wide." (p. 663-4)
(Peter Ackroyd, London: the Biography. New York: Anchor Books, April 2003)

The Victoria History of Essex states that Quakers were meeting in Wanstead as early as 1671, and that William Penn was an early member. The meeting was held in a house in George Lane. By 1692 most of the members had died or moved away, and the meetinghouse was sold to Quaker Joseph Wright in 1716. (A History of the County of Essex, Vol VI, pp. 334-5. Oxford University Press, 1973)

Wanstead was the site of several large homes of the upper classes of London, and had an active Quaker community. William Penn grew up there, and his father died there. (http://www.essexhistory.net/wansteadhistorical.htm)


Here is a link to Quakers Around Shoreditch, a very interesting site.

This link is to the East of London family history society, which has collected a substantial amount of information about that area.

See also the page about Hopkins connections in Southwark and London.

This file was last updated on 8/2/2005.

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