William Hopkins' Relations and Friends

These are names mentioned in William's will as being related to him or being friends:

Relations

William Alcock

William was described as a "cousin" of Horninglow, near Burton upon Trent. His son Thomas, of Tuckahoe, Talbot County, Maryland, married Hannah Burtonwood in 1701. Kathn. Hopkins, Benj. Hopkins, Sar. Fellows, Mary Johnson, Elizth. Allcock, Susan Bosley, and Wm. Bosley were relations, while Wm. Hopkins, Thos. Poor, Elizth. Wassey, and Jno. Gopsill Junr. were witnesses.

Hannah Bosley

Hannah was described as a "kinswoman" of Wanstead, Essex. There is a PCC will for a William Bosely of Wanstead, probated in 1728, who might have been related to Hannah.

Abraham Shapton

Abraham was described as a "cousin" in William's will. There are records of the births of three children to Abraham and Judith Shapton in the Southwark MM (1664, 1665, 1666). 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.)

Friends

Robert Pate, Senior

Robert was described as a "loving friend," and was made trustee of a bequest of 3 pounds for the benefit of the poor among the Quakers. His is among the earliest names to appear in the Southwark MM records. An elder Robert Pate was one of those banished and put on board the ship Black-Spread-Eagle, but who was lucky enough to live through that ordeal and return to London. There were also two other Robert Pates mentioned in the Southwark MM and London & Middlesex QM records.

John Robins

John was a witness to William's will. He was from Banbury, Oxfordshire, and married Jane Cross, who was from Fringford, Oxfordshire, in 1702.

Giles Stuchbury

Giles was a witness to William's will. He came from Foscott, Oxfordshire. He was an early member of the Southwark MM, his name appearing in the earliest marriage records. William was a witness at Giles' marriage to Sarah Taylor in 1677, along with Paul Cross and Thomas Pate. Giles' wife Elizabeth was a witness to the birth of two of William's children (1883, 1685). The Cross , Robins, and Stuchbury families were connected by marriage.

Commentary

From the above, it becomes clear that there were some geographic groupings among the people close to William and his family. First, there is the Alcock family. William Alcock was from Horninglow, Staffordshire, according to the will. It's my supposition that it was Katherine Hopkins who was related to the Alcocks. Katherine was listed among the relations at the marriage of Thomas Alcock and Hannah Burtonwood, while William was among the witnesses. William and Susan Bosley were also listed among the relations.

Thomas Alcock and Hannah Burtonwood married in 1701 in Southwark. Their son Burtonwood was born in 1703 in Walthamstow, Essex, where Thomas was keeping a shop. Both Hannah Bosley and Abraham Shapton had connections with Essex, too. They were living or owned property in Wanstead about the time William's will was written. Walthamstow and Wanstead are only about two miles apart.

Then there is the cluster of people from northern Oxfordshire and southern Northamptonshire. The Cross, Robins, and Stuchbury families all came from this area. I've been told that William Hopkins came from there, but I've yet found no record of him there. But his close association with people from that area is an intriguing clue to follow up.

There is also a question about the terms used to described these people in William's will. He refers to William Alcock and Abraham Shapton as "cousins," while referring to Hannah Bosley as a "kinswoman." Were these terms used interchangably in those days, or was there a difference? My dictionary seems to say that both imply a blood relationship, but that both could be used loosely to include relations by marriage. It stresses that cousin implies descent from a common ancestor, while kinswoman implies only a blood relationship. It's hard to know how much to make of this distinction made in William's will among his relations.

Then there are the friends. Maybe William's choice of friends tells us a lot about him. These three men were all Friends or Quakers, and were members of his Meeting. They were men he had had close dealings with, and whom he must have trusted, particularly Robert Pate, whom he made a trustee of funds he left to the poor, and overseer of his will. Two of them were related by marriage, and were from the same part of England. As I find out more about them, I may discover more about William, too.


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This file was last updated on 7/20/2004.

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