Arthur Hopton (died 1607)

Sir Arthur Hopton (died 20 November 1607), of Witham, Somerset, was an English politician. He was member of parliament for Dunwich in 1571, and for Suffolk in 1589. He was made a Knight of the Bath at the coronation of King James I.[1]

Sir Arthur Hopton

MP for Suffolk
In office
High Sheriff of Somerset
In office
MP for Dunwich
In office
Personal details
Bornc. 1545
Blythburgh, Suffolk
Died20 November 1607(1607-11-20) (aged 62)
Witham Friary, Somerset
Resting placeSt Mary, Witham Friary
Spouse(s)Rachael Hall
Children5 sons, 11 daughters
ParentsSir Owen Hopton; Anne Etchingham
Alma materGray's Inn
OccupationPolitician and landowner
AwardsOrder of the Bath 1603

Arthur was the first son of Sir Owen Hopton and Anne, elder daughter of Sir Edward Echyngham and Ann Everard.[1] He married Rachel, daughter of Edmund Hall of Greatford, Lincolnshire: the marriage was arranged by May 1566.[2] Rachel was the niece of William Willoughby, 1st Baron Willoughby of Parham, whose sister Dorothy Willoughby was the wife of Sir Ralph Hopton (died 1571).

Sir Ralph Hopton, who made himself responsible for Rachel's upbringing, arranged her marriage to Arthur and settled the reversion of most of his lands upon them in tail male, including his estate of Witham Friary in Somerset.[3] Although it has been claimed that Ralph was a half-brother of Sir Owen Hopton's, a suit of 1601 indicates that the marriage of Rachel and Arthur was arranged to ensure that Sir Ralph's estates continued in a family named Hopton, and not through any alliance of consanguinity.[4]

Sir Arthur himself was co-executor to his uncle Robert Hopton (died 1590) and guardian of Robert's daughter Dorothy,[5] who married Arthur's son Owen Hopton. His father Sir Owen Hopton having died in 1595, leaving plentiful debts, Sir Arthur Hopton sold away the Hopton family estates around Yoxford and Blythburgh in east Suffolk to Robert Brooke, Alderman of London,[6] in 1597.[7] Brooke apparently bought them in anticipation of the first marriage of his son, also Robert Brooke, which occurred shortly afterwards.[8]

In the course of this transaction, Hopton brought a charge of fraud against the Brookes whom he accused of falsely interlineating the conveyance to include the manor of Blythburgh Priory and the Blythburgh rectory (not intended to be conveyed).[9] There was a severe wrangle over the conveyances and payments, during which Sir Arthur was imprisoned by Brooke the elder; by 1601 Brooke the elder was dead and Hopton faced a costly adjustment of his affairs.[10] The estates were settled upon Brooke the younger by 1598,[11] who made his seat at the former Hopton manor of Westwood (Blythburgh) before rebuilding Cockfield Hall at Yoxford, all of which by marriage descended in a later generation to the Blois family. The recognisances and Statutes Staple applicable to the manors were released to Robert Brooke by Sir Arthur's son Robert Hopton in 1613,[12] six years after his father's death.


The children of Arthur and Rachel Hopton are shown as follows:[13][14]


  1. ^ a b G.M.C., 'Hopton, Arthur (d.1607), of Blythburgh, Suff. and Witham Friary, Som.', in P.W. Hasler (ed.), The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603 (from Boydell and Brewer 1981), History of Parliament Online.
  2. ^ Marriage Settlement, 22 May 1566, Suffolk Record Office (Ipswich) ref. HA30/369/11 (Discovery Catalogue).
  3. ^ R. Virgoe, 'Hopton, Sir Ralph (1509/10-71), of Witham, Som.', in S.T. Bindoff (ed.), The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558 (from Boydell and Brewer 1982), History of Parliament Online; R. Virgoe, 'Hopton, Sir Ralph (c.1510-71), of Witham Friary, Som.', in P.W. Hasler (ed.), The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603 (from Boydell and Brewer 1981), History of Parliament Online.
  4. ^ The National Archives (UK), Chancery: Final decrees, Mayowe v Hopton (1601), ref. C78/118/8 (Discovery catalogue); View original at AALT, images 0128-0136 (AALT).
  5. ^ Will of Robert Hopton of London (P.C.C. 1591, Sainberbe quire).
  6. ^ A.B. Beavan, The Aldermen of the City London, temp. Henry III.-1908., 2 vols (The City Corporation, London 1913), II, p. 44 (Internet Archive).
  7. ^ Suffolk Record Office, Ipswich: Blois Family Archives, (1) Final concord (Trinity 1591), Robert Brooke and Arthur Hopton, ref. HA30/369/147; (2) Conveyance (12 June 1592), Owen Tasburgh to Robert Brooke, ref. HA30/312/2 (Discovery Catalogue).
  8. ^ J.P. Ferris, 'Brooke, Sir Robert (1573-1646), of Cockfield Hall, Yoxford, Suff. and Walbrook, London', in A. Thrush and J.P. Ferris, The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629 (from Cambridge University Press 2010), History of Parliament.
  9. ^ W.A. Copinger (ed.), County of Suffolk: Its History as Disclosed by Existing Records, Vol. 1 (Henry Sotheran & Co., London 1904), pp. 222, 223, 224 (Internet Archive), citing Common Pleas, II, 13.
  10. ^ The National Archives (UK), Chancery: Final decrees, Hopton v Brooke, ref C78/89/16; View originals, rots 32-39, at AALT, images 0527-0539 (AALT).
  11. ^ Will of Robert Brooke, Alderman of London (P.C.C. 1601, Woodhall quire).
  12. ^ Suffolk Record Office, Ipswich, Blois Family Archives, ref. HA30/312/21 (Discovery Catalogue).
  13. ^ a b c d e f g 'Hopton', in F.T. Colby (ed.), The Visitation of the County of Somerset in the Year 1623, Harleian Society Vol. XI (1876), pp. 56-57 (Internet Archive). From Harleian MS 1141.
  14. ^ W.L. Rutton, 'Pedigree of Hopton of Suffolk and Somerset', in J.J. Howard (ed.), Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica, 3rd Series Vol. III (Mitchell and Hughes, London 1900), pp. 9-12, and notes pp. 81-86 (Internet Archive).
  15. ^ J.P. Ferris/S. Healy, 'Hopton, Robert (c.1575-1638), of Ditcheat, Som. and Llanthony Abbey, Mon.', in A. Thrush and J.P. Ferris (ed.), The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, (from Cambridge University Press, 2010), History of Parliament Online.
  16. ^ A.J. Loomie, 'Hopton, Sir Arthur (1588–1650), diplomat', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004).
  17. ^ 'Hundred of Shropham: Eccles', in F. Blomefield, ed. C. Parkin, An Essay Towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk, Volume I (William Miller, London 1805), at pp. 407-08 (Hathi Trust).
  18. ^ These marriages are attributed to Frances Hopton by Rutton, Pedigree of Hopton, but to Frances, daughter of Sir Arthur Hopkins, by J.W.W., 'Fettiplace, Giles (d.1641), of Poulton, Wilts', in P.W. Hasler (ed.), The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603 (from Boydell and Brewer 1981), History of Parliament Online.
  19. ^ M.W. Helms/L. Naylor, 'Ernle (Earnley), John (c.1620-97), of Burytown, Blunsdon, Wilts', in B.D. Henning (ed.), The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690 (from Boydell and Brewer 1983), History of Parliament Online.
  20. ^ P.W. Hasler, 'Rogers, John I (c.1555-1613), of Bryanston, Dorset', in P.W. Hasler (ed.), The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603 (from Boydell and Brewer 1981), History of Parliament Online.
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Robert Hare
Robert Coppyn
Member of Parliament for Dunwich
1571 to 1572
With: William Humberston
Succeeded by
Robert Coppyn
Richard Sone
Preceded by
Sir Robert Jermyn
Sir John Heigham
Member of Parliament for Suffolk
1588 to 1589
With: Anthony Wingfield
Succeeded by
Edmund Bacon
Sir Clement Heigham