HOPKINS, John (c.1663-1732), of Broad St., London.
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Family and Education
b. c.1663. unm.
‘Vulture Hopkins’, so called from his rapacity, was a London merchant, who made a great fortune by speculation, especially in the South Sea bubble. Returned as a Whig for a venal borough in 1715, he supported the Government, except on the peerage bill, which he voted against. His only recorded speech was made on 20 Apr. 1717, in support of the proposals voluntarily submitted by the Bank of England and the South Sea Company for reducing the interest payable on loans made to the Government, and against a proposal that the interest on the debt should be compulsorily reduced by Act of Parliament, as a breach of parliamentary faith, giving a dangerous blow to public credit. Defeated at Great Bedwyn in 1722, he died 25 Apr. 1732, aged 69, worth £300,000. Under his will, the bulk of his fortune, consisting of estates in London, Middlesex, Surrey, Kent, Wiltshire, Northamptonshire etc., passed to the male issue, according to priority of birth, of the four daughters of a distant kinsman, whose only son, on whom the estates had been entailed, had recently died.1 Pope refers to this will in his epistle to Bathurst on the use of riches in the line asking:
What can they give? to dying Hopkins heirs?
Ref Volumes: 1715-1754
Author: Shirley Matthews
- 1. Pol. State, xliii. 419; Gent. Mag. 1732, p. 832.